AKA: Million Dollar Theater, Los Angeles, CA; Grauman's Million Dollar Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Martin, Albert C., Sr., Architect (firm); Woollett, William Lee, Architect (firm); Albert Carey Martin Sr. (architect); Paul Kirtland Mays (muralist); Joseph Jacinto Mora (sculptor); William Lee Woollett (architect)

Dates: constructed 1917-1918

307 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013-1207

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Million Dollar Theater, A.C. Martin and William Woolett

Building History

Designed by architect A.C. Martin, Sr. (1879-1960), in association with William Lee Woolett (1874-1955), who had recently arrived in Los Angeles, CA, from Seattle, WA; Woollett acted as the theater designer, working along with the muralist, Paul Kirtland Mays (1887-1961); Joseph Jacinto Mora (1876-1947) was the sculptor of the exterior's terra cotta ornamentation; the Metropolitan Water District occupied the Spanish Colonial Revival office building surrounding the theatre; movie exhibitor and impresario Sid Grauman (1879-1950) got his start in Los Angeles at the Million Dollar, before going on to open the Egyptian and Chinese Theatres;

The Million Dollar Theatre, seating 2,345, opened 02/01/1918 with an array of silent film stars in attendance; Grauman sold his Los Angeles theatres to the exhibitors, Paramount-Publix, in 1924; Fox West Coast Theatres operated the venue on lease in the late 1920s; due to financial losses during the Depression, Paramount-Publix closed the location briefly c. 1930; in that year, a small Los Angeles exhibitor named Lazarus reopened the Million Dollar; Just before World War II, the firm of Popkin and Ringer Brothers owned the theatre, and used it as their headquarters. In 1945, the Metropolitan Theatres chain purchased it and operated it until 03/01/1993. From the summer of 1950, Metropolitan exhibited Spanish-language films here exclusively.

Building Notes

Occupying a portion of the Edison Building, the Million Dollar Theatre supposedly cost this amount to construct in 1918; if true, this would have been an extravagant sum.

The Chief Engineer of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, William Mulholland, once had offices in the Edison Building.

Tel: 213.617.3600 (2008).

Alteration

The Million Dollar Theatre was being renovated in 2007-2008.

National Register of Historic Places (July 20, 1978): 78000687 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 152