Virtual tour of Million Dollar Theater. Panorama of Million Dollar Theater. Maps, travel, photos, videos.

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Million Dollar Theater

POI: 34.050828, -118.248136
The Million Dollar Theatre at 307 S. Broadway in downtown Los Angeles is one of the first movie palaces built in the United States. It opened in February 1918. It is the northernmost of the collection of historical movie palaces in the Broadway Theater District and stands directly across from the landmark Bradbury Building.
History
The Million Dollar was the first movie house built by entrepreneur Sid Grauman. Grauman was later responsible for Grauman's Egyptian Theatre and Grauman's Chinese Theatre, both on Hollywood Boulevard, and was partly responsible for the entertainment district shifting from downtown Los Angeles to Hollywood in the mid-1920s. Sculptor Joseph Mora did the elaborate and surprising exterior Spanish Colonial Revival ornament, including bursts of lavish Churrigueresque decoration, multiple statues, longhorn skulls and other odd features. The auditorium architect was William L. Woollett, and the designer of the twelve-story tower was Los Angeles architect Albert C. Martin, Sr.. For many years the office building housed the headquarters of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.
1940s
In the 1940s the theater was the second run house of the famous Orpheum Circuit. Acts such as the Nat King Cole Trio, and Joe Liggins and The Honey Drippers performed on its stage. In 1949 the Million Dollar was taken over by Frank Fouce, a local Spanish language theater owner and film distributor. The Million Dollar Theater became the mecca of Spanish language, in particular Mexican, entertainment in the United States. Dolores del Río, Cantinflas, María Félix, Agustín Lara, José Alfredo Jiménez, José Feliciano, Juan Gabriel, Vicente Fernández, and Celia Cruz are but a few of the artists that worked for Empresa Fouce (Fouce Enterprise). It was also the first venue where the late Mexican film star Antonio Aguilar worked with his rodeo horses on stage. This is where it is said he conceived the idea for his large arena rodeo productions.
1950s-1960s
In the late 1950s and early 1960s the theater's owner, Frank Fouce, went on to found Spanish International Communications Corp., named after his Spanish International Theater Company (which included the Million Dollar Theatre and the Mayan Theater, also located in Downtown Los Angeles). This company comprised the first group of Spanish language and UHF television stations in the United States; KMEX Channel 34 in Los Angeles (and, indirectly, the Univision television network) can trace its roots to the Million Dollar Theatre. The Million Dollar Theatre and the Fouce Family were pioneers in the then unheard of Spanish entertainment industry. For their efforts, Frank Fouce was awarded El Aguila Azteca (Order of the Aztec Eagle), Mexico's highest civilian award, by President Miguel Alemán Valdés. The theater and Frank Fouce were also honored by the Mexican actors union ANDA for their contributions to the Mexican film, recording, and entertainment industry. In addition to its very...   ... (English)
by Panoramio
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