Broadway (Los Angeles)

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Broadway Theater and
Commercial District (NRHP)
Broadway Theater and
Entertainment District
(City of Los Angeles)
Broadway Theater District, LA, CA, jjron 22.03.2012.jpg
Broadway Theater District streetscape
Broadway (Los Angeles) is located in Los Angeles
Broadway (Los Angeles)
Location300—849 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°2′48″N 118°15′4″W / 34.04667°N 118.25111°W / 34.04667; -118.25111Coordinates: 34°2′48″N 118°15′4″W / 34.04667°N 118.25111°W / 34.04667; -118.25111
Architectural styleEarly Commercial, Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Art Deco
NRHP reference No.79000484 [1]
Added to NRHPMay 9, 1979
Los Angeles Theatre.jpg
Broadway street view, with the Los Angeles Theatre at center, 2006
Maintained by
Length17.75 mi (28.57 km)
LocationLos Angeles
South endMain Street near Gardena
Northeast endMission Road in Los Angeles

Broadway is a major thoroughfare in central Los Angeles and Los Angeles County, southern California. Broadway from 3rd to 9th streets in the Historic Core was the city's main commercial street from the 1910s until World War II. It is also the location of the Broadway Theater District, the first and largest historic theater district listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).[2] With twelve movie palaces located along a six-block stretch of Broadway, it is the only large concentration of movie palaces left in the United States.


South Broadway's southern terminus is Main Street just north of the San Diego Freeway (I-405) in Carson. From there it runs 10 miles (16 km) north through Athens and South Los Angeles to Downtown Los Angeles – at Olympic Blvd. entering downtown's Historic Core, in which the buildings lining Broadway form the Broadway Theater District. Crossing 3rd Street, Broadway passes through the Civic Center including Grand Park. After crossing the Hollywood Fwy. (US 101), signs read "North Broadway" as it enters Chinatown. It then curves northeast, passing through old railyards, crosses the Golden State Fwy. (I-5) and heads due east to its terminus at Mission Road in Lincoln Heights.

Broadway Tunnel, built 1901, southern entrance at Fort Moore Hill (lower right), with former Los Angeles High School (upper left)
Broadway north from 7th St., 1917. Bullock's is on the left side.
Broadway south from 7th St. towards Hamburger's, 1917


Founding and extension[edit]

Broadway is one of the oldest streets in the city, it was laid out as part of the 1849 plan of Los Angeles made by Lieutenant Edward Ord and named Fort Street. Fort Street began at the south side of Fort Moore Hill (a block north of Temple Street) at Sand Street (later California Street).

In 1890, the name of Fort Street, from 1st Street to 10th Street, was changed to Broadway. The rest of Fort Street, from California Street to 1st Street, was changed to North Broadway.[3][4]

Proposal for opening Broadway through to Buena Vista Street (now North Broadway), and extending the street south into what was then part of Main Street, below Tenth Street, in order to give a continuous, wide thoroughfare from the southern city limits to the Eastside, was made as early as February 1891.[5]

The Broadway Tunnel under Fort Moore Hill was opened in 1901, extending North Broadway to Buena Vista Street at Bellevue Avenue (later Sunset Boulevard, now Cesar Chavez Avenue). A section of Broadway in South Los Angeles was originally named Moneta Avenue until 1923.[6]

In 1909, construction on a bridge across the Los Angeles River was begun to connect Buena Vista Street to Downey Avenue, which ran from the river to Mission Road. The names of Buena Vista and Downey were then changed to North Broadway,[7][8][9] but not without significant objections from affected residents and landowners.[10][11][12][13] The bridge, which continued to be referred to as the Buena Vista Street Bridge for a good while, was opened to traffic in late September 1911.[14]

Los Angeles' central commercial and entertainment street[edit]

For more than 50 years, Broadway from 1st Street to Olympic Boulevard was the main commercial street of Los Angeles, and one of its premier theater and movie palace districts as well. It contains a vast number of historic buildings and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Prior to the turn of the 20th century, the city's Central Business District was further north, along Spring and Main streets between the Plaza and 2nd Street. In 1895 J.W. Robinson's opened what was then considered a very large and impressive four-story department store at 239 S. Broadway,[15][16] signaling of the shift over the next decade and a half of the main shopping district to Broadway below 2nd Street.

