United Artists Theatre

United Artists Theatre information

Location
Los Angeles , USA
Address
929 S Broadway
Telephone
+1 213 623 3233
More information
www.acehotel.com/losangeles/theatre
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This gorgeous Spanish Gothic theater, with ornate stone work and stained glass, and grand, yet intricate murals, was built in 1927 and bankrolled by bygone heavyweights Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin. They'd tired of the studio stronghold on filmmaking and distribution (back then studios owned the movie houses too), so they joined forces as United Artists.

Once the second tallest building in the city next to City Hall, some thought it was too far south on Broadway, and too separate from the rest of the theater district to thrive, and it has lived a chequered life. Only moderately successful as a movie theater, it turned to Vaudeville through the depression, then went back to the movies until it closed in the 1950s, opening only for the odd rock-and-roll show. From 1962 to 1989 it played Spanish-language films and catered to LA's immigrant community until the old cable preacher Dr Gene Scott bought it and televangelized from the pulpit of Chaplin and Christ. The Scott family earned praise from architecture buffs when they refused to sell it after Dr Gene passed, until they found the Ace Hotel who restored it with passionate attention to detail and now use it to host modern dance shows and rock concerts.