8100 block of Garvey,
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Previously operated by: Edwards Cinemas
The Garvey was a small neighborhood house about eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles in an area called Garvey (at the time the theater opened), then South San Gabriel, and which was finally annexed by the City of Rosemead after the theater had been closed for many years.
It was built c1940, operated as a second or third run movie house until the mid 1950’s, and then was used as a church for the remainder of its existence. It was demolished in the late 1970’s, the victim of an urban renewal project. For many years, its marquee bore the words “Dancing Deliverance Revival” spelled out in the letters which had once spelled the names of movies and stars.
The building was of masonry construction, with a wood truss roof. About 1950, the building was gutted by an arson fire, and the roof had to be reconstructed. The style was simple and modern, with a vague suggestion of Spanish Mission style in the form of a bit of tile trim along the roof edge. There was a tripartite marquee, the two sides angled back from the center section, the name Garvey repeated on all three sections. Atop the building was the vertical name sign, carried on an open metalwork tower lined outlined with white neon which flashed on and off in synchronization with the changing colors of the name.
The lobby was of modest size, and the auditorium was closed off from it by drapes rather than doors. The concession stand was on the wall between the aisle entrances. It was a two-aisle auditorium, and was so low that the openings for projecting films were no more than three feet below the ceiling. There were six of the common octagonal chandeliers of metal with colored glass panels, and there were three or four wall sconces on each side of the auditorium. The side walls were each decorated with three or four large medallions (probably plaster relief painted bronze) featuring the profile of an American Indian, similar to that on an Indian-head penny. There were four or five rows of leather loges at the back of the theater, and ordinary plush theater seats in the rest of the house. I would estimate seating capacity at about 600-700.
The Garvey featured a crying room next to the projection booth, reached by a narrow, curving stairway. The restrooms (on the main floor) were rather large for a small neighborhood house, and well appointed.
For most of the time it was open, the Garvey was operated as one of the Edwards circuits' low-price houses, and a generation of neighborhood children enjoyed Saturday matinees for only a dime, and popcorn for the same low price.
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