A motion picture theater, “Arcadia Theatre,” was built at 42-44 E. Huntington Drive and was the city’s first real theater. As it was being built, some residents complained to the city that its construction was faulty and demanded an investigation. A Los Angeles building supervisor was called to the site, and the complaints were correct. A City employee was fired, and the unfinished project was placed under the supervision of an accredited architect. Its Grand Opening was held on December 22, 1924, and there were those who never trusted the buildings’ safety. A disastrous fire destroyed the facility in the early 1940s.
Following the theater’s destruction, no permit was issued for a replacement, and small shops and offices were built in its arcade. For many years the location was named the Arcade Building and the address was changed to 38 East Huntington Drive. The Arcade housed offices of lawyers, dentists and realtors. Today, there is no trace of a theater, and the Arcade Building has been remodeled.
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Carol Libby & Karen Hou
Arcadia Historical Society