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Arts and Entertainment

Broadway's Pantages Theatre Turns 100 Today

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Photo by i_hate_my_screen_name via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Photo by i_hate_my_screen_name via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Once one of many jewels in the crown of live entertainment venues in Downtown Los Angeles, the Arcade--or Pantages--hits the century mark today.

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation sent out some info on the venues:

At 900 seats, the Arcade provides a much needed complement to the 2000 seat theatres that predominate on the street. Built for Vaudeville and live theatre, the interior is reminiscent of a 19th century opera house and is largely intact, though suffering from neglect and deferred maintenance. The auditorium is currently used for storage. The Lobby’s Maxfield Parrish-like murals are still present beneath ceilings and walls added later. An electronics store rents the Lobby space.
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The Arcade was "the earliest of several Pantages Theaters in Los Angeles," explains Public Art in LA. "Alexander Pantages' decision to locate his vaudeville house here was a primary factor in establishing the Broadway theater district."If you were a patron at the Pantages for its September 25th, 1910 opening night, what would you have seen?

The Pantages (Arcade) Theatre Opening Night Program, September 25, 1910 Barnold’s Dog and Monkey Actors in “A Hot Time in Dogville”
Sophie Tucker, singer and comedienne
Maurice Burkhart, character-singing comedian
MacLean and Bryant “17-20 on the Black” gambling sketch
Lelliott Brothers, comedy musical sketch
Yalto Duo, novelty whirlwind dancers

The Pantages (Arcade) is located at 534 South Broadway in Downtown. The exterior has been remodeled but the name Pantages is still visible in stone above the marquee. There are terrazzo sunbursts in the sidewalk outside, however, and inside, much of the auditorium is intact.