Tearing it Up! UPDATE

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.

The first row has never had a better view

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.


On July 10th we began on phase two of our re-carpeting project which included the lobby, mezzanine, and colonnade. Check out the progress below.

The stairs leading to the mezzanine without carpet

Theatre lobby after the carpet removal

The orchestra level colonnade is prepped for new carpet installation

Mezzanine getting prepped for new carpet installation

Workers check wiring and vents before the new carpet is installed

Mezzanine seats are stacked two high in the 2nd level colonnade

13 thoughts on “Tearing it Up! UPDATE


    Are you adding more seats or keeping 2,703 seats intact?
    This is great in time for Hamilton! Coming with a huge group of excited guests!

  2. Nancy Feliciano

    The seats NEED to be larger! I’m small and they are too small! I see larger people so uncomfortable that they can’t enjoy the shows! Take an “OFF” season and redo the seating PLEASE!!!😩

        1. Ray Kampf

          Really? Cause the Hudson Theater in NYC – the OLDEST Broadway Theater in NYC recently changed their seats. I am not sure if it’s an historic landmark or not, but they did it.

          Just out of curiosity though, you have handicapped seating, correct? made the bathrooms ADA compliant didn’t you? so changes can be made.

          1. Ray Kampf

            In fact in doing a bit of research:
            “The tool to manage change is the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, the nationally accepted benchmark for evaluating changes to historic structures.
            The Standards don’t require that every element of a historic site remain intact: you need notkeepeverydoorknob! However,themostsignificant,or“character-defining”, historic elements of a property should be retained. New additions to the historic property are allowed, but should be compatible with the site’s historic architecture.”
            So I would think that seats – although part of the architecture – are not really significant to the architecture – unlike the ceiling ornamentation…. which is blocked by the addition of new lighting structures. The only reason to keep small seats is to keep 2000+ seats. Larger seats would mean less seats and therefore less patrons. So it it may not be a Historic Landmark issue as much as it is a money making decision – kind of like the airlines.
            Don’t get me wrong – I have very much enjoyed this past season. But in deciding if I were to renew next year, comfortability of seating – along with the basic rudeness of Los Angelenos when it comes to theater – (sparks of cellphones during ballads, coming late and being let in after the opening number, but during important dialogue, or simply squirming in small seats through out the show) played a large part in saying no.

  3. Michael Moran

    I’ve been a fan of the Pantages since I was a kid back in the mid to late fifties. It’s great to see it being so lovingly cared for. My thanks to all those responsible. I have a question that maybe you can answer. Back in the mid fifties, when they were running films like The Black Scorpion (really), there was a woman who worked the concessions stand when it was a little afterthought tucked away in the corner of the lobby. She always wore black with a big broach under her chin. Later, some of those who remembered her said she had been a chorus girl at one time. Naturally, nobody had the same story. Is there anyone still connected with the Pantages who knows who she was? It seems like she was there for a long time.

  4. Patricia

    First of all I had no idea the PANTAGES was a historical landmark. Next time I am there, I will make sure I ask where the designation is located. Secondly I am so excited about the upcoming season!!!!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *