This past weekend, Downtown added another one to its growing list of rehabbed and revived theaters: the Old Bank District's long-dormant Regent Theatre has just returned, courtesy of the guy who runs The Echo. Originally opening in 1914, the space was used as a Vaudeville showcase, a movie theater, an X-rated movie house, and an irregularly-programmed special events venue before its official rebirth over the weekend as a live music venue, reports the Downtown News.
Spaceland Productions owner Mitchell Frank (founder of Spaceland and operator of The Echo and Echoplex in Echo Park) worked with Knitting Factory Entertainment and the development company Artist & Recreation to pull off the Regent's later transformation—they ripped out the floor seats, adding in a new mezzanine level above the main floor and upgraded the structure seismically, while maintaining its old-timey appeal via original "gothic ceiling arches" and 1920s-era plaster moldings. The process understandably took some time, and the project spent nine months being "almost finished" before it was actually ready to open its doors.
Now the new, 1,100-person-capacity venue has a customized sound system and a layout that takes advantage of the great sight-lines in the space, plus hip new bar inside—complete with "decommissioned upright piano, serving as a bar top" and antlers mounted along the wall—and a wonderfully restored exterior marquee on the street.
The Regent will be hosting two to three shows a week, plus a "rock and roll flea market" planned for December.
· The Regent's Rocking Return [DN]
· Downtown L.A.'s Regent Theater finally opens tonight [LAT]
· Spaceland Founder to Run Old Bank District's Regent Theater [Curbed LA]