Palomar Ballroom

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The Palomar Ballroom, built in 1925, was a famous ballroom in Los Angeles, California, in the United States. It was destroyed by a fire in late 1939.

Originally named the El Patio Ballroom and located on Vermont Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Street, it boasted being “the largest and most famous dance hall on the West Coast.”

The building featured a large mezzanine, a balcony and a seventy-five hundred square foot patio. The dance floor could accommodate four thousand couples. Admission was 40 cents for gentlemen and 25 cents for ladies. Opening night was attended by 20,000, including many of Hollywood’s silent screen stars. Klieg lights illuminated minaret structures on the roof.

The dance hall was renamed Rainbow Gardens by real estate developer Raymond Lewis, who purchased the property, added an indoor miniature golf course and changed the name to the Palomar Ballroom. It soon became a prime venue for the well-known bands that were rapidly gaining popularity. On August 21, 1935, Benny Goodman began his first Palomar engagement that marked the start of the swing era.

The ballroom hosted popular bands including those led by Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Glen Gray, Jimmy Dorsey and Kay Kyser, among others. Nightly radio broadcasts on local station KFLJ attracted large crowds to the “Dining, Dancing and Entertainment Center of the West.” An aircheck from a Charlie Barnet broadcast is included in...
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