Table of department stores on Broadway and 7th streets[edit]

Opened Closed Store Floor area (gross) Location Architects Current use
1893 1898 moved to 317 B’way A. Fusenot Co. “Ville de Paris[17] Potomac Block: 221-3 Broadway added to Coulter's late 1907, demolished 1958, now site of parking lot
1895 1915 moved to 7th St. Boston Dry Goods, later J.W. Robinsons 239 S. Broadway (2nd/3rd) Parking lot
1896 1973 The Broadway Dept. Store[18] 1924, 577,000 sq ft (53,600 m2)[19] SW corner 4th & Broadway, later through to Hill Junipero Serra State Office Building
1898 1905/1917 moved Coulter's (1898–1905),Ville de Paris (1905-1917) 96,000 sq ft (8,900 m2)[20] 317–325 S. Broadway through to 314–322 Hill Street[20]
Homer Laughlin Building
Grand Central Market
1899[21] 1935-6 moved to 605 B'way[22][23] Jacoby Bros. 331-333-335 S. Broadway Was "Boston Store" in late 1930s.[24] Currently independent retail.
1899 Myer Siegel 251 S. Broadway (later 455 S. Broadway then 617 S. Broadway)
1904 Silverwoods 1920: 115,420 sq ft (10,723 m2)[25] 556 S. Broadway (NE corner of 6th) Broadway Jewelry Mart
1905 1917 moved to 7th St. Coulter's 157,000 sq ft (14,600 m2)[26] Potomac Block: 225-7-9 S. Broadway through to 224-6-8 S. Hill St. Late 1907 added 219-221-223 S. Broadway to store. demolished, site of parking lot
1905 1917 moved to 7th St. J. J. Haggarty Co. “New York Store’ 337-9 S. Broadway Independent retail. Only 2 stories remain.
1905 Fifth Street Store (Steele, Faris, & Walker Co.) 1917: 278,640 sq ft (25,887 m2)[27] SW corner 5th & Broadway Replaced existing store with new building in 1917[27]
1906 Hamburger's, later May Company 1906: 482,475 sq ft (44,823.4 m2)[28][29]
1930, >1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2)[30]
SW corner 8th & Broadway
by 1930, entire block 8th/9th/Broadway/Hill
1907 1983 Bullock's 1907: 350,000 sq ft (33,000 m2)
1934: 806,000 square feet (74,900 m2)[31]
NW corner 7th & Broadway
by 1934, most of the block 6th/7th/Broadway/Hill
St. Vincents Jewelry Mart
1909 J. M. Hale (Hale’s) 341-343-345 S. Broadway[32] retail, top floors were removed
1910 1960s Mullen & Bluett 610 S. Broadway
(Walter P. Story Bldg.)[33]
Morgan, Walls & Clements Mixed-use
1915 1993 J. W. Robinson's 1915: 400,000 sq ft (37,000 m2)[34]
1923: 623,700 sq ft (57,940 m2)[35]
7th, Hope & Grand Noonan & Richards (1915), Edgar Mayberry/Allison & Allison (1934 remodel) Mixed-use
1917 1933 Ville de Paris, from 1919 B. H. Dyas 420 W. 7th (SE corner Olive) Dodd and Richards L.A. Jewelry Mart
1917 1938 moved to Miracle Mile Coulter's 500 W. 7th (SW corner Olive) Dodd and Richards Mixed-use
1917 Haggarty's 7th & Grand[36][37][38][39]
Brockman Building
1917 became "The Famous" Blackstone's 118,800 sq ft (11,040 m2)[40] 901 S. Broadway (SE corner 9th) John Parkinson Residential and ground floor retail
1924 1972[41] Desmond's 85,000 sq ft (7,900 m2)[42] 616 S. Broadway A. C. Martin[43] Renovated 2019 as office space, a restaurant and a rooftop bar.[42]
1926 1984[44] Barker Bros. 23 acres (1,000,000 sq ft; 93,000 m2)[45] 818 W. 7th (Flower to Figueroa) Curlett and Beelman Offices
1930 1957[46] Eastern Columbia 1930: 275,650 square feet (25,609 m2)[47] (expanded through to Hill St. in 1950)[48] 849 S. Broadway through to Hill Claud Beelman luxury condos
1936[23] 1938[49] Jacoby Bros. 605 S. Broadway[23] became a branch of Zukor's (1940),[50] now mixed-use
1947 1980[51] Harris & Frank 2nd downtown location 644 S. Broadway
(Joseph E. Carr Bldg.)
Robert Brown Young[52]
1973 open* The Broadway 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2)[53] Broadway Plaza 750 W. 7th (Hope to Flower) Charles Luckman Macy's
1986 1996 Bullock's Seventh Market Place now FIGat7th Jon Jerde[54] Gold's Gym (level M1), Target (M2), Zara (M3)
1986 2009a May Company Nordstrom Rack (level M1), Target (M2), H&M (M3)

