Hollywood Pacific Theatre
|Warner Bros. Theatre,
Warner Hollywood Theatre, Warner Cinerama
The Hollywood Pacific Theatre in 2010
|Address||6433 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
|Opened||April 26, 1928|
|Architect||G. Albert Lansburgh|
|Designated||February 9, 1993|
Originally known as the Warner Bros. Theatre or Warner Hollywood Theatre, the Italianate beaux arts building was designed by architect G. Albert Lansburgh with approximately 2,700 seats. It opened on April 26, 1928, showcasing the studio's early Vitaphone talking film Glorious Betsy, starring Conrad Nagel and Dolores Costello.
Warner Bros. owned radio station KFWB positioned its radio transmitter towers on top of the building, which remain to this day. Though covered by "PACIFIC" lettering, the original "WARNERS" lettering can still be seen inside each tower.
Renovation for widescreen
In an era when theatres were forced to compete with television by introducing widescreen, the venue was one of the few in Hollywood large enough to convert to Cinerama. It was renovated and on April 29, 1953 reopened as the Warner Cinerama. The new screen was 28'x76' with a 146 degree arc and seating was reduced to approximately 1,500 to accommodate the new screen size. This revamp only lasted 133 weeks.
In 1961 the theatre was equipped to run 70mm films and showed both 70 and 35mm films. The last of the 3-strip Cinerama presentations was the American premiere run of How the West Was Won for 93 weeks in 1963 and 64. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, two Stanley Kubrick films had long runs at the theatre: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) played for 80 weeks, and A Clockwork Orange (1971) also had a long run.
On January 31, 1978, two screens were added by converting the balcony section into two 550 seat areas.
End of use for exhibiting films
The theatre finally closed its doors as a full-time cinema on August 15, 1994. This was mostly due to water damage to the basement caused by the construction of the Hollywood Subway Red Line and structural damage caused by the 1994 Northridge earthquake. To date the balcony sections remain closed off due to structure safety issues. The theatre has since been designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.
Influence on Carol Burnett's star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
In the 1950s, a young Carol Burnett was working as an usherette when the theater was showing Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951). Having already seen the film and loving it, she advised two patrons arriving during the last ten minutes of a showing to wait until the beginning of the next showing to avoid spoiling the ending for them. The manager observed Burnett, let the couple in, then callously fired her, stripping the epaulettes from her uniform. Years later in the 1970s after achieving TV stardom, when the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce offered her a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, they asked her where she wanted it. She replied "Right in front of where the old Warner Brothers Theater was, at Hollywood and Wilcox", which is where it was placed, at 6439 Hollywood Blvd.
The theatre was occupied by Ecclesia Hollywood Church till July 2013. Given the recent revitalization of Hollywood Boulevard in the early 21st century, it is often speculated that the theatre will one day be restored as a film palace.
- It was sometimes called The Warner Hollywood Theatre to avoid confusion with another Warner Theatre in Los Angeles, known as "Warner Downtown Theatre" at 401 W. 7th St.
- Lord, Rosemary (2003). Hollywood Then and Now. San Diego: Thunder Bay Press. p. 121. ISBN 1-59223-104-7.
- Other Los Angeles theatres designed by Lansburgh include the Orpheum Theatre, Shrine Auditorium, El Capitan Theatre and Wiltern Theatre.
- "Warner Bros. Theater Hollywood". LosAngelesGooglePages.com. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
- "Hollywood Pacific Theatre". CinemaTreasures.org. Retrieved 2009-10-04.
- Burnett, Carol (1986). One More Time (first ed.). New York: Random House. pp. 194–195. ISBN 0-394-55254-7.
- "Hollywood Walk of Fame – Locations". Retrieved 2009-10-04.
- Warner Bros. Theatre History
- Cinema Treasures
- Cinema Tour Photos of the Theatre
- Movies Played List as Warner Hollywood Theatre