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Belasco Theatre, Los Angeles

Belasco Theatre, Los Angeles

Website: http://www.thebelasco.com/ Open website in new window

Telephone: (213) 746-5670 Call (213) 746-5670

Address: 1050 South Hill St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 Show address in Google Maps (new window)

 Featured Photos

 Overview

The Belasco Theatre opened in late 1926 under the management of Edward Belasco and partners – Edward was the brother of famous New York theatre producer David Belasco. The same management team operated the Mayan Theatre, which was built next door immediately after the Belasco was completed.

Both the Belasco and the Mayan were designed by the architectural team of Stiles O. Clements, Octavius Morgan, and John A. Walls. Whereas the Mayan was designed for musicals, the Belasco was aimed at hosting straight plays. The exterior of the theatre has an exotic Spanish Conquistador theme, with a series of seven figures of conquistadors, set in pineapple shaped niches, across the top of the façade. The Belasco’s auditorium was designed in the Spanish Renaissance/Moorish style, and contains a huge yet shallow highly-decorated and gilded dome.

According to the Belasco’s website, during the 1930s the Belasco participated in the Federal Theater Project (FTP), a New Deal project to fund theatre and performing arts in the United States during the Great Depression. It was considered one of five Federal One projects sponsored by the Works Projects Administration. The FTP’s primary goal was employment of out-of-work artists, writers, and directors, with the secondary aim of entertaining poor families and creating relevant art.

In 1948 the Belasco was sold to new owners and started showing movies, sometimes including a stage show, and quickly moved toward burlesque. In June 1950 the theatre changed hands again when it was sold to the Immanuel Gospel Temple and converted into a church. The Belasco’s use as a church continued when the Metropolitan Community Church purchased it in 1973. In 1984 the church vacated the Belasco and it lay dormant for some time, save the odd movie shoot or special event such as the launch of the Playstation 2 game “Underworld” by Sony.

In March 2011 the Belasco was re-opened as a multi-purpose live entertainment venue, following renovations and improvements costing in the region of $10M. The 400-person Ballroom at the rear of the Balcony, above the Lobby, is now an events space accessible separately from the main theatre. Orchestra seating has been removed however seating has been retained in the Balcony with the addition of cocktail tables. Backstage access from the alley running behind the theatre is now a level access from alley to stage floor and into the auditorium, allowing for some interesting uses such as staging car shows within the auditorium.

The Belasco is no stranger to the movies having appeared in End Of Days (1999), Being John Malkovich (1999), Swordfish (2001), Memoirs Of A Geisha (2005), The Prestige (2006), and Jersey Boys (2014).

One almost-unique feature of the Belasco is that it has retained its Paint Bridge at the rear of the Stage. A gantry runs along the rear wall, between left and right Fly Floors and approximately 20ft up, to facilitate the painting of a backdrop hung on the rearmost batten. The only other Los Angeles area theatres to retain their Paint Bridges/Frames are the Globe (Downtown LA) and Rialto (South Pasadena).

 Movie, TV & Music Video Appearances

Movies

Television

 How do I visit the Belasco Theatre?

As of mid-2017 the Belasco does not offer tours however they host a multitude of events which are available to book online on the Belasco Theatre’s website Link opens in new window. Additionally Hillsong Link opens in new window runs church services several times a day every Sunday at the Belsaco.

 Further Reading

Online

Venue Information
General Information
Seating Capacity Originally 1,600. Current configuration 900 (seated), 1,500 (standing).
Stage Dimensions
Stage Depth 38ft
Wing Space 50ft, both Stage Left and Stage Right

Archived files for this venue

 Photos of the Belasco Theatre

Auditorium

Exterior and Public Areas

All images copyright © 2002-2018 Mike Hume/historictheatrephotos.com. For licensing and/or re-use contact me here.



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