The Hollywood Pantages Theatre is a very different place when there is no show in the building. The stage returns to its black blank canvas and the auditorium seems much smaller without the audience members filling each seat. While we do miss you when you’re gone, we take these quiet moments to keep the old girl looking like her fabulous self.
This year we had just about 4 weeks between An American in Paris and The Bodyguard to get all of the seats removed, rip out all of the carpet, get the new carpet laid down, and get all of the seats back in place. The photos below show what we have done so far.
Day 1: All of the seats have to be unbolted from the floor before they can be removed. Seats are removed in groups of three or four. Once seats have been cleared from an area the carpet is then pulled up.
Row SS begins to fall backwards after having the bolts removed.
Workers begin to pull up the carpet from the rear of the 200 section.
Orchestra seats begin to take over the lobby.
Seats were also placed in the lower bar near the women’s restroom on the West side of the building.
Seats filling up the colonnade near the tiled drinking fountain.
The seats in the rear 200 and 100 sections have been completely removed.
Air conditioning vent boxes are now visible with the seats removed. The Hollywood Pantages cooling is based on a push/pull system. The vent boxes open to 2 massive pressurized air chambers known as the plenum located right below the seats.
Photo taken from the mezzanine house right. The aisles between each section have been stripped of their carpet.
By the end of day 1 over half of the seats have been removed from the orchestra.
Day 2: Seats at the front of the orchestra are moved onto the stage. The last of the seats must be removed along with the rest of the carpet.
Seats from the front orchestra are moved onto the stage.
By the end of day 2 all seats and carpet have been removed from the orchestra. Workers begin picking up pieces of hardware from the seats.
View from the stage of the empty orchestra.
Day 3: The floor must be cleaned and prepped for new carpet installation.
Crews work to vacuum and sweep the floors to prep for new carpet.
Vent boxes are inspected and maintained, any remaining nuts and bolts are picked up.
Last week we launched a brand new website with the same location but a different look. We are so excited about this project that is nearly a year in the making, that we decided to break down all of the new features just for you!
Now you can see the full calendar of events instead of visiting each show page to check out the dates. Of course, you can still visit each show page for fun photos and videos.
This fun new section can be quite helpful when you have family and friends visiting from out of town and need to do some “Hollywood Things”. Of course we always recommend a show but what to do before or after?
Hollywood is full of red carpets, marathons, protests, parades, and filming locations. While these things are all really great they always cause traffic problems. Now you can check our website for any traffic alerts in the area before you head to the show!
When we found out that one of our very own ushers had been cast in Hairspray Live we couldn’t have been more proud! On December 7, 2016 Amos Oliver III and the rest of the cast of Hairspray Live performed in front of an audience of 9 million plus. After the whole exciting adventure, Amos took some time to chat with us about his experience.
Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
I was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. I went to College at The Boston Conservatory as well as the American Musical and Dramatic Academy-LA
How did you catch the musical theatre bug?
I’ve always been into performing. I’ve always loved being onstage and being able to play someone other than myself. It wasn’t until I was attending The Boston Conservatory until I really understood how much I loved musical theater.
How did you find out about Hairspray Live auditions?
I found out about Hairspray LIVE auditions through my agent. (Go 2 Talent Agency)
What was the audition process like?
The process was a lot of fun. We first learned some of the choreography to “Run and Tell That” and we auditioned it. We then got called back did some scene work and some singing and then we danced again!
What was the first thing you did when you found out you had gotten the part?
The first thing I did when I found out I was cast, was run around the living room of my apartment and scream!! Then once I calmed down I called my mom!
Did you know that your fellow ushers had put together a watch party to cheer you on?
I certainly did know that my fellow ushers threw a party! I thought it was incredibly sweet and I wish I could’ve been there to share such an amazing experience/moment with them!
(See the Facebook Live video of the ushers cheering on Amos)
Tell us how you prepared for this live event. What were rehearsals like?
Well I had been training for so long for something like that so all of my schooling and education really prepared me for that. I knew in my heart that this had always been a dream of, mine and that’s really what helped me stay focused and ready at all times. At the start of rehearsals, we rehearsed 8 hours a day, Mon-Friday! And once the event got closer than we began staying longer and working longer weeks!
On the day of the live event, what was the atmosphere on set?
OMG!!! Everyone was so excited and ready to change the world!! Everyone was so positive and so supportive and they were having such a great time!
What was it like working on set with a live audience?
Working on set was actually really fun for me. We were performing for TV, but we also had the energy of the live audience which really enhanced our level of performance.
What amazing memories will you be taking away from this experience? Any particular moments stand out to you?
Every single second of this experience will be a memory that I take away! NOTHING about this I could ever forget! Every moment was priceless and surreal.
On Saturday, December 10, the Hollywood Pantages played host to the world premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It is a rare occasion to turn this theatrical house into a state of the art movie house but Disney did just that and to stunning effect. With a seventy foot screen, a digital laser projector and over 300 speakers, the historic Hollywood Pantages roared back to life and restored its movie house glory.
