Fairyland Theatre

1122 W. 24th Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90007

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Union Square Theatre

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Located on W. 24th Street at S. Hoover Street. Opened in 1910 as the Union Square Theatre. This theatre was mentioned in the Los Angeles Times in August 1915 as the Fairyland Theatre. Police closed the theatre after owner T.L. Thompson exhibited a film which had been condemned by the board of motion picture censors. It was demolished in 1921.

A new Fairyland Theatre was built on the site, which later operated as the Union Square Theatre, Continental Theatre and Union Theatre. It operates today as the Velaslavasay Panorama and has its own page on Cinema Treasures.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

MagicLantern on July 5, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I’ll bet that this is now the 24th Street Theater, a repertory theater open at 1117 West 24th Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 8, 2010 at 6:35 pm

No theaters are listed on 24th Street in the 1915 City Directory, and no theater called the Fairyland is listed at all. If the police closed the Fairyland in August, 1915, it’s likely that it had opened sometime that year and thus was not included in that year’s directory, which was probably compiled before the house opened.

Unfortunately, the next directory available to me is from 1923, and while a Fairyland Theatre is listed that year at 1122 W. 24th St, the County Assessor’s office says that the building at that location was erected in 1921. It’s possible that the 1915 Fairyland was at that address, and that a new building was built there for the theater in 1921, but it’s also possible that the 1915 theater was on a different site.

If the 1915 Fairyland was in an earlier building at 1122 W. 24th, then it’s already listed at Cinema Treasures under its later name, the Union Theatre. If it was at another location near 24th and Hoover, it wasn’t in the building now housing the 24th Street Theatre. The Assessor’s office gives the building at 1117 W. 24th an original construction date of 1930, with an effectively built date of 1965.

The 24th Street Theatre web site says that it was established in 1997, and I can’t find a theater listed at its address in any of the city directories available from the L.A. library, so I’d imagine it was converted from another use. In 1942, it housed an auto painting shop run by Sam Garcia. Though the 1960s its listed only under the name Eli Gennewey, with no indication of what sort of enterprise Mr. Gennewey might have conducted on the premises. I’ve found no other mention of Eli Gennewey on the Internet.

As long as we don’t know for certain the address of the 1915 Fairyland Theatre, this page might as well remain. If it is later found that it was at the same address as the 1923 Fairyland, this page could be eliminated. I’ll post the information I have now about the theater’s early days on the Union Theatre page.

clevelandphil on January 21, 2017 at 5:49 pm

The movie that shut down the theater was The Ni^er. Also known as The Governor. The article listed the bad title.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 22, 2017 at 12:13 am

Thanks for the map, Ron. The L.A. library now has a directory for 1916, and it lists the Fairyland at 1126 W. 24th. As the lot next door on the map is 1128, 1126 must have been the same lot the 1922 theater is on. And as the County Assessor’s records say the building at 1122 was built in 1921, it must have been a replacement for the original Fairyland on the same site.

The original Fairyland was probably a storefront nickelodeon, opened in 1915 and demolished in 1920 or 1921. The rebuilt Fairyland was the house now listed at CT as the Velaslavasay Panorama.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2020 at 2:53 pm

More city directories are now available, and a house called the Union Square Theatre is listed at this address in 1911, though not in 1910. 1911 was the first year L.A. directories listed Moving Picture Theatres as a separate category. It’s likely that the Union Square opened in 1910, in time to be included in the 1911 directory, which probably went to press in late 1910. It’s interesting that the successor house built in 1921 eventually reverted to this theater’s original name.

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