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The Laughlin

Opened: Nov. 08, 1915 (as a movie house)

Address: 347 Pine Avenue (corner of Fourth Street & Pine Avenue)

Capacity: 800 seats

This theatre was first a stage for live performance, then after having been damaged in the 1913 earthquake, it was repaired and reopened in 1915 as a motion picture house. After the 1933 earthquake, considered too distant from the business district, it was converted into a drugstore. Finally in 1956, it was torn down for the construction of a Woolworth store.

The Moving Picture World, May 15, 1916: For the benefit of the Actors’ Fund members of Balboa’s staff are putting on an elaborate program at the Laughlin theater in Long Beach. Jackie Saunders will be seen in her original travesty, “How Movies Are Made,” directed by Harry Harvey. Others on the program will be Ruth Roland in songs; E. J. Brady, as “Chinatown Charlie;” Daniel Gilfether, in Shakespearean readings; Reaves Eason in a monologue. Additional contributions will be made by Marie Empress, Roland Bottomley, R. Henry Grey, William Conklin, Mollie McConnell and Alice Maison.

1924 photo of Laughlin

Above, the Laughlin, 1924, Historical Society of Long Beach; the outer lobby scene below dates from 1925 with Burr Nickle’s exotic Wonders of the Wilds, with Burr Nickles appearing in person, courtesy of the Ronald W. Mahan & Joseph J. Musil Photo Theatre Collection.

laughlin lobby

1933 Laughlin after earthquake

1933 photo of the Laughlin Theatre along Pine Avenue after the earthquake, Historical Society of Long Beach