La Reina Theatre
14626 Ventura Boulevard,
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Architects: Simeon Charles Lee
Styles: Art Deco
Designed by S. Charles Lee in 1937 for the Fox West Coast Theatres chain, the Le Reina Theatre was one of the nicer medium-sized movie houses in Los Angeles. It opened in 1938 and all seating was on a single floor. Later, it was operated by National General Theatres and finally purchased by the Mann Theatres chain, who continued to show first run movies at the theatre and in the early-1980’s it was equipped with 70mm projectors. It closed around April 1984 with a special screening of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” starring Ethel Merman.
At that time, Mann Theatres sold the theatre to developers who wanted to use the theatre’s lot for a new shopping mall. Such stories usually end sadly, but as a slight concession to preservationists, the developers were forced to save the theatre’s façade, although the auditorium was demolished.
After the 1995 Northridge earthquake, the vertical tower was damaged and had to be removed, and today all that remains is the marquee, the ticket booth, terrazzo sidewalk floor, and the façade of the building.
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