"She was a showplace when I moved here back in 1955," said a man who spotted me taking pictures at the Food4Less parking lot. I wanted to get Cinema 21 from every angle.
The North Lake Village Business Assn. Website says Cinema 21 (originally the Washington Theater) was designed by Clarence Jay of Altadena & built in 1925 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style. They also say "the building is scheduled to be renovated."
Since it was the Washington Theater, Cinema 21 has gone through several incarnations. In its later years, according to this thread, it showed Spanish films and finally adult films. By 2003, along with the theatre and (apparently illegal) shops, the Cinema 21 building housed 34 families and some toxic mold in its upper apartments. The city evacuated and relocated the people. They weren't as kind to the mold.
At the Food4Less parking lot, a security guard told me people are always poking around Cinema 21. He said a guy last week was talking about buying it to fix it up as a theatre for neighborhood kids. I hope the building isn't too far gone. Someone has already tried but the graffiti, the broken windows and the "Stop Work" order posted in the box office window tell me progress to rescue this old "showplace" is slow. Or nonexistent.
Ben, over at The Sky is Big in Pasadena, posted a nice shot of the front of the theatre back in February. I've posted a few others at Overdog. I got a bit of spam there this morning so I've enabled comments moderation for now. I'll moderate and post as quickly as I can.