Tower Theatre (Los Angeles)
Exterior of Los Angeles' Tower Theatre, 2017
|Former names||Newsreel Theater, Music Hall Downtown|
|Address||800 S. Broadway|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Owner||Broadway Theater Group|
|Opened||October 12, 1927|
|Architect||S. Charles Lee|
|Architectural style(s)||Baroque Revival|
The Tower was the first theater designed by architect S. Charles Lee. Seating 900 on a tiny site (50 feet wide by 153 feet long), replacing the 650-seat 1911 Garrick Theatre, it was designed in powerful Baroque Revival style with innovative French, Spanish, Moorish, and Italian elements all executed in terra-cotta. Its interior was modeled after the Paris Opera House. Its exterior features a prominent clock tower, the very top of which was removed after an earthquake.
The Tower was the first film house in Los Angeles to be wired for talking pictures, and it was the location of the sneak preview and Los Angeles premiere of Warner Bros.' revolutionary part-talking The Jazz Singer (1927), starring Al Jolson. It was the first theater in Los Angeles to be air conditioned.
For a while during the early 1950s, the name was changed to the Newsreel Theater.
Use as a filming location
The Tower Theatre's exterior and/or interior can be seen in the following films and TV series:
- The Omega Man (1971)
- The Mambo Kings (1992)
- Last Action Hero (1993)
- Fight Club (1999)
- Coyote Ugly (2000)
- Mulholland Drive (2001)
- The Prestige (2006)
- Transformers (2007)
- Twin Peaks (3rd season, 2017)
- Nike, Inc. Dream Crazy (2018 ad) 
As with many other historic theaters in Downtown Los Angeles, though largely intact, the theater was abandoned for many years because of migration of cinema attendance to Hollywood Boulevard and other Los Angeles locations. Over the years, its lobby has been leased to various vendors, and the auditorium has been used by the Living Faith Evangelical Church.
Potential future use
In November 2015, the website DTLA Rising reported "insider info" that Apple Inc was interested in leasing the Tower for a retail store. Six months later, The Los Angeles Business Journal reported that Apple were "in the process of securing a lease". On August 2, 2018, The Los Angeles Times reported that Apple was submitting plans for the renovation of the building. The company also released an artist's rendering of the converted space.
- "Tower Theater, HCM #450, in Downtown Los Angeles". Office of Historic Resources, Dept. of Planning, City of Los Angeles. Retrieved October 8, 2009.
- Lord, Rosemary (2002). Los Angeles: Then and Now. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press. pp. 32–33. ISBN 1-57145-794-1.
- Kaplan, Sam Hall (1989), L.A. Follies: A Critical Look at Growth Politics & Architecture, Santa Monica, CA: Cityscape Press, p. 199, ISBN 0-9622007-0-0
- "ZIMAS". zimas.lacity.org. Retrieved 2017-07-30.
- "Tower Theatre - Historic Los Angeles Theatres - Downtown". sites.google.com. Retrieved 2017-07-30.
- Counter, B. "Los Angeles Theatres: Tower Theatre: recent exterior views". Los Angeles Theatres. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
- "Tower Theatre". CinemaTreasures.org. Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- "Tower Theatre Official Site". Retrieved 2009-10-07.
- Photo of Tower Theater, 1951, with "Newsreel" on marquee, USC Digital Library
- "Rumors: Apple Store Taking Over Historic Tower Theatre in Downtown LA". DTLA Rising with Brigham Yen. 2015-11-09. Retrieved 2017-07-30.
- "Apple Nabs Retail Space in Downtown Los Angeles | Los Angeles Business Journal". labusinessjournal.com. Retrieved 2017-07-30.
- "At the historic downtown L.A. Tower Theatre, Apple plans a store and event space unlike any other | Los Angeles Times". www.latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
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