Hollywood Warner Theatre

Lobby photo by Wendell Benedetti

Lobby photo by Wendell Benedetti

There has been a lot of recent attention circling the Hollywood Warner Theatre (Hollywood Pacific), so we would like to take a few minutes to report the current status.  Three years ago, Hollywood Heritage and Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation approached Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s office to organize a roundtable discussion with the Hollywood Warner owners (Robertson Properties), city representatives, Hollywood Heritage, LAHTF, and LA Conservancy.  

After a year of many productive meetings, Robertson Properties agreed to fund a neutral third-party feasibility study, with the reactivation of the theatre as the priority.  This agreement was a big step forward from the owner’s starting point, that the theatre had to be demolished.  Once the study is complete and we are able to share it publicly, you will be the first to know.

In June 2017, LAHTF Board Members had the opportunity to tour the Hollywood Warner as part of the Theatre Historical Society of America Conclave.  The owners allowed attendees to roam freely around most of the main floor, from the main house to Warners’ office.  Things were in much better shape than the rumors over the years, but will still need a lot of work when the time comes.  As it has been for the past 23 years, the balcony was off limits to attendees.  Thank you to the owners for opening the doors for THS and we look forward to what the future holds for the theatre, hopefully to include a public viewing of the main floor.  Until then, to see photographs from June, be sure to check out LAHTF Board Member Wendell Benedetti and volunteer Mike Hume’s photographs via our website Hollywood Warner photo gallery.

The 1928 theatre was designed by G. Albert Lansburgh and held a seating capacity of 2,756. Warner Bros. deemed opening night the “Premiere of Premieres” with a Vitaphone accompaniment and prologue, and Al Jolson as the Master of Ceremonies.  Over the years, it has been known by many names including the Warner Cinerama, the Hollywood Pacific, and after being triplexed in 1978, it became known as the Pacific 1-2-3.  Robertson Properties has owned the theatre building since 1968 and has seen it through several renovations. After suffering minor damage in the 1990s, the theatre ceased being a regular film house.  While the main floor theatre hosted occasional film screenings and a church over the years since closing, the balconies have remained entirely closed to the public.  The last tenant moved out of the theatre in June 2013 and  leaving the theatre and the building fully vacant since.  Aside from the theatre, the building maintains store fronts on Hollywood Boulevard and Wilcox Avenue, three floors of office space, and a second box office with entrance on Wilcox Avenue.  On February 9, 1993, the Hollywood Warner Theatre building was designated Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #572. In April 1985, the theatre was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District thanks to the application for consideration by Hollywood Heritage.

Currently, Councilman O’Farrell’s office is working to schedule the next meeting with Robertson Properties to continue the conversation.  While it may seem at times that this is a stagnant project or that LAHTF is not working on this advocacy concern, please know that we, along with Councilman O’Farrell’s office, Hollywood Heritage, LA Conservancy and others are continually working behind the scenes with the owners to find a positive way forward for this theatre.  This is a long-term effort to save and revitalize the Hollywood Warner Theatre with its vast potential to be a game-changer for this stretch of Hollywood Boulevard.  As we know more, we will be sure to update you as soon as we are able.

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