aas Macy's

From around 1905 through the 1950s, Broadway was considered the center of the city, where residents went to ornate movie palaces and live theaters, and shopped at major department stores and shops.

The square footage of the four largest department stores alone — Bullock's at 806,000 sq ft (74,900 m2), The Broadway at 577,000 sq ft (53,600 m2)[55], May Co. at over 1,000,000 sq ft (93,000 m2)[56] and J. W. Robinson's (7th St. at Hope) at 623,700 sq ft (57,940 m2)[35][57] — totaled over three million square feet, the size of American Dream Meadowlands, America's largest mall today.

Among dozens of significant buildings from that era are the Bradbury Building, Ace Hotel Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Examiner building designed by Julia Morgan.

Some of the movie theaters on the street fell into disuse and disrepair, some were replaced with parking lots, but many have been repurposed and/or restored. The department stores closed in the 1970s and 1980s, but Broadway has been the premier shopping destination for working class Latinos for decades.[58]

Theater District[edit]

NRHP refers to the district as the Broadway Theater and Commercial District, while the City of Los Angeles Planning Department refers to the Broadway Theater and Entertainment District.[59]

Highest concentration of movie palaces in the world[edit]

Stretching for six blocks from Third to Ninth Streets, the district includes 12 movie theaters built between 1910 and 1931. By 1931, the district had the highest concentration of cinemas in the world, with seating capacity for more than 15,000 patrons. Broadway was the hub of L.A.'s entertainment scene – a place where "screen goddesses and guys in fedoras rubbed elbows with Army nurses and aircraft pioneers."[60] In 2006, the Los Angeles Times wrote:

"There was a time, long ago, when the streets of downtown Los Angeles were awash in neon—thanks to a confluence of movie theaters the world had never seen before. Dozens of theaters screened Hollywood's latest fare, played host to star-studded premieres and were filled nightly with thousands of moviegoers. In those days, before World War II, downtown L.A. was the movie capital of the world."[61]

Columnist Jack Smith called it "the only large concentration of vintage movie theaters left in America."[62] Smith recalled growing up a mile from Broadway and spending his Saturdays in the theaters:

"I remember walking into those opulent interiors, surrounded by the glory of the Renaissance, or the age of Baroque, and spending two or three hours in the dream world of the movies. When I came out again the sky blazed; the heat bounced off the sidewalk, traffic sounds filled the street, I was back in the hard reality of the Depression.[62]

Because Broadway has been used as a filming location for decades, many of these theatre marquees can be seen in classic Hollywood films, including Safety Last! (1923), D.O.A. (1950), The Omega Man (1971), Blade Runner (1982), and The Artist (2011).[63][64]

Revitalization by Spanish-language cinema[edit]

In the years after World War II, the district began to decline, as first-run movie-goers shifted to the movie palaces in Hollywood, in Westwood Village, and later to suburban multiplexes. After World War II, as Anglo moviegoers moved to the suburbs, many of the Broadway movie palaces became venues for Spanish-language movies and variety shows. In 1988, the Los Angeles Times noted that, without the Hispanic community, "Broadway would be dead."[65] Jack Smith wrote that Broadway had been "rescued and revitalized" by "the Latino renaissance."[62]

Preservation and renovation efforts[edit]

The district has been the subject of preservation and restoration efforts since the 1980s. In 1987, the Los Angeles Conservancy started a program called "Last Remaining Seats" in which the old movie palaces were opened each summer to show classic Hollywood movies.[60][66] In 1994, the Conservancy's associate director, Gregg Davidson, noted: "When we started this, the naysayers said no one will go downtown to an old theater to see an old movie in the middle of the summer, but we get a number of people who have never seen a movie in a theater with a balcony. The older people (go) for nostalgia. And the movie people—seeing a classic film on a big screen is a different experience."[66] After attending a Conservancy screening, one writer noted: "The other night I went to the movies and was transported to a world of powdered wigs and hoop skirts, a rococo fantasy of gilded cherubs and crystal chandeliers. And then the film started."[60]

