Adjacent to both the Chinese-American Museum alley and the Pico House, on the periphery of El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, there’s an old Masonic Hall. Built in 1858, the building was used as a meeting hall. After it was a meeting hall and before it fell into disrepair, a Mr. William Abbot divided the three story building. It became a furniture store on the ground floor, a theater on the second, and a residence for him, his wife (a Ms. Mercedes Garcia) and his 9 children.
The theater opened in 1871 making it Los Angeles’s first theater. There were only 5,000 residents at the time. Though LA’s population was exponentially expanding, the expansion of Main Street theaters eventually brought the Merced to its demise on New Years Day, 1876.
Posted on November 14, 2011, in Chinatown and tagged El Pueblo, El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historic Monument, First theater in Los Angeles, Main Street, Masonic Hall, Merced Theater, Pico House. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.