Montalban Theatre

1615 N. Vine Street,
Los Angeles, CA 92262

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 31, 2023 at 2:53 pm

Dickson Morgan was not an architect, but a stage designer and technical director who oversaw the design of the original interior of the Vine Street Theatre auditorium. He later directed a few plays, and even has a page at the IBDb. Architects of record for The Vine Street Theatre were Hunt & Chambers.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 23, 2019 at 8:12 pm

As far as I know, the only movie shown at the Huntington Hartford during the ten years (1954-1964) the house had that name was Ely Landau’s production of Eugene O'Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which had its west coast premier there on December 18, 1962. The movie had a fairly long run at the Hartford, but I believe the house went back to stage productions after it ended.

rivest266 on October 23, 2019 at 2:46 pm

Reopened as the Huntington-Hartford theatre (showing movies) on December 19th, 1962. The Rooftop Cinema Club opened the Montalban in 2017. 1962 grand opening ad posted.

DavidZornig on September 30, 2018 at 9:03 pm

1954 photo of the Intermission Bar at the Huntington Hartford Theater added via John A. Harris.

Julius on November 3, 2013 at 10:10 am

Great to see this theater is still operating. I worked the stage door when it was still the Huntington-Hartford Theater and later the James A. Doolittle Theater. Great plays and terrific people who came backstage to visit the performers. Visitors included Helen Hayes, Barbara Stanwyck, Natalie Wood, Walter Matthau, Jane Fonda and a very shy Tom Hanks.

abeebee1 on February 13, 2013 at 11:51 pm

I am wondering if it is possible to get a copy of this photo? My friend is interested in owning a copy. Thank you! Anita

dtrigubetz on May 27, 2011 at 12:18 am

The Mexico Film Festival was held May 19-25, 2011 at the Montalban and enjoyed huge attendance including several sellouts. I snared an $80 all access pass for $40 in a one-day promo on the L A Weekly website and saw nine films.

Milagro Tequila had a free drink and punch bar which I enjoyed. A number of Mexican actors and talent attended and it was refreshing to see a better dressed and younger crowd-about 95% Latino-than you see at other film festivals. The concession prices were quite reasonable: $2 for candy bars, bags of cashews, soft drinks, etc. Beer and wine were also available.

I am not Hispanic and my subpar Spanish hindered me in getting much out of the Q & As, mostly in Spanish. All films had English subtitles, except for one picture
sent to the festival in error with English titles.

Bob Feigel
Bob Feigel on November 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Thanks to everyone who responded to my posts and filled in the gaps. Cheers, Bob

MHartford on November 14, 2010 at 9:25 pm

This is beautiful history to read :)Thanks for all the effort and detail

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2010 at 2:24 am

Bob Feigel: Yes, the Filmarte is gone. The building now on the Filmarte’s’s site was erected in 1993. I don’t know what became of the salami imprint.

Bob Feigel
Bob Feigel on September 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

@Joe Vogel – Just checked it out on Google Earth and it looks like the theater was bowled at some point and replaced by a new building. I wonder what happened to the imprint of a salami on the sidewalk outside the stage entrance?

Bob Feigel
Bob Feigel on September 21, 2010 at 2:23 pm

@ Joe Vogel – Thanks for that. Reading through the posts I see Sonny & Cher mentioned. I interviewed them on several occasions. Initially in the offices of “Green Stone Productions” (named for Brian Green and Charlie (?) Stone) and at their new home in the valley. But the most memorable was the night they flew out for an ultra secret flight to perform at Caroline Kennedy’s birthday at Caroline’s request. Cher had given me and my photographer the exclusive, but we had to keep it under wraps until the party was over and S&C had returned to LA. Exciting times. I’ll post a link once I’ve written up that adventure and about the night I took the Makaha Skateboard Exhibition Team for an appearance on the Steve Allen Show (and the scene about the salami imprint in the concrete outside the theater).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 21, 2010 at 3:49 am

Bob Feigel: The theater from which Steve Allen’s show was televised was the old Filmarte Theatre, a few blocks south at 1228 Vine Street. In the 1950s it was also the venue for Art Linkletter’s show.

Jonathan Wells
Jonathan Wells on August 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Here’s an aerial view of what is on the roof:
View link

It was built for basketball and soccer.

Bob Feigel
Bob Feigel on July 31, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Hi – Does anyone know if this is the theater from which “The New Steve Allen Show” was televised from around 1962 to 1965? The theater I’m thinking of was down the street from the Hollywood Ranch Market. Many thanks, Bob

DonSolosan on July 28, 2010 at 9:03 am

“What’s up with the big fence on the rooftop? Is there a tennis court up there?”

Soccer pitch.

AdrianM on July 26, 2010 at 10:51 am

hollywood90038, thanks for the photos. What’s up with the big fence on the rooftop? Is there a tennis court up there?

CaptVonKrapp on July 23, 2010 at 11:13 pm

Are the seats covered in genuine Corinthian leather? (Sorry about that!)

AdrianM on July 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm

Hi all, our grandmother (97 y/o) grew up in the area. Her father-in-law was producer George Sherwood who used to produce plays there in the 20s when it was called the “Vine Street Theater”. I scanned a 1929 program cover, and a page which shows George Sherwood’s name as well. We also have a few extra programs:

MJuggler on June 22, 2010 at 7:30 pm

so glad they did away with the facade of the 1950’s! What were they thinking!

DonSolosan on February 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm

The zipcode for this theater is 90028, not 92262, which puts it in Palm Springs.

kencmcintyre on September 2, 2009 at 7:09 pm

This is a 1957 item from the LA Times. Unknown if the audience gave Mr. Jones a hand following the incident.

theseahawk on August 3, 2009 at 9:03 pm

My Dad grew up in this neighborhood, living in the Manson Apts on Hudson between Selma and Hollywood Blvd from ca. 1936 through the late 1940s; Hollywood High School class of 1952. Anyway, he worked in TV and radio as an engineer and program director for years. In the 1970s he was leafing through a photo history of Hollywood and came across a photo that amazed him: this view of Vine Street and there he was walking down the street with his Mother. He instantly knew it was him because he is wearing his favorite cowboy outfit (with chaps) and remembers the white dress and hat his Mother had on. Also, subtle indicators like body language and having walked down that street back then a thousand times.

Based on the tenure of the CBS Radio Playhouse I estimate the photo was taken between 1936 and April 1938, when KNX moved to Columbia Square.