Despite preservation efforts, many of the theaters have been converted to other uses, including flea markets and churches. The Broadway movie palaces fell victim to a number of circumstances, including changing demographics and tastes, a downtown location that was perceived as dangerous at night, and high maintenance costs for aging facilities. With the closure of the State Theater in 1998, the Orpheum and the Palace were the only two still screening films.[67]

In 2006, the Los Angeles Times wrote: "Of all of L.A.'s many hidden gems, maybe none is as sparkling nor as hidden as the Broadway theater district downtown."[60] Bemoaning the possible loss of such gems, the same writer noted: "L.A. gave birth to the movies. To lose the astonishing nurseries where the medium grew up would be tragic."[60]

Broadway since 2008[edit]

In 2008, the City of Los Angeles launched a $40-million campaign to revitalize the Broadway district, known as the "Bringing Back Broadway" campaign. Some Latino merchants in the district expressed concern that the campaign was an effort to spread the largely Anglo gentrification taking hold in other parts of downtown to an area that has become the city's leading Latino shopping district.[68] A worker at one of the district's bridal shops noted, "On one side, I like the idea. The only thing is that I don't think they want our types of businesses."[68]

The Downtown's real estate revitalization, using the City's adaptive reuse ordinance that makes it easier for developers to convert outmoded and/or vacant office and commercial buildings into residential buildings, has reached the Broadway Historic District. It includes the transformation of the United Artists Theater office tower into the Ace Hotel Los Angeles, and restoration of its movie palace.

The Bringing Back Broadway commission is working on further reviving the landmark Los Angeles boulevard in the historic district. Led by City Councilman Jose Huizar, the commission has recommended widening sidewalks, eliminating traffic lanes, constructing new parking structures, and bringing back streetcar service reminiscent of the street's past.[69] A pedestrian-friendly project finished up in December 2014 that widened the sidewalks and replaced the parking lane with planters, chairs and round cafe tables with bright-red umbrellas. The Great Streets Initiative seeks to bolster the street-level health of the city by making several dozen boulevards more hospitable to pedestrians, cyclists and small businesses. Mayor Eric Garcetti said the effort represents "a shift from the way that our neighborhoods have been planned in Los Angeles," with a new focus on "walkability and transit."[70]

Broadway retail is transitioning from a broad mix of stores catering to Hispanic immigrants and a burgeoning sneaker and streetwear retail cluster has emerged from 4th to 9th streets: Sneaker Row.[71]

Retail in and around the Eastern Columbia, located at the intersection of 9th Street & Broadway, has proliferated in recent years with the opening of Acne Studios, Oak NYC, Aesop, Tanner Goods, BNKR, Austere, A.P.C., and Urban Outfitters located in the Rialto Theater (Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument No. 472).[72][73]

List of theaters, other landmark buildings and sites[edit]

All landmarks in geographic order, north to south:

West side East side

Chinatown Los Angeles neon.jpg
East Gate of New Chinatown. 943 N. Broadway

Hollywood Freeway to Temple
Entering Civic Center (site of Central Business District, 1880s-1890s)
* L. A. County Hall of Justice (1925)
Temple to 1st

part of Civic Center (site of Central Business District, 1880s-1890s)

West side:

East side:

  • Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center (L. A. County Grand Jury)
  • Grand Park
1st to 2nd

part of Civic Center (site of Central Business District, 1880s-1890s)

West side:
  • U. S. Courthouse
East side:

2nd to 3rd

West side:

East side:

Entering Historic Core

3rd to 4th

Grand Central Market, once home to the Ville de Paris and B. H. Dyas department stores

West side:

Bradbury Building, built in 1893

East side:

Million Dollar Theater
  • Million Dollar Theater – Movie palace – Located at 307 S. Broadway, the Million Dollar Theater was built by Sid Grauman and opened in 1918. The theater was designed by architects Albert C. Martin and William Lee Woollett with a fanciful facade in the Churrigueresque style. After more than 30 years as one of the city's most prestigious first-run movie palaces, the Million Dollar Theater presented Spanish-language films and variety shows from 1950 until the late 1980s. The theater had a seating capacity of 2,345 when it opened in 1918.[2] In 1925, Ben-Hur played for six months at the Million Dollar Theater.[66]

