The Highland Theater: Another Reason We Love Our Neighborhood

by Matthew Aughtry

As soon as you get off the Highland Park Metro stop you can see a large sign cresting above the buildings on Figueroa. Just two simple words: Highland Theater. At night the neon sign lights up. It’s the kind of sign you’d expect to see in New York or Chicago in a movie set in the 1940s and it’s beautiful.

The theater opened in 1925, so it’s certainly a cornerstone of the neighborhood. Not only does it have the iconic sign on top of the theater, it also boasts a marquee that juts out from the theater, another classic feature.

Los Angeles certainly has its fair share of amazing movie theater options—everything from the vintage movie palaces of yesteryear, to the event-driven cinemas of the 1970s, to the latest high-tech options of the modern era. Highland Theater isn’t really any of these things (though they do have bits of all—including the latest in digital projection technology). Yet, it has something that these other options lack—a strong connection to the neighborhood.

Highland Theater is not shoved into some far-off suburban corner with a giant parking lot, nor is it only surrounded by other businesses. The theater is walking distance from many homes and apartments in the area. Not only is it accessible to the people in the neighborhood, it’s also frequented by many of them. Many nights I’ve driven by the theater and seen a line stretching back about ten yards or so. Most of the new releases come through here so people don’t have to drive anywhere else.

With reasonable prices (including $5 all day Tuesday and Wednesday) and a friendly atmosphere, the theater remains a staple of the neighborhood. Oh, and for those of you who like to play arcade games while you wait for your movie to start, they have those as well. Recently I indulged in a few rounds of an old favorite, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, an appropriate choice given the fact that I was about to go see Ant-Man.

These are just a few reasons we love the Highland Theater and Highland Park, there many others. Our hope for Gold Line Church is to be a “neighborhood church” like Highland Theater is a “neighborhood theater.” We hope to be ‘in the middle of it all,’ easily accessible to our neighbors and welcome to anyone. Of course, being around as long as the theater has wouldn’t be so bad either!

So hop on the Metro, get off at the Highland Park stop, and follow the sign to a little slice of movie heaven. Maybe we’ll meet you there and share some popcorn.

Gold Line Church is a new church in Highland Park, a neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles. As Christians we believe that there is goodness to all of creation because the creator of all things is good. We also believe that one of the great things about being human is that we are given the gift of creativity. On our own we can create some pretty good stuff, but when we combine our efforts with others we can do even more—we can create culture. So occasionally on our blog we’ll highlight the culture of our neighborhood and affirm its beauty (and thus the occasion for today’s post about The Highland Theater). For more about Gold Line Church, visit or email us at info(at)goldinechurch(dot)com


Jon Ziegler