Gem Theatre

649 S. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Gem Theatre

One of many theatres that was once located on South Main Street in downtown Los Angeles. The Gem Theatre was opened prior to 1915. It is listed in the 1926 edition of Film Daily Yearbook with 250 seats, and was probably closed and demolished that year to build the Board of Trade Building.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

vokoban on December 20, 2005 at 8:54 pm

Were there two Gem’s in Los Angeles? This is from the LA Times:

(March 26, 1930)
…Identified by Shea, according to the detectives, the youths readily confessed and implicated themselves voluntarily in the other robberies. The theater hold-up was that of H.H. Hicks in the Gem Theater at 2488 West Washington Boulevard on the 16th inst….

I thought this might be under Culver City, but I don’t see it on this site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2005 at 5:19 am

vokoban: The Gem Theatre at 2488 W. Washington Boulevard is listed here under its later name, the Maynard Theatre. It is in Los Angeles. The former name “Gem” has not yet been added to the listing, which is why the theatre doesn’t come up in a search on former names.

kencmcintyre on June 20, 2007 at 9:42 pm

I can’t find any reference to the Gem in the LA Times archives. It must not have been around very long.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 21, 2007 at 12:55 am

The Gem would have been a few doors south of the Republic Theatre,a nd very close to 7th Street. It was probably a very early nickelodeon that was torn down before the Board of Trade Building was built. The northernmost storefront in the B of T had the address 443 S. Main.

kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 1:09 am

The Gem was listed in the 1925 city directory:

vokoban on August 22, 2007 at 8:34 pm

The Gem is also listed in these city directories:

[1915, 1916, 1920]

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 23, 2007 at 1:05 am

Curlett & Beelman’s new Board of Trade Building was featured in a 1926 issue of Architectural Digest, so that must be the year it was built and thus either 1925 or 1926 would be the year the Gem was ground to dust.

vokoban on August 23, 2007 at 7:41 am

I’ll buy that….I hadn’t thought of comparing a pre-city hall sanborn to a post-city hall sanborn but it might be helpful.

Pepperama on November 29, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Here is a shot of the Gem from the Pneumonic Plague Outbreak of 1924-25 Archives at UC-Berkeley.

The Gem is directly below the Coca-Cola sign in the background. If you zoom in close enough you will see a small sign saying “GEM” with the letter “E” obscured by a utility pole. The word Theatre appears underneath as well.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm

You have an eagle’s eyes, Pepperama. I would never have spotted that sign. But the photo does confirm that the Gem was on what is now the site of the Board of Trade Building, not the parking lot north of it, and thus that it had to have been demolished by 1926.

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