Monthly Archives: August 2016

Rooftop Film Club

Picture this. You are on a rooftop in the middle of Hollywood lounging in a comfy chair with snacks in your lap, a drink in your hand and your favorite movie is playing on a big screen. What could be better? We take our movie experiences very seriously here in Hollywood and now the experience is on a whole other level, literally the top level.


Ariel view of the Rooftop Film Club located on the roof of The Montálban Theatre in Hollywood

The Montálban theatre is getting ready for its second season as a part of the Rooftop Film Club. Taking full advantage of the Montálban rooftop’s beautiful city view, RFC promises to offer some of the most unique and incredible movie-going opportunities for film lovers. You don’t even need to bring your own blanket or camping chair—Rooftop Film Club provides you with your very own comfy lawn chair, as well as blankets on request for the ultimate cozy experience. And instead of listening to the movie over loudspeakers, you’ll get a set of wireless headphones so you never have to miss a word.


RFC goers enjoy a movie surrounded by the lights of Hollywood

Los Angeles is not the only city partying it up on the rooftops. If you happen to be in London or New York check out their Rooftop Film Clubs as well. For other amazing photos head over to Instagram and look for their hashtag #rooftopfilmclub for more amazing photos.


Movie intro Rooftop Film Club. Photo credit Rosanna Barrón


Wireless headphones so you don’t miss a word. Photo credit Rosanna Barrón

To learn more about the Rooftop Film Club experience CLICK HERE


The Montalbán

Hollywood is constantly changing as we mentioned in last weeks post about all of the construction happening in our neighborhood. However, there are still some good old classics in the area that really make Hollywood a special place. Located just around the corner from the Hollywood Pantages is The Montalbán Theatre.

Built in 1926, the theatre’s architect was Myron Hunt, whose work included the Rose Bowl, CalTech, the Ambassador Hotel, and many other Southern California landmarks. Named The Wilkes Brothers Vine Street Theatre in honor of its builders, it was the first legitimate Broadway-style theatre in Hollywood. Its inaugural presentation in 1927 was an acclaimed production of Theodore Dreiser’s “an American Tragedy.”


The Mirror Theatre now known as The Montalbán Theatre in 1932

The Montalbán and The Hollywood Pantages have more in common than a zip code. In the early 1930’s Howard Hughes acquired the theatre to convert it into the first fully-automated cinema and renamed it the Mirror. The Hollywood Pantages too was owned by Hughes in the early 1950’s.

By 1935 Hughes was out of the movie business and sold the theatre to CBS Radio. Durring this time local station KNX hosted its now famous Lux Radio Theatre. For many years legendary producer/director Cecil B. DeMille was the producer and host.


An early incarnation of the Montalbán Theatre as the CBS KNX Radio Playhouse

As the years went on the focus turned to television. CBS sold the theatre to Huntington Hartford, heir to the A&P grocery store fortune. He spent $750,000 to remodel and restore the theatre into a legitimate stage venue.


The Huntington Hartford Theatre now known as the Montalbán in 1963

In 1964 James Doolittle, who at the time was running the Greek Theatre purchased the theatre. Over the next 20 years Doolittle added to the reputation of the theatre with his smart productions.

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Interiors of The Montalbán Theatre.

When the Doolittle era came to an end, UCLA took over, but, after several years, the theatre went dark until Ricardo Montalbán stepped in. He envisioned having a physical presence in Hollywood that would provide inspiration and training for emerging artists in the Hispanic community and thus enable them to mainstream into the performing arts and the broader entertainment industry. The theatre was a perfect home base for implementing that vision, and the Hispanic community, which respected his talent, success and his inclusive politics, mobilized to support the acquisition of the theatre. In 1999 a generous and anonymous donation enabled the Ricardo Montalbán Foundation to buy the building, and the Foundation reopened the theatre in May 2004 as The Montalbán.


Ricardo Montalbán in The King and I.

Today the Montalbán Theatre is one of the few remaining mid-sized and fully-equipped proscenium theatres in Los Angeles and is known for its excellent sight lines and acoustics. The Theatre and the Foundation are partnered with community performing arts groups such as the Harmony Project, the Lula Washington Dance Company, the Tierra Blanca Arts Center and the UDLA. The Montalbán has also hosted a variety of professional productions including Selena, Culture Clash’s Zorro in Hell, The Who’s Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar (with the original cast), A Night Without Monty Python (with Eric Idle and other stars), a closed-circuit broadcast of the World Cup, an evening with comedian Billy Connolly, and most recently a two-week run of John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Klown.

