Congress Theatre

7510 S. Vermont Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90044

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Additional Info

Architects: Clarence J. Smale

Functions: Church

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Nearby Theaters

former Congress Theater

Opened on May 25, 1939 with Joe E. Brown in “Flirting With Fate” & Cary Grant in “Gunga Din”. The Congress Theatre was one of many neighborhood theaters that dotted the streets of Southern California that are now all but memories of a day at the movies.

The Congress Theatre was closed in the late-1950’s and is now in use as a church.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 29, 2007 at 6:28 am

The L.A. city planning department’s zoning information system locates this building at 7506 S. Vermont, so the address has apparently been adjusted a bit over the years. The system’s report gives a construction date of 1939 for the building, not surprising given that Ken’s photos above reveal it to be yet another fairly simple art moderne design typical of that decade’s later years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 23, 2007 at 5:17 am

A 2005 book called “Art Deco Los Angeles”, by Suzanne Tarbell Cooper and Amy Ronnebeck Hall, names Clarence J. Smale as the architect of the Congress Theatre.

kencmcintyre on January 16, 2010 at 6:18 am

Here is a September 1958 ad from the LA Times:

MrWillM on February 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm

I attended this theater many times to see 2nd run movies in the 50s and I “thought” I had been there as late as 1961. Is it certain that it closed in the late 50s ?

rickyrecon45 on February 7, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Boy do I remember the Congress. My Grandfather would take me up to the show in his pickup from 624 East 91sat Street. You could count on the Congress to have all the ghost and outer space movies. I watched many of the great movies from the 40’s there. The kids used to run up and down those carpet stariways to the bathrooms. I was an outer space movie there I can’t remember in which a woman got out of a swimming pool in a flesh colored bathing suit to simulate being in the nude. A little exciting but not the real thing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 25, 2011 at 12:51 am

Here is a recent photo of the former Congress Theatre. It looks as though the street has been recently repaved, but the sidewalk still needs some work.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 12, 2015 at 5:48 am

Clarence J. Smale was the architect of the Congress Theatre.

rivest266 on September 17, 2019 at 12:19 am

This opened on May 25th, 1939 with Hollywood stars in person with “Flirting with Fate” and “Gunga Din”

ridgeley on June 19, 2023 at 12:09 am

The building is all tagged up and not in use. Such a beautiful building, I hope some organization comes along to save it, repurpose it, and it doesn’t get torn down.

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