By Ross Mihalko
You don’t have to leave L.A. to see a great Broadway show, no, sir. The best of Broadway can be seen right on Hollywood Boulevard at the historic Pantages Theater.
For over half a century, the theater has been a hotspot of Los Angeles entertainment. In the past, it was a popular movie house with live vaudeville acts between the features and it even hosted a number of lavish movie premiere galas. In 1953, it became home to the Academy Awards television broadcast and some of the same stars that appeared on its screen now appeared live on its stage to accept their Oscars.
Today, the Pantages Theater stage is still alive a kicking with spectacular stars! The Pantages is renowned as the premiere Los Angeles stop for Broadway’s top touring companies. From the hilariously irreverent “THE BOOK OF MORMON” to the touching, tune-filed “ONCE”, you can gobble it up all at the Pantages, often-times with tickets that are much easier to get (and more affordable) than in their New York City productions.
The theater itself was completely refurbished by the Nederlander Organization in 2000 so that it could properly host the L.A. premier of the smash Broadway musical “Disney’s THE LION KING”. And oh, what a spectacular job they did in restoring the Pantages to its full 1930’s glory.
By its grand re-opening in September 2000, nearly every square inch of the theater and lobby had been repainted and restored. From the floors to the walls to the chandeliers, the entire place received a total and spectacular makeover!
To this day, the Pantages Theater is a fabulous feast for the eyes! So be sure to get there early to explore and enjoy the theater’s rich architecture and history. It’s the show before the show, as I like to say.
It’s true that when most people think of Los Angeles, they think of film and television, but now they can add live theater to their list thanks to Hollywood’s very own Pantages Theater! I hope you’ll add a visit to the Pantages on your list too. It’s the sensational all singing, all dancing addition to life in L.A.
If you’re craving the best that Broadway has to offer, the Pantages Theater always delivers.