Biltmore Theatre

520 W. 5th Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 7, 2022 at 10:42 pm

The premier of “Wings” at the Biltmore was to be a low-key event, according to this belated item from the January 24, 1928 issue of Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World:

“No Kliegs for $2.20 Top at Hollywood ‘Wings’

“(Special to Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World)

“HOLLYWOOD, Jan. 10.— There will be no Klieg lights or traffic jams at the Hollywood road show of ‘Wings’ at the Biltmore theatre January 15.

‘There will be none of the customary ballyhoo,’ says A. Griffith Grey, of the Paramount road show department, ‘and no invitations will be given to celebrities. The top price will be $2.20.’"

dallasmovietheaters on February 1, 2016 at 5:36 am

Wings (5 months), Ben Hur (3.5 months), Simba, Show Boat (with stars doing live prologue for multiple appearances), South Sea Adventures, and Broadway (world premiere) were among the huge film successes for the Biltmore Theater. “The Godless Girl” premiered with Cecil B. DeMille and his cast on hand. The combination of films interspersed with live productions proved challenging when live shows had to continually be pushed back to accommodate popular film runs. And underachievers could cause problems in the other direction so the film concept was discontinued early on.

Legitimate fare was the Biltmore’s bread and butter including the live show “Cocoanuts” starring the Marx Brothers and “Diamond Lil” with Mae West. “Sally” launched the Biltmore March 3, 1924 with Will Rogers as the emcee and Al Jolson singing “Mammy” prior to the main show. “Enter Laughing” with Alan Arkin and Yvonne DeCarlo ended the run of the Biltmore on April 25, 1964. The theater’s demise was expected as early as the 1950s when television and population shifts took its toll. The parking lot operator that bought the theater in 1960 said taxes would do in the theater as the theater would struggle to make its nut over the final three years closing our a forty-year run. Not bad!