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Los Angeles Music Center

Los Angeles Music Center

Website: http://www.musiccenter.org Open website in new window

Telephone: (213) 972-7211 Call (213) 972-7211

Address: 135 North Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Show address in Google Maps (new window)

 Overview

The Los Angeles Music Center is one of the largest performing arts centers in the US, and the west coast equivalent of New York’s Lincoln Center. It is home to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (opera house), the Ahmanson Theatre (Broadway-style proscenium arch theatre), the Mark Taper Forum (180-degree thrust stage), and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The original Music Center complex was designed by Welton Becket, who also designed Los Angeles’ Capitol Records Building, McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, LA’s Cinerama Dome, and the Santa Monica Civic Auditorum. The Music Center complex was completed in 1967, although the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was open from 1964. The Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall was added to the complex in 2003.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion – an opera house – was completed in December 1964 and is the largest venue of the complex with a seating capacity of 3,156. It largely replaced the 1906 Philharmonic Auditorium located at 5th and Olive. To achieve the highest degree of design integration everything inside and outside the building, from courtyard sculptures to interior light fittings and carpets, was specifically designed for the building by the architects.

Originally home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic Link opens in new window, who are now based at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the venue is now home to LA Opera Link opens in new window. It is familiar to many throughout the world having hosted over 20 Academy Award (Oscars) presentations from 1969 through 1999.

The three chandeliers that hang in the Founders Lobby of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion measure 17ft high by 10ft wide and weigh roughly 1.5 tons apiece. Each chandelier is comprised of approximately 27,500 individual glass pieces.

The Founders Room at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, reserved for donors who have contributed generously to the Music Center, boasts two chandeliers that were originally designed for the movie “The Great Waltz” (1938) Link opens in new window. Designer Tony Duquette determined that the room required three chandeliers and commissioned a third to match the existing two chandeliers.

Ahmanson Theatre
The Ahmanson was completed in April 1967 and, more recently, underwent a major redesign in 1994-1995 when the Balcony and Mezzanine levels were moved closer to the stage, the width of the auditorium reduced, and the acoustics improved. The theatre was designed with the ability to reconfigure the seating capacity from 2,103 to 1,700, and even down to 1,300, using acoustic dividers mid-Mezzanine and mid-Balcony.

The Ahmanson is currently home to Center Theatre Group Link opens in new window who present a wide range of productions throughout their season, including direct-from-Broadway one-time transfers.

Mark Taper Forum
The Mark Taper Forum was completed in April 1967 as the smallest of the complex’s venues, with a seating capacity of 738 in a 180-degree semicircular arrangement around its thrust stage. The building’s exterior is the most stunning of the original Music Center complex, being a cylindrical drum wrapped in relief-sculpture concrete murals and surrounded by reflecting pools. The Taper underwent a major renovation of all its technical theatre systems in 2007-2008.

Walt Disney Concert Hall
The Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall was completed and added to the Music Center complex in 2003, at which point the LA Philharmonic transferred their home here from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Seating capacity is 2,252 with seats on all four sides of the vast Douglas Fir-lined concert hall. Acoustics have been greatly praised and there is no bad seat in the house.

The concert hall’s organ was designed by Manuel Rosales and nicknamed “Hurricane Mama”. It has a frontage designed by Gehry with 6,125 individual pipes ranging from a few inches to 32ft in length.

The concert hall building also incorporates the 266-seat Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), the 300-seat William M. Keck Foundation Children’s Amphitheatre, and the 120-seat Nadine and Ed Carson Amphitheatre.

 Movie, TV & Music Video Appearances

Movies

Television

Documentary

Award Shows

 How do I visit the Los Angeles Music Center?

