Arcadia Theatre

East Huntington Drive,
Arcadia, CA

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 4, 2011 at 2:57 am

Thanks to BillCounter for tracking down the address of the Arcadia Theatre, and its original name. The L.A. County Assessor’s office says that the building at 40 E. Huntington (which would include addresses from 40 to 44) was built in 1947, with an effectively-built date of 1980. As the fire which destroyed the Arcadia Theatre took place in 1942, when wartime building restrictions were imposed, a post-war new construction date of 1947 for the building that replaced it is not surprising.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Joan Crawford in “I LIVE MY LIFE” opens Jan 3 1936.

BillCounter on March 17, 2011 at 11:24 am

In the 1925 and 1927 Monrovia/Arcadia city directories there’s a listing for the Liberty Theatre, 42 ½ E. Huntington Dr., but no Arcadia.

The Arcadia has a listing at 44 E. Huntington Dr. in the 1930, 31/32, 35, 37 and 39 city directories.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

In 1936 the movie “LAST DAYS OF POMPEII” played here.

MagicLantern on June 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

There should indeed be an a.k.a. for Dean’s Arcadia Theatre. The address of the Arcadia was 34 East Huntington Drive.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 26, 2008 at 7:59 pm

The L.A. Library has provided a larger version of the photo I linked to back in 2005, in the first comment on this page. Here’s the new version of Huntington Drive on November 7, 1937.

I’ve still been unable to pin down an exact address for the Arcadia Theatre, but I’ve found that the “Arcadia” sign strung across the street down the block in this photo was at First Avenue, and since the street numbers in Arcadia Start from Santa Anita Avenue (behind the camera’s position) with single digit numbers, the theatre was most likely somewhere from 30 to 40 E. Huntington Drive.

vokoban on July 23, 2007 at 5:29 pm

It’s true that the shenanigans of the stars were getting on the nerves of people who had just entered the depression but the actual code could only enforce the rules about movie content. Mainly violence and sex and making sure that if the character did bad then they had to pay in the end. The code had no power over the personal lives of movie stars. The movie studios did their own policing and hushing and covering up for their own stars….not because they were moral but to protect their investment against an increasingly ‘moral’ population. I wonder how Parasite Hilton would have fared in that atmosphere.

kencmcintyre on July 23, 2007 at 4:39 pm

My recollection is that the displeasure started with Fatty and continued through the Jazz Age to the end of the twenties. Stars like Clara Bow were known for nightly carousing. Clara was rumored to be a frequent visitor to Tijuana for abortions. So Fatty was a bit far back in time, but he probably started the snowball effect that led to the Code.

vokoban on July 23, 2007 at 2:34 pm

The Production Code was in place in 1930 but wasn’t enforced until 1934, so anything before ‘34 is a pre-code, although movies such as Babyface, Scarface and The Story Of Temple Drake outraged the Catholics and other Americans and the movie studios gave in and started enforcing the code and following Joseph Breen’s iron fist. The Fatty Arbuckle fiasco was in 1921, so that was way before this.

kencmcintyre on July 23, 2007 at 1:51 pm

I think the two films in LM’s ad might be “pre-code” films, by the descriptions. A rather restrictive censorship was put on Hollywood in the early thirties, following the Fatty Arbuckle scandal, as the general feeling of middle America was that those Hollywood people were getting out of control.

kencmcintyre on October 31, 2006 at 1:03 pm

Here is an article from the Arcadia Tribune in March 1932:

Attraction at Local Theater

Many Fine Pictures Are Billed
for the Playhouse During Coming Week

Those who enjoy talkies have many treats before them this week
and next at the Arcadia theater, for Miss Janet Malbon and the
Tindle brothers, managers of the local playhouse, promise an excellent bill for each evening of the week.

Edward G. Robinson in “The Hatchet Man” is one of the features
for this evening and tomorrow night. Loretta Young, Dudley Digges and Tully Marshall are also in the cast. Critics who have
seen the film state it is one of the best things seen for a long time, as it is an actual portrayal of life in Chinatown, San Francisco. Fox Movietone News will contribute to the general enjoyment, as will a Charlie Chase comedy.

Future bookings into the Arcadia Theater include the following:
“Passionate Plumber,” with Buster Keaton; “Madelon Claudet,"
with Helen Hayes; "Fireman Save My Child,” with Joe E. Brown;
“Emma,” with Marie Dressier;“Beau Hunks,” with Laurel and
Hardy; “Prestige,” with Ann Harding; “The Champ,” with Wallace
Berry and Jackie Cooper.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 25, 2006 at 1:42 pm

Welcome to Cinema Treasures, Howard. You might find some of your grandfather’s other theatres listed here (though if their names have changed over the years, they’ll probably be listed under their later names.) Any information you can provide about any of them would be welcome, as would information about any theatres not yet listed here.

dawgfan on January 25, 2006 at 9:07 am

Brian B Vivian (owner of the Arcadia in ‘25) was my grandfather. My mother, Audrene Bold () is sharp as a tack at 85 and has good recall of her father’s theater owning days in California and Washington State. My name is Howard Wells ( )

vokoban on January 7, 2006 at 4:40 am

Thanks Joe, I’ll put that last thing from ‘42 on the correct theater’s page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 6, 2006 at 8:17 pm

The planned theatre mentioned in the 1942 item was the Edwards Santa Anita Theatre, posted at Cinema Treasures under its final name, Cinemaland Theater.

vokoban on January 6, 2006 at 7:22 pm

I can’t find much about this theater, but here are a few things that might be pertinent:

(Sept. 27, 1925)
ARCADIA, Sept. 26.-Brian B. Vivian became the new owner of the Arcadia Theater Thursday and is making extensive improvements to the interior of the building. Vivian, who has been in the theater business twelve years, formerly lived in Los Angeles, but has been in Northern California and Washington for several years.

(Sept. 4, 1927)
Theaters in Near-by Cities
Arcadia Theater, Arcadia, Calif.

(Jan. 10, 1942)
ARCADIA, Jan. 9-Construction is expected to start within the next two weeks on a $100,000 theater to be located at the north-east corner of Huntington Drive and Colorado Place.

I have no idea what that last theater is or if it was even built.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 31, 2005 at 3:56 pm

The Los Angeles Public Library has a picture of Huntington Drive in Arcadia on November 7th, 1937, with the Arcadia Theatre on the right.