AKA: Broadway Palace Theatre, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA; Henderson's Orpheum Theater and Office Building, Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Lansburgh, G. Albert, Architect (firm); Leonardt, Carl, Building Contractor (firm); Gustave Albert Lansburgh (architect); Carl Heinrich Leonardt (building contractor)

Dates: constructed 1910-1911

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Downtown, Los Angeles, CA

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The Orpheum Theatre Building #3 was located on Broadway between 6th and 7th Streets.


In 1913, the Orpheum Theatre #3 was one of four theatres operating within two blocks on one side of Broadway. These included the Orpheum #3, Pantages, Morosco and the Garrick.

Building History

In the rapidly-changing Los Angeles theatre scene of the early 20th century, the Orpheum Theatre #3 remained named this for for only 15 years, until 1926. Initially, it hosted vaudeville entertainment working for the Orpheum circuit until it switched to film exhibition. In 1926, the Orpheum built its fourth theatre at 9th Street and Broadway, and the the Orpheum #3 became known as the "Palace Theatre."

San Francisco-based architect G. Albert Lansburgh (1876-1969), trained at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, designed a number of theatres for the Orpheum vaudeville circuit including those in San Francisco (1909), Salt Lake City (1913), Saint Louis, MO (1916) and Los Angeles (1926).

Property developer Tom Gilmore (born 1953) spent approximately $2.5 million to restore the Palace Theatre between 2001 and 2003. (See Kathryn Maese, "Encore for Broadway; yesteryear theaters raise curtain on today's nightlife," Los Angeles Downtown News, 09/17/2001, p. 8.)

Building Notes

Theatre historian David Naylor, in his American Picture Palaces The Architecture of Fantasy, (New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1981, p. 216), indicated that the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, designed by Gustave A. Lansburgh (1876-1969) seated 1,950 people.

As noted on the website of the Los Angeles Conservancy.org: "Loosely styled after a Florentine early Renaissance palazzo, the façade of the Palace features multicolored terra-cotta swags, flowers, fairies, and theatrical masks illustrating the spirit of entertainment. Four panels depicting the muses of vaudeville -- Song, Dance, Music, and Drama -- were sculpted by noted Spanish sculptor Domingo Mora." (See Los Angeles Conservancy.org, "Palace Theatre," accessed 03/20/2023.)


Some changes were made to the theatre's seating. The Los Angeles Conservancy noted: "Although the original seating capacity neared 2,000, the intimate vertical design with two balconies ensured that no one was far from the stage. The original box seats were removed in the 1930s; the walls were plastered and painted over with massive murals by Candelario Rivas depicting pastoral scenes. The theatre now seats around 1,000." (See Los Angeles Conservancy.org, "Palace Theatre," accessed 03/20/2023.)

PCAD id: 7801