Beverly Theatre May Be Torn Down
October 4, 2004
BEVERLY HILLS - The first movie palace of Beverly Hills may be
torn down and replaced by a luxury hotel if the Beverly Hills
Architectural Commission does not decide to preserve it. The Beverly
Theatre, located on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly
Drive, was first built in 1925. Though it has not operated as a
theater for some time, and was most recently the Israeli Discount
Bank, the iconic onion-shaped dome has been a distinct part of the
Beverly Hills skyline, said Ken Bernstein, the Los Angeles
Conservancy’s Director of Preservation Issues.
“The loss of [the theater] would be tragic,” Bernstein added.
“We hope we will defeat the project.” According to the Los
Angeles Times, the Conservancy and other concerned groups organized
themselves as the Campaign to Save Beverly Hills to try and petition
the possible construction of the luxury hotel, gardens, and public
The $200 million project, called the Montage Hotel, was proposed a
few years ago. On the city of Beverly Hills’ website, several
alternatives to total demolition are discussed. The option second to
total preservation would preserve the historic elements of the
theater while implementing the project components. While it is
perhaps the most “environmentally superior” alternative, it
could affect the plan’s economic prospects, the website said.
In a press release, Mayor Mark Egerman noted that over 90 of the 104
speakers at the City Council hearings expressed their support of the
proposal. City Council will discuss the matter on October 19.
Bernstein said the proposal will go to a vote some time in January.