· By Herb Lester

Broadway Theater District, Los Angeles

Sit back and enjoy this trailer for our new book, How To Find Old Los Angeles.

Plenty of urban downtowns have hip hotels and restaurants, but only Los Angeles can boast the nation’s largest National Register Historic Theater District, with a dozen vintage performance houses. Here in the movie capitol there was room for 15,000 people to see shows simultaneously, from the wee Cameo nickelodeon (1910) to the magnificently equipped Los Angeles (1931). Today, not a single theater regularly shows movies. Most are vacant, used for storage or occasional filming. The restored Orpheum (1926) and United Artists (1927) are concert venues and the State (1921) is a church. Interior tours are sometimes offered by the Los Angeles Conservancy and Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation. To stroll down Broadway is to pass through the history of popular entertainment, and the increasingly elaborate temples built to house it.