Galway Theatre

514 S. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Additional Info

Functions: Hotel, Office Space

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Galway Theatre exterior

I ran across this while perusing Something Weird Video’s “60’s Go-Go Chicks Vol. 5”. There was a short clip of S. Main Street in L.A. and this was the only theatre I could identify.

The Leonide Hotel building was constructed in 1905 and the first floor was occupied by a grocer & clothing store. In the 1940’s the space was a newstand. It was converted in the The Gay-Way bar which had two dance bands and ‘servicemen were welcomed’. In May 1956 with a slight change of name it became a movie theatre known as the Galway Theatre. By the mid-1960’s it was screening soft porn movies.

It was operating as an adult movie theatre until its closing in the late-1980’s. It is now used as a community services office named Chrysalis with the old hotel rooms reporposed into their original use.

Contributed by Michael Page

Recent comments (view all 62 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 15, 2009 at 10:11 am

Here is the theater building in a photo taken yesterday:

chrisepting on October 28, 2009 at 9:59 am

The Galway, as seen in 1972 in this newly unearthed clip of the Rolling Stones shooting the cover for Exile on Main Street

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danwhitehead1 on September 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I remember the Galway; never was inside though. I worked for Walnut Properties/Pussycat Theatres for a long time and serviced the projection equipment at the Optic several times. It seems to me that it was across the street and a few doors away but I can’t remember in which direction. That was back in the ‘70s through the '80s and those memories are getting dim (a stroke didn’t help much either). I always found that old part of town really interesting. A lot more history down there than folks realize.

BillCounter on March 14, 2011 at 11:33 am

In the 1959 Universal-International release “Too Soon To Love” we get Jennifer West and Richard Evans on Main Street. They’re looking for an abortionist. Note the bottoms of the illuminated “Galway” letters above the “open all night” banner.

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BillCounter on March 21, 2011 at 4:47 pm

for Ken McIntyre:

It was an interesting comment about a theatre to be called the Sherman mentioned in the 1915 LA Times article you quote in your 2007 post.

Did it give an address as 514 or 518?

Also: Henry’s Theatrical Guide for 1907-08 lists #514 as the location of the La Petite Theatre #5.

Zimas gives a 1905 date for the building that later housed the Galway at #514.

BillCounter on March 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Two more data points for the Sherman Theatre:

It’s listed in the city directories for 1916 and 1918 as being at 518 S. Main.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on May 11, 2012 at 9:45 pm

A shot of this theatre appears in the film “Parts: The Clonus Horror.” The film later got the MST3K treatment and Mike and the bots make reference to it.

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on August 24, 2012 at 3:57 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

spectrum on October 10, 2013 at 8:25 am

From Google Street View (October 2013), the building is still there, the front has been recently repainted and the four store fronts are “Leonide Hotel”, “Chrysalis”, “{vacant}” and “{Vacant}”

CStefanic on September 28, 2017 at 1:52 pm

IS the auditorium space still there?

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