Majestic Crest Theatre

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Crest Theater
The Crest
Crest Theater (Westwood).jpg
Full name Crest Westwood
Former names
  • Crest Theater
  • The Crest
  • Majestic Crest Theater
  • Bigfoot Crest Theater
Type Movie theater
Capacity 460[1]
Built 1939
Opened 1941[1]
Renovated 1987
Architect Arthur Hawes [2]

The Crest Theatre (formerly known as Majestic Crest and Bigfoot Crest Theatre) is a movie theatre located in Westwood United States. It was founded as the Westwood Theatre in 1940, and was built for live performances but switched to a newsreel cinema during World War II. Through ownership changes, it has been known at various times as UCLAN Theatre, Crest Theatre, and Metro Theatre. The original 500-seat art deco style theater was designed by Arthur W. Hawes.[3]


Arthur Hawes designed the theater in an austere Moderne style for financer Frances Seymour Fonda, wife of Henry and mother of Jane and Peter, as a live performance theater.[2] The theatre was opened in 1941.[1] The theater was known as the UCLAN.[2]

The venue was changed over to being a movie theater which was exclusively devoted to newsreels during World War II. After the war ended, the theater featured foreign films.[2]

Crest Theater[edit]

After being renamed the Crest Theater, avant-garde films began screening there including Dr. Strangelove, Rosemary's Baby, Goodbye, Columbus and Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice.[2]

Pacific Theatres purchased Crest in 1985.[4] Late in the 1980s, Disney purchased a controlling stake in one of Pacific's chain that held El Capitan Theatre and the Crest.[5]

Disney's Buena Vista Theaters and Pacific began renovated the Crest in 1987 with its motif changed to a Hollywood fantasy-land. Joseph Musil was engaged to overhaul the theater's interior.[2] The first part of the renovations was upgrading its film and sound systems which was done before the 1987 opening of Three Men and a Baby. The next phase was to re-theme the theater in an Art Deco motif while rehabbing the lobby, auditorium, restrooms and seats. This was finished by the 1988 premiere of Big Business. Disney ended their partnership in the Crest in 2002.[4]

Eventually Pacific sold the theater to independent operator Robert Bucksbaum in 2003 then renamed Majestic Crest Theater after the 2001 film The Majestic.[2] In 2008, it was designated Historic Landmark No. 919 by the city of Los Angeles, California.[6]

In September 2010, the theater was purchased by Bigfoot Entertainment and managed by the Carmike theater chain for around $4 million. Bigfoot's scheduling was improved by Carmike getting a number of higher profile movies and would include niche showings, midnight horror movie, Asian Film Nights and an annual film festival.[1] The renamed Bigfoot Crest Theater was acquired to show films acquired or produced by Bigfoot. The Crest hosted the Singafest Asian Film Festival until late October 2011 after which the theater was closed for remodeling. Carmike ended their management of the theater at that time.[7] Bigfoot placed the building up for sale by December 2011.[8]

In 2013, after being closed nearly two years, the Crest Facebook page posted that the theatre had reopened under new management with a series of ballet and opera screenings. With the guidance of longtime Crest staffers plus new help, the Crest is regaining some of its lost luster, announcing their intention to program more movies and events in the future. Over the next two years, the Crest has gradually gained popularity as a novel theater with unique screenings and events. It is frequently visited by students of the nearby UCLA, whose undergraduate film society briefly collaborated with them.


  1. ^ a b c d Verrier, Richard (6 October 2010). "Indie filmmaker Bigfoot has an inside track to theater". L.A. Times. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Groves, Martha (May 6, 2008). "Landmark status sought for Westwood's Crest Theater". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  3. ^ Wanamaker, pg. 43
  4. ^ a b "Crest Theatre". D23. The Walt Disney Company. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ Aberdeen, J. A. (2005). Hollywood Renegades: The Movie Theater Chains of the Media Giants. Cobblestone Entertainment. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ Wanamaker, Marc (October 2010). Westwood. Arcadia Publishing. p. 122. ISBN 0-7385-6910-0. 
  7. ^ Verrier, Richard (September 23, 2011). "Crest theater to close for renovations, Bigfoot executive says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ Kudler, Adrian Glick (December 9, 2011). "Majestic Crest For Sale, Bananas Bel Air Design Auction". Curbed LA. Retrieved September 10, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°03′28″N 118°26′34″W / 34.057750°N 118.442763°W / 34.057750; -118.442763