Broadway's United Artists sold, may become hotel

ua-broadway-brighamyen.jpgThe United Artists Theater at the south end of Downtown's Broadway movie palace district has been sold to Greenfield Partners, a national hotel developer and real estate investment company based in Norwalk, CT, according to Downtown champion Brigham Yen. He speculates from the owner's past that there are plans to renovate the building into a boutique hotel, and he's heard rumors that an Ace Hotel could be on the way. Ace's Seattle-based owner denies it. The UA, designed by the Walker & Eisen firm and built in 1927, with lobby frescoes by Anthony Heinsbergen, was opened as the flagship movie house for United Artists films, under the guidance of Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith and Charlie Chaplin. This is the theater and 13-story office building that bore the Jesus Saves neon signs for a long time and was the home of TV pastor Gene Scott. Wikipedia notes it was the tallest privately owned structure in Los Angeles until 1956. The UA is City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument number 523.

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