Fischer's Theater

121 W. First Street,
Los Angeles, CA

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This small theater was located on the north side of First Street, between Main and Spring Streets, on one of the old downtown blocks which was leveled in the mid-1920s to make way for the new Los Angeles City Hall. It was in operation as early as 1908, from which year a photograph of it is exists. It was a two story building, with almost the entire ground floor front taken up by the theater’s entrance lobby, and the highly decorated facade was topped by an electric sign reading “Vaudeville 10 & 20”.

By 1912, the operators of Fischer’s Theater had taken over the former Los Angeles Theater on Spring Street, which had from 1903 to 1911 been the second Los Angeles home of the Orpheum Theater Circuit. The Spring Street Theater was then renamed Fischer’s Lyceum.

More information on what became of Fischer’s Theater on First Street would be appreciated.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on December 3, 2005 at 3:43 pm

Here is the aforementioned “Vaudeville 10&20” sign from 1908, via the LA Library:

vokoban on December 25, 2005 at 11:46 am

It seems as though Fischer’s was renamed the Princess and then the Spanish Theater. I don’t know if it had any other names before it was demolished for City Hall. This is from the LA Times:

(Jun 17, 1922)
Nearly 150 patrons of the Spanish Theater, 121 West First street, were in peril at 9 p.m. yesterday, when a motion-picture film became ignited and exploded. The audience and the members of the Spanish company on the stage at the time, terrorized by the noise and the burst of flame, rushed for the exits, and for a short time panic ensued. The motion-picture operator, A.W. Donovan, was slightly burned in an attempt to beat out the flames with his hands. He was soon forced to flee………
The establishment, formerly the Princess Theater, is now a combination house for both the spoken and the silent drama for the benefit of Spanish-speaking people. The flames were extinguished with nominal damage.

kencmcintyre on April 13, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Here is part of a 1909 map. The theater is misidentified as “Fishers”:

kencmcintyre on April 14, 2008 at 4:49 pm

It looks like there are two AKAs per vokoban’s post of 12/25, the Princess and Spanish Theaters.

Englewood on August 29, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Fischer’s Theater had been operating since at least 1906.

I have an ad from the Los Angeles Herald of October 8, 1906, which reads:
FISCHER’S THEATER First st., bet. Spring and Main.
Week commencing October 8.
Fred L. Griffiths' romantic farce-comedy with all the Fischer favorites. Latest novelties in vaudeville and motion pictures. Matinees daily, except Monday.
Ladies' souvenir matinee Thursday. Prices 10c, 20c. Reserved seats 25c.

kencmcintyre on February 6, 2010 at 3:40 pm

On the right side of the page is a February 1907 newspaper ad from the Library of Congress:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 22, 2011 at 2:50 am

Google Maps is putting this theatre on First Street in San Pedro. The downtown address has not existed since the late 1920s, of course, so I guess Google is confused. Maybe adding the zip code (90012) would help.

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