AKA: Arcade Theatre, Los Angeles, CA; Pantages Theater #1, Los Angeles, CA

Structure Type: built works - commercial buildings - office buildings; built works - performing arts structures - theatres

Designers: Morgan and Walls, Architects (firm); Morgan, Walls and Morgan, Associated Architects and Engineers (firm); Octavius Weller Morgan Sr. (architect); Octavius Morgan (architect); John A. Walls (architect)

Dates: constructed 1909-1910

7 stories

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534 South Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013-2302

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This building, occupying a 60-foot-wide x 160-foot-deep lot, was designed by Morgan and Walls in 1909 for the Seattle impressario, Alexander Pantages. The Pantages Theatre #1 opened on 09/26/1910, one of the earliest modern theatres on this stretch of South Broadway. The architectural firm of Morgan and Walls became Morgan, Walls and Morgan in 1910, and this new firm also did some work on the first Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles.

Building History

A Beaux-Arts Style theatre, Pantages Theatre #1 was one of the earliest erected on Broadway; this was the first venue built for the chain of Seattle, WA-vaudeville impresario Alexander Pantages (1875– 1936) in Los Angeles, CA. (Pantages would later transfer his headquarters from Seattle to Los Angeles c. 1920.)

To accommodate his move, Pantages built a second more grandiose theatre and headquarters building at 7th Street and Hill Streets which opened in 1921. The Pantages #1 became the Dalton's Broadway Theater c. 1925, and, later, the Arcade in 1928. In 1943, the theatre was known as the Newsreel and Magazine Theatre. According to its entry on the Cinema Treasures.org web site, it was also known as the Teleview Theatre at one time, as well. It occupied the first two floors of the seven-story Pantages Office Building.

Building Notes

On the front facade, the first two floors displayed four Corinthian pilasters that separated the composition into 3 bays, the central bay being the widest. Two storefronts flanked the entrance to the Pantages's Theatre. The fenestration of the second through the sixth stories had groups of 2-3-2 trabeated, double-hung windows; the top floor had two arched windows on the side bays with four arched double-hung windows in the center. The uppermost floor's wall surface also displayed rustication. An elaborate cornice hung just above the top story.


In 03/1911, a notice in the Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer indicated that building permit had been issued for an iron stairway to be erected at 534 South Broadway for Alex Pantages, owner and builder of the Pantages theatre. The architects of record were Morgan, Walls and Morgan. (See "Building Permits, Southwest Contractor and Manufacturer, 03/11/1911, p. 34.)

It later (c. 2008) served as a warehouse for Audio-Visual Plaza, an electronics store operating on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles, CA. Extensive alterations have occurred to the first-floor storefronts over the building's 100 years.

Los Angeles City Historical-Cultural Monument: 525

National Register of Historic Places (May 9, 1979): 79000484 NRHP Images (pdf) NHRP Registration Form (pdf)

PCAD id: 921