4th to 5th

Terrazzo floor of former Newberry's five and dime

West side:

East side:

  • site of first Thrifty Drug Store (razed), 412 S. Broadway, new 35-story condominium tower currently under construction
  • Judson C. Rives Building (1907), 424 S. Broadway, currently The Judson
  • Bumiller Building (1906), 430 S. Broadway, currently the Broadway Lofts
  • Chester Williams Building (1926), 215 W. 5th St. (NE corner of Broadway)

5th to 6th

West side:

  • Fifth Street Store department store bldg. (1927, Alexander Curlett), SW corner of 5th, 501 S. Broadway
  • Schulte United Building (1928), 529 S. Broadway
  • F. & W. Grand Silver Store Building (1931, art deco), 537-541 S. Broadway. Has housed F. & W. Grand Silver five and dime, National Dollar store (1934), Richman Bros. Clothing (owned by Woolworth's, 1950s), Hartman/Hartfield Stores (same parent co. as Zody's, 1960s)
Broadway Arcade building, 2014

East side:

  • The Title Guarantee Block (1913), 500 S. Broadway, currently the Jewelry Trades Building
  • Pettebone Building (1905), 512 S. Broadway
  • Roxie Theatre (1931, orig. 1,600 seats), 518 S. Broadway
  • Cameo Theatre (1910, 900 seats), 528 S. Broadway
  • Arcade Theatre (Pantages Theater) (1910, orig. 1,450 seats), 534 S. Broadway
  • Broadway Arcade (Spring Arcade Building), 540 S. Broadway
Roxie Theatre
  • Roxie Theatre – Movie palace – Located at 518 S. Broadway, the Roxie was built in 1932—the last of the movie palaces built on Broadway. The Roxie had a seating capacity of 1,600 when it opened and was noted for its Art Deco or Zigzag Moderne style, including its stepped roofline, angular grillwork, chevron ornament, and terrazzo sunburst in the sidewalk. The theater's sleek Streamline Moderne ticket booth was removed when the theater was converted to retail use.[2]
  • Cameo TheaterNickelodeon – Located at 528 S. Broadway, the Cameo opened in 1910 with a seating capacity of 775. Designed by Alfred Rosenheim in a Renaissance Revival style, the Cameo was originally known as Clune's Broadway. Until it closed in 1991, it was the oldest continuously operating movie theater in California.[2] The Cameo has been converted into a swap meet-type market.[78]
  • Arcade Theater – English-music-hall-style theater – Located at 534 S. Broadway, the Arcade opened in 1910 as a vaudeville house that was part of the Pantages vaudeville circuit. The Arcade was designed by Morgan & Walls in the Beaux Arts style with tripartite vertical division of the facade.[2] Theater has been closed since 1992. Currently used as retail space.

6th to 7th

West side:

East side:

Los Angeles Theatre
  • Los Angeles Theatre – Movie Palace – Located at 615 S. Broadway, the Los Angeles opened in 1931 for the premiere of Charlie Chaplin's City Lights.[62] It had a seating capacity just short of 2,000. The theater was designed by S. Charles Lee and S. Tilden Norton in the French Baroque style, and was modeled on San Francisco's Fox Theater. The Los Angeles included the latest technological features when it opened, including an electric monitor of available seats, blue neon floor lights, a restaurant, a children's playroom, soundproof crying rooms, smoking room with built-in cigarette lighters, a walnut-paneled lounge with a secondary screen on which a periscope-like system of prisms relayed the film.[2] The ladies' powder room was lined with mirrors and vanities, and the toilet stalls were each done in a different kind of marble and each toilet bowl of a different pastel shade.[62] In 1988, the Los Angeles Times called it "a movie house for the gods, even in its present dusty state".[65] Columnist Jack Smith wrote that the Los Angeles Theater was "palatial beyond the dreams of a prince" with a lobby that suggested "nothing less than the glory of Versailles.".[62] Aerosmith's video for "Jaded" was filmed throughout the theater. It is owned by the Broadway Theatre Group, and continues to be used as a performing arts venue.[79] Current capacity: 1,931.
Palace Theater
  • Palace Theatre – Vaudeville theater and movie palace – Located at 630 S. Broadway, the Palace opened in 1911 with a seating capacity of 2,200. It was an Orpheum vaudeville theater from 1911–1926 and is the oldest remaining Orpheum theater in the United States. The structure was designed by G. Albert Lansburgh based on a Florentine early Renaissance palazzo. The brick facade includes multi-colored terra-cotta swags and four panels depicting the muses of vaudeville sculpted by Domingo Mora.[2] It is also owned by the Broadway Theatre Group.[79] Current capacity: 1,068.

