Vintage LA, Valley Relics Save WeHo’s Tiffany Theater Sign From Destruction

tiffany sign
Left to right, San Fernando Valley Relics’ Jason Relic and Tommy Gelinas, Vintage LA founder Alison Martino and Steve Balding pose with the letter “A” from the Tiffany Theater sign Monday morning.

Vintage Los Angeles, the popular Facebook community celebrating LA history founded and managed by West Hollywood resident Alison Martino, and San Fernando Valley Relics, a group dedicated to preserving San Fernando Valley antiques and artifacts, have teamed up to save the iconic Tiffany Theater sign from the wrecking ball.

The Tiffany Theater, at 8532 Sunset Blvd. at La Cienega, is currently being demolished to make way for the long-stalled high-rise project “Sunset La Cienega” (formerly known as the Sunset Millennium project).

However, Martino and Relics removed the sign from the building’s facade Monday morning after securing permits from the city of West Hollywood. The sign will be moved to a warehouse in North Hollywood, where Valley Relics owner Tommy Gelinas plans to open a museum of San Fernando Valley relics.

The Tiffany Theater, which once stood between the Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Club and Dean Martin’s Dino’s Lodge, opened on Nov. 2, 1966 and was the first theater on the Sunset Strip.

Before the building was converted into a theater, it was a modeling school office. From 1958 to 1964, it served as the TV home to detectives Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Roger Smith and Edd Byrnes on the TV series “77 Sunset Strip.”

The theater, which cost $250,000 to build, initially played films and hosted live performances by the improv group The Committee, featuring Howard Hessman, Peter Bonerz and Rob Reiner, during the late 1960s.

In the early 1970s, the theater, under new management, began showing two films for 49 cents. The theater closed for a period in the mid-1970s before reopening as a revival theater and art house.

Perhaps the Tiffany is most well-known for becoming a hub of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” fans. The theater showed the film on midnights on Friday and Saturday nights. Later, due to growing demand, 2 a.m. shows were added. The Tiffany’s Rocky showings took on a party atmosphere.

Due to the rise in home video popularity, and other theaters beginning to show Rocky Horror, the Tiffany closed in 1983. It reopened as a live theater venue in 1985, saw a remodeling in the 1990s and became the home of the Actors Studio for a brief stint before closing for good in 2004.