Discovering The Roxie Theater in LA: Artistic Haven

Los Angeles is a city that is famous for its glitz and glamour, but there are also hidden gems that you can discover if you know where to look.

los angeles roxie theater

One of these gems is the Roxie Theater, a historic movie palace that has been a fixture in the city for decades. Built in the 1930s, the theater has been through many changes over the years, but it remains a popular destination for movie buffs who appreciate its unique blend of old-school charm and contemporary amenities. 

Location and History

The Roxie Theater is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, at 518 South Broadway. It was opened in 1931 and was initially known as the Roxie Cinema. It was one of several movie palaces that were built in the area during the 1920s and 1930s, in response to the growing popularity of movies as a form of entertainment.

Over the years, the Roxie Theater went through many changes. In the 1950s, it was leased to a theater chain and became known as the Telenews Theater, specializing in newsreels. It later operated as a Spanish-language theater before falling into disrepair in the 1980s. It was saved from demolition in the 1990s by a nonprofit organization that worked to restore it to its former glory.

Interesting Facts

The Roxie Theater has a rich and colorful history, and there are many interesting facts about the building and its surroundings. For example, it is located in the same block as the Million Dollar Theater, another historic movie palace that was opened in 1918. The two theaters are both owned by the same company and are popular destinations for movie lovers in the city.

Another interesting fact about the Roxie is that it has a connection to the world of rock and roll. In 1979, the Ramones filmed a music video for their song “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” on the theater’s stage. The song was the title track of their movie of the same name, which was released the same year.

LA roxie theater


The Roxie Theater is a beautiful example of Art Deco architecture, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s. It features a striking façade with colorful neon lights, a box office that is decorated with intricate carvings and sculptures, and an ornate marquee that is lit up at night. The interior of the theater is just as impressive, with a spacious lobby, a grand staircase, and a large auditorium that can seat up to 1,200 people.

One of the most notable features of the theater is its giant chandelier, which hangs from the center of the auditorium. The chandelier is made of glass and metal and weighs over 800 pounds (362.87 kg). It is an impressive work of art that adds to the grandeur of the space with its vintage details.

Common questions about the Roxie Theater in LA

Why was the theater closed?

The Roxie Theater in Los Angeles was closed for a period due to a combination of factors. During the 1980s, the theater faced a sharp decline in attendance, a problem exacerbated by rising maintenance costs and the advent of multiplex cinemas, which offered viewers a wider variety of films. Furthermore, the theater’s location in Downtown LA became less attractive as more people began to move to the suburbs, leading to a decrease in foot traffic. This led to the theater’s disrepair and eventual closure. Today, after extensive restoration efforts, the Roxie Theater has been revitalized and once again serves as a popular destination for movie lovers.

What is the Roxie Theater in Los Angeles famous for?

The Roxie Theater in Los Angeles is renowned for its rich historical significance and architectural grandeur. It represents an era of classic movie palaces and is one of the few remaining vestiges from that period. Its Art Deco façade and interior are exemplary architectural works of the 1920s and 1930s. The theater is also recognized for the vibrant neon lights that adorn its exterior and the majestic chandelier inside the auditorium. Furthermore, it’s noted for being a symbol of successful urban revival, highlighting the importance of historical preservation and community efforts.

roxie theater los angeles


In conclusion, the Roxie Theater is a hidden gem in the heart of Los Angeles, with a rich history, interesting facts, and beautiful architecture. It is a must-visit destination for movie lovers and anyone who is interested in the history of the city. Whether you are watching a classic film on the big screen or admiring the intricate details of the building’s Art Deco design, the Roxie Theater is a place that will stay with you long after you leave. So, the next time you find yourself in downtown Los Angeles, be sure to stop by and discover this unique and fascinating movie palace for yourself.

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