The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

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Theater raided

 

1929_0517

May 17, 1929
Los Angeles

While I'm on Main Street:

1957_0809_burlesk Twenty years after it was built in 1909, the Wonderland Theater, 315 S. Main, was repeatedly in trouble with the law for showing indecent movies. Unfortunately, it's impossible to tell exactly what was on the bill because the theater never advertised in The Times.

According to a 1909 story, the theater was a one-story brick building, 32 feet by 120 feet with a stamped metal front, marble lobby, tile floor and concrete floor in the auditorium, designed by A.C. Martin.

In 1928, theater manager Jamie A. Titus was fined $100 ($1,124.36 USD 2006) "for displaying pictures of indecent acts in front of his theater." The photos featured "partly clad women," according to The Times.

The next year, Frank L. Titus pleaded not guilty to charges that he showed the indecent movie "Bare Legs," a three-reeler that authorities said was "unfit for public gaze" and that he showed indecent photos in the Wonderland lobby.

On May 16, 1929, jurors deadlocked on indecency charges after a private showing of "Bare Legs." The prosecutor said he would seek a new trial, but The Times never reported further on the case. And no, there's nothing in imdb about "Bare Legs."

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