Friday, November 12, 2021

Loew’s State Theatre Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Loew’s State opened November 12, 1921 with vaudeville and Bert Lytell starring in MGM’s A Trip to Paradise (based on Molnar’s Liliom). 

Los Angeles Theatres, Facebook:
"The State Theatre, 7th & Broadway is 100!
The mini birthday party is from 4 to 7 on Friday, November 12.
See us in front for birthday cupcakes and discussions about this theatre.
Or we'll be happy to talk about any of the Broadway theatres"

Postcard based on pre-opening drawing. 

Billboard, November 12, 1921:

“Marcus Loew arrived in Los Angeles last Friday for the opening of his news playhouse, Loew’s State Theater. He was met by Joseph Engel, local head of the Metro Studios and Sam Harris, his West Coast represetatives, and Nat Holt, manager of the new theater. With Mr. Loew were his wife, Sid Grauman, a friend of long standing who returned from a month’s stay in the East, and representatives of the Loew Eastern organization.

"The opening of the theater, which had been tentatively set for November 7, has been postponed because of the requirements of the corps of decorators who are now working in double shifts to prepare the beautiful new house for the audience of first-nighters. it is certain, however, that the opening will take place some time within the next two weeks.

"Loew’s State and twelve-story office building were erected at a total cost of $1,000,000. The theater itself, including equipment, costing $1,500,000." 

Exhibitors Trade Review,  December 3, 1921

"The theatre was christened by Viola Dane with a bottle of real champagne broken over the facade of the building on the opening night. Of the 2,800 seats, one thousand were sold to the public at a box office sale which started Thursday, Nov. 10, at 10 o'clock and closed at noon the same day.”

Postcard from 1959 with "Ben Hur" at the Egyptian Theatre  advertised on the reader board.

 The Loew's name was removed from all signage and advertising in 1955. Loew’s Inc. had only operated the State Theatre until 1924, when it was taken over by West Coast Theatres (later Fox West Coast).

In 1949 the State Theatre was transferred to the United Artists Theatres Circuit, and in 1963 operated by Metropolitan Theatres who closed the theatre in 1997. Since that time it has served as a church.

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Since 1997 theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle, has conducted a popular series of  theatre talks and walks, available for  historical societies, libraries, senior centers, etc.
Del Valle is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres.
The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.
Currently seeking funding for “Editing & Formatting” the first three volumes of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, 3rd Edition

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