LA’s Broadway to get $36.5 million revitalization makeover
LOS ANGELES, CA — City officials had a press conference Monday to formally announce a major push to revitalize Broadway in downtown Los Angeles.
The $36.5 million “Bringing Back Broadway” plan announced Monday envisions the street as a bustling neighborhood of entertainment venues, small shops and residential units behind restored facades of intricate stone work and looming statuary.
“Our vision is to bring back Broadway to its heyday,” said City Councilman Jose Huizar, whose district includes the area. “It’s a shame that we allowed it to get to its current state, that we neglected it so much.”
Huizar and other supporters see Broadway as the thread that could stitch together other major development projects undertaken as downtown’s residential population swelled from about 18,700 in 1998 to more than 28,900 in 2006.
Read more in the San Jose Mercury News or the official release.
But will anyone go down there?
Lots of lofts opening up in that area, lots of people moving in. So apparently, yes.
I’ve worked in downtown Los Angeles for the last 30 years and yes, Broadway has improved significantly in the last 5 years. Of course all the extant theaters ceased daily operations years ago, but The Orpheum and The Los Angeles Theaters are booked with events a few nights a week. Plus, with all the loft space being sold downtown and influx of new residents moving downtown – along with the opening of the first uper market in downtown LA in 40 years, people are coming to downtown and sticking around at night as opppsoed to just heading home after work. I have noticed that quite a few of the old theater marquees are being relit also. I noticed that the one for The Tower Theater is lit at night, so Broadway is looking nice at night. However, I am dubious about the plans to put in a street car line and close off the street to cars which is well night ridiculous in Los Angeles. But I guess they can dream, can’t they? Plus, the plans to renovate all the shut theaters such as The Roxie, The Cameo and The Rialto are a wee bit grandiose, but I guess anything is possible if they find another developer like Steve Needleman who has the capital and the desire to make it happen. The Million Dollar Theater is scheduled to re-open soon, but the theaters I named are in some sad shape and would require a large outlay of cash to see them brought back to anywhere like their original condition. Perhaps The Los Angeles Conservancy can help in finding investors and they have been instrumental in saving many if not most of the significant theaters on Broadway. So, as the wiseman said, “I’ve heard this all before” and I remain cautiously optimistic…
The Conservatory does Broadway theatre tours Saturday mornings. I’ve wanted to go for ages, the new plans are going to get me down there sooner rather than later.
Whether or not they do it well, and in the best interests of the theatres is for us all to find out. It seems that, in my experience, investors and new owners go into renovations with greater expectations than are necessary (or even realistic, in some cases) and then end up failing. My fingers are crossed.
It’s about time since the Los Angeles city center area has hundreds of thousands of residents already living there plus tens-of-thousands more have moved in the past several years with thousands of new units under construction and thousands more planned there is a need for these grand movie palaces to be open. Looks like the time has come and it was a long wait. I love going there and I always bring my visitors there.
Turn the Globe and Roxie Theatres into 500 seat Art Theatres. Time for Landmark Theatres to get some seed money and get onboard. Have Mexican music and stage shows at the Palace with a few films. Turn the Tower Theatre into a Film Noir dinner and movie venue with all the help dressed like 1946! Someone with some cash and imagination will make a bundle on the New Los Angeles Broadway. People are tired of the boring multiplex junk. Bring on the Showmanship with Disney people so they can do what they did at the ElCapitan in Hollywood. Turn the Rialto into a first class comedy club. The Mayan Theatre is a disco rental now. The public of Los Angeles wants new entertainment, bring the past back for a new generation to enjoy! The Shuberts need a new home in Southern CA. The State or Los Angeles Theatres are ready for roadshows to hit town. The Shorensteins have kept ‘Wicked’ so long at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood so many shows can’t play Southern CA as they have locked up the some of the best venues. People will take the train to downtown LA have dinner and a event at these great old Broadway Theatres. The money is on it’s way. Let the entertainment start. The Orpheum Theatre has started what will be a new day for downtown theatre prensentation. Turn on the neon and watch the new crowd come! With a good exchange space the church people at the grand United Artists Theatre can be turned back into theatre events.
This is Awesome!
I direct a non-profit organization to promote the arts and culture exchanges within our region in Miami, FL(BRAC).
We have been in desperate need to find classic, not restored theater seats… and well in Florida they are not easy to come by…
If someone here knows how I may be able to contact these people, I will greatly appreciate it, please drop me a line.