Since it was first announced two years ago that the trendy Ace Hotel chain would be opening an outpost in the gorgeous old United Artists theatre building on Broadway, everyone's been looking forward to it as the linchpin of revitalization in the southern Historic Core—with 166 guest rooms and 16 suites, a restaurant and bar, high-end retail, and a revived (and super gorgeous) United Artists theater, it's going to bring a lot of much-needed life to this area of Broadway (which has been filling up meanwhile with other people-attracters like Umamicatessen and Urban Outfitters). It officially opened on Monday and here's your first look inside (we'll take a tour of the theater
tomorrow soon). Check out the "before" photos over here.
Ace's in-house design team Ace Atelier worked with locals Commune Design *and Chicago architecture firm GREC Architects on the restoration and design of the hotel; they stripped the inside down to its concrete (most guest rooms have concrete ceilings with homasote walls "for sound absorption and warmth") and furnished with local goods. Outside, the terra cotta and plaster exterior was also stripped and cleaned, and the original iron grillwork was restored. Guests can get an up-close view of the building's intricate tower from the Upstairs rooftop space, with an indoor bar and outdoor lounge and wading pool. Every inch is packed with original art (like the pencil drawings by Simon and Nikolai Haas that decorate the lobby and the 1927-themed Mike Mills pieces in the rooms), but most of that is still being installed, so no photos.
The theater is also not quite finished, but the Ace has already restored its original murals and plasterwork, "reclaimed and reupholstered" the seats (there are 1,600 total), and added a new retro ticket booth in the lobby. When it opens, the Ace will program it up with, according to press materials, "concerts, premieres, private screenings, conferences, seminars, performances and creative gatherings." Spiritualized plays the first public event on February 14.
The UA building was designed by Walker & Eisen; the theater was designed by C. Howard Crane for the United Artists partners—Mary Pickford, DW Griffith, Charlie Chaplin, and Douglas Fairbanks—and opened in 1927. Most recently it was home to the Wescott Christian Center, which put up the iconic Jesus Saves signs (one sign is still up, right outside the balcony of the presidential suite), and also kept the historic building in incredibly good shape.
· Downtown Los Angeles [Ace Hotel]
· Tour the Fabulous Future Home of LA's First Ace Hotel [Curbed LA]