AKA: Raymond Theater, Pasadena, CA; Crown Theatre, Pasadena, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Bennett, J. Cyril, Architect (firm); Crowell, William C., Building Contractor (firm); John Cyril Bennett (architect); William Chamberlain Crowell (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1919-1921

129 North Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91103

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The Raymond Theatre stood at 108-142 North Raymond Avenue in Pasadena, CA.

Building History

The brickyard owner/real estate investor Henry Christian Jensen (born 09/1859 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany-d. 1944 in Los Angeles, CA) commissioned the development of the Raymond Theatre, one of a number of commercial/recreational structures that he built in Los Angeles County. Opened 04/05/1921, Jensen's Raymond Theatre had 1,800 seats viewing a single screen, and was built in the Adamesque Style. According to movie theatre historian, David Naylor, however, Jensen's had a capacity of 2,200 when it opened in 1921. (See David Naylor, American Picture Palaces: The Architecture of Fantasy, [New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981], 216.) Pasadena contractor William Crowell undertook construction of the project.

Several owners have owned the property since 1921. The theatre had changed hands by 1932, becoming another in the Fox West Coast Theatres Chain. In the midst of the Depression, 01/1933, Fox shuttered the Raymond. The Crown Holding Company of Los Angeles purchased the Raymond in 1948, and operated it until 1963. William Barkus owned the property for about a decade, between 1963 and 1974, before selling it to Van Halen singer David Lee Roth's father, Nathan Roth (1928-2003), an ophthalmologist, in 1974. Roth closed the building as a theatre c. 1976, and sold it c. 1978. It became "Perkins Palace" in 1979, a popular venue that hosted a variety of musical acts, that lasted until 1986, when the developers Gene and Marilyn Buchanan bought it. Conference promoter Gina Zamparelli, who also managed the Raymond during the Perkins Palace period, formed the historic preservation group, Friends of the Raymond Theatre in 1986, seeking to preserve the building as a theatre. The Friends engaged in a long battle with the Buchanans and the City of Pasadena about the theatre. The Buchanans eventually won the fight when they reopened the building as a mixed-use development, but not a theatre in late 2008.

Building Notes

An asbestos stage curtain produced for the theatre in 1921 has been preserved. It depicted a Hudson motor car traveling through Yosemite National Park, sponsored by the Hull Motor Company, local Hudson and Essex automobile dealers, at 180 West Colorado Boulevard.


Jensen's Raymond replaced a boarding house that stood on the site.

The Raymond's theatre was demolished by about 2004, but the building envelope retained and turned into apartments, offices and retail space. This adaptive reuse project occurred between 2004 and 2008. (See Joe Piasecki, Pasadena Weekly.com, "Reconstructing History," published 09/04/2008, accessed 02/25/2020.

PCAD id: 753