Ivar Theater

1605 Ivar Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90028

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Additional Info

Functions: Educational

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Ivar Theatre, New Ivar Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 323.466.4652

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Ivar Theatre 2011

Built by restaurant owner Yegishe Harout in 1951, the Ivar Theatre presented stage plays until 1971. Plays produced here include, “The Barrett’s of Wimpole Street”, “The Glass Menagerie”, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and “The Pajama Game”. From 1971 it began showing adult films along with burlesque performances. Seating was provided for 350 in orchestra and balcony levels.

The theatre was home to the California Youth Theatre from late-2000 through the middle part of the decade, but that group has moved to another venue. The Ivar Theatre then presented stage plays and live music as the New Ivar Theatre. In 2012, the Ivar Theater is operated by the Los Angeles Film School as an active classroom space. It is currently not used or rented out as a theatre space.

At the rear section of the building, behind the stage, was a club named ‘The Sewers of Paris’, later by 1977 it was a gay bar named ‘Gaslight’, and in 1996 it was renamed ‘The Opium Den’. It became used as a green room for the theatre and for receptions.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

kencmcintyre on May 21, 2009 at 1:22 am

Here is a January 1958 ad from the LA Times:

hollywoodtheatres on April 6, 2010 at 2:29 pm

DOCUMENTARY ON CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD CINEMAS – Lookn for interviewees, photos, videos of old hollywood


I’m and independent filmmaker working on a documentary about old movie theatres in hollywood (Iris, Warner, Pacific, Hollywood, Vogue, Grauman’s Chinese, Egyptian etc..) that have had an impact on the hollywood community, both as a symbol of Hollywood as well as the historical and heritage effects it has had on “hollywood” as an industry. We are profiling theatres that are currently functioning as well as the obsolete. If you worked in these theatres back in the day (during their highlights) and have interesting stories to tell, photos to show, video to talk about I would like to hear from you. Many older movie houses are being demolished due to new developments and it is important to help future generation know and understand how these movie palaces have helped shaped the Hollywood we know today. If you have any photos or videos with personal stories you’d like to share, please contact me (323) 876-0975 – – You must owns the materials you are willing to share (taken the picture- recorded the videos, written the letters, etc…)

If you do have materials you’d like to send that may help in accurate information, you are welcome to send it to me.

Jorge Ameer
Classic Hollywood Cinemas
Box 3204
Hollywood, California 90028

View link

bicyclereporter on December 24, 2010 at 6:05 pm

The Grateful Dead played here on Feb 25, 1966.

Joni Robbins
Joni Robbins on October 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

My friend Rowby and I appeared at the Ivar Theater in two children’s shows. It was in the early sixties. We were still in high school and took the bus to the theater. We performed every week-end for a crazy couple who were the producers…Roma and Rick. My favorite was “Hansel and Gretel” which Rowby and I still laugh about today. “Under the Yum Yum Tree” with Bill Bixby was playing at night while we were the afternoon children’s theater. I still have photos….I loved the Ivar.

MinnowSaintJames on January 8, 2016 at 4:42 pm

I was House Manager for “Dames at Sea,” produced by Chuck Barris, at the Ivar, 1970. Shortly before or after “Victory Canteen,” there was a successful stage production of “The Boys in the Band,” at the Ivar. At the time, the theatre was surrounded by bars favored by homosexual hustlers.

adsausage on April 7, 2016 at 1:49 pm

The musical Godspell had a run here in December 1971. Highest tix were $10.00

DavidZornig on June 30, 2020 at 10:50 pm

Water & Power Associates website with multiple vintage photos.


BradF on December 4, 2022 at 5:26 am

In 1961, my girlfriend’s Dad took us and her 3 sisters to Ivar to watch a play. I don’t remember the name of the play, but it was about people in the Army. At one point, a really obese guy came walking onstage in a sergeant’s uniform, and everyone laughed because he was obese. Doesn’t seem like something to laugh at now. I always remembered the name of the place, and in 1985 I drove with a friend in my new red Corvette to Hollywood, looking for clubs to go to. Driving around, I saw the Ivar and remembered it. So we parked and went in. The guy in the parking lot said Bill Bixby had a car just like mine. Anyway, the theatre was a strip club by then, and not a very good one. We didn’t stay for very long.

CTCrouch on December 5, 2022 at 4:17 am

During the theatre’s burlesque years, early 70’s exploitation/adult film star Rene Bond utilized the Ivar as the “home base” for her live act. Frequently chaperoned by her parents, Ms. Bond’s show consisted of singing (she was known for bringing her father on stage during her rendition of “My heart belongs to daddy”), dancing, and a striptease conclusion. Afterwards, she sold autographed pictures and fan club memberships in the lobby with her mother. In the late 70’s, adult actress/Gong Show hostess Carol Connors undertook a similar long term residency (minus the parents) and served as the inspiration for the exterior bikini girl mural.

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