In the early 1930s, prolific movie palace architect B. Marcus Priteca designed a run of Warner theaters, including the Warner San Pedro (which has been beautifully restored and reopened), and the Beverly Hills Warner, which was demolished in the 1980s. Neither fate's befallen the Warner Huntington Park (yet), a non-operational theater that's now up for rent and could end up tragically gutted. While it awaits its fate, photographer Hunter Kerhart managed to get inside to take these photos, which he says are the only modern images inside the theater. Despite a bit of graffiti on the stage, the theater's lavish Art Deco detailing, painted tiles, metalwork, and ornate wall paintings remain more or less intact. So does the gigantic sunburst ceiling ornament inside the theater proper.
The theater's ad on LoopNet comes with renderings that attempt to show off how great of a Forever-21-type store would look in the space: they depict a flat-floored shopping space with giant floor-to-ceiling windows where the silver screen now hangs and clothing racks where the seats are now. Uses suggested in the listing include "Retail, Gym, Entertainment, Restaurant," and mention "Renovation plans in place to suit Tenant build-out," a phrase that makes preservationists very nervous.
The Warner Huntington Park opened in 1930. Ownership changes, name changes—the Warner's seen them all since then. According to Los Angeles Movie Palaces, it even had a successful run as a Spanish-language movie theater before eventually shuttering in the early '90s. In 2007, Huntington Park named *the exterior a historic landmark, which should theoretically offer some rules or protections, but only for the facade.
· Warner Huntington Park Theatre - First Look in 80 Years [South On Spring]
· Warner Theater [LoopNet]
· Warner Theatre Huntington Park [LAMP]