Cineograph Theatre

114 Court street,
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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This theater is listed on the 1906 Sanborn map as simply ‘vaudeville’, but apparently opened in 1902 as a movie theater & vaudeville combination house.

From looking at the map this theater would have sat directly in the south wing of present day City Hall (built 1926), facing Court Street which is now gone.

Contributed by jeff bridges

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

vokoban on August 16, 2007 at 7:37 pm

(Sept. 7, 1902)
The bill this week at the Cineograph Theater will include Leonardo on the flying rings; Frances Brissell, singer; Stanley Raford, dancer; Lucille la Tour, soubrette; Billie and Mamie Robinson, comedians; Harry G. Carter with illustrated songs and a mile of moving pictures on the cineograph.

vokoban on August 16, 2007 at 7:49 pm

Oh the humanity! Where are the censors when you need them? I’m glad they didn’t have video games back then.

(Nov. 16, 1909)
Moving Picture Proprietor Must Stand Trial
-Charged with entertaining juveniles not accompanied by older persons-Burglary scene fascinates-Police say that’s how youthful bandits are made.

Willful violation of the ordinance prohibiting proprietors of theaters from allowing young children in their places, unless accompanied by a person of mature years, is charged against J.A. Browne, owner of the Cineograph Theater, No. 114 Court street.
The establishment is of the ordinary moving-picture show type. When Patrolman Robert Green entered the house Sunday afternoon, there were sixty persons being entertained. Of this number, he says thirty-four were youngsters, ranging from 5 to 10 years old.
With gaping mouths and staring eyes, the children were literally drinking in a burglary scene. With striking vividness was portrayed before them the entrance of a thief through a window and his subsequent flight with his loot.
It was such scenes as these the police believe, that incited the three young bandits to throw the neighborhood of St. James Park into a turmoil of excitement and terror, Friday night.
Browne was taken before Justice Frederickson yesterday and pleaded not guilty. He said he was unable to determine at that time whether he wished to be tried by the court or by a jury. The magistrate gave him until today to decide.
The arresting officer says that he will subpoena at least ten of the boys, who were in the theater, as witnesses, when the case comes to trial.

vokoban on August 16, 2007 at 7:53 pm

(Nov. 17, 1909)
A penalty of $50 was imposed by Justice Frederickson on J.A. Browne, proprietor of the Cineograph Theater, No. 114 Court street, yesterday, for having allowed small children to enter his amusement place, unaccompanied.
An officer testified there were thirty-four boys under 10 years of age in the place. Browne disputed him, saying there were only 24. Exhibit A in the case was a little chap, who was placed on a chair so his majesty could see him.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 6, 2007 at 4:43 am

An interesting card turned up in the California Index, citing a Times article that announced the grand opening of the Tivoli Theatre at 16 Court Street on October 18, 1890. This is relevant to the Cineograph Theatre because it was some time around 1900 that Los Angeles changed its street numbering system which, until then, had always begun with single and double digit numbers in the first blocks east and west of Main Street and north and south of 1st Street. After the change, numbers still began at Main and 1st Streets, but started with three digit numbers, 100 and up. Thus, 16 Court Street (Court never extended east of Main and so didn’t need the appellation West) probably corresponded to 114 Court Street, the address of the Cineograph in 1902. The Cineograph was apparently the Tivoli, renamed.

vokoban on December 6, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Thanks for the good lead Joe and the street numbering information….it clears up some confusion. Here is the article you mentioned. It is just a small ad in the classified section:

(Oct. 18, 1890)
12, 14 and 16 Court Street.
Willard and Hall, Blanch and Byron, Zeno and Roberts, Hastings and Heywood, Ashby and Morris, Constantine, Newton.
ADMISSION…………..15, 25 and 35 CENTS.

vokoban on December 6, 2007 at 4:59 pm

I guess that didn’t last long:

(Dec. 18, 1890)
The Tivoli Theater is no more. The place opened about two months ago under the management of the Perry brothers, who formerly ran the Club Theater, and Joe Manning, as a variety show, and was advertised on the bills as “a popular family resort.” The concern failed to “catch on,” however, and yesterday the furniture company who sold the chairs and tables, removed the property, and the place closed down. Joe Manning, one of the proprietors, claims to have sunk $8000 in the venture during its brief career.

vokoban on December 6, 2007 at 5:09 pm

I guess Joe Manning went from a ‘strictly family resort’ to a ‘house of ill-fame’ in a few years time:

(May 9, 1895)
Yesterday Constable Harry Johnston secured a warrant for the arrest of Joe Manning on the charge of renting property to persons who use it for immoral purposes. This was about the only development of the day in Johnston’s crusade against the houses of ill-fame.

vokoban on December 6, 2007 at 5:59 pm

This must be what Joe was referring to above:
(Sep. 16, 1889)
New System Required for Public Convenience.
The special committee of the Council on street numbering, consisting of Messrs. Bnsall and Shafer, met at the City Hall yesterday, together with School Superintendent Friesner, to consider the proposed change. The present system is very faulty, and has a tendency to mislead, and it is proposed to substitute what is known as the Philadelphia plan, that is, 100 numbers to the block, commencing with 100 instead of commencing with the unit 1, as at present, and then allowing them to go in a go-as-you-please fashion, according to the whims of individual owners. The adoption of the plan, however, in its entirety, will necessitate a good many more changes than would appear at first glance, and will cause more or less dissatisfaction, unless its disadvantages are made apparent. In brief, the plan proposed by the commitee contemplates an entirely different method for East Los Angeles, where Downey avenue will be adopted as the dividing line. On the west side of the river the dividing streets will be First for north and south, and Main for east and west. Commencing with First street, the streets will be numbered out to the corporate limits on either side. The principal objection to this will be the familiar names of Washington, Pico and other old streets will be changed to numbers, an innovation which the people will probably resent, but it is thought that this can be obviated by leaving these names as they are and skipping a number, but whether this will work in practice will have to be demonstrated. The names of the streets running north and south will not be changed. Superintendent Friesner has taken a great deal of interest in the matter, and thinks that it should be done at once, as it is impossible to tell, half the time, without consulting a map, in what school district children are when they apply for admission to the public schools.

kencmcintyre on April 12, 2008 at 3:53 am

On this 1944 map, you can see Court Street in box C-37, at the top. If 114 Court was near City Hall, it was probably 114 W. Court. On the map, Court stops before Spring, which meant that the street was most likely obliterated at that point by the city hall construction.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 24, 2011 at 1:33 am

Google Maps will never be able to fetch this location, as every trace of Court Street east of the Harbor Freeway was wiped out long ago. The pin on the Google map is about a mile northwest of the actual location of this theater.

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