Hollywood Pantages General Manager Jeff Loeb and Daughter Cady stand in front of an X-Wing Fighter prop from the film.
From where I sat, with Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) to my left and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) behind me, the little kid who watched the very first Star Wars with his Mom was now about to watch the latest movie with his own daughter. I was both a fan of the movie and excited to see a movie play once again in the theatre. As the movie started to roll, the glow from the screen illuminated the entire audience who were all transfixed, eagerly awaiting the first look at the next Star Wars installment. But for me, I was taken at first not by the movie, but something hard to describe. The theatre felt different for me. I don’t know what the feeling was but it was wonderful. We, the staff, so often take for granted the musicals we present on stage and our ability to present show after show. We forget what a quiet roll the theatre itself plays. But at the premiere, we were allowed to simply admire a wonderful movie, being shown in one of the most beautiful venues in the country. It is a moment I can’t adequately describe and one I won’t soon forget.
Large Rogue One posters line the red carpet of the premiere.
We don’t know when we will host a premiere again, but I, for one, hope it is sooner rather than later. For now, we look forward to the theatrical release of Disney’s Newsies: The Broadway Musical, filmed here at the Hollywood Pantages last September. For a brief moment, the theatre will get to be a part of movie history again.
Costumes from Rogue One are displayed on the red carpet for the premiere.
A tent covers the length of the red carpet due to a threat of rain.
The cast of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story pose for photos in the X-Wing Fighter
The Pantages marquee is just visible through the tenting on Hollywood Blvd
Rogue One banners cover the front of the Pantages.
A life size TIE-Fighter stands above the bar at the Rogue One after party.
We love a costume display. There is nothing better than opening up a box filled with costumes. Pulling out our mannequins and playing dress up really makes our day. This is why few years back we decided that investing in costume mannequins was going to be in our best interest. We believe that the costumes are another character in the show and we want you to get up close and personal with these beauties. Check out some of our favorite costume displays throughout the years.
Masks from Disney’s The Lion King.
While we know the Lion King masks are not costumes exactly, they are a very crucial piece of the show. These masks with their stunning detail and surprisingly light weight fascinated theatre goers in 2014 and 2015
Phantom of The Opera costumes displayed in the Hollywood Pantages Lobby
The Phantom of The Opera costumes helped to jazz up our booth at the 2015 Festival of Books
The Phantom of the Opera costumes at Dodgers Stadium in 2015
Our Phantom costumes got a bit of a workout! Not only did they preside over the lobby during the 2015 run of The Phantom of the Opera but they also traveled to the Festival of Books and Dodgers Stadium to help us promote the show.
Inside SoCal’s Erica Olsen pictured next to costumes from Bullets Over Broadway
Costumes for Bullets Over Broadway
Inside Socal’s Erica Olsen got all gussied up to help us promote our pre Bullets Over Broadway speakeasy. The costumes pictured were designed by Tony Award Winner William Ivy Long.
The Kinky Boots
Cyndi Lauper and Harvey Fierstein showed off the Kinky Boots while receiving their stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
While these Kinky Boots never made it to the lobby, they served a pivotal role in the star ceremony for Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper.
Ensemble gown from 42nd Street
This ensemble gown from the number Dames in 42nd Street really surprised us with just how heavy it was. The entire gown is hand beaded. It’s also possible that everyone in the office put the hat on at one point or another!
Ensemble costumes from the finale of White Christmas
The White Christmas ensemble costumes are our newest display in the lobby. What could be better than red and white fleece and a tap shoe?
What costumes would you like to see displayed in our lobby?
Welcome to the 2016-17 Hollywood Pantages Season! We invited our new Season Ticket Holders to make their Pantages Theatre debut at our annual open house. Guests explored the theatre learning about the history and architecture as well as sampling small bites from local area restaurants. We would like to thank all of our neighborhood and restaurant partners for helping us out. A special thank you to Chelsea Lauren for the beautiful photos.
In two weeks we will begin one of the biggest seasons the Hollywood Pantages has ever seen! We know that tickets for the 2016-17 are selling quickly but don’t despair. We want to let you in on the secret that is the mezzanine. We have compiled 7 excellent reasons you should give the mezzanine a try!
1.The ushers will tell you that it is their favorite place in the theatre to sit. Who better to take advice from than someone who has seen the same show from every angle of the theatre multiple times?
2. The stadium seating is more pronounced, much like a movie theater. If you happen to be on the shorter side or are attending the theatre with small children this allows for better visibility should someone tall sit in front of you.
3. Speaking of kids, sitting in the mezzanine is great if you have small children and need to step out frequently for bathroom breaks or need to stretch your legs.
4. The restroom lines move faster upstairs. There are only 950 seats in the mezzanine and 1,750 downstairs. That means there are fewer people using the restrooms upstairs and it helps that the ladies restroom in the mezzanine is the largest ladies room in the theatre.
