Los Angeles is home not only to the film industry, but also some of the country’s most notable theaters. Its series of venues capture the city’s unique combination of urban and suburban landscape, and stretch across the entire hub of LA. Here are some of the most notable.
Housed in one of the first structures in the Westwood Village, The Geffen is a not-for-profit theater named after entertainment mogul David Geffen. The Geffen has two stages and puts on three to five plays each season. In addition to putting on amazing performances, the Geffen boasts beautiful architecture and a very Instagrammable courtyard.
The Bootleg Theater offers visitors a unique experience. The inclusive art space hosts original, boundary-defying live theater, music, and dance performances born from the diverse cultural and artistic landscape of Los Angeles. The theater takes pride in providing a space for non-traditional, contemporary performance pieces.
The Pantages Theater is one of the most famous Los Angeles locations. This Hollywood landmark hosts everything from traveling shows to musicals like Wicked and Hamilton. The venue itself is stunning, with intricate ceilings and sconces. When the Pantages opened in 1930, it was home to vaudeville shows and movies, then became a movie theater after the Great Depression and even hosted the Oscars in the ‘50s. In 1977, the theater was converted into the live entertainment venue as it’s known today.
The Alex Theatre, located in Glendale, CA is a landmark—and it’s easy to see why when you look at the historic building. Alex is home to six resident performance/film companies–Alex Film Society, Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Glendale Youth Orchestra, Los Angeles Ballet, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Musical Theatre Guild. The Alex Theatre also hosts music, dance, theatre and comedy presentations, film screenings and fundraisers, as well as special events year-round.
The Mark Taper Forum is located at the Music Center, a venue that strives to help people “think about how art sheds a light on society,” producing plays that provoke thoughtful discussions within the surrounding community. Open since 1967, the theater is filled with 739 seats and operated by the Center Theatre Group. The architecture of Mark Taper emphasizes geometric shapes, similar to the Carousel Theatre at Disneyland.
Home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the concert hall was built as a tribute to Walt Disney’s devotion to the arts and love of the city. The original design called for a stone exterior, but budget limitations led to the now-famous steel cladding. The building is a unique addition to DTLA and sparks the imagination of visitors and passersby alike.
The Kirk Douglas Theatre is located on the west side of Los Angeles, in Downtown Culver City. The theater hosts many world premieres and gives a home to innovative and adventurous performances. The theater was restored recently and now seats more than 1,500 guests.
The Wiltern is one of Los Angeles’ most famous theaters. Originally designed to be a multi-tiered movie theater, the space operates now as a concert venue with seated balcony space and a floor space that’s typically standing, and general admission. It feels larger than it is, which ensures that the intimate experience isn’t going to feel too crowded or claustrophobic while still giving everyone in the room a good view of the stage.