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Mayfair Music Hall
Mayfair Music Hall, Santa Monica, California LCCN2017707843.tif
Built 1911
Architect Henry C. Hollwedel
Official name: Mayfair Theatre
Designated 11 July 1994

The Mayfair Music Hall was an English music hall-styled vaudeville theater devised and created by entrepreneur Milt Larsen, located in Santa Monica, California.

This theater was designed by architect Henry C. Hollwedel, and built in 1913 as the Santa Monica Opera House. Shortly afterward, it was renamed the Majestic Theater and featured silent movies and split week vaudeville acts.

The theater was remodeled after sound was introduced in the late twenties.

The theater was rather plain and was modernized during the sixties.

Milt Larsen, John Shrum and Thomas Heric transformed the venue into a Victorian music hall in 1972 and produced British variety shows there for 8 years. The ornate boxes and staff work were rescued from the grand old Belmont Theater, a major movie palace adjacent to the famed Bimini Baths at 1st and Vermont in Los Angeles.

Entrepreneur Larsen's full traditional music hall productions featured noted actors and performers, such as Bernard Fox, Beatrice Kay, Larry "Seymour" Vincent, Toni Kaye, dancer and choreographer on The Carol Burnett Show, Mousie Garner, Ian Whitcomb, Richard Green (improvising verse), Eubie Blake, Gene Bell, English entertainer Joyce Howard, and other actors and musical stars of the day.

In later years it later became the home for Chicago's Second City Television and The A-List.

In 1974, the theater was used to film the famous "Puttin' on the Ritz" sequence in Young Frankenstein. The building is also a prominent setting in Henry Jaglom's 1987 film Someone to Love, rather presciently as a forlorn theater on the verge of being torn down to make way for a shopping center.

The original 1974 2-hour TV movie pilot of James Garner's hit TV series "The Rockford Files", entitled "Backlash of the Hunter", and featuring Lindsay Wagner and Billy Mumy, features several stage acts and a fight scene filmed at the Mayfair Music Hall. Both Young Frankenstein and the Rockford pilot premiered in 1974.

For the 1976 20th Century-Fox television film release, Sherlock Holmes in New York (starring Roger Moore as Holmes and Patrick Macnee as Watson), the Mayfair stood in for a New York theatre where Irene Adler (portrayed by Charlotte Rampling) was starring in a production.

The theatre was damaged in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and the owner gutted the building and removed all the ornate decor. The building was demolished in 2010.

  • Young Frankenstein Final Production Notes, 20th Century-Fox, 1974.
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