Mohawk Bend Building

Echo Park - The Mohawk Bend building -- a former Silent Film era movie theater that is now home to a gastropub -- has been sold to a West L.A. real estate company.

Tova Capital released a statement saying they picked up the former Sunset Boulevard movie theater for $2.5 million, in an all-cash transaction.

The 7,749-square-foot building at 2139 W. Sunset Blvd. had been in the same family for more than 50 years, but was placed on the market under court order, following a family dispute, Tova said.

The Mohawk Bend gastropub, the sole tenant, has occupied the entire building since 2011, and has remained open during the pandemic for take-out and patio dining.

Tova’s statement did not say if it would make any changes regarding the building’s current tenant. The statement simply indicated that Tova plans to hold onto the property long-term.

This is the first purchase Tova Capital has made in Echo Park.

“We have been looking for assets in Echo Park for some time, so I was prepared to move quickly if an opportunity presented itself,” said Tova Capital CEO Ron Harari, “especially on a highly improved building like this at an attractive basis and strong going in yield.”

The theater, clad in an exterior of white, glazed brick had been known by different names over the decades – The Creation; HK Studio, The Ramona and finally Studio One.

Except for a brief life as a German art-house cinema, the Echo Park theater appealed to a mass audience with Hollywood hits and budget prices.

The movie house closed for good in the mid 1980s, with Studio One showing “Running Man” and “Dirty Dancing” in December 1987, according to advertising in the L.A. Times. 

The small movie house appeared to face numerous struggles long before it closed. A 1927 L.A. Times ad announced that the theater – including a “costly” Robert Morton pipe organ – were being auctioned off.

Three years later, the theater, a “talkie,” was offered up for sale for $2,500.

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