AKA: Erlanger's Mason Theatre, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA; Fouce's Mason Theater, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - opera houses

Designers: Marshall and Wilson, Architects (firm); Meyer and Holler, Architects, Engineers and Builders (firm); Parkinson, John, Architect (firm); Philip W. Holler (architect); Benjamin Henry Marshall (architect); Mendel S. Meyer (building contractor); John Parkinson (architect); H. R. Wilson (architect)

Dates: constructed 1902-1903, demolished 1956

4 stories

view all images ( of 1 shown)

127 South Broadway
Downtown, Los Angeles, CA 90012-3113

OpenStreetMap (new tab)
Google Map (new tab)
click to view google map
Google Streetview (new tab)
click to view google map
The Mason Opera House was located on Broadway between 1st and 2nd Streets.

Building History

Benjamin Marshall (1874-1944) of the firm, Marshall and Wilson, of Chicago, IL, designed the Mason Opera House in association with the prominent Los Angeles, CA, architect, John Parkinson (1861-1935). The Mason Opera House opened 06/18/1903. Accomplished musicians and dramatic casts utilized the Mason from its opening well into the 1930s.

In 1903, Harold C. Wyatt was the leasee and manager of the Mason Opera House. Wyatt was a prominent theatre manager in Los Angeles at the time, the Los Angeles affiliate of the New York-based Theatrical Syndicate controlled by Charles Frohman (1856-1915), John Frederick Zimmerman, Sr. (1843–1925), Samuel F. Nixon ( Samuel Samuel Frederic Nirdlinger 1848-1918), Al Hayman ( Raphael Hayman, 1847-1917), Marcus A. Klaw (1858-1936), and Abraham L. Erlanger (1859-1930). Wyatt was an influential figure on the Los Angeles theatre scene, who worked in the city from 1883 until his death in 1910. (See "Life's Stage Loses Wyatt," Los Angeles Times, 07/26/1910, Section II, p. 10.) On 08/25/1903, the Richard J. Jose Minstrels performed at the Mason Opera House. (See Mason Opera House advertisement, Los Angeles Herald, 08/25/1903. p. 2.) Klaw and Erlanger continued to lease the Mason Opera House in 1913. (See "Mason Opera House Ad," Los Angeles Herald, 03/11/1913, p. 2.)

The theatre went by the name "Erlanger's Mason Theatre" during the 1920s, still a part of Abraham Erlanger's talent circuit. Its name reverted to the "Mason Opera House" in the 1930s. The local Federal Theatre Project troupe used the venue in the late 1930s. At the same time, the Mason was used for exhibiting films, and was owned by exhibitor/movie producer Frank Fouce (1899–1962) to screen Spanish-language films during the 1930s-1950s. Fouce also operated the Million-Dollar Theatre (1918) and the Mayan Theatre (1927) as Spanish-language houses in Downtown Los Angeles in the 1950s and 1960s. (See Historic Los Angeles Theatres: Downtown, "Mason Theatre," accessed 12/14/2011.)

Building Notes

During its years of operation from 1903-1955, Mason's Theatre contained between 1,400-1,650 seats with floor seating and two balconies.


The ubiquitous architectural firm (specializing in theatres), Meyer and Holler, renovated the Mason Theatre in 1927.


The City of Los Angeles granted a demolition permit by 03/1955, but the actual demolition may have happened c. 1956; it was to be razed for a new California State Office Building.

PCAD id: 3715