Sierra Madre Playhouse

87 W. Sierra Madre Boulevard,
Sierra Madre, CA 91024

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Related Websites

The Sierra Madre Playhouse (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Playhouse

Previous Names: Wistaria Theatre, Sierra Madre Theatre, Sierra Theatre, Bogart Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Sierra Madre Playhouse

Sierra Madre, a town of 11,000, is east of Pasadena and is known as the terminus of the annual Rose Bowl Parade. It probably took on a more eerie element when it became the fictitious burg of Santa Mira for the 1956 classic movie “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, with its town square and other locales used in the filming.

According to assessor maps, the theatre building dates back to 1910 and was used as a furniture store. It opened as the Wistaria Theatre on February 2, 1924 with Kenneth Harlan in “The Virginian”. It was renamed Sierra Madre Theatre on February 5, 1943. From 1968 to 1971 it was known as the Bogart Theatre. The independent theatre stopped showing movies around 1974/1975 and has been used by the family oriented Sierra Madre Playhouse since 1979. Original seating capacity was for 390, but it is now under the Los Angeles 99-Seat Theatre Plan of Actors Equity. Auditions for the plays are held periodically and acting classes for adults and children are also available. The theatre is available to the community for rental.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 7, 2007 at 8:58 pm

One thing I find very interesting about the c1946 photo of linked by TC is that there’s a dog lounging on the sidewalk in front of the theatre. Yep, that’s Sierra Madre, alright!

kencmcintyre on January 9, 2009 at 6:15 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine, January 1946:

LOS ANGELES-Harold Stein, owner of the Boulevard Theater here and co-owner of the Ritz in Inglewood, is taking over the Wisteria in Sierra Madre from George Tiderik. Stein will change the name of the showplace to the Sierra Madre.

SteveKosareff on January 17, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Since a significant part of the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” was shot in Sierra Madre, does anybody know if the film’s premiere or a special screening took place at the Sierra Madre Theater in 1956?

CaptVonKrapp on July 18, 2009 at 8:40 pm

I read once that a L.A. TV host used to hold annual screenings of “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” at this theater where his fans would show up and shout along with Alfonso Bedoya when he did the “Badges? Badges?!” bit!

Ross Care
Ross Care on August 2, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Do they still show films here?
Here’s an evening shot:
There also a shot of the BODY SNATCHERS square, down the street from the theater, in the same album.

Matt Hormann
Matt Hormann on December 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm

According to old L.A. Times Independent Theater Guide listings, it was known as the Bogart Theatre from 1968 to 1971, and showed art house films like Closely Watched Trains and Ingmar Bergman’s The Touch.

Ross Care
Ross Care on April 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm

I would love to have seen those films there!

LouRugani on December 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm

That’s Thomas Mitchell in the photo, doing a scene as a doctor for the TV series ‘Screen Directors Playhouse’. He was heading to the one-story art deco building next door, which is still there.

rivest266 on October 3, 2019 at 2:03 pm

LA Times ads for the Wistaria started to appear in 1940 and renamed Sierra Madre on February 5th, 1943.

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