Theater Location: 6230 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood CA
Theater Open Date: December 26, 1938
Theater Chain: Earl Carroll
Theater Status: Devolved
Originally named the Earl Carroll Theater, it was the west coast sister to a theater of the same name in New York City. Dubbed an "entertainment palace" it was a grand supper club with an oversized stage and featured entertainment by "the most beautiful girls in the world." The exterior of the theater had a large, neon face of entertainer Beryl Wallace, which became a cultural icon of the area during that era. The theater was featured in many films and as a destination for Hollywood moguls and luminaries for many years. Its popularity began to wane in the early 1950s after the death of Wallace and Carroll in a plane crash. In 1953 it was purchased by a Las Vegas showman, and began its second life as the nightclub Moulin Rouge, and also doubled as the soundstage for TV's "Queen for a Day" game show.
The times were a-changin', and in 1965 the club became The Hullabaloo, a rock club aimed at the exploding youth market. In 1968 the club was renamed Kaleidoscope, still featuring local rock bands, and later the same year became the Los Angeles home of the Broadway musical Hair, renaming itself The Aquarius and painting the exterior in psychedelic colors in honor of the groovy musical while Rock bands continued to play there on Mondays when the show was dark.
In 1980, the historic Sunset Blvd location was chosen to host the 1980 - 81 North American revival tour of The Rocky Horror Show, which ran from February 24 - March 29, 1981.
in 1983, the theater was sold again and was re-fashioned into a TV studio. The first production there was Star Search, and was the home of the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon for many years. In 1990, it became Nickelodeon Studios, and was home many of the cable kids' networks' productions.
Through all its changes, the exterior morphed, but the ornate lobby was preserved. However, 2004, it was sold to a private equity firm as part of a larger parcel of property. The property was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument #1136 in December 2016 and is currently being incorporated into a new mixed-use development.