Republic Theatre

629 S. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90014

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Showing 16 comments

rivest266 on September 5, 2019 at 6:43 pm

This became the Republic theatre on December 23rd, 1912. Grand opening ad posted.

kencmcintyre on October 26, 2007 at 10:02 am

Here is a 1915 ad similar to what vokoban was discussing back in May:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 1, 2007 at 11:27 pm

If the address of 649 was not a typo, then my guess would be that the Republic moved up the block to new quarters when that big office building on the northwest corner of 7th and Main was built. 649 S. Main would have been very near the corner of 7th Street.

kencmcintyre on August 1, 2007 at 11:09 pm

The LA Times reported exploding film and panic at a theater at 649 South Main on 4/26/21. Maybe the Republic, maybe not. The addresses are dissimilar.

kencmcintyre on May 14, 2007 at 8:53 am

I think the theater occupied the whole building, by the looks of it. Perhaps 625-629.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 13, 2007 at 10:05 pm

vokoban: I don’t remember Dave’s Music Box being there in the 1960s. My best guess is that it was a bar. The name might also suggest a record shop, but it looks as though the shop windows are blocked- long a legal requirement for bars in California, but a bad idea for a retail shop, so I’m thinking it was not a record store.

It looks as though by 1941 the Republic had become a bus station. This photo shows a pawn shop at 627 S. Main, and the entrance to the All American Bus Lines station is the next door south. I don’t know if it was a remodeling or new construction.

The 1923 Paramount ad is interesting. The only downtown Broadway house listed is the Garrick, but it looks as though Paramount product just dominated the Main Street houses- ten of them between 1st and 7th Streets alone, which was probably close to half of all the operating movie theatres on the strip.

Incidentally, for anybody wondering where Moneta Avenue is, with its four listed theatres, that was the original name of what is now Broadway south of downtown. Until 1920s, Broadway ended at 10th Street. When it was cut through it connected to Moneta Avenue, which was finally renamed Broadway in 1930.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 13, 2007 at 9:12 am

The Belasco Theatre (later Republic/Follies) was located at 337 S. Main Street. This Republic Theatre is a different building.

vokoban on May 13, 2007 at 8:42 am

Here is a Paramount Week advertisement from 1923. I haven’t heard of some of these.

View link

vokoban on May 13, 2007 at 8:19 am

Finally, this theater shows up……

(Sept. 2, 1923)
REPUBLIC THEATER, 629 ½ South Main Street
Sept. 1-3-Jack Holt and Bebe Daniels in “North of the Rio Grande."
Sept. 4-7-William S. Hart in "White Oak."
Sept. 8-10-Douglas Fairbanks in "Arizona.”

vokoban on May 13, 2007 at 8:01 am

Actually, I guess this Republic was the Belasco. It’s the same owner.

(Aug. 1, 1914)
Main. Bet. 3rd and 4th.
Continuous 1:20 to 11 p.m.

vokoban on May 13, 2007 at 7:56 am

Maybe this is a different Republic since this article is under the heading ‘Up and Down Broadway’.

(April 25, 1914)
Another big local vaudeville house joined the ranks of the ten centers yesterday, when Resident Manager Al Matson of the Republic Theater received word from Bert Levey, the head of the circuit bearing his name, which controls the Republic Theater, to slash the price of every seat in the house, boxes and loges included, to 10 cents. This will commence with the matinee on next Monday. The same high standard of vaudeville will be maintained. Seven acts with a headline attraction, two comedy first run-montion pitcures and an orchestral concert will make up the bill. The Republic is the fourth house to inaugurate 10-cent prices. The Hippodrome was the first: the Empress followed with 10-cent matinees, then Alphin did the same: and now comes the Republic with 10-cent prices for any seat, any time.

vokoban on May 13, 2007 at 7:47 am

The Republic wouldn’t have been one of the theaters called Belasco before, would it?

(Dec. 23, 1912)
It is said that the come-on show at the Republic Theater-nee Belasco-is to be great. There’s a lot of new gilt and glittah about the place, anyhow; and it’s safe to say they won’t have to give trading stamps to get a quorum at the first performance.

vokoban on May 13, 2007 at 7:05 am

Here’s a picture of Dave’s Music box ‘then & now’. If you search on usc there are a bunch of pictures showing the stretch between the central building and the building with the griffins on the corners at 7th. It says something about undesirable businesses, I think.

View link

vokoban on May 13, 2007 at 7:03 am

Joe, would it have been somewhere near Dave’s Music Box? Does anyone know what Dave’s Music Box was, by the way?

kencmcintyre on February 15, 2006 at 6:09 pm

This map dates around 1950 – the Republic is already gone:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2005 at 5:25 am

It was still operating in 1923, though an ad from September 2nd of that year puts a ½ on the end of the address. See the list of Main Street theatres from that ad, posted in a comment by vokodan on the Optic Theatre page.

I remember this stretch of Main Street, across from the old Pacific Electric depot, as being a parking lot and bus driveway for the Continental Trailways bus depot which, by the 1950’s, was located on the ground floor of the building at the southwest corner of 6th and Main.