9100 S. Sepulveda Boulevard,
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Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Pacific Theatres
Architects: Arthur Froelich, Ted Rogvoy
Functions: Office Space
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Paradise Theatre in Westchester was located a few blocks south of the Fox Loyola Theatre. It opened on August 23, 1950 and as well as the theatre, there was a bowling alley and cocktail lounge attached.
The Streamline Moderne style façade has a curved expanse which also has a tower feature, that held the theatre name. Inside the lobby, there was a planted garden and a wall display featuring an illustrated ‘Wall of Fame’ of Academy Award winners since 1927. Inside the auditorium, seating was provided all on a single level. The plain decorative style was relieved by three bare brick recesses on the splay-walls on each side of the proscenium, which contained potted plants. The Paradise Theatre was operated as a second run movie theatre.
The last chain to operate the Paradise Theatre was Pacific Theatres, and it later ran as an independent for a short time before being gutted and turned into an office building.
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Just another day in Paradise!!!
Here is an LA Times ad from September 1958:
I had the pleasure of working as a vacation relief projectionist at the Paradise early 1976. What impressed me was the size of the auditorium and screen. Huge! Blackbeards Ghost was the feature movie. A door in the booth led to a part of the flat roof where a couch was set up. Sometimes I would step out to the roof and watch the big airliners land at Los Angeles Intl Airport. The regular projectionist (I never met him) must have been a weight lifter since the booth was full of weights and a bench press.
For many years the Paradise Theater was used to premiere “Red Carpet” openings. I remember sitting with Debbie Reynolds for “My Six Loves” and in front of Marlon Brando for “The Ugly American”. I don’t know how many other red carpet openings were held there, but the red carpet was rolled out and the crowds were held back while the Stars entered. Great memories!!!
I grew up with the Paradise. From 1952, I would ride the bus from Loyola Village for 7 cents and watched a double feature for a quarter. At the intermission, the manager would go on stage and hold a drawing —if your ticket stub number was called, you got a box of red hots, popcorn or Milk Duds. It was his way of calming a theater full of kids sailing popcorn boxes and running up and down the aisles. I went almost every weekend until I was 15 (except for a few times at the Loyola or trips to Inglewood. The big kids hung out on the aisle next to the south wall – the 14 and 15 year olds. The rest of us, took over the lobby. It was a great childhood.
Worked there thru high school, from 1956-58. Fond memories of Andy Devine who was the manager and a great character.
The Paradise had plusher seats than the Loyola, up the street on Sepulveda, and charged higher admission prices. There was a hall on the right, as we went in, with the auditorium entrances on the left. I remember driving past the theater with my father, and seeing Ernest Hemingway’s name on the marquee, above the title of the film, “The Old Man and the Sea.” I asked, “Who’s Ernest Hemingway?” “He wrote the book.” “Is he in the movie?” “No.” “Then why is is name up there?”
I spent many hours inside this theater. Started going there with my parents in the early 50’s. Like Palm 44, I remember the weekend matinee intermission ticket stub drawings. I once won a box of Boston Baked Beans candy which I immediately traded for a roll of Flicks chocolates. On the wall in the lobby were photographs from every movie that had won an Academy Award for Best Picture. I Stopped going to the Paradise when I got my driver license. From then on it was Friday nights at the Centinela, Studio, or Century drive-in theaters. The Paradise may have closed, but the memories will always be there. Westchester was a wonderful place to grow up.
2018 link with images.
According to an article by Producer George Pal in the October 1953 issue of the magazine Astounding Science Fiction, the first sneak preview of his film “War Of The Worlds” was held at the Paradise Theatre in November of 1952.