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East LA's Golden Gate Theater Reborn as Most Beautiful CVS

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For years, you could not buy a bottle of face wash or a box of Cheez-Its at East LA's beautiful Churrigueresque-style Golden Gate Theater. On Sunday, that was fixed--the 1927 building reopened, after a long battle, as a CVS. Preservationists had hoped the Golden Gate, which is on the National Register, might once again become a theater or at least something a little less mundane than a drugstore, but the CVS plan won out (with some concessions from the owners on architectural preservation and liquor sales). Eastsider LA visited for the opening and talked to project architect Robert J. Chattel, who "explained that CVS agreed to deviate from its standard store design in some ways to preserve the feeling of the old theater."

More on the preservation:

To protect the ceiling, thin, tubular lamps are suspended from the top of the shelves instead of the standard light fixtures that could have damaged the historic ceiling (two original chandeliers still need to be installed in the former auditorium). At the entrance, where CVS usually prefers an automatic, sliding glass door, the drug-store chain agreed to install a pair of glass doors that swing in and out as the old theater doors did, Chattel said. Also, a third-set of glass doors that don’t open were added to mimic the trio of doors that once greeted movie goers.

CVS has also put up old photos of the Golden Gate by the registers. Meanwhile, CVS has a 50 year lease on the building, but the next owner or renter may be interested in the theater's old "clam shell-shaped ticket booth and tiled fountains," which have been put in storage. And there are more lovely photos over at Eastsider.
· From Films to Pharmacy: Former East L.A. movie palace debuts in new role as drug store [Eastsider LA]
· East LA's Golden Gate Theater Cleared for CVS Conversion [Curbed LA]