Curtain Goes Way Up for The Pantages Theatre

One of Hollywood’s most treasured theaters will finally be completed, reaching its intended height of 12 stories, according to the L.A. Times.

The 1929 stock market crash halted construction at two stories. To this day, the Pantages Theatre, currently showing the long-running musical “Wicked,” remains a two-story structure.

Now, 77 years after the Pantages’ spectacular opening night, efforts to finish the landmark theater’s upstairs offices are moving ahead again with those long-forgotten 10 additional floors — all true to the original Art Deco design.

Curbed is getting some comments from peeps who this is a bad idea. There are some that think Los Angeles should be all about sleek, modern towers, draped in steel and glass. That we should be building for the future instead of looking backward toward the past.

I say the plan to finish the Pantages in art deco style, in accordance with its original blueprints, is brilliant. This is how Hollywood & Vine should look.

If you haven’t had a chance to see Wicked yet, do it. It’s a great show. Don’t let their long running TV promo fool you…

The Wizard will see you now! (Followed by, what seems to be an off-night couple of notes from the girl in green) Uh-aaauhaaauuuuuuhhh!!

Rendering from the Los Angeles Times

8 thoughts on “Curtain Goes Way Up for The Pantages Theatre”

  1. That should be something to behold when done. So many treasures from that era are gone, some converted to other uses, but imagine a new one built using the original plans. I hope they can stay true while doing all that is needed to make the building meet current building codes.

  2. Funny that all the people at Curbed want to see “architecture moving forward not backward.”

    On the other side, evidently, some preservationists have a problem with this idea for the Pantages.

    From a historical building point of view, by building something that wasn’t there before, this is essentially “rewriting a history that never was.”

  3. It is an odd situation.

    I guess you could look at it as a project that, after numerous delays, will be completed in just under 90 years.

    Look, ma! Glass half full!!!

  4. this is essentially “rewriting a history that never was.”

    Which is what we always do here, anyway. Popular history in LA is a miasma of amnesia and pulp fiction and silver-screen fever dreams. :-)

    And this is a brilliant rewrite – the omission of that lovely deco tower was one of the sadder legacies of the Great Depression in Hollywood.

    It’ll be a great story to tell the kids, one of the odder tales of boom-and-bust real-estate development in California. 90 years, indeed. :-)

    And it’ll be really pretty.

    They’re making history, not just rewriting it.

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