Alexander Pantages opened the Pantages Theatre on June 4, 1930 under the management of Fox West Coast Theatres. During its early years, the Pantages alternated showing movies with live vaudeville performances. By 1932, Alexander Pantages sold the theatre to Fox. From that point, the theatre showed primarily movies, with only the occasional live performance, with the exception of 1940, when the Los Angeles Philharmonic performed their entire season there.
Fox sold the Pantages in 1949 to Howard Hughes, who operated it under the RKO brand and relocated his offices upstairs. During the decade of his tenure, the theatre hosted the annual Academy Awards. The Oscars had to move in 1960, when the theatre was reconfigured, curtaining off over 1000 seats as a requirement for the screening of the movie Spartacus. Pacific Theatres took over and continued to run the Pantages as a movie theater into the 1970s.
The last movie screening at the Pantages Theatre was in January 1977. In June of that year, the theatre was converted by the Nederlander Organization for live stage performances. It is still operated by the Nederlander Organization under the name Broadway LA and continues to host top-of-the-line theatrical productions. Most productions are touring Broadway musicals and other spectacles that run from a few days to a couple months.