El Sereno Theatre

3355 N. Eastern Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90032

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Edwards Cinemas

Architects: Simeon Charles Lee

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

El Sereno Theatre

Opened as the El Sereno Theatre on November 20, 1940 with Fred MacMurray in “Rangers of Fortune” & Rosalind Russell in “Hired Wife”. It was closed on March 19, 1950 with Betty Grable in “When My Baby Smiles at Me” & Tyrone Power in “Blood and Sand”.

It became a church for a short period of time, then an American Legion Hall. In 1975 it was renamed Salon Mazatlan, operating as a banquet hall. It was available ‘For Hire’ in 2017.

Contributed by William Gabel

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 8, 2007 at 4:11 pm

LM: is there an address given for the El Sereno Theatre that got the organ in 1924? I’ve always had the impression that this building on Eastern Avenue dates from the 1930s or 1940s. The theatre listed at CT as El Cameo was built nearby on Huntington Drive in 1924. It may have been named the El Sereno on opening.

kencmcintyre on October 24, 2008 at 2:42 pm

DeAnda and Sons is still at this address. Function should be office space.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 24, 2008 at 5:27 pm

The L.A. County Assessor’s office gives a construction date of 1940 and an effective construction date of 1949 for the building at 3355 N. Eastern Avenue. Unless they’ve made a mistake (it’s been known to happen), this was not the El Sereno Theatre which got an organ in 1924. As I said in an earlier comment, this building does look like it was built in the 1930s or 1940s, even on its back and side walls, so the assessor’s office is probably right about the date.

kencmcintyre on October 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm

A search for El Sereno Theater in the LA Times database turns up these items:

An ad for the Cameo in El Sereno in August 1924.
An ad for the El Sereno Theater at Huntington Drive in November 1942.
An ad for a church called the Film Pulpit (formerly the El Sereno Theater) in January 1951.
A June 1970 ad for the El Cameo in El Sereno.

There are some more ads for the El Cameo in the mid 1970s. If I see any reference to an 1920s El Sereno under some other criteria, I will pass it along.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 24, 2008 at 8:22 pm

The best candidate for the El Sereno Theater to which the organ was delivered is probably still the Cameo, which opened in 1924. However, it’s listed under the name Cameo in the 1925 city directory page ken mc linked to in his October 18, 2008 comment on the Aloha Theatre page. No El Sereno Theater is listed in that directory. It seems unlikely that they’d have opened as the El Sereno and changed the name to Cameo only few months later. My best guess is that the owners of the Cameo didn’t choose the theater’s name until construction was well advanced and the organ already delivered.

DonSolosan on July 29, 2010 at 5:50 pm

I stopped by this building today; the American Legion logo is a part of the terrazzo, it is not brass.

LNewnam on September 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm

This closed theater was recently repainted and looks better than it has in years. It’s a great name for this L.A. neighborhood. There is another theater about 2 blocks away that is now a used furniture store.

Escott O. Norton
Escott O. Norton on June 7, 2012 at 3:45 am

Looks like it has been used for some years as a meeting hall / concert venue / rental space. The family that has owned it for decades is trying to raise money to make it a community center. Click this link for info on donating and to see a little movie of the interior and exterior: http://www.indiegogo.com/savethemazatla

rivest266 on September 19, 2019 at 3:36 pm

This opened on November 20th, 1940. Grand opening ad posted.

dallasmovietheaters on June 3, 2021 at 12:43 am

James Edwards Theatres announced this project in January of 1940 in the trade press. It was a $100,000 project with plans from architect S. Charles Lee. The grand opening for the El Soreno Theatre took place on November 20, 1940 with Fred MacMurray of “Rangers of Fortune” supported by Rosiland Russell in “Hired Wife.” The theatre struggled closing as the El Sorerno on March 19, 1950 with “When Baby Smiles” and “Blood and Sand.” Became a short-lived place of worship in 1951 and a long running American Legion Hall.

In 1975, it was listed as Salon Mazatlan which is likely when the marquee got its name. It has since been used as a banquet and event hall more recently under names including the Eava and the Mazatlan. It was once auctioned off in a 1984 public sale and was an Indiegogo fundraising concept that does not appear to have reached its goal. This entry should definitely be the El Soreno Theatre.

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