212-216 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Mayfair Theatre

Known As: Majestic Theatre
Architect: Henry C. Hollwedel
Built: 1911, remodelled 1929
Designated: July 11, 1994

Downtown’s first theater was created by the pioneering investment firm of Charles A. Tegner, one of the city’s most prominent businessmen, and J. Euclid Miles, an active civic leader and donor of the Miles Playhouse (a 1929 landmark located in nearby Chris Reed Park).  The location was the former homestead of Juan Carillo, another early civic leader.  When the Majestic Theater opened, its decor was lavish and it advertised “high class” entertainment.

By 1929 it was remodeled and given a new facade by the original architect, Hollwedel, who had done several other commissions for Tegner (Henshey’s and 1433 4th Street).  The remodel created another exuberant Churrigueresque design and may have been motivated by changing architectural tastes as well as by the advent of “talkies”.  Sculptural floral ornament is placed on the high arched central bay and around the windows with theatrical masks and shields.  Vertical shafts and decorative wrought iron balconettes add additional richness.  It is life as a theater was revived in 1973 when it became the Mayfair Music Hall, offering live entertainment in a supper club venue.

MajesticMAImage provided by Santa Monica Public Libary

Heavily damaged by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, it was closed and languished for years.  Only a piece of the building will survive in the future.  The facade will be incorporated into a multi-use project currently underway.