The Globe Theatre (1912)
(Formerly the Morosco)
Architects: Octavius Morgan, Octavius W. Morgan, John A. Walls (Morgan, Walls, & Morgan)
On June 24, 2014 Councilmember José Huizar and the Globe’s new operator, Eric Chol, celebrated the relighting of the historic Globe Theatre marquee. The theater’s neon marquee and iconic three-dimensional spinning globe have been fully restored and will be operational for the first time since the 1980s – brought back to life as part of Councilmember José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative. "The Globe Theatre has an incredible history on Broadway and we are proud to be part of the Bringing Back Broadway story that is building on that history and re-energizing this street for the next generation of Broadway visitors," said Erik Chol, new operator of the Globe Theatre and the investor behind its multi-million dollar comeback. The interior renovations of the historic theater is still on-going and will re-open late 2014 as a regularly programmed live performance venue.
Opened in 1913 by Oliver Morosco, this theatre was conceived not as a vaudeville house or nickelodeon, but as an elegant dramatic play house – the first legitimate house on Broadway. Oliver Morosco, impresario and the first owner of the Morosco Theatre, initially featured stage shows rather than nickelodeon entertainment. Alfred F. Rosenheim served as the designer for the theatre interior. Among other unique touches, the theatre included special rows of seats that accommodated portly patrons who weighed more than 200 pounds. Morosco also filled the orchestra pit with foliage rather than having patrons yell over loud intermission music, which Morosco deemed an intrusion.
Morosco also owned the Burbank and Majestic Theatres in Los Angeles, California. The Morosco, like most 20th century theatres, has had a number of names changes bestowed by its changing owners. These include the Morosco (for the first two decades of its existence), the President (during the 1930s), the Newsreel (during the 1940s, before that name was transferred to the Tower Theatre) and, finally, the Globe.
During the Depression, newsreels took over, lasting throughout WWII. In 1958, a Mexican wax museum opened in the basement to accompany the Spanish-language programming upstairs. In 1987, concrete was used to level the floor from the lobby to the stage, so that a permanent indoor swap meet could supplant what had once been the first serious playhouse in Los Angeles. (Sources: cinematreasures.org; H. Wright - The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation)