Westlake Theatre

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Westlake Theatre
Westlake Theatre-1.jpg
Westlake Theatre, April 2014
Westlake Theatre is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Westlake Theatre
Westlake Theatre is located in California
Westlake Theatre
Westlake Theatre is located in the US
Westlake Theatre
Location 634-642 S. Alvarado St., Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°03′30.01″N 118°16′31.32″W / 34.0583361°N 118.2753667°W / 34.0583361; -118.2753667Coordinates: 34°03′30.01″N 118°16′31.32″W / 34.0583361°N 118.2753667°W / 34.0583361; -118.2753667
Built 1926
Architect Richard D. Bates, Jr. (original structure); S. Charles Lee (renovation)
Architectural style Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival - Churrigueresque (exterior); Adamesque (interior)
NRHP Reference # 09001200[1]
LAHCM # 546
Significant dates
Added to NRHP January 7, 2010
Designated LAHCM September 24, 1991[2]

The Westlake Theatre is a historic theater located in the Westlake section of Los Angeles, California, adjacent to MacArthur Park. The theater was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

Opened in 1926, the theater had seating for 1,949 patrons and was used for both motion pictures and vaudeville shows. It was built at a reported cost of $750,000. It was designed by Richard Mortimer Bates, Jr., with an exterior in a Mission/Spanish Colonial Revival style. The facade features cast stone Churrigueresque detailing of floral patterns and cartouche relief. The interior contains Adamesque references and murals by Anthony Heinsbergen. Exterior renovations in 1935 were designed by the noted theater architect S. Charles Lee and included an Art Deco ticket kiosk made of red-painted metal, unvarnished aluminum and glass, new lobby doors, and terrazzo sunburst paving in the foyer and front sidewalk. One of the theater's intact features is an original steel-frame, three-story neon sign that reads "WESTLAKE THEATRE."

The Westlake was operated as a first-run movie theater from 1926 until the 1960s. As the neighborhood's demographics changed, the theater was sold to Metropolitan Theatres Corp., which showed Spanish-language or Spanish-subtitled movies. In 1991, the building was sold to Mayer Separzadeh, who converted the theater into a swap meet. To protect the building from drastic changes, the building was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in September 1991.[3]

The theater was purchased by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles in 2008.[4] The Redevelopment Agency announced plans to rehabilitate the theater as a venue for live theater, film, music and other performances.[5] Progress has been slow.[6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Los Angeles Department of City Planning (2007-09-07). "Historic - Cultural Monuments (HCM) Listing: City Declared Monuments" (PDF). City of Los Angeles. Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  3. ^ ICF Jones & Stokes (2009). National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for Westlake Theater (PDF). 
  4. ^ "Westlake Theatre Listed in National Register of Historic Places, May Soon Return to Roots as Entertainment Venue". laist.com. April 14, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Westlake Theater Slated as Part of MacArthur Park-Area Development: CRA/LA to Buy Historic Theater for $5.7 Million and Refurbish" (PDF). Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles. October 22, 2007. 
  6. ^ Pressberg, Matt (January 31, 2012). "The End Of The CRA: A Look At Five Projects". Neon Tommy. Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. Retrieved January 11, 2016. 
  7. ^ Meares, Hadley (August 15, 2014). "Sign of the Times IV: Sensation, Scandal and Salvation at Westlake Theater". KCET. KCETLink. Retrieved January 11, 2016. 

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