The Sleeping Giant of Hollywood
To many, the Hollywood classic movie theater scene appears like a great success story. Renovations aside, the Chinese and to a much lesser extent the Egyptian still have reminders of their opulent heyday. The El Capitan has successfully converted itself into a showplace for all things Disney. Even the Cinerama Dome is showing actual Cinerama films on occasion.
But one major treasure has remained intact and the future is not so clear. So long it has sat in limbo, rarely open to the public. We’d all like to see it restored to its former glory and have it available to us in some form, but with it already bruised from a triplexing years ago and so little word from its owners over time, who knows what the future holds?
Of course, I am talking about the Warner Hollywood (aka Warner Cinerama, Hollywood Pacific, etc). I’d love to tell you plans are in the works for it to reopen as a live theatre like its popular neighbor down the block the Pantages. Sadly the time hasn’t come yet. After numerous phone calls to different people at Pacific Theatres, I disappointingly wasn’t able to find out much. No plans to take it down. No plans for a new tenant.
I even tried the Shubert Organization to see how legit their interest is in moving into the theater. As many of you remember, a few years back, there was talk of Shubert picking up the Warner as a showcase for their touring productions since the demolition of thier Century City locale. As this would probably be the best fit of all, the chatter gave many hope that the stars were finally aligning. Nothing became of it though and I’ve yet to hear back from them on any future proposals.
I guess we can be glad the former wasn’t true but it looks like for now, we’ll just have to stay in a holding pattern. In a matter of time though, an ultimate decision seems inevitable. The revival of Hollywood Boulevard is quickly gaining momentum. With Highland and Vine as the two cornerstones, the area in between is block by block being gobbled up and cleaned up. Once they reach that spot in the middle where the Warner stands, how will the shadow of gentrification cast itself over the property?
In an area so rich in its offerings of film already, what could this venue possibly offer? I took my first trip to the Harmony Gold on Sunset for a screening held by a screenwriting magazine last weekend and thought, “what if the Warner could survive on industry events like that?” Plenty of theaters make money by loaning themselves out as filming locations. This one would be even closer to the studios. How about a cheaper option for large Hollywood Premieres? If the success of the area theaters is any indication, people are pretty open to different movie possibilities in Hollywood.
It could be worse so let’s just keep our fingers crossed. Hopefully, whether it be stage or screen or something else, the next chapter of this gem will be fruitful one.
(Thanks to Pacific Theatres for providing the photos and thanks to TJ Edwards for his assistance in putting this story together.)
I’m going to keep trying to get some more information on this theater. If I come up with anything, I’ll be sure to post it on the theater page.
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