Regina/Fine Arts Theatre, Los Angeles, CA circa 1998 / photo by Ron Brodie from the Theatre Historical Society archives

Historic theater in Beverly Hills an empty shell [Calif.]

Decorator and longtime THS member Joe Musil mentioned in this article about the Regina/Fine Arts Theatre, Los Angeles.

Regina/Fine Arts Theatre, Los Angeles, CA circa 1998 / photo by Ron Brodie from the Theatre Historical Society archives

The Fine Arts once thrived as a venue for small premieres, drawing A-listers on any given night and plaudits from nearby residents. It closed in 2009 and is on the market for $4 million.

By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
November 13, 2012, 4:06 a.m.

 

The renowned designer had a mission: to “transform this Wilshire Boulevard cracker box into a sumptuous palace.”

So Joseph J. Musil ordered up red velour seats, gold sconces, a sunburst ceiling and a lobby carpeted in crimson for the 1993 renovation of the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills. Shimmery black curtains swept back to reveal the giant screen. The place thrived as a venue for small premieres, drawing A-listers on any given night and plaudits from nearby residents.

But it wasn’t enough. Unable to stay afloat, the Fine Arts closed in 2009. An Indian company’s plan to reopen it to screen Bollywood films fell through. The theater became an empty shell.

And so it remains…

For the complete story, visit http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fine-arts-theater-20121113,0,4089738.story

3 Comments

  1. john lelecas

    I was lucky to get into this theatre a few years ago when it was still showing foreign films. Beautiful theatre – largde screen with a great curtain – excellent sound – and GREAT POPCORN!! Unfortunatelt it closed soon after. Drat! Great place to see a movie!

  2. Gary Parks

    I only saw a movie at the Fine Arts once, in 1970, when my dad took me to a showing of “Fantasia,” for my 7th birthday. It had been a pivotal movie for his work as a Disney animator c. 1940. The very first scene he ever animated completely on his own was in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” segment, where the first broom comes to life. In 1998, THS visited the theatre as part of our Conclave, and Joe Musil was on site to welcome us and tell about his renovation. A bit of clarification: While THS’s own Joe Musil did design many wonderful decorative features for the theatre, the article makes it sound as if the gilded wall sconces in the auditorium were new items ordered by him. Actually, they are vintage pieces dating from a Skouras era renovation. Identical cast plaster fixtures can be found in many Fox theatres, such as in Banning and Watsonville.

  3. On vacation, trying to see as many LA moviehouses as I coul,d, I saw one movie there, in 1998. I remember it as a wonderful movie theater. Three days later I bumped into a group of people eagerly visiting Broadway movie palaces- the Conclave. They welcomed me to join the visits that day, and I became a THSA member. I hope this cinema reopens.

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