Regency Village Theatre

961 Broxton Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90024

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Regency Theatres (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Regency Theatres

Previously operated by: Fox West Coast Theatres, Mann Theatres

Architects: Percy Parke Lewis

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Styles: Mission Revival

Previous Names: Fox Village Theatre, Fox Westwood Village, Mann Village Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 310.248.6266

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Fox Village Theatre exterior (Theatre just went through remodel)

Located in Westwood Village, a purpose-built retail, leisure and residential development which was constructed in 1929. The Fox Village Theatre opened on August 14, 1931 with Marie Dressler in “Politics”. It is designed in a Spanish Mission style decoration (similar to the Carthay Circle Theatre, Fox Arlington Theatre, Fox Florence Theatre). It was built for the Janns Corporation and was later taken over by Fox West Coast Theatres chain. A feature of the building is the huge ‘wedding cake’ tower which is still virtually unchanged today, and still sports its original neon lighting. Seating in the auditorium was provided for 1,489 in orchestra and balcony levels. The backstage areas, including dressing rooms and storage areas were bricked off in the 1940’s after ‘damage’ although what kind of damage is not stated in any current sources.

The Village Theatre was remodeled and reopened on October 18, 1951, increasing the seating capacity to 1,535, and given a ‘Skouras’ look when plaster gold swirls were added to the side-walls near the stage area, along with upgrades for the exits, lobby and new seats and carpet were also added. Also at this time the California Gold Rush artwork in the lobby was added. (You can see the same artwork in a few other Fox houses in Southern California like El Portal Theatre (North Hollywood), California Theatre (Huntington Park).) The artwork near the restrooms, was also added during the renovations. Before that remodel there was a small patio outside, but this was bricked over and the artwork covers this area now. The Village Theatre stayed the same until the late-1970’s (except for the new CinemaScope equipment in the 1950’s).

For “The Deer Hunter” engagement, the Village Theatre got new 70mm projection equipment, a new larger screen, and a new main title waterfall curtain. The old screen was half as tall as it is today. The theatre also got a new, less flattering carpet in the early-1980’s.

Fortunately, the “Fox” tower sign was refurbished in the late-1980’s.

The last remodel was around 1998-99, when the Village Theatre got new seats and carpet, and now seats 1,341 people.

After more than 70 years as a first run movie palace, the Village Theatre is still one of the sites for Hollywood’s biggest movie premieres.

Regency Theatres replaced Mann Theatres as the movie operator on April 1, 2010.

Recent comments (view all 480 comments)

stumbley on July 14, 2022 at 12:12 am

I stumbled on this website not long ago, and was intrigued by all the comments on the Village.

I was Assistant Manager for about 3 ½ years in the early 70’s, when Westwood was considered the “hot” film place. We had a number of premiere events, and the theater was very busy.

I was among the first in Los Angeles (outside of the studio) to see “The Godfather” prior to its debut at the Village. Al Ruddy (one of the producers) brought the film to the theater one afternoon before the premiere to check out how the film would play at the Village. Ruddy, the projectionist, and I were the only people in the theater at the time. After seeing the movie, I knew we’d be VERY busy for a long time.

At the premiere, about halfway through the presentation, Mario Puzo emerged from the theater into the lobby with about a foot-long, inch diameter cigar, and lit up. We had an interesting conversation about the film, the book, and how he was doing since the book’s popularity. He shook his head sadly, and admitted that he “had gambled away everything I made on the book and the film” and that he was compelled to “write the crap screenplay for ‘Earthquake’” in order to pay off his debts. I asked whether he had been worried about offending organized crime with his depiction of “the Mob,” and he replied that “no, I had a lot of help from that corner.”

Some other tidbits:

Walter Matthau and his son PAID to see Matthau in “Plaza Suite” when it played at the Village.

We often had lines round the block for popular movies. At one point, Groucho Marx came by with his companion, Erin Fleming, and requested to be let in before the line. He said “You wouldn’t deny admission to a living legend, would you?”

We had the premiere of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull” at the Village, for which Neil Diamond wrote the soundtrack. The film was so poorly received that one night, for the prime-time showing, no one had purchased a ticket by the time the show was supposed to start. The projectionist ran the film through the projector without firing up the carbon arc, to save carbon (the rods would actually burn up and had to be periodically replaced). Neil Diamond arrived at the theater about 15 minutes into the show, and we quickly informed the projectionist to start the arc, just in time for Diamond to enter the theater. He came out about 5 minutes later and asked “Am I the only person in the show?” When I answered “Yes” he shook his head and started to walk away. I told him that I thought the music was really good, but the film was crap, and he agreed. He said “I wish I’d never been involved in this junk.”

