Eagle Theatre, Eagle Rock
Latest News – 9th December 2020
In Jul 2020, Vidiots, new long-term lessee of the Eagle Theatre in Eagle Rock, was granted a Conditional Use Permit for extended hours of operation and the sale of beer and wine. The permit came with a number of onerous conditions which would have been costly for Vidiots to comply with.
The Eagle Rock Association lodged an appeal against the conditions with the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission, who met on 9th December 2020 to consider the appeal.
The meeting ran for over 3.5 hours with countless supporters speaking in favor of Vidiots. Mike Hume and Dave Saffer spoke for LAHTF, supporting removal of the onerous conditions. In their deliberations the Commission noted specific points which had been brought up by LAHTF.
The Commission then held an in-depth and considered discussion on all the issues, ran through what they wanted to change, and ultimately voted to remove all the onerous conditions and even granted extended opening hours 7 days per week.
Update – 28th July 2020
Vidiots, new long-term lessees of the Eagle Theatre in Eagle Rock, opened in 1929 as the Yosemite Theatre, have been using their lockdown time to craft their plans for the theatre and adjoining spaces. The non-profit is also currently fundraising for renovations and operations and inviting Founding Members to support the organization.
The current plan is to open to the public in Spring 2021, with a DVD/BluRay rental store alongside an independent movie theatre (including 35mm film projection capability) and lobby offering beer, wine, concessions, and small bites.
With support for Vidiots from the Chamber of Commerce and The Eagle Rock Association, the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council recently voted unanimously in favor of granting Vidiots extended weekend opening hours and a beer and wine permit.
Update – 30th September 2019
"Vidiots relaunching with theater, community space and full collection in Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles"
Vidiots, the video-store-turned-film-nonprofit, have negotiated a negotiate a longterm lease on the Eagle Theatre. Below is an except from their 30th September 2019 press release:
Vidiots, the iconic L.A. video store-turned-film nonprofit, will relaunch in Fall of 2020 as an expanded entertainment, social, and community space at its new home, the historic Eagle Theatre in Los Angeles’ beautiful Eagle Rock neighborhood.
Restoring the 90-year-old, 200-seat Eagle Theatre to its original purpose as an independent theater with state-of-the-art sound and projection (35mm and DCP), Vidiots will offer a full program of repertory titles, new independents, hard-to-find gems, beloved classics and community-driven programs. An expansive adjacent storefront will house Vidiots’ 50,000+ DVD, BluRay, and rare VHS collection for rental. The location will also have a multi-purpose, state-of-the-art second screening room for film programs, educational workshops, and special events. Vidiots will collaborate with the best local food and beverage partners to provide an exciting and ever-changing culinary menu.
Update – 5th June 2019
Last month LAHTF led a community meeting attended by about 50 people. We laid out the potential for the Eagle to return to use as a community theatre. At the start of June we participated in a second meeting with a smaller motivated group and established 6 committees, with the goal of organizing a local non-profit to potentially take over operation of the Eagle.
At the same time LAHTF is consulting with a potential tenant who we think might be a great fit for the Eagle. With the recent York Theatre conversion by the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, the opening of the Oxy Arts space, and the ongoing use of the old Carnegie Library as the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock is becoming a great destination for independent arts venues!
Update – 17th May 2019
The Eagle Theatre in Eagle Rock, long in use as a televangelist church, has been put up for lease. LAHTF were contacted by concerned members of the community expressing interest in using the theatre for the community. At the request of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council, LAHTF will host a community meeting on May 23rd at Eagle Rock City Hall to discuss the possibilities.
A community Facebook group, Friends of the Eagle Theatre, has been setup for those interested in the future of the Eagle Theatre.
About the Eagle Theatre
The theatre opened in May 1929 as the Yosemite Theater, with a two-day grand opening event featuring "Notable Stars of the Radio, Stage and Screen". Designed by architect Kenneth A. Gordon, the auditorium was decorated in the atmospheric style with a blue "sky" ceiling above gently curving down to side walls decorated with California countryside vistas behind painted patio walls.
The theatre's name changed to the New Eagle Theatre in 1937 however by 1940 it was known as simply the Eagle Theatre.
The Eagle closed as a movie theatre sometime in 2000/01. In 2003 it reopened as a venue for Universal Church and was in church use until early 2019.
Summarized history largely sourced from Los Angeles Theatres.
Historic photos courtesy Occidental College Archives (1929), Los Angeles Public Library (1972), and American Classic Images (1983); all researched and collated by Los Angeles Theatres. May 2019 photos copyright LAHTF.