Roxy Theatre

13112 E. Philadelphia Street,
Whittier, CA 90601

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Bruen's Theatres, Fox West Coast Theatres

Architects: Percy A. Eisen, A. R. Walker

Firms: Walker & Eisen

Previous Names: Scenic Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Roxy Theatre

The Scenic Theatre was opened on June 28, 1920. It was taken over by Fox West Coast Theatres in 1929. In September 1936 it was taken over by Bruen’s Theatres and was renamed Roxy Theatre. It was closed in 1968. On September 29, 1971 the theatre was destroyed in an arson blaze.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 23, 2007 at 8:08 pm

LA Times reported on 10/1/71:


Fire destroyed the 50-year-old Roxy Theater in Whittier early Thursday despite the efforts of nine fire units from three cities.

kencmcintyre on June 13, 2007 at 9:55 pm

Excerpt from an LA Times article on 9/21/75:

In 1919 the Roxy Theater in Whittier was called “the latest word in motion picture circles” and “one of the finest motion picture houses in the Southland”. Vaudeville acts shared the Roxy’s spotlight and stage with flimed silent screen classics.

The price for a night out at the raucous Roxy was high, fifty cents a person. By 1971, the cost of one of the wooden seats had inflated to 65 cents, but even at that price there were no takers. The old theater was deteriorating. The mortar used to hold its brick facade together was crumbling. The neon-lighted marquee blinked if it worked at all. The quality of clientele dropped. Parents didn’t want their children going inside.

On September 29, 1971, the old Roxy burned to the ground. Firemen said the blaze was set deliberately. An arson investigation launched. The old theater became a dirt parking lot.

kencmcintyre on July 14, 2007 at 1:21 pm

From the LA Times, 6/26/20:

Whittier to Have Well Equipped Motion Picture Theater

Whittier’s new theater, the Scenic, will open for business next Monday, presenting “The Ladder of Lies”. The Scenic is the venture of three well-known Whittier men, Truman C. Berry, J.H. Gwin and E.C. Siler. These men have for some time been operating the Gale, which will also be continued by them as an evening house. The new house will probably offer daily matinees.

The new theater seats 1500 people and represents an outlay of $150,000. It is located on East Philadelphia Street, a block and a half from the business center of the city.

mldevin on July 24, 2009 at 7:52 pm

From the Diary of Wilbert S. Myers – July 12, 1913 (Whittier CA):
“Robert <son of W. S. Myers> attended the new "Berry Grand” picture show tonight.“
After this date there were several mentions of the "Berry Grand,” but the location was never revealed. Does anyone know the location of this theatre in Whittier?

minann on January 20, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I worked at the Roxy in 1963 and 1964. It was my first job and I was an “usherette”. The employees would rotate working behind the snack bar/candy counter, selling tickets or ushering. The theatre did have a balcony and one could watch the movie from there. So sad that it burned down. Lots of good memories.

BillCounter on March 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm

Another one in Whittier:

Strand Theatre, 122 W. Philadelphia St.

It’s in the 1924, 28 and 29 city directories. I haven’t come across any later listings.

JimMitchell on December 21, 2011 at 7:19 pm

This theatre housed the office of Hugh W. Bruen, who operated the Roxy, Wardman, and Whittier theaters and the Sundown Drive-In for many years. He was a prince of a guy, always giving passes to community groups and to kids like me with an interest in the movies.

rustyoltimer on February 27, 2012 at 1:31 am

Jim, are you related to “X.X.”? Im Betty’s son!

JimMitchell on July 19, 2013 at 7:56 pm

No relation, but I knew X.X.’s son, also Jim.

rivest266 on September 11, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Renamed Roxy in 1936.

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