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Mayan Theater
Mayan Theater Los Angeles California.jpg
Exterior of venue (c. 2010)
Address 1038 South Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015-1614
Location Downtown Los Angeles
Coordinates 34°02′28″N 118°15′32″W / 34.041028°N 118.259005°W / 34.041028; -118.259005Coordinates: 34°02′28″N 118°15′32″W / 34.041028°N 118.259005°W / 34.041028; -118.259005
Capacity 1,700
Current use Nightclub
Opened August 15, 1927 (1927-08-15)
Architect Stiles O. Clements
Reference #: 460

The Mayan Theater in Los Angeles, California, is a landmark former movie palace and current nightclub and music venue.


The Mayan Theater opened in August 1927 as a legitimate theater.

Leon Hefflin Sr. rented out the Mayan Theater downtown Los Angeles to produce the Sweet N' Hot, "Greatest Negro All Star Musical to Hit Coast." His business partner was Curtis Mosby, and the featured performer was Dorothy Dandridge. The show had a run of eleven weeks and was reported as going to New York. It closed to rave reviews and was covered by 20 different newspapers all over the country.

The theater has been a location in many films, including Sally of the Scandals, The Bodyguard, Save the Tiger, Unlawful Entry, Rock 'n' Roll High School, and A Night at the Roxbury. It also featured in the eighth episode of the first season of GLOW.

In 1990, the Mayan Theater, with most of its lavish ornament intact, became a nightclub and music venue. It is designated as a Historic Cultural Monument.

Architecture and design

Designed by Stiles O. Clements of Morgan, Walls & Clements, the façade of the Mayan Theater includes stylized pre-Columbian patterns and figures designed by sculptor Francisco Cornejo. This was his major work.

The Mayan Theater is a prototypical example of the many excessively ornate exotic revival-style theaters of the late 1920s, Mayan Revival in this case. The well-preserved lobby is called "The Hall of Feathered Serpents," the auditorium includes a chandelier based on the Aztec calendar stone, and the original fire curtain included images of Mayan jungles and temples.

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