A fire broke out at the historic Coast Playhouse Theatre building located at 8325 Santa Monica Blvd. Monday morning Oct 3, 2022 at around 4 a.m. The West Hollywood History Center reports that smoke billowed from the roof of the performing arts theatre and spread into the residential area south of the theatre.
At least six engines from the LA County Fire Department were on scene and the incident was resolved without serious damage to the front of the building.
No injuries were reported.
Established 1961, the Coast Theatre first opened as the Players Ring Gallery (prior to that, it has been a different seating arena venue that had been demolished to make way for the building we see today).
The theatre is no stranger to fire. Three years later after its opening, the Players Ring theatre was destroyed by fire, producer Paul Levitt moved the Ring’s remaining operations to the Gallery, where they remained until after Levitt died in 1968.
The West Hollywood History Center, reports that in the 1970s the space was converted into the Gary, a classic movie house. It was later partitioned into two cinemas, the Gallery and the Quickie, that showed adult films. In the 1980s the building was converted back into a theatrical venue and reopened as the Pan Andreas, an equity waver theater. Later renamed the Coast Playhouse, the building was purchased by the city in 2016. Plans are in the works to upgrade it for use as a performance space.
Noteworthy Productions at the Coast Playhouse include:
- The first production after the move was “A Majority of One” (1961), written by Leonard Spigelgass.
- ”The Miracle Worker” (1962).
- Gore Vidal’s “The Best Man” (1962).
- ”Purlie Victorious” (1962), written by Ossie Davis, starring Greg Morris (“Mission: Impossible”).
- ”Enter Laughing” (1964), based on the book by Carl Reiner.
- ”One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”(1965), with Warren Oates as McMurphy. Ran for four months.
- ”Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1965), with Ruth Warrick.
- ”A Case of Libel (1966), with Ted Knight as opposing counsel.
- ”MacBird!” (1967) – a big hit, ran for more than 250 performances.
- ”Enemy, Enemy” (1968), written by Bud Freeman, starring Richard Dreyfus.