7th to 8th

Reich and Lièvre store at 737-745 S. Broadway depicted in 1917 ad for store opening

West side:

Hotel Lankershim (demolished)

East side:

  • Site of Hotel Lankershim (1905, demolished), 700 S. Broadway (SE corner 7th St.)
  • Globe Theatre (1913, 1,900 seats) 740 S. Broadway, see below
State Theater
  • State Theatre – Vaudeville theater and movie palace – Located at 703 S. Broadway, The State opened in 1921 with a seating capacity of 2,450.[80] The theater offered both film and vaudeville when it opened. Judy Garland performed at the theater as part of the Gumm Sisters in 1929. Designed by Charles Weeks and William Day, the 12-story Loew's State is said to be the largest brick-clad structure in Los Angeles.[80] The theater is also noted for the seated Buddha/Billiken figure, as a good luck charm, located in a niche above the proscenium arch.[2] The exterior has an elaborate "silver platter" chased ornamentation above the ground story.[81] In 1998, Metropolitan Theaters stopped showing movies at the State and leased the space to the Universal Church.[67] As of 2015 the State is owned by the Broadway Theatre Group and is leased by the Cathedral of Faith for use as a church.[82]
Globe Theater
  • Globe Theatre – Legitimate theater – Located at 744 S. Broadway, the Globe opened in 1913 as the Morosco Theatre, with a seating capacity of 782. Built for impresario Oliver Morosco and designed by the architectural firm of Morgan, Walls & Morgan, it was used for full-scale live dramatic theater. It was converted into a movie theater during the Great Depression and later served as a Spanish-language movie theater. The building was converted into a swap meet in 1987.[2] As of June 2014, construction to restore it to use as an entertainment venue is ongoing.[83] The restored marquee was relit June 24, 2014.[84] The Globe is now a multipurpose space for music, theatrical events and films. Current capacity: 2,000.

8th to 9th

West side:

East side:

Tower Theatre
  • Tower Theatre – Movie theater – Located at 802 S. Broadway, the Tower opened in 1927 with a seating capacity of 1,000.[86] It was the first of more than 70 theaters designed by S. Charles Lee, who described the Tower as a "modified French Renaissance" design. It was the first movie theater in Downtown Los Angeles equipped to accommodate talking pictures.[2] It is now owned by Apple inc. They are currently refurbishing the theater and will open a downtown Apple store.[87][79] Current capacity: 314
Rialto Theater
  • Rialto Theater – Movie theater – Located at 812 S. Broadway, the Rialto opened as Quinn's Rialto, a nickelodeon, in 1917. It was purchased by Sid Grauman in 1919, the year after he opened the Million Dollar Theater. Today the theater is home to an Urban Outfitters store.[88][89][90]
Orpheum Theatre marquee
9th to Olympic

West side:

  • United Artists Theater (now The Theatre at Ace Hotel) – Movie palace – Located at 933 S. Broadway, the United Artists opened in 1927 with a seating capacity of 2,214. It was the showcase for movies from the United Artists group created in 1919 by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith. The theater was designed by C. Howard Crane, with Walker & Eisen, in a Gothic style inspired by a church in Segovia, Spain. The columns feature terra cotta capitals carved with film and theater themed grotesques. The interior includes a series of frescoes and murals by the firm of Anthony Heinsbergen.[2] In 1990, the United Artists Theater was restored by Gene Scott's L.A. University Church; Scott called on his television flock to come to Los Angeles to help with the restoration.[91] Scott's famous "Jesus Saves" sign was placed on the back side of the building to avoid interfering with the original facade. In 2013 the upper floors of the building were renovated into a boutique hotel, the Ace Los Angeles; the auditorium has been returned to use as a concert venue and theater.

South of Olympic Blvd.