The Music Center offers a variety of tours:

Campus Tours
Docent-led tours of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre, and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion are available Tuesdays through Saturdays at 10:15am and 12:30pm. Tours run 90 minutes, are free, and start from the Walt Disney Concert Hall lobby. Please check the Tour Schedule on the Music Center’s website Link opens in new window to confirm availability. Note: access to venues is subject to availability and daily operations; you may not get to see inside all venues.
Walt Disney Concert Hall Tours
Docent-led tours taking visitors through much of the interior space and the gardens, presenting the highlights of the architecturally stunning building. Tours are availble on select days, check the Tour Schedule on the Music Center’s website Link opens in new window to confirm availability. Tours run 60 minutes, are free, and start from the Walt Disney Concert Hall lobby. Note: access to the Concert Hall is subject to availability and daily operations; you may not get to see inside the Concert Hall.
Self-Guided Walt Disney Concert Hall Tours
Self-guided tours of the interior space and gardens. Tours are availble on select days, check the Tour Schedule on the Music Center’s website Link opens in new window to confirm availability. Tours run 60 minutes, are free, and start from the Walt Disney Concert Hall lobby. Note: access to the Concert Hall is subject to availability and daily operations; you may not get to see inside the Concert Hall.

Reservations are not required unless groups sizes are 15 or over. Information correct as of March 2017.

Upcoming Special Events
Campus Tour

Campus Tour (various days at Noon and 1:15pm)

Docent-lead tours take visitors through much of the interior space and throughout the gardens while presenting the highlights of the architecturally stunning building. Individual guests or tour groups up to 14 people: complimentary.

Offered select days at 12pm and 1:15pm; lasting approximately 60 minutes. Begins in the Grand Lobby of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Note: tours of the Walt Disney Concert Hall do not include the auditorium due to a near constant rehearsal, performance and special event schedule.

For more info see: https://www.musiccenter.org/visit/Exploring-the-Center/Guided/ Link opens in new window

 Further Reading

Online

Books

 Technical Information

Ahmanson Theatre
Balcony Divider Behind Row F (rear row of Balcony is row L)
Balcony overhang Above row E of Mezzanine
Flying System 98 counterweight linesets operated Stage Left
Grid Height 75ft
Mezzanine Divider Behind Row G (rear row of Mezzanine is row P)
Mezzanine overhang Above row Q of Orchestra
Proscenium 40ft wide by 42ft high, normal teaser out-trim 30ft high
Seating Capacity 2,103 on 3 levels configurable down to 1,700 or 1,300 using dividers in the Balcony and Mezzanine
Stage Depth 45ft
Stage Width 110ft
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Flying System 108 counterweight linesets operated Stage Right at Stage level
Grid Height 90ft
Proscenium Width 58ft
Rear Stage Area 172ft wide by 40ft deep
Seating Capacity 3,156 on 4 levels
Side Stage Area (SL) 40ft wide by 60ft deep
Stage Depth 64ft
Stage Width 169ft
Mark Taper Forum
Seating Capacity 738 arranged in a semicircle around the thrust stage
Stage Depth 30ft at deepest point
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Seating Capacity 2,252
Historic Photos & Documents

Historic files shown here may be subject to copyright; review our “Fair Use” statement here.

 Photos of the Los Angeles Music Center

Photos

Ahmanson Theatre Auditorium

Ahmanson Theatre Public Areas

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion - Founders Room

Two of the three chandeliers in the Founders’ Room originated from the MGM film “The Great Waltz” (1938) Link opens in new window. When the decorator, Tony Duquette, decided that they would be used for this room but three were needed, another was built to match the original two chandeliers.


Dorothy Chandler Pavilion - Oval Lounge

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion - Stern Grand Hall

Originally known as the Grand Hall, this area was renamed the “Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall” in September 2010 to reflect a significant financial gift from the Sterns in addition to acknowledging Marc Stern’s outstanding leadership at both the Music Center and LA Opera.


Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Auditorium

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Backstage

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Public Areas

Mark Taper Forum

Music Center Plaza

REDCAT

The Roy and Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater (REDCAT) is located within the Walt Disney Concert Hall building and is an experimental theatre space.


Walt Disney Concert Hall

Walt Disney Concert Hall Public Areas

All photographs copyright © 2002-2018 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com. For licensing and/or re-use contact me here.



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