Muse Theatre

417 S. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Muse Theatre

The Muse Theatre was one of many independent theatres that was part of S. Main Street theatre district. It was operating by 1926. Today only two of the theatres still stand, along this street.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 19, 2006 at 6:20 pm

I think the RTD building extended north from about mid-block, and there was a multi-level garage between it and the Rosslyn Hotel’s north building. The Rosslyn Hotel, in the late 19th century, was in a four story building just south of mid-block. Then they took over another hotel in a taller building immediately south of that, and then built their first tower building on the northwest corner of 5th and Main in 1914-1915. I think the building on the southwest corner of 5th and Main was built in 1921 or 1922. The Rosslyn Theatre was most likely located in converted retail space in the earliest Rosslyn Hotel building, now the garage site. The Muse was north of that, where the RTD building was later built.

I remember visiting the RTD headquarters a couple of times in the mid-1980’s, to speak to the customer relations representatives about problems with particular bus routes. It was indeed like going into a bunker. There were armed guards in the lobby, and visitors had to sign in, and they had to wear an authorization tag while they were in the building. The atmosphere was oppressive. I doubt that many customers ever bothered to come in to report problems, not only because of the seedy location on decayed and half-vacant Main Street, but because of the almost paranoid atmosphere inside the building. I suspect that this building was one of the factors that caused the RTD’s management to get so completely out of touch with the bus system’s users.

vokoban on January 20, 2006 at 2:38 am

You’re right Joe. I looked at some lofts in the “new” Rosslyn Hotel a few weeks ago on the northwest corner. The southwest corner would be the Rosslyn Hotel Annex. Pretty nice lofts after they ripped out all the filth. They did a wonderful job with the lobby also. I’ve found many pictures of the first small Rosslyn Hotel, but I couldn’t figure out where it actually was. Are you saying that the Rosslyn Theater was the same theater as the Muse, or am I confused?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 20, 2006 at 3:08 am

The Muse, at 417 S. Main, was a few doors north of the Rosslyn Hotel’s original building. The Rosslyn Theatre, at 431 S. Main was probably either in the old hotel building itself, or right next to it. I’ve never seen any trace of either theatre in period pictures of Main Street, and they were both fairly small, so I suspect that both were in converted retail space and probably didn’t have proper marquees. Both were still open into the early 1950’s, so there were plenty of chances for them to show up in photographs. I still hope to stumble across a picture that includes one or both of them someday.

My mind boggles at the thought that the Rosslyn Hotel has been converted to lofts.

vokoban on January 20, 2006 at 4:46 am

You should see that corner now Joe. There is still a seedy element, but there are many galleries and a few nice restaurants. I was there at 10pm and felt perfectly safe. The Rosslyn Annex is still a flop house, but I’m sure not for much longer.

kencmcintyre on January 29, 2006 at 9:58 am

Here is a map, circa 1950, which shows the location of the Muse and Rosslyn theaters:

kencmcintyre on June 5, 2006 at 7:16 am

The Rosslyn is being remodeled for lofts.

kencmcintyre on July 2, 2007 at 9:36 am

The Muse was advertised in the LA Times on 9/6/25. Address was 417 S. Main.

reluctantpopstar on August 28, 2007 at 1:32 pm

The names of these two buildings are somewhat confusing.

The Rosslyn and The Rosslyn Annex are owned by two separate parties now. The Rosslyn Hotel (formerly the Rosslyn Annex) is still an SRO hotel and will probably remain so. The original Rosslyn, recently called the Frontier Hotel and now called the Rosslyn Lofts, has been converted to market rate (read: too expensive for poor people to afford) lofts on the top three floors. The remaining nine floors will be renovated, but will remain as “affordable housing.” This building was recently purchased by Amerland, who also purchased (and are renovating) the Alexandria Hotel a block over. Both buildings have art galleries on the ground floor and are Ground Zero of “Gallery Row.”

Pepperama on May 6, 2014 at 10:18 am

Here’s a great color shot from the 50’s taken from the Huntington Library site:

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