New Major Theatrical Venue Slated to Open in L.A. Next Year

News   New Major Theatrical Venue Slated to Open in L.A. Next Year Premiere Theatre, part of a huge entertainment and commercial complex slated to open next year in the heart of Hollywood, will not only serve as the home of future Academy Award ceremonies but will host Broadway-type musicals and shows. The $94-million project will also include a 640-room Marriott hotel, a four-plex movie theatre and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom. Retail tenants have not been announced, but rumors have it that music composer-promoter Quincy Jones will open a nightclub called Q's Juke Joint.

Premiere Theatre, part of a huge entertainment and commercial complex slated to open next year in the heart of Hollywood, will not only serve as the home of future Academy Award ceremonies but will host Broadway-type musicals and shows. The $94-million project will also include a 640-room Marriott hotel, a four-plex movie theatre and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom. Retail tenants have not been announced, but rumors have it that music composer-promoter Quincy Jones will open a nightclub called Q's Juke Joint.

Designed by New York architect David Rockwell, the Premiere will resemble a grand opera house loaded with glittering portals, red-carpeted corridors, high-tech amenities and luxury boxes. The lobby will have a glass wall affording a view of the Hollywood sign.

The newly announced tenant for the theatre, Peter Holmes a Court and his Back Row Productions, said the mission of the theatre and the Hollywood & Highland project is no less than creating a reality to match the glamour image of Tinseltown. "Hollywood is the greatest brand name in the world, bar none," said the Australia-born Holmes a Court. "We want to put the gloss back on that brand name that, at its actual epicenter, is somewhat downtrodden."

Local politicians and business leaders have hailed the complex as the catalyst in the push to revitalize Hollywood. The Premiere will seat 2,000 for live performances and up to 3,000 for concerts and award shows. Holmes a Court envisioned the theatre being used each year for 30 or 40 concerts, eight-to-12 weeks of Broadway-style shows, four-to-six weeks of touring dance shows, five award galas and perhaps a dozen nights devoted to stand-up comedy. Back Row Productions is currently backing the revival of Amadeus on Broadway. Homes a Court said that there already has been "a swell of interest" in the new venue and that programming announcements will be made in November.

The Premiere Theatre is located only a few blocks from another of L.A.'s major theatres, the Pantages, which is scheduled to host a homegrown production of Disney's The Lion King, commencing in September. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent