National Theatre

2229 E. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90033

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Eastland Theaters Co.

Previous Names: Poppy Theatre

Nearby Theaters

National Theatre

One of several neighborhood houses in the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles, the Poppy Theatre was opened prior to 1925 and originally had 500 seats. It was located near the Brooklyn Theatre. It was later renamed National Theatre and by 1941 was listed with 1,100 seats. By 1950 it was operated by Eastland Theaters Co. Today Brooklyn Avenue has been renamed E. Cesar E. Chavez Avenue. It was demolished and a market was built on and expanded site.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

califasman on January 20, 2004 at 7:26 pm

Now it’s a discount store.

califasman on June 16, 2004 at 11:16 pm

I frequent this store sometimes. Right when you pass the front doors you can see on each side stairs that lead up to the balcony. I remember as a kid we use to go upstairs for addtional shopping but now it’s all limited to the ground floor.

kencmcintyre on May 18, 2007 at 12:18 pm

Here is a circa WW2 photo from UCLA:

kencmcintyre on June 23, 2007 at 12:35 pm

This is a supermarket now.

kencmcintyre on August 12, 2007 at 11:21 am

Listed as the Poppy Theater in the 1925 city directory:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 23, 2007 at 1:14 am

The Assessor’s Information in the City Planning Department’s ZIMAS report on the addresses from 2229 to 2241 E. Cesar Chavez Ave. says that the building now on the site is a 12,000+ square foot market that was built in 1963. In the satellite views from TerraServer and Google Maps it does look like a big, modern building. I’d say the National is probably dust.

Also, the theatre was in the Boyle Heights district of the City of Los Angeles, not in the unincorporated community of East Los Angeles.

The National is one of several east side theatres briefly mentioned in Abe Hoffman’s reminiscence about growing up in the 1940s, A Boyle Heights Boyhood.

kencmcintyre on March 23, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Since the description also notes that the theater has been demolished, the function should be changed accordingly.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 23, 2008 at 5:21 pm

Boyle Heights still had a large Jewish population in 1938 when a Los Angeles Daily News photographer took this photo of an anti-Nazi demonstration which took place on Brooklyn Avenue. The National’s marquee indicates that the theatre was closed for the night, in support of the protest.

nonsportsnut on October 6, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I’m a Three Stooges Fan Club member, trying to confirm a personal appearance by the “3” Stooges (Moe Larry and Shemp), on a bill with Wee Bonnie Baker, the Barretts and Don Hooton, after an appearance by the A.B. Marcus Revue. The movie “Queen of Burlesque” was also shown. I have a display ad, but no dates (or town shown). Believe it was the Summer of 1946, and may have been Shemp’s first appearance after Curly’s strokes. The National was advertised as air cooled and showed a phone number of JA-7863.
Any help will be appreciated.
Thanks Frank Reighter

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