San Val


The Victory Theater circa 1920.

The Victory Theater with it's spire. Circa 1928







Front half of a flyer promoting not only the upcoming shows, but ads for local businesses.

Originally located on San Fernando Blvd, just south of Angelino Rd. at 319 San Fernando Rd. in the heart of Burbank. The LOMA Theater was Burbank's first theater equipped for sound. Equipped with a (then) state of the art VitaphoneŽ system, the Loma Theater was one of the main Hot spots in Burbank during the Late Twenties / Early thirties. Not only did the Loma present first run features and serials (those weekly chapter featurettes), they also hosted touring Vaudeville shows.

The Theater's seating was limited to 380 (large for the location and the time), with a screen size of 24 feet. The screen rested above a raised stage giving the audience an easy and unobstructed view. The stage area extended 14 feet from the screen with a proscanthium set at the front. On the left of the stage was an upright piano, that would be used as accompaniment for the vaudevillian acts, and for silent features that would still occasionally play the theater.

Rear (or backside) of the same flyer. From 1925

Some of these touring troupes were standard acts, comedy teams and song and dance troupes. One of the more interesting performances was by the Canadian Mounted Police, complete with a slide show of the Arctic Circle. Demonstrations of some of the famed Police troops famous captures and tales of their thrilling experiences.

The Loma Theater had a long and profitable life, lasting through the early 1960's when other, newer theaters finally forced the theater to closed their doors. The advent of Air Conditioning and and larger venues spelled the end of the Loma, but not before it gained a seedier reputation as being Burbank's only Adult theater.

While these rumors are unsubstantiated, there were films shown in and around the Los Angeles area that were considered adult fair. They were anything but Pornographic, (early nudie cuties and some of Russ Meyer's earliest films) but this resulting rumor of the Loma has tarnished what once was a fine and historic Bijou.

Rumors circulated throughout the late 60's of the Loma being up for sale. Whether that was the case or not, I could not tell you, as I don't recall ever seeing a "For Sale" sign, or anything remotely related on the front of the building. Unfortunately, those dreams were dashed when after the 1971 Sylmar Earthquake, The old theater sustained enough damage to be condemned. Several years later, the Loma theater was finally demolished.

Where once the famed Theater and Sweet Shop stood now stands the parking structure of the Burbank Holiday Inn. A sad passing and inglorious end to what was once Burbank's most prominent movie house.