A Historic Theatre in the Heart of Los Angeles – The Pantages Theatre
Located in the heart of Hollywood, the Pantages Theatre has been a Los Angeles landmark since it first opened its doors in 1930. Designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, the theatre was originally built as a movie palace to showcase first-run films from 20th Century Fox. But over the years, the Pantages has become much more than that. It has played host to some of Broadway’s biggest hits, including The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, and Mamma Mia!, and is now one of the premier live performance venues in Southern California.
A Brief History of the Pantages Theatre
The Pantages Theatre first opened on June 4, 1930, with a gala benefit premiere of the film “Platinum Blonde.” Starring Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, “Platinum Blonde” was one of the first talking pictures ever released, and its premiere at the Pantages was a momentous occasion. The theatre quickly became one of Hollywood’s hottest nightspots, playing host to stars like Rita Hayworth, Humphrey Bogart, and Cary Grant.
In 1949, theatrical impresario Alexander Pantages was convicted of rape and sent to prison. As a result of the scandal, 20th Century Fox sold the theatre to Howard Hughes, who then sold it to NBC in 1955. NBC used the Pantages as a West Coast base for its television operations until 1964 when it was sold again, this time to theater owner James Nederlander. Under Nederlander’s ownership, the Pantages became a legitimate Broadway venue, hosting such hits as “Hair,” “Grease,” and “The Wiz.”
In 2002, another major chapter in the Pantages history began when it was purchased by Cadillac Fairview Corporation. Cadillac Fairview embarked on an ambitious $70 million restoration project that returned the theatre to its original Art Deco glory. The newly renovated Pantages reopened in 2008 with a star-studded gala performance of “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Today, the Pantages continues to be one of Los Angeles’ most cherished cultural landmarks. It remains a top destination for Broadway touring shows and Hollywood red-carpet movie premieres. And with its spectacular setting and rich history, it is truly a place like no other.
If you’re looking for a historic theatre experience in Los Angeles, look no further than the Pantages Theatre! With its Art Deco design and glamorous Hollywood history, a visit to this iconic venue is sure to be an unforgettable experience.