5 Historic Movie Theaters in Los Angeles

historic movie theaters film

Whether you’re an LA-native or a transplant, you know that there are tons of historic movie theaters in Los Angeles. Mostly built in the 1920s, these historical landmarks give you a glimpse into the glamorous days of old Hollywood. You may be lucky enough to score an invite to a Hollywood premiere at the Fox Theater at Westwood Village, but even if you’re just an average cinephile like us, you can catch new and classic films anytime you want at these five historic movie theaters in LA. And yes, of course, all of these historic movie theaters feature Pavemint parking!

The TCL Chinese Theatre

historic movie theaters chinese theater
Photo courtesy of TCL Chinese Theatres website.

In 1927, the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood opened with the premiere of Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings. The historic movie theater still regularly hosts red carpet premieres in addition to attracting tourists to its famed courtyard. The courtyard features the handprints and footprints of countless Hollywood icons, but also other mementos, like magic wands used in the Harry Potter movies and one of Whoopi Goldberg’s dreadlocks.

The theater was purchased and renovated in 2013 by TCL, a Chinese electronics company. They partnered with IMAX Corporation to convert the house into a 932-seat IMAX theater, which features one of the largest movie screens in North America.

Plan your next excursion to this historic movie theater by booking Pavemint parking at the Chinese Theatre here.

The Egyptian Theatre

historic movie theaters egyptian
Photo courtesy of American Cinematheque website.

Just a month before the discovery of King Tut’s tomb set off a nationwide Egyptian-style art and architecture craze across the country, the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood opened in 1922. It was even the venue chosen for the first-ever Hollywood premiere, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks.

Then, in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Hollywood neighborhood declined. The Egyptian closed and fell into disrepair until 1996 when the city of Los Angeles sold the theater to the American Cinematheque for $1. Pretty good deal, right? The only requirement of the sale was that the building would be restored and reopened as a movie theater.

The Egyptian reopened to the public on December 4, 1998, after a $12.8 million renovation. They split the original 1,760 seat theatre in two and completely restored the exterior to its original 1922 appearance.

Plan your next excursion to this historic movie theater by booking Pavemint parking at the Egyptian Theatre here.

The Fox Theater at Westwood Village

fox historic movie theaters
Photo courtesy of Westwood Village website.

You might know the historic Fox Theater at Westwood Village by its distinctive “wedding cake tower.” The tower and the neon sign have remained virtually unchanged since the historic movie theater’s 1931 opening. Located in Westwood Village, the Fox became famous for hosting numerous Hollywood movie premieres.

Most recently, the theater hosted the premieres for A Star Is Born and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, plus many James Bond films and every single Harry Potter movie.

If you’re in search of an EV charging space during your next trip to the Fox Theater, use Pavemint to book your parking!

The El Capitan Theatre

el capitan historic movie theaters
Photo courtesy of El Capitan Theatre via Discover LA.

Right across the street from the Chinese Theatre, you can see the El Capitan Theatre. Originally built as a live theater venue in the 1920s, it was dubbed “Hollywood’s First Home of Spoken Drama.” In 1941, the El Capitan Theatre was converted from a playhouse into a movie theater. That year, Orson Welles rented the theatre to premiere his controversial first feature film, Citizen Cane.

Disney subsidiary Buena Vista Pictures Distribution bought and refurbished the theatre in the 1990s. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the El Capitan is its Wurlitzer organ. Considered top of the line, it has four keyboards and 37 ranks of pipes, each representing different musical instruments.

Plan your next excursion to this historic movie theater by booking Pavemint parking at the El Capitan Theatre here.

The New Beverly Cinema

new beverly historic movie theaters
Photo courtesy of Indie Wire.

The building that houses the New Beverly Cinema has been around since 1929, but it wasn’t always a movie theater. First, it was the Bonnie Jean Candy Company. Then it transitioned into a nightclub called Slapsie Maxie’s. After that, it went through several live theatre iterations and hosted vaudeville acts including Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. When it was converted into a movie theater in the late 1950s, the space cycled through a few more identities. First, it was the New Yorker Theater. After that, it became the Europa, which showed foreign films. After that, it was the Eros, which showed adult films. Then finally in 1978, it settled down as our beloved New Beverly Cinema.

Quentin Tarantino bought the property in December 2007, to save it from redevelopment. He said, “As long as I’m alive, and as long as I’m rich, the New Beverly will be there, showing double features in 35mm.” 

Plan your next excursion and possible Quentin Tarantino spotting by booking Pavemint parking at the New Beverly Cinema here.



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