AKA: El Portal Theater, North Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Smith, L.A., Architect (firm); Lewis Arthur Smith (architect)

Dates: constructed 1925-1926

2 stories

5269 Lankershim Boulevard
North Hollywood, Los Angeles , CA 91601

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Building History

Architect Lewis A. Smith (1869-1958) was a very busy man in the mid-1920s, designing several theatres in 1925, including this Spanish Renaissance Style building; perhaps this frenetic activity led to his premature death in 1926. Smith often worked in tandem with the Lilly-Fletcher Company, Building Contractors; he had an office in their building in the 1924. The El Portal seated nearly 500 and opened for business on 10/05/1926.


The 1994 Northridge Earthquake inflicted considerable damage to the El Portal; tremors caused the ceiling to fall and significant cracking to walls. Actors Alley Stage Company bought the property in 1996 and removed most of the damaged interior. The group maintained elements of the exterior including the original marquee, facade and ticket booth. The building became the "El Portal Center for the Arts," opening 01/12/2000. The new facility featured a renovated auditorium with 360 seats and a smaller venue, the Forum Theatre, with 95 seats. An even smaller 42-seat space, the Studio Theatre, was created after the 2000 opening.

Los Angeles Historical-Cultural Monument: 573

PCAD id: 15957