Valley Music Theater

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Valley Music Theater
Valley Music Theater, Woodland Hills, California.jpg
Valley Music Theater
Alternative names Assembly Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
General information
Architectural style Concrete Dome
Location Woodland Hills, California
Coordinates 34°09′59″N 118°34′54″W / 34.166389°N 118.581667°W / 34.166389; -118.581667
Completed 1963
Demolished 2007
Other information
Seating capacity 2865

The Valley Music Theater was a theater-in-the-round performing arts hall located in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. It was just south of the Ventura Freeway at 20600 Ventura Boulevard, in the Chalk Hills of the western San Fernando Valley. The modernist style 2865-seat facility opened in 1964, and was demolished in 2007 by a developer for a condominium project. [1]

History[edit]

Theater

The Valley Music Theater was built in 1963, as a concrete shell structure, by pouring a concrete 'dome' over a rounded hill of soil, then excavating the soil away. The theater project was backed by entertainers Bob Hope and Art Linkletter, along with Cy Warner.

The 2865-seat facility opened July 6, 1964 with The Sound of Music.[1] The first year saw the theater mount 18 musicals, three comedies, a drama, as well as concerts with a combined audience of over 600,000.

Among the performers who appeared at the Valley Music Theater were Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, Woody Allen, Ray Charles, Art Linkletter, Robert Goulet, Mitzi Gaynor, Ike & Tina Turner, Peter, Paul & Mary, B.B. King, Lou Rawls, Three Dog Night, Jim Croce, and the Spiral Staircase. The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and The Doors appeared there together on February 22, 1967.[2]

Demise

By 1966 the theater began to fall on hard times.[3] Over the years, the fare changed from legitimate theater, to rock concerts, to boxing matches, until in 1980 it became a Jehovah's Witness Regional Assembly Hall. By 2004, the church had outgrown the facility and sold the property, which it had bought for $1 million, to the developer JPI for $30 million.

JPI Development of Texas demolished the Valley Music Theater building in 2007, and planned to erect 350 condominiums on the 8.3 acre site.[1] In April 2009, JPI defaulted on its loan of $41.8 million and the property was seized by Bank of America. The current owner is John Stanek of The Jefferson Project who has received preliminary approval May 27, 2011 for a mixed-use development consisting of retail shops and a maximum of 340 dwelling units.[1] The project began in 2012, and remained under construction in 2013.

In 2014, the site at 20600 Ventura Blvd. now consists of an apartment complex and live + work lofts called "The Boulevard" than plans to open in Spring 2014. [4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Marty McFly (2011-06-09). "Development Plans for the Demolished Valley Music Theatre in Woodland Hills?". Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  2. ^ Girard (2009-11-14). "Today’s Vacant Lot Is Yesterday’s History – Explore Google or Jump A Wall To Touch It". Hills of Woodland. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  3. ^ Bob Pool (1989-04-21). "Apartments to Uproot Landmark : Developer Buying 8-Acre Woodland Hills Dome Site". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-07-31. 
  4. ^ http://boulevardwoodlandhills.com/