Greek Theatre (Los Angeles)

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The Greek Theatre
The Greek
Greek Theatre 2007
Location 2700 North Vermont Avenue
Hollywood, California
Owner City of Los Angeles
Operator Nederlander Concerts
Type Amphitheater
Capacity 5,870
Opened September 25, 1930
Website
www.greektheatrela.com

The Greek Theatre, nicknamed "The Greek", is a 5,870-seat greek theatre, located at Griffith Park, in Los Angeles, California. It was built in 1929, opening on September 29 of that year.[citation needed] The Greek Theatre is owned by the city of Los Angeles, and is managed, operated and promoted by the Nederlander Organization. Designed by architect Samuel Tilden Norton, the amphitheatre's stage is modeled after a Greek temple.

History[edit]

The idea for the Greek Theatre originated with wealthy landowner Griffith J. Griffith, who donated 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) of land to the city of Los Angeles in 1896 to create what became Griffith Park. In his will he left money for the construction of a Greek theatre. A canyon site was chosen because of its good acoustics. The cornerstone was laid in 1928 and the building was officially dedicated on September 25, 1930. The first performance took place on June 26, 1931, attended by a capacity crowd of 4,000.[1]

During its first decades the theatre was rarely used, and it was used as a barracks during World War II. In the late 1940s a San Francisco producer brought touring shows to the venue. In the 1950s James Doolittle, a Los Angeles showman, leased the theatre and upgraded it with better seating and backstage equipment. Since 1975 the theatre has been managed by the Nederlander organization, which further improved it and began a regular rotation of contemporary and classical productions and concerts. The theatre underwent an earthquake retrofit in 1995. In 2006 the facade was renovated in celebration of the venue's 75th anniversary.[1]

In 1983, the Greek Theatre's seating capacity was expanded to 6,187, but recent renovations have brought the Greek Theatre's capacity down to 6,162 in 1995 and to 5,700 in 2004. In 2009 the Los Angeles Fire Marshal permitted the addition of two more rows in the pit, bringing full capacity at the Greek to 5,870 seated / 5,900 general admission.[2]

Current usage[edit]

The Greek Theatre is used for concerts, stage shows, and graduation ceremonies for Thomas Starr King Middle School and John Marshall High School, among others.

The Greek Theatre won the Best Small Outdoor Venue award seven times in the past eight years, awarded by Pollstar Magazine, the industry's leading trade publication.[2]

The annual Bell-Jeff Invitational cross country running event starts adjacent to the theater.

Notable events[edit]

Neil Diamond's 1972 concert album, Hot August Night, was recorded live at the Greek Theatre. Harry Belafonte's 1964 concert album, Belafonte at the Greek Theatre was recorded live at the Greek Theatre. Chicago/Earth Wind & Fire - Live at the Greek Theatre recorded live in 2005. The film Get Him to the Greek starring Russell Brand was filmed in 2010 at the theatre.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Greek Theatre History". greektheatrela.com. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  2. ^ a b About the Greek

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°07′11″N 118°17′46″W / 34.119702°N 118.296065°W / 34.119702; -118.296065