Million Dollar Theatre
Happy 100th Birthday to the Million Dollar Theatre! On February 1, 1918, the Million Dollar Theatre opened with the premiere of William S. Hart’s film The Silent Man. Today the Million Dollar Theatre is closed temporarily while the new tenants, CoBird, finalize their plans. LAHTF has met with leaders of CoBird and they have expressed a desire to activate the theatre for public events on a regular basis. They will also be putting in a substantial amount of money on renovations. There are still many details to be worked out, and LAHTF will continue to work directly with the new operators as plans move forward.
Our understanding is that they also hold the lease on the large basement under the theatre, and the retail stores along Broadway, including the former optometrists that was originally the Million Dollar Theatre exterior lobby space. It is still unclear how all of these additional spaces will be used.
The Million Dollar Theatre was the first Movie Palace on Broadway, built in 1917 by Sid Grauman and opened in 1918. At 2,345 seats, it was the largest theatre on Broadway at the time, and had one of the largest stages west of Chicago. The Building was designed by Albert C. Martin and William Lee Woollett designed the theatre. The Theatre design was inspired by a childrens book called “The King of the Golden River”. The interior features a mix of Egyptian, Roman, Spanish and American Western elements.