Naming rights are a financial transaction and form of advertising in which a corporation or other entity purchases the right to name a facility or event, typically for a defined period of time.
The theatre, which has served as a movie palace, been home to the Academy Awards and most recently housed touring Broadway shows including The Book of Mormon and Sister Act, was named after the Greek-born, Los Angeles-based producer Alexander Pantages. It has long been a symbol of Hollywood-style glamour.
At one point, the theatre was renamed the RKO Pantages in a deal that involved the famed movie studio and the eccentric entrepreneur Howard Hughes. The Nederlander Organization, which owns and operates the Pantages, transformed the Pantages into a live-theatre house in 1977, undertaking the venue's renovation and restoring the art-deco interior to its original condition.
The Nederlander Organization has hired Front Row Marketing Services, a subsidiary of Comcast Spectacor, to oversee the sale.
Nederlander has partnered with corporations for naming rights on some of its other theatre properties, including City National Grove of Anaheim and the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago. Earlier in 2013, naming rights to Grauman's Chinese Theatre, another historic Hollywood venue, were sold to the Chinese television maker TCL. The building is now named TCL Chinese Theatre and expected to open in September after renovations that will include an IMAX screen.