<< Go Back up to Region ‘Los Angeles: Hollywood’


Follow Mike Hume’s Historic Theatre Photography: Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Instagram Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Facebook

Dolby Theatre

Dolby Theatre

Architect: David Rockwell

First Opened: 9th November 2001 (22 years ago)

Former Names: Kodak Theatre

Website: www.dolbytheatre.com Open website in new window

Telephone: (323) 308-6300 Call (323) 308-6300

Address: 6801 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028 Show address in Google Maps (new window)


Hollywood’s 3,400-seat Dolby Theatre, formerly known as the Kodak Theatre, was designed as a permanent home for the annual Academy Awards ceremony (the Oscars), and having opening in November 2001 has hosted the Oscars every year since. The theatre is located in the heart of Hollywood.

Featured Photos

Detailed Information

The Dolby Theatre was built as part of the Hollywood & Highland Center, a shopping center and entertainment complex built at the northwest corner of the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The development was a major catalyst for the revitalization of the western end of the Hollywood Walk of Fame along Hollywood Boulevard, and included a new Loews hotel and the historic TCL Chinese Theatre.

Dolby Theatre Auditorium
Dolby Theatre Auditorium

The 3,400-seat theatre cost $94 million to build. David Rockwell, founder of the Rockwell Group Link opens in new window, designed it in conjunction with Theatre Projects Consultants Link opens in new window who provided concept design, theatre planning, and theatre equipment design/specification services.

A core component of the design was ensuring large-scale television/broadcast events could use the theatre effectively, both technically and in appearance, and as such leading industry professionals were consulted extensively throughout the planning and design phases.

Notable technical features include:

Auditorium from Balcony
Auditorium from Balcony

The design of the auditorium sought to blend glamour with function, which Rockwell considers a modern interpretation inspired by theatres of the 1920s. The theatre’s proscenium arch clearly takes cues from the proscenium of Le Grand Rex, a 1932 movie theatre located in Paris and to this day Europe’s largest movie theatre by seating capacity.

The main level comprises Orchestra / Main Floor seating with the Parterre located behind a small break in height.

There are three balconies (called Mezzanine 1, 2, and 3) which are flanked with boxes on each side, stepping down toward the proscenium.

The ceiling features a striking silver tiara which extends vertically down to the auditorium floor, while also being practical in providing concealed cable runs and flexible cove lighting positions in the auditorium ceiling.

A major component of the theatre is its five-level grand lobby, in part inspired by the Paris Opera House where large lobbies allow everyone to see and be seen – something considered crucial to the theatre’s Hollywood aspirations at the time of design.

The stage is among the largest of indoor theatres in the United States, slightly smaller than both the Shrine Auditorium and Radio City Music Hall, however the theatre’s seating capacity is significantly less than both – around half.

The theatre opened on 9th November 2001 with a gala concert starring British tenor Russell Watson along with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and Choir.

<i>After The Oscars</i>, 2018
After The Oscars, 2018

The Dolby Theatre played host to Cirque du Soleil’s Iris Link opens in new window, an acrobatic journey through the world of cinema, from mid-2011 until early 2013. Although initially booked for a run of 10 years with a month-long break each Spring for the Oscars, the show closed in early 2013 due to poor ticket sales. Cirque du Soleil made significant changes to the theatre, including adding stage lifts extending 44ft under the original stage floor, at a cost of approximately $40 million.

In January 2012 Eastman Kodak Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and in February won court approval to remove its name from the theatre. Landlord CIM/H&H Media had sought to compel Kodak to continue with their 20-year naming rights deal, signed in 2000 and worth $72 million.

At the start of May 2012 it was announced that Dolby Laboratories had signed a 20-year deal taking over the naming rights. Simultaneously the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Link opens in new window announced that, after entertaining multiple offers to relocate, it had negotiated a new 20-year deal to keep the Academy Awards at the theatre. The first premiere to be held at the newly renamed Dolby Theatre was Pixar’s Brave (2012) Link opens in new window on 18th June 2012.

In August 2017 the City of Los Angeles purchased the theatre for $100,000 from CRA/LA, the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles, which was being disbanded. In April 1999 the City had issued $43.21 million in taxable bonds for the construction of the theatre, and with $28.3 million still owing, the City had to control the property. The 99-year lease to CIM Group for operation of the theatre was not affected by the change in ownership.

The Dolby Theatre plays host to a healthy number of live events in addition to television tapings and award shows. The Oscars continue to be broadcast to a global audience from the theatre, and from 2016 to 2021 America’s Got Talent Link opens in new window hosted its live Finals shows from the theatre (the live Finals moved to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium from 2022 onwards).

In 2019, the surrounding Hollywood & Highland Center changed ownership in a deal worth $325 million. The complex was renovated at a reported cost of $100 million and rebranded as Ovation Hollywood in 2022.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic the theatre hosted Broadway in Hollywood shows displaced from the Pantages Theatre one mile east of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, during the extended run of “Hamilton” Link opens in new window held at the Pantages. The last Broadway in Hollywood show played at the Dolby in May 2023.

In the Fall of 2023 it was reported Link opens in new window that the theatre was up for sale, with a price tag of as much as $70 million.

