May 18, 2023

Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre, located near Glendale area, is a historic amphitheater in Griffith Park. The city of Los Angeles owns it, while ASM Global manages it. The theater's stage was inspired by the architecture of Greek temples and was designed by Tacoma's Heath, Gove & Bell and Seattle's Frederick Hastings Wallisand.

The theater saw little action in its first few decades and served as barracks during World War II. A San Francisco producer in the late 1940s began bringing touring performances to the theater. James Doolittle leased the theater in the '50s and made improvements to the auditorium and backstage areas. The Nederlander Organization oversaw the theater from 1975 to 2015. During that time, it underwent extensive renovations and began hosting a mix of modern and traditional performances on a regular basis. In 1995, the theater was strengthened for use in earthquakes. To mark its 75th anniversary, the building's front was updated in 2006. Live Nation made an effort to unseat Nederlander as the theater's operator in 2015, leading to a partnership between the two companies, along with Nederlander and Goldenvoice, which would be responsible for event programming while SMG oversaw operations at the venue.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the venue has decided to not celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2020 and has put up for sale the red chairs that were removed during renovations to the patio areas.

The Greek Theatre's capacity was raised to 6,187 in 1983, but subsequent renovations reduced that number to 6,162 in 1995 and 5,700 in 2004. The Greek Theatre's maximum capacity increased from 5,870 to 5,900 in 2009 after the Los Angeles Fire Marshal approved an additional two rows of seating in the pit.

Thomas Starr King Middle School and John Marshall High School, among others, hold their commencement ceremonies and other events at the Greek Theatre.

Seven out of the previous eight years, the Greek Theatre has been recognized as the Best Small Outdoor Venue by Pollstar Magazine.

Across the street from the theater is where the annual Bell-Jeff Invitational cross-country running event begins.

The Go-Gos, Ringo Starr, Joe Bonamassa, Chicago, and Neil Diamond's Love at the Greek concert from 1976 were all filmed there for television broadcasts. The "Shallow" sequence from A Star Is Born (2018) was shot there, as were parts of Get Him to the Greek (2005) and Bye, Bye, Birdie (2010).

Grifith Park
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