A storied Los Angeles theater and office complex built by silent film stars that was later owned by one of the city’s most popular televangelists has been purchased by East Coast investors.The historic United Artists building at Broadway and 9th Street in downtown Los Angeles was sold by Wescott Christian Center Inc. to Greenfield Partners for $11 million.
Greenfield, a prominent hotel investor, hasn’t revealed its plans for the property that once sported neon signs proclaiming “Jesus saves.” Representatives of the South Norwalk, Conn., company did not respond to requests for comment.
Silent film stars Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin were among the founders of United Artists, a movie production company. Pickford, known as America’s sweetheart, posed at the controls of a steam shovel in early 1927 to call attention to the groundbreaking for the United Artists building, a 13-story movie palace and office complex at 927 S. Broadway.
Construction was rushed, with three shifts of workers building around the clock to finish the Spanish Gothic-style building in time for the premiere of Pickford’s film “My Best Girl” just after Christmas. Searchlights were expected to attract a crowd of 100,000 people, who would hear the ceremony through loudspeakers set up on surrounding blocks as far away as 7th Street, The Times reported. The National Guard was called out in advance to maintain order. …
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