Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Los Angeles Theatre

One of the interesting things about Downtown Los Angeles is the lore of old that deceives the eye. For those that had the opportunity to peep the Banksy film premiere a few months back, where the Los Angeles Theatre played host, you would be most impressed by the sheer enormity and the architectural feat of this grandiose venue.

The irony of it all was that the theatre began to lose money the months it opened, having opened during the surge of the Great Depression. Dignitaries who arrived for the opening even included Albert Einstein. It represented a beacon for broadway theatre for Los Angeles. Sadly as the '80s hit, Downtown Los Angeles was for all forgotten. It wasn't until the recent years that Downtown LA has rejuvenated. But again oddly enough in the midst of yet another economic recession

Here's a few more things to know about the Los Angeles Theatre according to to their website:

The Los Angeles Theatre, built in 1931, is a National Register landmark located in the heart of the Los Angeles Broadway Historic Theatre District at 615 S Broadway. The Theatre was the last and most elaborate of the movie palaces built on Broadway between 1911 and 1931. When it opened in January of 1931 it was advertised as "The Theatre Unusual" because of its many unique features.

The Los Angeles Theatre was designed by architect S. Charles Lee in the Baroque style. Lee filled the theatre with glamour, glitz, technical innovations and sumptuous audience conveniences. With a construction cost of over $1.5 million, the Los Angeles was the most expensive theatre built up to that time on a per seat basis. On opening night the theatre hosted the premier gala screening of Charles Chaplin's City Lights. Among celebrities of the era in attendance that evening was Mr. Albert Einstein.

City Lights was only the first of many openings and first run screenings. The Los Angeles flourished as the heart of the Broadway Entertainment District into the 1960s. As the fortunes of Downtown declined, the interest and attendance of the Los Angeles Theatre waned until it closed its doors to regular screenings in the 1990s. Sustained as a film location and through special events, including the star studded opening of Chaplin, the Los Angeles has waited for a resurgence of Downtown. This new century will see the Los Angeles Theatre return to past glory and place as the heart of our city’s entertainment district.

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