A Wall Street Journal article(link to close to non-subscribers soon) discusses the hopes for Los Angeles' Broadway.
Along Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, the Tower Theater helped usher in the era of “talking pictures” in 1927, and the Los Angeles Theatre hosted the 1931 premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s classic film “City Lights.” Albert Einstein accompanied the star to the gala, while Great Depression victims stood in line for bread across the street.
But unlike the Broadway of New York City, where — when stagehands aren’t on strike — throngs arrive in tour buses to see “Mamma Mia” or “A Chorus Line,” the 12 theaters in L.A.’s version of the Great White Way have long been neglected and sit mostly unused.
The baroque and gothic venues, built between 1910 and 1931 for vaudeville acts and movies, line a six-block stretch that today is a melange of retail marts, check-cashing outlets and bridal shops. Two theaters serve as churches, and another has become a flea market. This street teems with activity by day but largely empties at dusk.
For the first time in decades, though, there is hope that the city’s faded theater district can be revived — as a broader renaissance of downtown Los Angeles takes hold.