Finally, one of the commenters down thread had asked “What became of the former manager Jim Peters?” I can answer that question. He was let go after it was revealed that he had been faking refunds and pocketing the money. One of the cashiers and I had informed the District Manager that he was raking in about $20-$30 per night doing this. Small potatoes per day, but it added up. Peters claimed that he was using the money to renovate the Manager’s office, but the District Manager didn’t necessarily believe that story. However, Peters wasn’t actually fired, just moved to a smaller, less important theater. The cashier and I had to work with Peters for about 2 weeks after informing on him (before he was transferred) and I can tell you, it was NOT FUN. But since he had basically forced the cashier to participate (she had to sign the refund forms) she would have been complicit in the crime, and I didn’t want her to be implicated.

Many more stories about Westwood and the theaters there at that time; it was a “happening place”. I often contemplated writing a book!

Flix70 on December 18, 2022 at 9:26 am

James Cameron’s Oscar-winning 1997 historical epic “Titanic” opened at the Mann Village in 70mm 25 years ago this weekend (Dec. 19, 1997).

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, the film opened at number one on over 2,600 screens and held the top spot for the next 14 weeks, increasing its theater count every seven days during that period while averaging an astonishing $30 million a week.

It would finish its juggernaut initial 41-week run in October of ‘98 with a domestic gross just shy of $601 million to become the then-highest-grossing film of all time. It also became the first film to gross over $1 billion worldwide.

“Titanic” garnered 14 Oscar nominations and went on to win 11, including Best Picture and Best Director for Cameron.

I saw “Titanic” at the Village opening weekend with a full crowd and remember waiting in a line that snaked around Westwood. I sat in the balcony and marveled at the theater before me. Sadly I haven’t returned since.

rivest266 on June 20, 2023 at 10:29 am

closing? It’s up for sale at Loopnet. Screenshot posted.

m00se1111 on July 10, 2023 at 4:28 am

There’s debate on that over on the “Save Arclight” social medias. Regency claims that just because. it’s up for sale it is not closing down. Then some think that the 70mm screening of Oppenheimer could be final showing. Article from Daily Bruin…

haineshisway on July 10, 2023 at 8:57 am

“vindanpar on April 3, 2022 at 6:01 pm WSS had its world premiere in NY’s Rivoli theater then had its Hollywood premiere at Grauman’s. When did it get to this theater? Even in LA I would think Grauman’s would have it exclusively first run.”

Grauman’s did have West Side Story exclusively first run for over a year. It never played the Village during its wide release, which began on February 6, 1963. During that release, it played the Picwood in Westwood (the Village was playing The Lion, which I saw there). In March, it moved from the Picwood to the Bruin, where it ran several weeks. It finally came to the Village for the 1968 reissue in September of that year. I saw it there then, too, after having seen it about fourteen times at the Chinese.

haineshisway on July 10, 2023 at 9:05 am

To Stumbley: I saw The Godfather on opening day. Right in front of me in line was - Fred Astaire. Yes, those were the days, but I began going to the Village in 1954 when they’d installed their Cinemascope screen. Saw so many movies there over the years, not to mention a ton of major studio previews. In fact, the Village plays a leading role in a book I DID write that came out a couple of months ago - which is all about a guy obsessed with major studio previews. The book is fiction, but it’s based on a real guy you’d probably remember if you worked any of the previews. I call him Preview Harvey in the book. My favorite sneak previews I saw at the Village were High Time, Experiment in Terror (it was Blake Edwards' favorite place to preview), Goldfinger several weeks before it opened and the greatest reaction I ever heard at a preview), The Party, Cabaret, Capricorn One - so many. Of course, the Village adorns the cover of Preview Harvey.

stumbley on July 10, 2023 at 9:18 am

To Haineshisway:

We always called that fellow “Preview Henry” and I’m sure I know the guy you’re talking about. And yes, I remember Fred Astaire being at the theater for “The Godfather.” You almost certainly saw me at the door taking tickets. Among the ushers at that time was Zach Horowitz, later the president of Universal Records. Lots of interesting people, both as customers and workers. I’ll have to read your book!

haineshisway on July 10, 2023 at 9:33 am

Stumbley - I think you’ll get a kick out of the book - sorry the link isn’t clickable but just cut and paste it into your browser or search the title on Amazon in “Books” - and yes, the character of Preview Harvey is inspired by Preview Henry. I was a preview nut and saw him at all the previews and chatted with him many times. The studios adopted him - he was their good luck charm :) I just tried to imagine what his life might have been, but that part’s pure fiction as I didn’t know him beyond the previews. But the Village is as big a player in the book as the character - as are all the other Westwood theaters and other theaters around LA.

davidcoppock on November 19, 2023 at 6:30 am

This theatre had the World premiere of the Oliver Stone movie “JFK”.

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