For more information about The Montalbán theatre and their events  CLICK HERE.

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The Neighborhood is Changing

If you have been to the Hollywood Pantages lately to see a show there are a few things you may have noticed about the neighborhood. The first thing that probably comes to mind is what the heck is the deal with all of this construction??? Well the neighborhood is changing my friends and we think it’s gonna be great! Check out some of the projects happening around the theatre.

The Argyle Hotel


The artist rendering of the Argyle Hotel currently under construction at the intersection of Argyle and Yucca just north of the theatre

Construction is well underway on the Argyle Hotel, a 16-story, 220-room hotel at 1800 N Argyle Ave in Hollywood, not far from the Hollywood Pantages. This is one of three high-rise projects underway or planned at the intersection of Argyle Avenue and Yucca Street.


Argyle Hotel progress. View from the Hollywood Pantages.

Designed by San Diego’s ACRM Architects, the 184-foot tower will have a swimming pool on the fifth level and parking for 93 cars on four levels, three above grade and one below. The hotel also will have a restaurant, meeting space and banquet facilities.

1755 Argyle


Artist rendering of 1755 Argyle under construction just north of the theatre on Argyle and Yucca.

Just across the street from the Argyle Hotel construction, work begins on an 18-story tower with 114 “luxury” apartments immediately next to the iconic Capitol Records building and just north of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre.  In addition to the apartments, its project will include a fifth-floor terrace with a dog run, “oversized” TV, and catering kitchen. It will also include underground parking, according to a building permit filed with the city.

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The back wall of the Hollywood Pantages is visible in this early phase photo of construction on 1775 Argyle.

Dream Hotel Hollywood


Artist rendering of Dream Hotel Hollywood nearing completion near the intersection of Selma and Cahuenga.

Hollywood is booming, and the new Dream Hotel, nearing completion on Selma Ave near Cahuenga, hopes to cash in on its popularity. The 179-room hotel features a two-story lobby and a rooftop complete with a swimming pool and a late-night venue that will have a retractable roof. The property will also have a public alley that pedestrians can use to travel to nightclubs in the area as well as local restaurants near the hotel.


Artist rendering of the public alley used to access restaurants and nightclubs.

Eastown Phase II

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The early stages of Eastown Phase II.

The first phase of Eastown, completed on the opposite side of Hollywood Boulevard in 2014, includes four low-rise buildings containing 535 apartments and over 70,000 square feet of ground-floor shops and restaurants.


Artist rendering of Eastown Phase II located at Hollywood and Argyle

The project, which is rising from a 3.18-acre site at 6200 Hollywood Boulevard, will consist of a series of seven-story buildings featuring 507 apartments and approximately 60,000 square feet of ground-level retail and restaurant space.


Current progress on Eastown Phase II. View from the Hollywood Pantages.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack has confirmed that it’s opening a location in the veritable heart of Hollywood at the new Eastown mixed-use complex. To see where this Shake Shack is going to get situated, head over to the Eastown complex’s own website. Right there in the retailer section (which already includes a Dunkin’ Donuts) you’ll see some 5,000 square feet marked off for a Shake Shack, which goes further to say an arrival could come as soon as this fall.


Shake Shake progress located in the Eastown Complex.

Dimming the Lights

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. To see these blinking, shining, glowing, neon lights go dim for just a moment you can feel it. Call it a flag half staff, a send off or a heartfelt goodbye for a member of the theatre community. Last night the Hollywood Pantages Theatre dimmed its neon lights for the first time in honor of the late James M. Nederlander.


The Nasdaq honors James M. Nederlander on its digital billboard in Times Square, NYC 8/3/16

It is a tradition that dates back to the 1950’s beginning with Gertrude Lawrence. Lawrence died after the matinee performance while starring in the Broadway musical The King and I. Under this tradition all 40 Broadway theatres dim their outdoor lights for a minute just before the curtain on show night. Dimming the Broadway lights is typically reserved for those who have been very active in the theater or synonymous with Broadway.


The Richard Rogers Theatre in NYC dims its lights in honor of James M. Nederlander 8/3/16

The grief of the theatre community is felt for that one dark minute and when the warm lights start shining again, the feeling of hope and joy fills the street. They say there’s magic in the air.


The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum lights the Olympic Flame in honor of James M. Nederlander 8/3/16

Theatres from London to New York, and from Chicago to Los Angeles dimmed their lights for James M. Nederlander. Below, watch as the Hollywood Pantages dims our lights for the first time ever in honor Jimmy