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After 26 Years, Downtown's Belasco Theater Re-Opening

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Elizabeth Daniels

This weekend will mark the re-opening of Hill Street's Belasco Theater, a downtown theater that's been closed for more than a quarter of a century. Built by Edward Doheny in 1926, and designed by the architecture firm Morgan, Walls & Clements, also behind Mayan and El Capitan theaters, the Belasc will operate as a large scale event space. Owner Christina Kim, who bought the space three years ago, and renovated the theater to include two restaurants, five bars (including a wine bar), a ballroom, and the main theater space. A large DJ show will debut this Saturday in the theater space.
How the neighborhood will react to the new space remains to be seen. According the Downtown News, both the owners of the Mayan Theater and the local LAPD opposed elements of the theater's re-opening, saying the "neighborhood can’t handle another nightlife spot next to the already busy Mayan," according to the paper. But the project had the support of numerous downtown groups, including the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation.

Meanwhile, party goers may be too mesmerized by all those flickering lights to notice the architectural details of the building, but the theater has Churrigueresque, Spanish Renaissance, Moorish, and Gothic details. Also, Blogdowntown has more about the theater's history, including its various uses as theater for some racy shows, as well as a church.
· Belasco Theater [Official Site]

Belasco Theater

1050 South Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90015