United Artists (Theatre at Ace Hotel)
The United Artists (Theatre atAce Hotel)
933 South Broadway
The United Artists Theatre opened on December 26, 1927, simultaneously with two other movie palaces (one in Detroit, a day earlier; and another in Chicago, which was a remodeling) heralding the studio's entrance into the arena of theatre operation. The opening of the studio's Flagship premiere house in LA marked the beginning of a theatre chain that is one of the nation's largest today. Mary Pickford herself selected the site and the architect spending so much money that the plaster cast molds had to be re-used in Detroit and Chicago to amortize their cost. Although C. Howard Crane of Detroit was engaged to design his only theatre west of Omaha (not counting Sydney, Australia), the 12 story office frontage for the complex was designed by the L.A. firm of Walker and Eisen for a long term lease by Texaco for their western regional offices. The UA Building was the tallest privately owned structure in LA until 1956, when the city finally repealed its Beaux Arts inspired "City Beautiful" concept of a 125 foot height limit for everyone but City Hall. In fact, the tower on the roof exceeds that limit but squeezed through on a technicality since it was unoccupied space used to house elevator equipment, sprinkler system reservoir, and other equipment. The building permits described it as "signage."