  • Los Angeles Examiner building, SW corner 11th
  • Athens Park, 124th to El Segundo Blvd.
  • Site of the Globe Department Store, 51st and Broadway[92]

Other surviving theaters adjacent to Broadway[edit]

  • Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre – Vaudeville theater and movie palace – Located at 401 W. 7th St (northwest corner of South Hill and West 7th St). Opening on August 17, 1920, it was originally called the Pantages Theatre, but was renamed Warner Bros. Downtown Theatre in 1930 after the Hollywood Pantages Theatre was opened.[93][94] The exterior has an imposing domed corner tower, flanked by twin facades on 7th and Hill.[95] Later in the 1960s, it was known as the Warrens Theatre.[94] It currently houses a jewelry store.
  • Olympic Theatre – Movie palace – Located at 313 W. 8th St, half a block from S. Broadway, it originally opened in 1927 as Bard's 8th Street Theatre, converted from a restaurant. For a time, it had a second entrance on Broadway. After a period as a chandelier store, COS, a higher-end brand of H&M, began remodeling the store in 2016.[96][90]
  • Mayan Theater – Vaudeville theater and movie palace – Located at 1014 South Hill Street. Opened in August 1927 and now designated a Historic Cultural Monument, the Mayan is currently used as a nightclub. Current capacity: 1,491
  • Belasco Theatre – Legitimate theater – Located at 1050 South Hill Street, adjacent to the Mayan. Built by the Belasco brothers, and designed by Morgan, Walls and Clements. It served as a church from 1950 to 1987, renovations were completed in 2011 to modernize the sound and lighting systems.[97] Currently hosts services for the Los Angeles campus of Hillsong Church. Current capacity: 1,601.

Public transportation[edit]

LA Metro's Historic Broadway station is an under-construction underground light rail station near the intersection of 2nd and Broadway,[98][99] part of the new Regional Connector tunnel extending light rail lines that currently terminate at 7th Street/Metro Center station, to Union Station. In the new scheme that LA Metro will adopt when the Connector opens, trains will run from Historic Broadway Station on the "E" line east to East Los Angeles and west to Santa Monica, and on the "A" line northeast to Union Station, Pasadena, and Azusa and south to Long Beach.[100]

Metro Silver Line bus rapid transit (BRT) has 5 stations adjacent to Broadway in South Los Angeles: 37th Street/USC, Slauson, Manchester/I-110, Harbor Freeway, and Rosecrans. These stations are along the Harbor Transitway, a dedicated busway between Downtown L.A. (Adams Blvd.) and the Harbor Gateway, near Carson, in the median of the Harbor Freeway (I-110), just west of Broadway. Silver Line BRT runs as far south as San Pedro and as far northeast as El Monte.

Metro Local bus line 45 serves most of the length of Broadway, between Lincoln Heights through Downtown to El Segundo Blvd. in Athens. Metro Rapid line 745 serves Broadway from Cesar Chavez Avenue downtown to Imperial Highway in South L.A. Local routes 2, 4, 30, 33 and 40 serve portions of Broadway downtown.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. April 15, 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Sandra A.B. Levis. "Broadway Historic Theater District: A walking tour sponsored by the Los Angeles Conservancy" (PDF). Los Angeles Conservancy.
  3. ^ "City In Brief". Los Angeles Times. September 6, 1889. p. 8. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  4. ^ "No Title". Los Angeles Times. February 18, 1890. p. 4. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  5. ^ "Sou', Sou'west". Los Angeles Times. February 26, 1891. p. 4. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  6. ^ "Realtors Want New Boulevard: Ask Supervisors for Route Connecting Moneta Avenue With Harbor". Los Angeles Times. December 10, 1922. p. V9. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  7. ^ "A Literary Fog". Los Angeles Times. November 30, 1909. p. II4. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  8. ^ "The Lancer". Los Angeles Times. January 22, 1911. p. II5. Alternate Link via ProQuest.
  9. ^ "Downey And Buena Vista Will Be North Broadway". Los Angeles Herald. 35 (353). September 19, 1908 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  10. ^ "Object to Changing Name". Los Angeles Herald. 32 (105). January 14, 1905 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  11. ^ "Buena Vista Street Will Continue Name: Will Not Be Changed to North Broadway". Los Angeles Herald. 32 (238). May 27, 1905 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
  12. ^ "Object to Merger Of Downey Avenue". Los Angeles Herald. 36 (24). October 25, 1908 – via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
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See also[edit]

External links[edit]