Ernest Borgnine Theatre
Long Beach’s best kept secret since 1926. A beautiful Theatre, Event Centre and live Concert Venue which holds 800. From Weddings, Corporate Events, TV/Film Locations, Car Parking Events, We Got You Covered.
The Ernest Borgnine Theatre is Long Beach’s premier medium sized theatre. Constructed in the Renaissance style and housed within the Long Beach Scottish Rite Event Center, its décor is both timeless and elegant. It boasts an 800 seat capacity composed of both orchestra level seats and a balcony. There are over 70 hand-painted backdrops to choose from that were created in Hollywood in the 1920’s. These backdrops have a wide array of themes so as to fit many different types of productions. Our sound system consists of a 36 channel sound board with the capability to use up to 16 wireless microphones. There are also many additional options for lighting such as spots and stage floor lights. We have a large Green Room with televisions to keep your cues on track as well as an extra-large dressing room complete with vanity style mirrors. We have two grand pianos available in addition to the vintage pipe organ that has just been fully refurbished. This organ is one of only two known to exist in the City of Long Beach and the sound is majestic. Productions that we have previously housed include Into The Woods, Frankenstein The Musical, Nunsense and South Coast Chorale’s version of Sweeny Todd, Queeny Todd.
Besides musical theater, we have also hosted various dance recitals, beauty pageants, film festivals, double grand piano concerts and school productions. Some organizations that regularly utilize our space include Rock For Vets, South Coast Chorale, Long Beach Poly High School’s annual music awards, the Golden Sands Chorus and the YMCA Youth Institute. Our space is ideal for any type of production you can imagine and we can help you make it one to remember.
About the Building
Our beautiful building is now available for special events. From Weddings to Live Concerts to Broadway Shows to Annual Business Conventions. The Ernest Borgnine Theatre was built in 1926 and designated Historical Landmark #8 by the City of Long Beach, we are located only minutes from beaches, airports, the Queen Mary and civic centers. With ample fenced parking, an 800 seat auditorium and numerous other rooms, large and small, we are ideally suited for your next wedding, theatrical performance, business or social meeting.In addition to inlaid floors and a winding, marble staircase, our main foyer features the arched theme of our windows and entrance door.
The Green Room:
A large (33' X 13') preparation room that we call the "Green Room" is located backstage where wedding parties, actors and others can prepare themselves for going "on stage". This room has a closed circuit stage TV monitor
We call this outstanding example of early 1900's opulence the "Theatre". From the 30 foot high ceiling with hand painted designs to the striking stage columns it is a joy to behold. All hand painted backdrops, over 70 to choose from.
For those who like the "Boardroom" atmosphere, this room is for you. Featuring a large boardroom type table with comfortable highback chairs, the rooms size (29' X 23') allows tables and chairs to be added as needed. The large draped and arched outside window plus a fireplace give a touch of class for any gathering.
This is our Ballroom. Measuring 51 feet by 75 feet of unobstructed floor space, it is large enough to accomodate up to 596 persons (assembly) or 278 persons (banquet) yet small enough to give a feeling of intimacy for smaller groups.
With Commercial Kitchen.
Excellent Sound and Lighting System:
The theatre is equipped with an excellent sound and lighting system and has a large drop down projector screen for 35MM or video projection. In addition, the stage is monitored by closed circuit TV.
A fully equipped sound booth is located on the balcony at stage left and the light board is backstage stage right.
President's Room. The large size (49' X 34') of this room makes it an ideal place to conduct business seminars, meetings or medium sized social functions. It features a sound system and a drop down projection screen along with ample blackboard and white board space. In addition, the room has it's own private restroom.
Scottish Rite Cathedral in Long Beach, California, is a Long Beach Historic Landmark. It is a five-story Romanesque Revival structure built for the local Scottish Rite branch of Freemasonry. It was declared a historic landmark in 1980.
Description: The five-story Romanesque Revival building was built for use in the Scottish Rite branch of Freemasonry. It was built from 1925 to 1926 from steel frame and reinforced concrete with exterior granite terra cotta. Architects Wright & Gentry prepared the drawings for the building as well as the Long Beach York Rite Temple. The general contractor on the project was W.E. Campbell.
The building’s auditorium is considered an outstanding example of early 20th Century opulence. The 30-foot-high ceiling has hand-painted designs. The stage measures 27 feet across the front curtain area and is 40 feet deep. It is used for theatrical performances, weddings, and other events. There is seating for 800.
History The groundbreaking for the building was in July 1925.  The skeleton of steel, weighing approximately 500 tons, was installed in just 27 days. Some 250 tons of ornamental terra cotta purchased from the Los Angeles Pressed Brick Company were also used on the structure. Architect Parker O. Wright described the choice of materials as follows: “Steel was selected because buildings of this type are more enduring and more nearly earthquake proof than those of any other material.”
The cathedral was dedicated in September 1926 in a three-day ceremony during which several hundred individuals were invested with various degrees of Masonry. At the time of its opening, the Los Angeles Times called it “one of the most beautiful structures of its kind in the West.” The total cost of the building with furnishings was estimated to be $500,000.
