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Pantages Theatre

Pantages Theatre

Architects: B. Marcus Priteca, Sonke E. Sonnichsen (associate architect)

First Opened: 4th June 1930 (91 years ago)

Reopening after major renovation: 29th September 2000

Website: www.hollywoodpantages.com Open website in new window

Telephone: (323) 468-1770 Call (323) 468-1770

Address: 6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 Show address in Google Maps (new window)


The Pantages is the most opulent Art Deco theatre in Los Angeles; no expense was spared on its sumptuous interior. The Pantages is owned and operated by the Nederlander Organization and was extensively refurbished 1999-2000. The theatre brings Broadway hits to Los Angeles and Southern California audiences.

Featured Photos

Detailed Information

The Pantages in 1930
The Pantages in 1930

The theatre was designed by B. Marcus Priteca and was the last theatre to be built by theatre magnate Alexander Pantages. The original plan called for 10 floors of office space above the two floors housing the theatre, however the upper floors were scrapped during the theatre’s construction as a result of the 1929 Stock Market crash.

Whereas it was originally designed with a mix of vaudeville and movies in mind, the Great Depression saw the theatre economize and show mostly movies, operated by Fox West Coast Theatres. Howard Hughes bought the theatre in 1949 as an addition to his RKO Theatre Circuit (Hughes maintained an apartment for a time in the offices above the theatre entrance), and then in 1965 it was sold to Pacific Theatres. It is currently owned and operated by the Nederlander Organization.

The Pantages hosted the Academy Awards (the Oscars) for a decade, from 1950 to 1960, including the first live telecast of the Oscars on 19th March 1953.

As part of a deal for Disney to bring “The Lion King” to the theatre (the production would go on to run for over 28 months at the Pantages), the theatre underwent a $10.8 million 7-month refurbishment from March to September 2000, and now looks as good, if not better, than it did when it opened in 1930. “The Lion King”, which necessitated major works backstage in creating a 40ft by 40ft (12.2m square) pit under the stage to house set pieces and hydraulics. Understage dressing rooms were relocated and the theatre now boasts an extremely flexible understage area which can accommodate any manner of openings in the stage floor.

The Art Deco Main Lobby
The Art Deco Main Lobby

The seating capacity was designed to be 3,212 however the theatre opened with a capacity of 2,812 by virtue of wider seats and increased legroom. The current seating capacity is 2,703.

There are small side stages immediately flanking either side of the proscenium arch, and between those and the auditorium side walls are organ chambers, despite no organ ever having been installed in the theatre.

The centerpiece of the auditorium ceiling is an elegant starburst chandelier suspended above a blue backlit upper ceiling, creating a mesmerizing 3D effect. Historic photographs show that cloud projectors were installed in the ceiling.

Auditorium from Stage
Auditorium from Stage

The Grand Lobby is dedicated to Los Angeles and California of the 1930s. Elaborate panels depict the important industries of the time such as agriculture, oil, gold, lumber, movies and the arts, sports and real estate. There are also some hidden nods to local colleges USC and UCLA. Grand byzantine figurines watch over the Grand Lobby from the side walls. The staircases to the balcony level are adorned by life-size figures depicting the aviation and movie industries.

In December 2016 the Pantages hosted the world premiere of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” Link opens in new window. The theatre was closed four days before the premiere to allow for the temporary installation of a Dolby Atmos sound system alongside Dolby Vision laser projectors. For full details of the temporary installation refer to the Further Reading section below.

Beginning March 2020 the Pantages was set to host to the only resident production of the musical phenomenon “Hamilton” Link opens in new window in the United States outside of New York’s Broadway, however the Covid-19 pandemic shut down theatres one day before the production opened. After a 17-month delay, “Hamilton” Link opens in new window opened to a full house on 18th August 2021.

Movie, TV & Music Video Appearances

Movies

Television

Music Videos

Documentary

Award Shows

Listed/Landmark Building Status

How do I visit the Pantages Theatre?

Public access tours are not generally available due to the busy nature of this venue, however, over the last few years Pantages Theatre subscribers have been invited to a private Open House event every year, with free access through Front-of-House, Dressing Rooms, Backstage and even under the stage itself! If you love LA theatre, and the Pantages, your best bet to see more is to subscribe to their season - check out the Hollywood Pantages Theatre website Link opens in new window for more details! Information correct as of May 2017.

Further Reading

Online

Books

Technical Information

Flying System
Arbor Max Weight
1,300lbs
Curtain to first Lineset
6in
Curtain to last Lineset
35ft 6in
Floor to Grid
68ft 6in
Height Above Grid
8ft
House Masking
4 sets Black Legs and Borders
Linesets
74 Single Purchase on 6in Centers
Maximum Trim Height
61ft
Pin Rail Location
Stage Right
Pipe Length
55ft to 70ft
Purchase Lines
¾in; 5 Lines per Set
General Information
Balcony Overhang
Row V of Orchestra
Lighting
Balcony Rail
120ft long, 2 parallel 1½in pipes 1ft apart. 36x20A outlets (Socapex) terminate Stage Right
Far Box Booms
8x20A outlets terminating Stage Right. Approx 75ft from Center Apron.
Followspots
3x2K Xenon Super Troopers. Booth will accommodate 4 Followspots. Throw approx 135ft to Apron
House Lights
Controlled from Stage Right
House Truss
60ft long 24in Box Truss with Ladder, approx 33ft Downstage of Proscenium Arch. 24x20A outlets (Socapex) terminate Stage Right
Near Box Booms
8x20A outlets terminating Stage Right. Approx 54ft from Center Apron
Orchestra Pit
Pit Edge to Back Wall
99ft 9in
Stage Dimensions
Center Line to Stage Left
67ft 9in
Center Line to Stage Right
61ft 11in
Curtain Line to Back Wall
38ft
Floor Surface
¾in MDF, ¾in Plywood, 3½in Hardwood
Proscenium Height
26ft 8in
Proscenium Width
57ft 4in
Historic Photos & Documents

Files displayed in this section may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media.

Photos of the Pantages Theatre

Jump to Photo Section:

  1. Auditorium
  2. Auditorium: Closeups
  3. Main Lobby
  4. Public Areas
  5. Exterior
  6. Backstage
Auditorium
Auditorium: Closeups
Main Lobby

The main lobby is a breathtaking space.

Public Areas
Exterior

The theatre’s main façade fronts onto Hollywood Boulevard, just east of the major Hollywood & Vine intersection. Original plans called for an office building to rise above the theatre building however it was never built due to the Great Depression.

Backstage

The proscenium is 57ft 4in (17.5m) wide and 26ft 8in (8.1m high), with a grid height of 68ft 6in (20.9m); the counterweight flying system operated from Stage Right.

The original load-in door is located on the north (upstage) side of the stage, however this is a steep “horse ramp” descent to the stage. Smaller items may be transferred by elevator. The main load-in door is on the east (stage left) side of the stage with access from the adjacent road via ramp.



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