5. Sitting in the mezzanine feels more intimate. Like we mentioned before, there are only 950 seats in the mezz. Depending on where you are sitting you may not be able to see the folks sitting in the orchestra making it feel like your own private theatre.
6. Secret Tip: Row J in the mezzanine has the most foot room of any row in the theatre. The people in the front row of the theatre may have some extra foot room as well but they are looking straight up the actor’s noses. In row J you get to stretch out and enjoy the view in front of you.
7. The view of the beautiful blue ceiling and chandelier are much better in the mezzanine. Take some time before the show and really explore the ceiling. We find new details in it all the time.
Enjoy an ultimate Throw Back Thursday photo collection of our historic theatre. Most of the photos below were taken in the 1950’s. Imagine the people you would have seen walking through the doors at that time.
Ladies mirrored lounge on house right near the lower bar.
Lounge now used as offices for our Front of House Manager.
Looking over the mezzanine.
The Grand Chandelier inside of the theatre.
A view of the center colonnade from the lobby. Currently the location of the concessions stand.
Original box office located in the center of the outer lobby..
Poster windows still utilized today.
Front door entrance hallway.
Original lobby chandelier.
Original center mural pictured above the stage.
A view of the theatre seats from behind the side stage curtain.
Another look at the poster windows.
Front doors to the theatre from the outer lobby.
Plush couches and benches line the colonnade.
Mezzanine staircase landing. Currently home to one of the theatre’s bars.
Mezzanine staircase landing.
Chairs located outside the center mezzanine doors.
The theatre lobby.
Decorated drinking fountain located near door 5 in the colonnade.
Exterior of theatre taken in 1930 shortly after the theatre’s opening.
A safety curtain is a fire safety precaution used in large proscenium theaters. It is usually a heavy fiberglass or iron curtain located immediately behind the proscenium arch. Its purpose is to contain any fire to the stage to allow time for the audience to evacuate safely. These curtains were used in Europe for many years but it wasn’t until after December 30, 1903 that regulations regarding these curtains became much tighter in the United States.
On December 30, 1903 people were filing into the Iroquois Theater in Chicago. Women and children gathered to watch a matinee production of Mr. Bluebeard staring Eddie Foy. At the time the theater was only 5 weeks old and had been labeled fireproof beyond a doubt by designer Benjamin Marshal as well as city fire inspector Ed Laughlin. Once the audience members had taken their seats ushers were instructed to lock 27 of the theater’s 30 exits to prevent people from sneaking in.
The entrance of the Iroquois Theater in Chicago 1903.
During the second act of the show an arc light sparked catching the painted canvas backdrops on fire. Foy ran back on stage to try to calm people letting them know the fire curtain would be lowered. As the curtain was lowered it became caught and unable to reach the floor causing major panic. It was later discovered the curtain was made of paper and would not have helped even if it had come down completely. Ushers fled the theater first forgetting to unlock the 27 exit doors resulting in the death of 600 people.
Aftermath of the Iroquois Theater fire 1903
Since that major tragedy fire curtains are now a staple in any large theater venue. The original fire curtain for the Hollywood Pantages Theatre was lost when it did its job after a spark from a music stand in the orchestra pit set it ablaze. It depicted the evolution of man, art and architecture.
Hollywood Pantages original fire curtain
The current Hollywood Pantages Theatre fire curtain is rarely lowered with the exception of the occasional photo shoot. It depicts a painting of billowing clouds and a flock of flying birds.
On September 11, 2016, The Hollywood Pantages made history once again by hosting the live filming of the musical Newsies. The show will be aired as a Fathom event in movie theaters across the country next year. In addition to the excitement of a live filming nine original cast members from the Broadway production of Newsies lent their talent for One Night Only.
The event was invite only but a standby line was available to hardcore Fansies who started lining up at 1am Sunday morning.
11 cameras were brought in for the filming
Broadway cast members spent an entire week together rehearsing before the live filming.
Special merchandise was available for this one time only event.
The cast dressed and ready to go. From Left Andrew Keenan-Bolger ‘Crutchie’, Kara Lindsay ‘Katherine’, Ben Fankhauser ‘Davey’, and Jeremy Jordan ‘Jack Kelly’
The audience waiting for the filming to begin
Disney’s Newsies Live, filmed at the Hollywood Pantages, opens in select theaters Feb 16, 18, and the 22. Check out the video below as Newsies goes behind the scenes at the Hollywood Pantages.
Hollywood Pantages Season Ticket Holders were invited to a screening of Newsies and surprised by a Q&A afterwards with Nico DeJesus, a Newsie from the filming.
Jeff Loeb, General Manager of the Hollywood Pantages conducts a post screening Q&A with Nico DeJesus, Newsies cast member.
Two more chances to see Newsies. February 18 and 22, 2017
Nico DeJesus discusses his experience filming a live theatrical production.
Subscribe to our newsletter in order to receive the latest news & articles. We promise we won't spam your inbox!