Another beautiful day in the Dena and as I cruise down Colorado Blvd. and admire the beautiful architecture I think to myself –“what was here back in the day?” Well for those historical answers I turn to my good friend Ed. He is the maker of the remarkable Cruisin’ Pasadena app for the iPhone and iPad. I asked him to bring you some cool history nuggets on the City we love so much.
“Hey Ed, what do you have for us today?”
“ Well thank you for having me Mr. Pasadena it is great to be on your blog. I know your blog is all about what is hip and what is going on in Pasadena and to bring that historical flavor to your blog makes me feel honored and appreciative of the fact that you would share this knowledge with your readers.”
“Have you ever wondered where people went to see movies in Pasadena before the advent of the multiplexes? Surprisingly, a few of them are still around and one is even still showing movies. To start with, there are two theater buildings that had an exotic Egyptian theme which was popular back in the 1920’s. The first was the Warner’s Egyptian Theater. It sits at 2316 East Colorado on the south side of Colorado unused, altered a bit from its original facade, and partially obscured by ficus trees. It opened on May 6th, 1925 for vaudeville shows and motion pictures by Henry Warner who also operated a theater in the Lamanda Park section of Pasadena. Henry, who was not related to the famous Warner Brothers, opened the theater without a balcony and it still retains its original fire curtain from 1925. This theater is better known today as the Uptown Theater. It closed in the early 1980’s. in an area that has now prospered with the recent opening of a Walgreen’s and renovated Von’s at the corner of Sierra Madre and Colorado Boulevards it is waiting for the next phase in it’s life.
Further west towards the Playhouse District, the second location is the theater formerly known as Bard’s Egyptian. Also built in 1925, it was originally financed by Louis L. Bard and designed by architect L.A. Smith in the Egyptian Revival style. It was remodeled in 1942 with a Streamline Moderne design by Fox West Coast theaters and renamed the Fox Colorado Theater. In 1958, it was renovated again and given the name which it retains to this day, the Academy Theater. Stripped of the ornamentation from it’s facade, it was turned into a six screen multiplex in 1984, and still shows movies for as little as two dollars. It retains many local business including the Pasadena Cobbler Factory and a barber shop as well as its terrazzo ground floor entrance at 1003 East Colorado Boulevard of the theater.”
Well thank you Ed, that was pretty cool. Feel free to stop on by anytime and share more insight into Pasadena history. For additional interesting Pasadena sites including historic pictures of the aforementioned locations, please check out the Cruisin’ Pasadena app for the iPhone and iPad here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/cruisin-pasadena/id583249747?ls=1&mt=8
I LOVE THIS TOWN! `