American Theatre

452 S. Broadway,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

Nearby Theaters

American Theatre

There is an electronics shop using the building in 2017.

Contributed by MagicLantern

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

MichaelPage on July 7, 2007 at 4:08 pm


Do you or any others here, have a listing for L.A. theaters in 1920? In researching a venue in Silver Lake at 3037 Sunset Blvd (an ‘80s nightclub that I and others were fond of), it dawned upon me that it was probably once a theater; sure enough, I found a reference to the address being somehow related to silent films, in a 1920 census. I wonder if this is one of those L.A. “mystery theaters”. Recently it’s been gutted for retail space but the ancient facade is still there.

I have a couple photos too.

kencmcintyre on July 7, 2007 at 5:57 pm

A preliminary search through the LA Times archives shows nothing at that address. I’ll keep looking.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 27, 2007 at 10:54 pm

A property report generated for 452 Broadway by the city planning department’s zoning information system gives the address as 450 and 452 S. Broadway, and says the building was erected in 1908. The small building at left in ken mc’s photo (linked in his comment of January 15) must be the former home of the American Theatre.

kencmcintyre on October 25, 2007 at 7:06 am

Here is a January 1948 ad from the LA Times:

nickb on March 27, 2008 at 3:09 am

Here’s what looks like a nickelodeon at left in this photo of 5th and Broadway in 1917. (CHS-9694, should the link change.) Could it be the American?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 9, 2008 at 10:04 pm

The small theater near 5th on Broadway in that 1917 photo has an eagle (which looks to be covered in light bulbs) above the entrance, which would certainly fit with the name American Theatre. I have no doubt that it is the American Theatre, as it’s definitely in the building I cited in my comment of Sep 27, 2007, above.

The URL of the picture has changed, but pasting the call number CHS-9694 into the Digital Archive’s search box still brings it up.

kencmcintyre on October 9, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Before it disappears for good, I saved it here. Thanks for finding the photo, Nick.

MichaelPage on February 27, 2009 at 4:56 am

Ken – I recently found that my mystery building (in my posts above) was constructed in 1914. Do you have any archival info for that time frame?

marc21sd on May 19, 2010 at 11:37 pm

I have a photograph of what is apparently the interior of the American Theater. In the bottom corner of the picture is an imprint with the name of H. Devorkin and 452 ½ S. Broaway, Los Angeles. If you have any questions please contact me at My name is Marc, from San Diego.

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