LA’s downtown United Artists Theatre for sale

posted by HowardBHaas on August 12, 2010 at 7:45 am

LOS ANGELES, CA — Long a church, the United Artists Theatre is back on the market and the Los Angeles Theatre Foundation is hoping it gets the right buyer.

When Scott died in 2005, his widow, Melissa Scott, decided to move the empire north to their Glendale campus. They are now selling the theater with its 12-story office tower for $12 million (dropped from $15) and Wright wants more than anything to buy it. His plans are to turn the UA back into an entertainment venue for films and/or live performances because he believes the grandiose d├ęcor honors performers and inspires the audience. Although the 28-foot stage can’t accommodate big productions, he says there are other theaters that can. So the UA would host medium sized productions or movies.

There’s plenty of room inside the palatial interior. The 2,214 seat theater was Mary Pickford’s personal pet project and the silent movie starlet lifted the gothic details from the Spanish Cathedral at Segovia, adorning archways and windows with sculpted facades and ornate plasterwork. The vaulted ceilings and walls are painted with frescos of the UA founders. There’s even an orchestra pit that used to house a manual Wurlitzer theater pipe organ (removed in 1955).

Read more in the Wall Street Journal.

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Comments (5)

LawMann on August 12, 2010 at 7:36 pm

The article mentions that 45,000 live in the downtown Los Angeles city center but failed to mention that hundreds of thousands more go there during the day and into the evening hours for a great night out. My wife and I ride the subway (from Hollywood) to get to the vibrant nightlife of the city center and have attended many events there day and night. A renovated United Artists theatre will be a great addition to the city life of Los Angeles’s Broadway that is downtown.

monika on August 13, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Does anyone know what the floors above the UA (and the State, Palace, etc) are used for?

DonSolosan on August 13, 2010 at 8:31 pm

I don’t know about the State or the Palace, but the UA’s offices are empty.

terrywade on August 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

The old offices above these theatres may need some earthquake retro fit work done before they can be leased out or brought up to a new handicap code. The UA needs It’s marquee re lit with new neon and paint and open for erntertainment by a new group of owners. Does anyone have any photos to share when they had a large curved Todd-AO screen with curtains up in the UA in the 50’s?

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