When the Warner Grand Theatre opened on January 20, 1931, studio mogul Jack Warner called it, “The Palace of Your Dreams.”
Over the years it has been that a more to generations.
The Warner Grand was the first theater in the area to be equipped to show films with sound. Elegant surroundings for Hollywood’s features, shorts, and serials, and especially for those Saturday kids’ matinees.
Week after week the Warner Grand brought the latest film entertainment to San Pedro and Harbor area residents and others who would travel to experience its sumptuous Art Deco style.
In later years, however, Art Deco became just “old.” Big theater auditoriums gave way to smaller screening rooms in multiplexes further in malls and the Warner Grand went through a variety of management operations and could have been destined to end up like the Warner in Beverly Hills—demolished for a parking lot. The third Warner, in Huntington Park, still exists, but was split in two.
Fortunately for history and San Pedro, the City of Los Angeles bought the Warner Grand in 1996 and put it under the management of the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Today it hosts a range of programs that include stage plays, concerts, speeches, graduations, and even films. It is home to three film festivals, the Los Angeles Harbor International Film Festival, the San Pedro International Film Festival, and the HP Lovecraft Festival.
Since its purchase by the city, private fundraising and public dollars have enabled many renovations and preservation projects, enabling the Warner Grand to continue to thrill newer generations.
Warner Grand Theatre
478 W. 6th Street, Downtown