Lyceum Theatre

227 S. Spring Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Unfavorite 4 people favorited this theater

Showing 25 comments

rivest266 on September 5, 2019 at 2:46 pm

This reopened as the Lyceum theatre on July 9th, 1911. Grand opening ad posted.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2010 at 3:09 am

This was the Los Angeles Theatre listed in the 1897-98 Cahn guide. The Orpheum in the guide was the former Grand Opera House on Main Street, in later years later renamed the Grand Theatre. In 1903, the Los Angeles Theatre became the Orpheum, which it remained until the circuit opened its new Orpheum Theatre on Broadway in 1911.

If a theater called the Los Angeles is listed in editions of Cahn’s guide from the years around 1907-1910, it would be the theater listed at Cinema Treasures as the Capitol.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 21, 2010 at 10:51 am

There was a Los Angeles Theatre listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. No address given. H.C Wyatt was Mgr. Tickets ranged from 25 cents to $1. Seating- Orchestra,532, Balcony,406; gallery-550; total: 1,488. The theater was on the ground floor, had all-electric illumination, and 10 members of the pit band. The proscenium opening was 30 feet wide X 29 feet high; and the stage was 35 feet deep. Two other L.A. theaters were listed in the Guide: the Burbank, with 1,844 seats; and the Orpheum, with 1,500 seats. The 1897 population of L.A. was 97,000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 21, 2010 at 3:18 am

The Los Angeles Herald of September 3, 1905, ran an article about Los Angeles architects. It credited the design of the original Los Angeles Theatre (by then called the Orpheum) to architect J. Lee Burton.

Burton was one of Southern California’s most successful architects in his day, designing many buildings in the then-popular Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne styles. He used an odd and rather awkward hybrid of the two for the Los Angeles Theatre.

kencmcintyre on April 19, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Here is a 1913 LA Times article about the re-opening of the Lyceum:

kencmcintyre on November 14, 2009 at 12:52 pm

This was in an LA Times column by Lee Shippey in November 1930:

The new theater on Broadway between Sixth and Seventh is to be called the Los Angeles Theater, and the announcement says “It is the first theater to be named in honor of the city”.

Jay Hunt, veteran actor, writes us that “in 1890, my wife and I appeared in the Los Angeles Theater on Spring Street, the same that is now called the Lyceum and is a picture house. Maude Granger, then a very popular actress, was the star. Harry Wyatt was manager of the theater at that time. We played a three-night engagement, but changed the bill every night because the city then wasn’t big enough to provide more than one good audience for each play.”

kencmcintyre on November 11, 2009 at 8:01 pm

This is part of a January 1922 article in the LA Times:

Purchase of the Douglas Building at Third and Spring streets as a city hall annex was recommended to the City Council yesterday. A committee has been appointed to investigate the buildings offered to the city for the housing of offices now located in the Normal Hill building, which is to be razed to make way for the new $1,500,000 Central Library.

Originally, the majority of the committee had recommended in its report that the city purchase the Lyceum Theater building and adjoining lot on Spring street between Second and Third. The Perry estate, owners of the Lyceum Theater property, however withdrew its offer to sell, so the committee eliminated this portion of its report.

kencmcintyre on August 6, 2009 at 9:32 pm

This was in the LA Times in May 1914:

kencmcintyre on April 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm

Here is a 1939 photo from the USC archive:

kencmcintyre on November 16, 2007 at 7:19 am

Fischer was twenty years ahead of his time, per this 1908 LA Times article:

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2007 at 5:09 pm

Advertised as Fischer’s Lyceum in 1911:

vokoban on September 11, 2007 at 12:11 pm

I know this isn’t the correct page, but does anyone know on which page I can find the Hotchkiss, Waldeck’s Casino at 344 S. Spring? I know I’ve posted comments on the Hotchkiss but I can’t find it.

kencmcintyre on August 23, 2007 at 10:06 pm

This is a 1900 drawing. The Lyceum is in the middle of the 200 block of Spring Street:

kencmcintyre on July 6, 2007 at 8:36 pm

Here is an LA Times excerpt about the demolition. The story is dated 3/17/41.


The Lyceum Theater, on Spring Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets, is to be torn down to make way for a parking station. To a modern generation of showgoers this may mean less than nothing, but to old timers who remember, it is an event to be chronicled in letters huge as life itself, because this marks the passing of a landmark in the world of entertainment.

kencmcintyre on June 7, 2007 at 11:23 am

LA Times reported another significant fire at the Los Angeles theater on 10/21/99. The theater was being used for plays at that time, which is not surprising given the date.

kencmcintyre on June 6, 2007 at 5:30 pm

This is from the LA Times, dated 5/3/13. Hard to imagine throngs of pedestrians downtown at midnight, nowadays:


Fire in the Lyceum Theater building at 225-227-229 South Spring Street, between 11 o’clock and midnight last night resulted in a loss of approximately $10,000, caused a panic in the Rathskeller Café and blocked traffic for an hour and a half. Flames shooting to the top of the building illuminated the sky for blocks downtown and thousands of late pedestrians and throngs from the theaters gave the police a lot of trouble crowding beyond the fire lines.

The Lyceum building is a four-story stone structure containing offices of the theater and several art and musical studios, among them the Marceau photographic gallery on the top floor. Water, which caused most of the damage, deluged the interior of the theater proper. Attaches of the theater announced at midnight, however, that no real damage has been done to the interior of the playhouse.

Damage totaling several thousand dollars was done to the Majestic Bar at no. 225 S. Spring Street, the O.L. Wuerker jewelry house at No. 229 and offices in the Theater Mechanics Association building at No. 231. Dick Ferris, the theatrical manager and promoter, created a furor in saving manuscript and valuable papers from his office facing South Spring Street on the second floor. The building was for years known as the Orpheum Theater building and the name was changed when the Orpheum sought new quarters.

Scores of merrymakers were dining in the Rathskeller at No. 235 ½ South Spring Street, when proprietor Matthewson quietly announced that there was a fire in the theater building and that the diners might leave the restaurant without paying their checks if they wished. There was a rush for the door and in less than half a minute the restaurant was cleared. No damage was done there, however, and many of the guests returned to complete their midnight dinners after the fire lines were withdrawn.

kencmcintyre on September 19, 2005 at 6:48 pm

Here is the picture, courtesy of the LA Library. This was an interesting looking building, to say the least.

kencmcintyre on August 26, 2005 at 5:55 pm

There is a picture of the Lyceum on the LA Library online database.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 3, 2005 at 5:46 am

The architectural style of the Lyceum was Richardsonian Romanesque, named for its progenitor, the Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson. So popular was this style in the 1880s that, by the end of that decade, the streets of Los Angeles were lined with dozens of prominent Romanesque buildings, including the City Hall, the Los Angeles County Courthouse, and Los Angeles High School.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on February 15, 2005 at 7:06 am

The seating capacity given in the Film Daily Yearbook, 1941 is 800 seats.