Banner Theatre

458 S. Main Street,
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Additional Info

Previous Names: New Banner Adult Theatre

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Banner Theatre exterior

One of many small theaters that were dotted along South Main Street, the original entertainment street in downtown before S. Broadway became the favoured entertainment street.

The Film Daily Yearbook, 1926 gives the Banner Theatre a seating capacity for 350. Oddly in 1941 a seating capacity of 630 is given. In the 1950 edition it is given as 400. There is no listing given at all in the 1952 edition (maybe it had closed?) Following a renovation it reopened on February 19, 1971 with “Airborne Love”, operating as an adult movie theatre and renamed New Banner Adult Theatre.

I have a gay guidebook for Los Angeles, dated 1977 which lists the Banner Theatre screening gay male porn movies.

The Banner Theatre has been torn down and replaced by a parking lot, which lasted until May 2011, when construction was begun on a new building for the site.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 28, 2007 at 5:19 pm

Here is a 1912 ad from the LA Times:

AndrewBarrett on March 10, 2008 at 9:23 pm

RE: vokoban and everybody, you might be interested to know the full story of the “1 and ½ ton music box organ” that was in the Banner Theatre.

It is actually a Wurlitzer model 29-C Mandolin PianOrchestra orchestrion, which, in the interim, spent time at Knott’s Berry Farm (among other places), but now has just been fully restored and is in a private collection in Florida. More pictures and information here (especially click on the last two photos at the bottom of the page: they take you to pages with lots of detail shots of the gorgeous interior!):

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kencmcintyre on April 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm

There is a 1983 photo on this site. The theater was in Los Angeles, not Long Beach, despte the caption.

femmeshui on August 15, 2010 at 5:48 am

The Banner appears in an episode of Cagney and Lacey, season 2 episode 13 “Affirmative Action”. the camera focuses on The Banner then pans up the block towards The Regent Theater.

BillCounter on March 14, 2011 at 11:47 am

A couple of shots from the 1959 Universal-International release “Too Soon To Love” mentioned above by vokoban and haineshisway in their 2007 posts. The film also shows the Galway.

We get Jennifer West and Richard Evans on Main Street. They’re driving by prior to taking a walk to look for an abortionist.

View link

Another view:

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kencmcintyre on April 1, 2011 at 8:53 am

You can see the Banner, and the Regent farther down, in this 1981 photo from the LAPL:

BillCounter on April 1, 2011 at 1:02 pm

That 1981 photo is a neat one. Nice research!

kencmcintyre on April 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm

The caption on the photo was continuing problems at the Belmont Bar, which can be seen in the photo. The bar and its troublesome patrons are long gone.

docchapel on July 25, 2015 at 6:50 am

By the time I worked the Banner as a projectionist, it was a “nudie cutie” adult theater. Worse booth I ever worked. You could tell the theater wasn’t originally a motion picture theater, because the booth seemed to be added much later. It was off to one side on the south wall of the house, projecting at an angle, and the picture was keystone all over the place. But the movies didn’t have much of a plot, and nobody seemed to care that one side of the picture was way taller than the other. Ran a couple old Simplex XL heads here with Strong Lamps, off of tubed rectifiers. If you could work this house, you could work anywhere.

rivest266 on November 10, 2019 at 3:40 pm

Reopened as an adult cinema on February 19th, 1971. Grand opening ad posted.

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