Hollywood United Methodist Church

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Hollywood United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church of Hollywood
Hollywood United Methodist Church.jpg
34°06′16″N 118°20′20″W / 34.10444°N 118.33889°W / 34.10444; -118.33889Coordinates: 34°06′16″N 118°20′20″W / 34.10444°N 118.33889°W / 34.10444; -118.33889
Location 6817 Franklin Ave., Los Angeles, California 90028
Country  USA
Denomination United Methodist Church
Website hollywoodumc.org
Founded March 16, 1930
District Los Angeles District, California-Pacific Annual Conference, Western Jurisdiction
Senior pastor(s) Rev. Kathy Cooper-Ledesma
Pastor(s) Rev. J. Daniel Lewis
Director of music John West
Music group(s) Chancel Choir
Hollywood United Methodist Church
Built 1927
Architect Thomas P. Barber
Architectural style(s) English Gothic Revival
Official name: First United Methodist Church of Hollywood
Designated December 4, 1981
Reference no. 248

Hollywood United Methodist Church is a United Methodist church located at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Highland Avenue in the Hollywood Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.[1] Its English Gothic architecture and the giant HIV/AIDS Red Ribbon on the bell-tower have made it a prominent landmark in Hollywood. The church's facilities, in addition to housing an active congregation, are used by the private non-religious Oaks School and have been the settings for many movies including Sister Act and Back to the Future.[2]


Construction on the first building, the Recreational Hall, was started in 1927 by a group of congregants who began organizing the new church in 1909. The rest of the structure was completed on March 16, 1930.[3]


The church building was designed by Thomas P. Barber,and based in part on the English Gothic style of Westminster Hall in London. The structure is steel-framed concrete, which makes it relatively earthquake resistant, was realized with the contribution of the italian structural engineer Francesco (Ciccio) Sabato Ceraldi. The Curch is also an example of American Gothic Architecture with its sanctuary roof having an open hammer beam construction.[4].

Use as a movie filming location[edit]

Due to its convenient location in the heart of Hollywood and its mixture of Gothic and modern architecture, the church has been used frequently as a filming location for Hollywood movies. The "Enchantment Under the Sea" dance scenes in Back to the Future and Back to the Future Part II were filmed in the church's gymnasium. Interior scenes for the movie Sister Act were filmed in the hallways, classrooms, and offices of the church, although the film crew repainted the interior to make it appear much older. Scenes from Anger Management, Big Momma's House, Jarhead, People Like Us, and several other movies were filmed on the premises.

The Oaks School[edit]

The Oaks School is an independent private K-6 school founded in 1985 which rents space from the church. The school is non-religious and not affiliated with the church, although the school and church communities do work together frequently and share some staff.[5]

See also[edit]