730 S. Grand Avenue,
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Firms: Eisen & Son
Previous Names: Walker Auditorium, Walker Theater, Brooks Theater, Nielsen Theater, Mozart Theater, Orange Grove, Actor's Theater, Grand International
This long-vanished theater on what was (at the time it was built) the outskirts of downtown Los Angeles, was owned for a while by Edward Mozart Kuttner, who was cited as being the first person in Los Angeles to exhibit six-reel movies. By 1911, it was operated as the Walker Theater by the Arthus S. Hyman circuit.
The theater, originally built in 1908 as a playhouse, was operating as a movie theatre named Mozart Theater from September 1912. It was demolished in 1946.
On the ‘Special Features’ option on the the DVD of “Singin' in the Rain”, Arthur Freed states that before joining MGM, he operated a small, profitable theatre in downtown Los Angeles named the Orange Grove Theatre.
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Recent comments (view all 63 comments)
I think I posted something similar on Mar 3, 2006 above but I’ve never seen that photo. I think this building was similar to the still standing Friday Morning Club (Variety Arts) on Figueroa right north of Olympic. A theater with a few auditoriums and meeting rooms above. Thanks for the photo!
If the 1946 photo was taken shortly before demolition, then the Grand would have been its last incarnation, and should rightly be the name under which the theater is listed.
Kenroe and Joe Vogel address the Grand Internationale at the beginning of the posts on this page.
The Fox Criterion Theatre operated till around 1941 and had a fire which closed the theatre. The theatre later reopened after being closed for a few years as the Grand Internationale. And was later razed to make way for a office building. The site did not add all the info in the Criterion’s opening comment.
I wish they would use the name of the longest incarnation and best known name for a theater instead of the last used name. The first known name has the same problems. Many times the last/first used name is fairly obscure and makes it difficult to locate on the site, especially for new users who might not realize that it is possible to search by previous names. Sometimes stringent rules don’t benefit the big picture. I think it should be up to the operators of this site to choose the name that makes it easiest to find.
Found a little bit on Anna Mozart.
“Mrs. Anna M. Mozart ran the Mozart Theater in Los Angeles, a high-class place charging ten to twenty-five cents and running special features for a week., with music supplied by the mechanical Photo-Player Orchestra (she played operatic concerts on it.)”
p. 47 of the 1994 paperback edition of “The Transformation of Cinema” by Eileen Bowser
Here is an item from Boxoffice magazine in June 1946:
LOS ANGELES-The Grand Theater, leased by Herb Rosener from the George T. Walker estate, and which is part of the Walker Auditorium Building here, will end its 50-year career in July. It will be demolished. The site will provide extra parking space for the J.W. Robinson department store.
Rosener, who has operated the house for the past twelve years, also runs the Studio, Laurel and Esquire. All specialize in foreign films. He plans to construct another theater to replace the Grand when building conditions permit.
Here is a July 1918 adL
Here is an item about the Mozart Theatre from the September 7, 1912 issue of Moving Picture World: