As you walk through Valley Relics Museum, many items stand out. For a few theater buffs, the bright glow of seven particular letters stands out the most. Hard to miss but easy to enjoy, T-I-F-F-A-N-Y glows overhead as a fine reminder of another one of LA's lost treasures; the Tiffany Theater.
The Tiffany Theater opened on November 2, 1966 to a champagne gala celebrating the screening of the film Young Aphrodites. Owners Robert L. Lippert and Harold Goldman proudly introduced it as the first theater on West Hollywood's infamous Sunset Strip. The venue housed various productions, from vintage cinema to live shows, and even a bit of 3D. The Tiffany Theater easily established itself as one of LA's unique attractions. You weren't simply seeing a show. Guests were treated to an event, often containing lesser known or controversial productions not likely to be seen elsewhere.
In June 1977, the theater's popularity skyrocketed when it began midnight performances of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, arguably the most well-known era of its history. Throughout its six year run, Friday and Saturday nights regularly brought out an average of 1500 people for an evening of wild antics unique to the Rocky Horror fan cult. The theater's unique structure (coined "Continental Seating") allowed for an enhanced experience wherein audience members would actually reach up into the projector light to cast shadows upon the stage, which served as props and material the actors could interact with.
The Tiffany Theater would eventually close its doors in the early 90's, only to reopen later as a playhouse and home to The Actors Studio. This would last until 2002, when the theater put on its final show before shutting down for good. After being slated for demolition, fans in the community banded together to raise attention to this local gem. Many answered the call, and it was Valley Relics who showed up on demolition day to salvage what we could. One by one, we carefully unhinged those enormous letters that shone every night for nearly half a century. That bright, beautiful sign could not simply be torn down and thrown away. The memories associated with it are invaluable to the local community and much better kept somewhere it can be appreciated.
If you're feeling nostalgic, stop by the museum and hear some stories about this classic locale. And if you've got stories of your own, please feel free to share. History is lost if not collected and preserved.