Union Theatre

255 S. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Additional Info

Previous Names: New York Theatre, Western Theatre

Nearby Theaters

The Union Theatre was an early nickleodeon which in press adverts seen, was operating in 1910. At that period of time S. Main Street was the main entertainment street in downtown Los Angeles. It was also known as the New York Theatre and by 1915 was operating as the Western Theatre.

The Union Theatre was located to the immediate south of the (currently closed) Linda Lea Theatre and the site is currently a vacant lot.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

reluctantpopstar on May 6, 2007 at 3:27 am

The map from 1950 referenced below shows the “Civic Theater” in approximately the same address as the Union. Was this a different name for the Union, or maybe another incarnation of the Linda Lea Theater next door? I did read that the Linda Lea didn’t start operating under that name until some time in the 1950’s. In any case, I haven’t seen any other references to the “Civic Theater.”


kencmcintyre on June 8, 2007 at 4:06 pm

The Civic is an aka for the Arrow/Linda Lea.

Here is an article from the LA Times dated 12/25/15:


A film depicting a fat woman slugging a tall, thin man exploded in the Western motion picture theater, No. 255 South Main Street, yesterday, causing a temporary panic among several hundred patrons who were deep in giggles when the alarm occurred. The flames shot from the machine cage.

The crowd made a rapid exit, and the loss was confined to $300 by the quick work of the house attaches. W.B. Allan, in charge of the projecting machine, averted serious damage by closing the door to the cage as he escaped.

kencmcintyre on June 8, 2007 at 5:33 pm

This is from the LA Times, dated 11/20/13:


One man nearly sacrificed himself yesterday to stop a fire which later got beyond his control and gutted the New York Theater, a little moving picture show place at 255 S. Main Street.

Ralph Miller, 22 years old, was turning the reel when the celluloid caught fire. Immediately it puffed into a vicious flame. Realizing the panic that would come in the crowded theater below if the alarm spread, Miller staid (sic) in his sheet-iron coop, fighting heroically to stop the flames before they could burn him out of his nest.

Before Miller could save himself he was terribly burned about the head and hands. He was taken to the Receiving Hospital and later to his home. Miller, however, had not succeeded in preventing a panic. He was still fighting the fire when the smoke crawled through the lantern window and soared over the audience. A rush followed, and with the mass of patrons that came trooping out was an old rat, weak from age and also panic-stricken. It got out under the feet of the crowd without an injury and and walked to the end of the sidewalk, where he stood sniffing for safety directly under the feet of the horses, who were more afraid of the rat than he was of them.

kencmcintyre on November 15, 2007 at 8:30 pm

The Lyric was across the street at 262 S. Main in 1903. Do we have another name for this one?

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