San Carlos Theatre

2917 N. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90031

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Edwards Cinemas, Fox West Coast Theatres

Architects: Lewis Arthur Smith

Functions: Church

Styles: Spanish Moorish

Previous Names: New Lincoln Theatre

Nearby Theaters

San Carlos Theatre

Located on N. Main Street at Griffin Avenue. The San Carlos Theatre was opened on July 2, 1926 with Charles Murray in “Sweet Daddies” and vaudeville on the stage. It was built by and operated by the West Coast Theatres chain. Designed in a Spanish Moorish style to the plans of noted theatre architect Lewis Arthur Smith, it had 1,100 seats. Later becoming part of Fox West Coast Theatres. On December 21, 1939 it was renamed New Lincoln Theatre. On February 5, 1942 it was renamed San Carlos Theatre again and began screen Italian movies. After closing on November 15, 1951, the San Carlos Theatre was used as a workshop. By 2019 it was in use as a Spanish language church.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 25, 2008 at 6:34 pm

Advertised in the LA Times on 4/22/42. Double feature was “Gay Falcon” and “Jungle Cavalcade”. Admission was fifteen cents.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 7, 2009 at 10:28 pm

An item from the December 23, 1944, issue of Boxoffice said that an early morning fire causing $15,000 damage had recently occurred at the San Carlos Theatre in Los Angeles. The cause was determined to be a cigarette left in a seat, which smoldered for several hours before starting the blaze. Residents of upstairs apartments had to flee the building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 6, 2010 at 9:26 pm

It turns out I do remember having seen this theater, but not while it was still in operation. I remember that a few times in the late 1950s and early 1960s I passed by a former theater occupied by a wholesale school supply store. For the last few years I’ve been trying to remember exactly where it was, and never made the connection with the San Carlos, but the School Days Equipment Company is listed at the San Carlos’s address in the Los Angeles City Directory for 1956.

CharmaineZoe on February 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm

Pic of the San Carlos in 1930: View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 27, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Comparing CharmaineZoe’s photo and the building seen in Google Street View, it’s clear that the San Carlos Theatre’s building had certainly not been demolished as of 2009, when the Street View photo was made, and it’s probably still there. The former auditorium is still distinguishable in the satellite view as well, and if you move Street View around to Griffin Avenue you can see one of the former emergency exits still in use by the current occupant.

The Internet says that the address now belongs to an outfit called George’s Upholstery, and my guess would be that the auditorium is in use as a workroom.

Also, why do we have the San Carlos and two other Lincoln Heights theaters (the Daly and the Starland) listed as being in Montecito Heights? Montecito Heights is a small, hilly residential district northeast of Lincoln Heights. The San Carlos was only four blocks from Lincoln Park. This is definitely Lincoln Heights.

rivest266 on September 16, 2019 at 7:38 pm

Reopened (or started to place ads in the LA Times) on December 19th, 1939 as the New Lincoln theatre.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on February 20, 2021 at 12:42 pm

Immediately after World War II, particularly in 1946 and 1947, large numbers of Italian-language films, aimed specifically at the Los Angeles Italian-speaking community, found a home here. A number came from the New York distributor Esperia Films. I have posted a collection of related ads in the photo section, having found them in the Italian ethnic newspaper of the time “L'Italo Americano di Los Angeles.” At times the San Carlos was referred to as the San Carlo Theatre, using the Italian spelling.

dallasmovietheaters on June 2, 2021 at 10:56 pm

The San Carlos became the New Lincoln Theatre on December 21, 1939 with “Fighting Gringo” supported by “Mickey, the Kid” and a “March of Time” newsreel and a Keeno jackpot of $70. The New Lincoln moniker failed and returned to the San Carlos nameplate on February 5, 1942. The theatre was closed in 1951 on November 15, 1951 for having unsafe projection equipment, improper fire doors and improper ventilation.

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