Majestic Crest Theatre Building for sale

posted by jonathansuhre on April 27, 2007 at 4:50 am

Just to clarify, I spoke with Robert Bucksbaum at the Westwood Crest Theatre and the theatre is not for sale. Instead, this post is meant more to see what offers he could get for the building that contains the theatre. A condition of the deal if the building were sold is that the theatre portion would be leased back to him so he can continue operating it.

If interested, please call Jon (310)492-8412

The Crest was first constructed in 1941 by Frances Seymour Fonda, the second wife of Henry Fonda and mother of Peter and Jane Fonda. Originally intended as a showcase for live theater, the onset of World War II brought with it the need for a venue where local residents could watch newsreels about the battles happening overseas. Soon after it adopted the UCLAN Theatre moniker in reference to the nearby university, and then eventually settled on the Crest.

In the 1970s it was temporarily renamed the Metro, and MGM made minor design changes. But when Pacific took control in 1985, it was renamed the Pacific Crest and a long-standing partnership with Disney began. “Three Men and a Baby” was the first film the studio premiered. But more renovations were needed. The auditorium was reconfigured, the screen was brought forward, new curtains were put up, a new marquee was designed, and the wall cyclorama was assembled. After all of these updates, the Bette Midler-Lily Tomlin comedy “Big Business” debuted at the Crest.

All but two buildings on the wall mural are real establishments from Westwood and Hollywood during the 1940s; Bill’s Chili was named after the theatre’s then-manager, and Rick’s was named for the construction manager. The music prologue before each show is “That’s Entertainment,” performed by John Williams and the Boston Pops. The ceiling’s starlights are celestially accurate; a photograph was taken outside San Diego in the fall of 1987, and gridded accordingly. The shooting star is just a little ‘Hollywood magic.’

If interested, please call Jon (310)492-8412

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