Sierra Theater

5058 Eagle Rock Boulevard,
Los Angeles, CA 90041

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Edwards Cinemas, United Theaters of California

Previous Names: United Theatre, Sugar's Eagle Rock Theatre, Eagle Rock Theatre

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1950's photo credit Alan Weeks.

A small theatre, one center aisle, at the end of the 5 streetcar line on Eagle Rock Boulevard in the Eagle Rock section of Los Angeles. Opened as the United Theatre by the United Theatres circuit in October 1922. It was closed on June 18, 1926. On October 14, 1926 it was reopened as Sugar’s Eagle Rock Theatre. It had been equipped with a pipe organ. It was later renamed Eagle Rock Theatre. On November 6, 1936 it was renamed Sierra Theatre. During the early-1940’s called the “Dirty Dime”. It cost 10 cents admission. It was managed by the same person as the Eagle Theatre. He could be seen hurrying between the two theatres on a Friday night when the local teenagers were to be found in one or the other.

The last film I viewed there was, “The Bicycle Thief” the viewing of which was suggested as a homework assignment in 1946 or 1947. The Sierra Theatre was closed on September 22, 1957 with Gordon Scott in “Tarzan and the Last Safari” & Steve Terrell in “Invasion of the Saucermen”.

Contributed by Diana Ellis

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 12, 2004 at 6:19 pm

The address of the Sierra Theater was 5058 Eagle Rock Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA.

In the Film Daily Yearbook’s of 1950 and 1952 it has a seating capacity given as 503.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 12, 2004 at 11:02 pm

Either this theater or the Eagle Theater was probably the one originally called the United Theater, which was referred to in an article in the Highland Park News Herald on July 23rd, 1926, on the occasion of its purchase by Mr. John Sugar, named as the owner of the York Theater. Mr. Sugar sold both of his Eagle Rock theaters and the York theater sometime later, as noted in an article in the Los Angeles Times of December 28th, 1928.

The Cinema Treasures listing of the Eagle Theater (currently listed as being located in Eagle Rock, California rather than Los Angeles) contains no information regarding former names it may have had in the 1920s, though a comment there says that in the 1930s it was called the Yosemite Theater, and later was known as the New Eagle Theater.

kencmcintyre on October 21, 2005 at 6:47 pm

This picture is from the UC Davis collection, which generally concerns theaters in Central and Northern California. I don’t think that this is the theater in Delano. The caption doesn’t give a location.

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 21, 2005 at 7:11 pm

That is the Sierra Theatre in Susanville, California. This picture from the U.C. Davis collection gives the location. Susanville is the county seat of Lassen County, and is about 90 miles northwest of Reno, Nevada. The Sierra Theatre may still be open, but it is not yet listed n Cinema Treasures.

kencmcintyre on October 21, 2005 at 7:16 pm

Joe, you’re right on top of things, as always. Here are more pictures for future reference:

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2008 at 12:42 am

Here are three aka’s for the Sierra Theater. It was listed as the Eagle Theatre, at 5060 Eagle Rock Blvd., in the 1929 Los Angeles City Directory. An L.A. Times article of December 28, 1928, on the occasion of its sale by John Sugar, refers to it as the Eagle Rock Theatre.

Since the former Yosemite Theatre, more recently called the Eagle Theatre, did not open until May of 1929, this means that the Sierra was indeed the United Theatre bought by Sugar in 1926. So, this was called the United Theatre, probably from its as-yet-unknown opening date until (probably) some time in 1926; the Eagle Rock Theatre from (probably) 1926 until 1928, and the Eagle Theatre from 1928 or 1929 until… whenever the next name change came.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 1, 2009 at 1:02 am

As there are no photos of the Sierra Theatre yet, I’m posting a link to this 1955 photo of streetcars on Eagle Rock Boulevard, even though the theater is about a block away in the background. So far, it’s all we’ve got.

Photo is from the collection of the Dorothy Peyton Gray Transportation Library and Archive at Flickr.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 14, 2010 at 5:33 am

The February 18, 1922, issue of the trade journal Domestic Engineering noted that the Rounnel Construction Co. had won the contract to erect a brick theater building at 112-14 S. Central St. in Eagle Rock. This was probably the theater that became the Sierra.

I don’t have any maps from the period available, but I’m pretty sure that before the City of Eagle Rock was annexed to Los Angeles in 1923, this section of what later became Eagle Rock Blvd. was called Central Street. In Los Angeles, the street that was incorporated into Eagle Rock Blvd. was originally called Glassell Avenue.

dallasmovietheaters on June 2, 2021 at 3:47 am

United theatre Circuit launched both the United Theatre in Pasadena and in Eagle Rock in October of 1922. The theatre closed during the warm summer months. It was taken on by the Eagle Rock Theatre Company retaining its United name. It closed for the season as the United Theatre one last time on June 18, 1926 with Charlie Chaplin in “The Gold Rush.

Operator John Sugar of the York Theatre installed a new pipe organ and Typhoon fan for year-round operation. It relaunched as Sugar’s Eagle Rock Theatre on October 14, 1926 with Douglas McLean in “Hold That Lion” supported by Ben Turpin in “When a Man is a Prince,” a newsreel and another short subject. Under new operators, the Sugar name was dropped with the theatre becoming the Eagle Rock Theatre.

Under yet new operators, the venue became the Sierra Theatre on November 6, 1936 with the films, “Texas Rangers” and “A Son Comes Home.” The Sierra closed after a double feature of “Tarzan and the Last Safari” and “Saucerman” on September 22, 1957.

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