Friday, April 17, 2015

The Aero Theatre's 75th Anniversary

For $45,000, Donald Douglas purchased a parcel of land on Montana Avenue in 1939 and began development of The Aero Theatre and five stores. The theater was designed in the Streamline Moderne-style by R. M. Woolpert and originally seated 600. The theater featured extended-run and second-run films. The Aero also hosted Saturday morning shows for children. The theater closed in 2003, but reopened under the non-profit, American Cinematheque in 2005. The actual anniversary of the opening of the Aero, which is now officially known as the Max Palevsky Aero Theatre, was celebrated on January 30, 2015.

Aero in 2002
Santa Monica Image Archives
Santa Monica Public Library

The Santa Monica History Museum at 1350 7th Street is hosting a tribute exhibit about the Aero April 15 to May 27, 2015. On display are movie posters, photographs, and news stories. In addition to exhibition materials owned by the Santa Monica History Museum, American Cinematheque shared artifacts from their archives. Museum staff are well-versed in the history of this iconic landmark and happy to answer questions.

The Aero is described as one of the last one screen theaters in Los Angeles. Included in the exhibit are photographs and information about some of the 36 Oscar winning actors and 12 award winning directors who have appeared at the Aero in person to attend screenings and discuss their body of work. Notable directors include Clint Eastwood and James Cameron.

The Santa Monica History Museum exhibit was designed by Sue Slutzky.