Del Mar Theatre

5036 W. Pico Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Unfavorite 9 people favorited this theater

Showing 23 comments

Jonathan Wells
Jonathan Wells on February 23, 2023 at 2:00 pm

In conjunction with the recent Frieze art fair in LA, global art gallery Perrotin announced that they will open their first gallery in LA in the old cinema. As a teaser they presented a film from Danish filmmaker Jesper Just on a video wall. They plan to make one sheet posters for each art show to display in the theater’s original poster boxes.

rivest266 on September 16, 2019 at 4:24 pm

This opened on April 8th, 1939. Small grand opening ad posted. Opened with “Blondie”.

thedesmond on November 6, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Hi Joe Miller, I’m not sure if you are still the owner of the Del Mar theater, I noticed that it sold in June of 2016. I’m looking for a super creative space for my business. I currently operate The Desmond building, accross from the El Rey theater. Thanks for any information that you may have.


DavidZornig on April 7, 2015 at 8:01 pm

This Flickr link has a night shot, plus many other theaters. Copy & paste to view.

Johnnie Wooten
Johnnie Wooten on April 23, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I enjoyed info. on the Delmar theater I the saw movie
Julie there in about 1957 with Doris Day and Louie Jourdan. Great Movie,My first movie .They also showed
movies I believe in the mid 80ties for a little bit.Johnnie W.

dctrig on April 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

It was beautiful to see the Delmar sign lit as I stood outside Theatre Theatre across the street yesterday waiting to go in and see a play, “Small Engine Repair.”

I try to use Metro from N Hollywood as much as possible and used the opportunity to walk Pico from Fairfax to La Brea. Not much business activity; however, there is an oasis around the Delmar(a comedy club, equity waiver theater, and Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, where I had great scrambled eggs in a very business restaurant).

The Delmar sign is visible for a number of blocks and an anchor for the neighborhood.

KJB2012 on January 5, 2010 at 10:50 am

Thanks for the report, Joe.
I’ve driven by this house a lot and always wondered if it was being used for anything.
It’s great to see the marquee lit.

JoeMilner on January 5, 2010 at 7:57 am

Hi there,
My name is Joe Milner, I’m the owner of the Del Mar Theater, and my company, Puget Sound, Inc., does post-production sound editing and mixing for films. We have a mixing and ADR stage in the rear of what was once the main auditorium, and my girlfriend Laura Mendoza has her graphic design studio, La Artista Design, in the main room as well.

When I got the building in 2001, it had long since been gutted; no seats, screen, lobby equipment, projection, etc. The raked floor had been removed, and a new level slab poured. At that time, it was being used as a photography studio. The exterior was as you see in Bob Meza’s photo above; dead marquee, boarded-up ticket booth, many coats of whitewash, poster frames missing. Through the City of Los Angeles’ Pico Revitalization project in 2003-05, the marquee was restored and is lit every night, the building was painted, and the slate tiles around the base of the building uncovered. I restored the booth and exterior poster frames myself. I’m hoping to find a solution that will allow me to demolish the ugly security fence, yet still keep the booth and outer terrazzo foyer protected.

I often get questions about reopening as a cinema, but even without the inherent problems of keeping a one-screen theater in business these days, the ongoing problem of a complete lack of parking in this area makes the idea a non-starter.

So for now, although it is not an actual cinema, I’m doing my best to at least keep it as part of the moviemaking process!


brmorgan on August 30, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I recall the del Mar Theater from my first days as an independent filmmaker in 1974.
The message for programming droned on with no characterizations “This is the Del Mar Theater by recording.”
I loved the affordable and remote and somewhat dilapidated surroundings as a place to meditate on all those films.
‘Now we are losing Bing theater and I recently visited the Paley center for media in Beverly Hills.
The particular showing from the John Frankenheimer retrospective had one other person in the audience.
I recall days at the Newart and the Fox Venice and the Tiffany and many more revival houses.
The theater going public of today still exists but I believe they are locked safely and affordably in their houses.
What is missing is the SHARED EXPERIENCE IN THE DARK where you hear others laughing or screaming at an episode and the realization that we all agree far more than we know on what is interesting.
Now I make a film and I am hard pressed to imagine an opening at someplace like the Del Mar.
Visit my film page if you will

Simon Overton
Simon Overton on December 28, 2006 at 3:39 pm

While trying to locate the massive FORUM THEATRE on Pico Blvd I came across the Del Mar Theatre with pleasant surprise.
My wife and I are looking for a small single screen house to re-open (not to far from Hollywood).
We plan to screen British (theme) movies, and maybe some small live presentations, but need various assistance in funding to restore something like the Del Mar Theatre. We have a non-profit 501c3 license, managerial operation and experience as well as professional assistance in art-deco, etc.
To those of you interested in our project, please contact Simon and Kathleen at .. and let’s get the marquee light up again and put the “show” back into show business at the Del Mar!

kencmcintyre on October 31, 2006 at 5:33 am

I drove by the theater yesterday. It’s still being used as a sound studio.

vokoban on February 27, 2006 at 8:49 am

Thanks cnichols, I guess that boat store didn’t last long.

cnichols on February 27, 2006 at 8:28 am


April 6, 1939

Pico Nr. La Brea

Opening Saturday
“BLONDIE;” ‘You Can’t Take It With You’

cnichols on February 27, 2006 at 8:25 am

May 4, 1939

Pico Nr. La Brea

Joe E. Brown “Flirting with Fate”
George Brent – Olivia De Havilland

vokoban on February 25, 2006 at 2:18 pm

I’ve been trying to find an opening date for this theater, but so far I can only find a seven year window. Does anyone know the date?

(Dec. 3, 1935)
Of good news to boating enthusiasts is the announcement of the Hollycraft Boating and Equipment Company at 5036 West Pico of a new marine engine display.

Here’s the first actual movie listing I could find so far:

(April 7, 1942)

So it must be sometime between those two dates, I guess.


hadabob on February 23, 2006 at 4:42 pm

I was in this theatre in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I recall the interior being all original and somewhat interesting. It was available for rental on an one time event basis. The lobby was small, similar to the Midway, and other local theatres.

haineshisway on February 13, 2006 at 7:16 am

I worked at the Del Mar (my first job) as as usher and everything else. This was back in 1965. The manager/owner was a real jerk and his employees really didn’t care for him. I used to open sometimes, and I’d go up in the booth and play with opening and closing the curtains. Very small screen, but would show interesting final destination double bills. While working there, I saw From Russia With Love, Viva Las Vegas, and quite a few others. Very plain inside.

MagicLantern on May 18, 2004 at 3:34 pm

The seats have all been removed from this theatre. The fellow who owns it now is very nice (works in sound design for films), and occasionally hosts events for non-profits and the like. Haven’t been seen anything happening here for quite some time, though.

cnichols on February 3, 2004 at 1:32 pm

The marquee has been restored and relit at the Del Mar!
The interior is being used as studio space and is also available for rentals.

Here is a nice photo of the newly restored neon:

William on October 5, 2001 at 9:14 am

This theatre has been around since the early 40’s and seats around 600 people. The best thing about this theatre is the marquee, thats about it. The Del Mar is a very plain theatre located 2 blocks west of La Brea Ave. on Pico Blvd. This theatre has not shown a movie since the early 80’s. It spent a short time as a church but has been closed for a long time. Other theatres close by are the Fox La Brea (about 1 mile north on La Brea , north west side of the street, one block north of Olympic Blvd., now a church).