Movie, TV & Music Video Appearances

Television

Documentary

Award Shows

Video from our YouTube channel:

How do I visit the Dolby Theatre?

The Dolby Theatre runs tours seven days a week, every hour on the hour from 11am to 3pm, except when theatre operations prevent tours from taking place.

The docent-led walking tour lasts 30 minutes and includes a visit to the Dolby Lounge where you will see a real Oscar statue. Access to the theatre and particularly the stage is at the discretion of the visiting company and/or theatre operations on the day and is not guaranteed. Tickets are $25 (Seniors/Youth $19) and may only be purchased from the Dolby Theatre Box Office in person. Advance bookings are not usually necessary. Further information is available on the Dolby Theatre’s website Link opens in new window. Box Office times are listed here Link opens in new window.


Upcoming Special Events

Theatre Tours (Daily, at various times from 11am to 3pm)

Theatre Tours

Step Beyond The Red Carpet! Experience all of the renowned elegance and celebrity glamour that the Home of the Academy Awards® has to offer!

See an Oscar® statuette, visit our Dolby Lounge and other exclusive celebrity hot spots, plus view images from previous Academy Awards® ceremonies.

Tour is a thirty minute walking tour that includes several flights of stairs. Disabled guests can be easily accommodated, but please advise the theatre at the time of ticket purchase.

The Dolby Theatre is an operating facility with a busy performance schedule. Access to certain areas of the theatre is subject to performance schedules. For more information, please contact Dolby Theatre customer service at (323) 308-6300.

Click here to go to the event website. Link opens in new window




Wanda Sykes: Please & Thank You Tour (2nd May 2024, 8pm)

Wanda Sykes: Please & Thank You Tour

Part of Netflix is a Joke Fest Link opens in new window, running 2nd to 12th May 2024 in Los Angeles.

WANDA SYKES** **is an Emmy winning stand up comic, writer, actress and producer who has been entertaining audiences for over twenty years. She has ranked among _Entertainment Weekly’s _“25 Funniest People in America” and her peers have called her “one of the funniest stand-up comics” in the field.

This event will be a phone-free experience. Use of phones, smart watches and accessories, will not be permitted in the performance space. Upon arrival at the venue, all phones, smart watches and accessories will be secured in individual Yondr pouches that will be opened at the end of the event. Guests maintain possession of their devices at all times, and can access them throughout the event only in designated Phone Use Areas within the venue. All devices will be re-secured in Yondr pouches before returning to the performance space. Anyone seen using a device (phone, smart watch or accessories) during the performance will be escorted out of the venue.

2nd May at 8pm.

Click here to go to the event website. Link opens in new window

Further Reading

Online

Technical Information

Flying System
System Type
Counterweight (single-purchase) operated from Stage Left at Stage level or from Fly Floor
Grid Height
89ft 6in (27.3m)
Linesets
76 (86ft / 26.2m wide), plus 4 motorized linesets for tabsets (Upstage/Downstage Blacks)
Batten High Trim
82ft 6in (25.1m) above Stage Floor
Batten Low Trim
3ft 3in (1m) above Stage Floor
Pin Rails
Stage Right and Stage Left Fly Floors
General Information
Seating Capacity
3,400 (Orchestra & Parterre 1,460; First Mezzanine 638; Second Mezzanine 529; Third Mezzanine 773)
Lighting
Dimmers
720 @ 2.4kW, 48 @ 6kW
Followspots
4 @ Lycian 2kW Xenon 1290XLT
Movie Projection
Booth Location
Rear of First Mezzanine (43ft wide by 11ft deep - 13.1m by 3.4m)
Projection Throw
Approx 110ft (33.5m)
Stage Dimensions
Proscenium Height
35ft (10.7m)
Proscenium Width
64ft (19.5m) adjustable down to 43ft (13.1m)
Inner Decorative Proscenium Arch
83ft (25.3m) wide at Stage level
Outer Decorative Proscenium Arch
92ft (28m) wide at Stage level
Rear Stage
78ft wide by 15ft deep, 35ft high (23.7m by 4.6m by 10.7m)
Stage Depth
60ft (18.3m)
Stage Right side stage
27ft wide by 60ft front-to-back, 35ft high (8.2m by 18.3m by 10.7m)
Stage Width
113ft (34.4m)
Historic Photos & Documents
Files displayed in this section may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media.

Photos of the Dolby Theatre

Jump to Photo Section:

  1. Auditorium
  2. Front Of House And Public Areas
  3. Exterior
  4. Events at the Dolby Theatre
  5. Backstage
Auditorium

The Dolby Theatre seats 3,400 on four levels. The main floor (Orchestra) level and Parterre seats 1,460. Mezzanine 1 seats 638, Mezzanine 2 seats 529, and Mezzanine 3 seats 773.

Front Of House And Public Areas
Exterior

The monumental main entrance of the theatre faces onto Hollywood Boulevard. Retail stores line the corridor leading into the grand staircase which rises up one level to the entrance to the theatre. The stores are closed and covered by drapes for the Academy Awards.

Events at the Dolby Theatre
Backstage

The Dolby Theatre stage is one of the largest in the United States and one of the most technically-advanced throughout the country.



Follow Mike Hume’s Historic Theatre Photography: Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Instagram Follow Historic Theatre Photos on Facebook