In 1980, the building became the eighth structure to be designated as a Long Beach Historic Landmark. At the time, the Los Angeles Times referred to it as an “enormous” building with an “imposing facade” and an “elaborately decorated main auditorium.”
•List of City of Long Beach Historic Landmarks
1. “Work Begun on Masonic Structure: Ground Broken for New Scottish Rite Cathedral in Long Beach”. Los Angeles Times. 1926-08-16.
2. “Cathedral Rising Rapidly: Scottish Rite Temple at Long Beach Being Built at Record Rate on Ninth and Elm Site”. Los Angeles Times. 1926-03-07.
3. “Long Beach Scottish Rite Event Center”. Scottish Rite Cathedral of Long Beach.
4. “Long Beach Scottish Rite: About Us”. Scottish Rite Cathedral of Long Beach.
5. “Masons Award Job On Steel: Scottish Rite Cathedral is to be Built”. Los Angeles Times. 1925-12-06.
6. “Masonic Cathedral Dedicated: Long Beach Organization Now Occupies Half-Million Dollar Home”. Los Angeles Times. 1926-09-12.
7. “New Cathedral To Open Today: Long Beach Will Dedicate Masonic Edifice”. Los Angeles Times. 1926-09-09.
8. Gerald Faris (1980-10-19). “History Buffs Discouraged: Lean Day for Landmarks in Long Beach”. Los Angeles Times.
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In 1955, Audie Murphy became interested in Freemasonry. Encouraged by his close friend, Texas theater owner Skipper Cherry, Audie petitioned and joined the Masonic Order in California. Later he returned to Texas to conduct his 32 degree work where he joined the Shriners. Audie remained active in various masonic events and was a member of good standing at the time of his death.
Audie received his first degree in Masonry when he was regularly initiated, February 14, 1955 through the North Hollywood (California) Lodge No. 542 F & AM (Ancient Free and Accepted Masons). He was passed to the 2d degree of Fellowcraft on April 4, 1955. On June 27, 1955, he was raised to the 3d degree of a Master Mason.
Later, he became a dual member with Heritage Lodge No. 764 F & AM (North Hollywood, California) on May 14, 1956.
Audie took his 32d degree work (degrees 4 through 32) at the Scottish Rite Temple in Dallas on November 11-14, 1957 according to records located at this temple. After receiving his 32d degree, Audie was elected vice president of the Thomas B. Hunter Memorial Class of the Dallas Scottish Rite.
Audie became a Shriner (Hella Temple, Dallas) on November 15, 1957.
Audie was made a “Master of the Royal Secret” in the Valley of Dallas, Orient of Texas, on November 14, 1965.
Audie was also decorated a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH) on December 11, 1965.
Audie affiliated with the Long Beach (Scottish Rite) Consistory on April 2, 1971. Two weeks previously, on March 19, 1971, Shriner Murphy affiliated with the Al Malaikah Temple in Los Angeles.
Audie often participated in Shrine parades in both Texas and on the West Coast. He was especially involved with the annual Mariner’s Night, which included a dinner held in the memory of the dead and to honor the living seafaring men. The annual Mariner’s Night is sponsored by San Pedro’s Los Angeles Harbor Lodge No. 332, Long Beach California. As an honored guest, Audie made one of his last public speeches for the Mariner’s Night Dinner on April 15, 1971.
Mrs. Murphy Receives Audie’s Honorary 33rd Degree Cap Shortly after Audie Murphy’s death, the Long Beach California Scottish Rite Bodies of the Masonic Order honored Brother Audie Murphy by naming the 111th Scottish Rites Graduating Class the “Audie Murphy Memorial Class.” The class, which graduated on Saturday, November 19, 1971, had 124 members from forth-five California cities and towns. One of the highlights of “graduation day” for the members of the Memorial Class was a special showing of the film TO HELL AND BACK. The film took the place of the 31st degree and was shown to give the candidates a much better understanding of the character and background of the distinguished Mason and late member of the Long Beach Bodies.
In 2000, during the November Ladies Night Dinner of the Valley of Long Beach, Audie Murphy was recognized when local Scottish Rite members presented to his widow, Mrs. Pamela Murphy, a 33 degree cap in honor of the posthumous election of her husband to that degree at an earlier Biennial Session of the Supreme Coucil of the Scottish Rite.
Harold B. Simpson quoted the Encyclopedia Britanica, in his book AUDIE MURPHY, AMERICAN SOLDIER, as he described Freemasonry as a…
“… fraternity to which men called Freemasons belong . . . . It is secret insofar as it has rituals and other matters which those admitted take an oath never to divulge. Its meeting places, however, are prominently identified and its governing bodies publish annual proceedings, while its membership is a matter of public knowledge . . . . It admits adherents of all faiths, claiming to be based upon those fundamentals of religion held in common by all men and to inculcate, through allegories and symbols connected with the art of building, a lofty morality laying particular stress upon benevolence.”
Though often mistaken for such, Freemasonry is not a Christian institution. Freemasonry contains many of the elements of a religion; its teachings enjoin morality, charity, and obedience to the law of the land. With this in mind, Freemasonry is religious in character but in itself is not a religion.