The theatres of Hollywood Blvd are one of the things that made it famous. There are so many theatres in the background of scenes in Angel that I realized it would be both practical and an appropriate honour to create a separate page for them. As with the movie's other locations the idea is to document what the theatres looked like in 1983, comparing them to what they look like now in 2006.
Angel isn't a documentary about Hollywood theatres so the composition of a scene wasn't designed to a theatre's advantage, so the images are of a "caught in passing" nature since that's exactly how most were filmed; as objects in the background there would be no attention given to recording memorable images of them. Some images are here only because a hint of the theatre is visible; like the Vine Theatre lost in darkness, or the Holly Cinema's reflection in a window.
Theatres are listed in West to East order, making it easy to follow along when walking down the street. Check the links to the CinemaTour and Cinema Treasures discussion pages about each theatre for lots of interesting anecdotes. The release dates of movies visible on the marquees are listed, which helps to date Angel's filming to the summer of 1983.
Many scenes take place at or near the Chinese Theatre but none of them show a good view of it. Here's one of the few longer shots that's reasonably clear. If you look carefully, behind a tree you can see one of the blue arms of a Superman figure that's mounted on the ticket booth. Presumably this was a promo for Superman III (released 1983-06-17) while Blue Thunder (1983-05-13) was still playing — does anyone know for sure?
The 2006 photo shows that The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006-06-16) is playing.
The Twin was next to the Chinese so there are also many scenes set in front of it but again none show a good view, so long shots will have to suffice. The Twin was built in 1977 and demolished in 1999 (along with everything else clear to Highland Ave) to be replaced by the Chinese 6 at the Hollywood & Highland mall.
I don't know what was playing in 1983 but in 2006 at the new theatre it was Nacho Libre (2006-06-16) and X-Men 3 (2006-05-26).
The Paramount is visible a number of times during the chase sequence but not in focus. There's one shot where it is, and it's clear that Octopussy (1983-06-10) was playing. The theatre was renamed back to El Capitán and the 2006 photos show Cars (2006-06-09) playing. Figures have been crudely painted out to preserve some suspense!
The chase passed in front of a couple of theatres. These frames show the breadth of the Hollywood Theatre.
A close look at the posters shows that Flashdance (1983-04-15) was playing. Just who is that figure that has been crudely painted out with grey? Watch the movie and it will be clear!
The Egyptian is barely visible in this movie, at least in focus. This frame shows that Return of the Jedi (1983-05-25) is playing there. Note the recent changes to the building in the center background (it's at 6751 Hollywood Blvd).
At some time in its history the Las Palmas Theatre was a movie theatre, but not in 1983 during Angel filming. Combining information from a few scenes that show parts of the marquee on the full-frame DVDs reveals that it reads Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You & The Actor's Nightmare; two stage plays.
The theatre's marquee was altered just a little bit sometime after 1983.
The Vogue's marquee is advertising The Survivors (1983-06-22).
There aren't any good shots of the Pussycat in the movie but the underside of the marquee does show up a few times, allowing the theatre to be identified by its construction. It's been known by a number of different names: During filming it was the Pussycat, later becoming the Ritz. As of 2006 the Ritz name is still there (albeit missing the "i") but the building is a church.
There's not much in Angel to tell us what was playing here during filming. The almost decade long pairing of Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones that this theatre is famous for came to an end late in 1981, so it's not those films. The west side of the marquee is visible in Avenging Angel, filmed in 1984, listing two partly obscured titles that could be Risky Business (1983-08-05) and On Golden Pond (1982-01-22), or perhaps the titles are Frisky Business (1984) and On Golden Blonde (1984) with the latter mistitled as Pond.
Nothing happens at the Fox in this movie. The first frame shows a graphic title that has to be Still Smokin (1983-05-06) but what's that next to it obscured by the tree? Is it 48 Hrs. (1982-12-08)? The second frame is from the chase sequence in front of the Pacific Theatre but the Fox is clearly visible across the street in the background.
The scene showing the Holly follows a roller skater along the sidewalk (in this frame he's behind the pedestrian) and there are a few frames where the reflection of the Holly marquee from across the street is visible in some windows. The theatre has since vanished but the building it was in is still there. Oh, the marquee reads The Golden Seal (1983-05-??) and Strange Brew (1983-08-26).
The only scenes showing parts of the Pacific take place during the chase sequence. All we can see are the bottom of the marquee, and the far side of the theatre's entrance way thanks to that ladder that's just been knocked over.
A careful look beneath the marquee suggests that Stroker Ace (1983-07-01) is playing at the Pacific but the angle makes it difficult to be sure.
The Vine is in this movie only as an almost invisible marquee shadow and ticket booth in this scene in front of Sandy Burger. Much more of this location is seen in Avenging Angel, where we also find distinctive character actor Robert Tessier working in that tattoo place!
This first image of the Cave was created from several DVD frames as the camera panned down the exteriour. Don't expect to find it as the Cave anymore; the marquee is still there but the establishment is now known as the Hollywood Cabaret.
Were these next two scenes actually shot inside the Cave? The first image has the theatre screen crudely painted out to avoid spoiling those with delicate sensitivities; but that removes a distraction, allowing one to admire the stalactite-like structure to the left of the screen.
Thanks to Jesse for answering one of the unanswered questions: The scene shown on the theatre screen when the killer ducks into the Cave to avoid the police is from Sweet Alice (1983).
Sadly, this list of locations is not yet complete. There are still a few unanswered questions.
DVD frame captures from Angel are copyright 1983 The Angel Venture and are from The Angel Collection released by Anchor Bay in 2003.
Movie release dates are from the Internet Movie Database.
|Copyright © 1996-2011 Toomas Losin||Contact||Disclaimer|