Theatre Row, along Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, is the closest thing Los Angeles has to a theater district and it's falling on hard times. Two high-profile theater companies, Celebration and Open Fist, have moved off of the mile-long stretch of theaters, which typically seat under 100 people and help theater professionals learn their craft and get noticed by bigwigs. Rising rents in Hollywood are the most obvious source of anxiety among the theater companies, , according to the LA Times, with many landlords taking advantage of rising land values in the gentrifying area. Open Fist was paying $8,000 a month and their landlord wanted to raise their rent 50 percent; Celebration says its expenses had more than doubled, from $3,000 to $7,500, over the last eight years.
Even though development is exploding on nearby Vine Street, theater owners say crime is getting worse around Theatre Row, which is to the south and west of much of the new investment. Though cops are walking the beat, the city offers very little in the way of help—the Row is even having difficulty replacing promotional banners on area streetlights, one of the only ways the theaters can market themselves inexpensively (the problem is compounded because SMB is technically a highway and under Caltrans's jurisdiction). Meanwhile, the owners point out that, unlike loads of other business districts around town, "Theatre Row has never received grants or financial assistance from the city."
· Hollywood's Theatre Row sees exits stage right, left as scene changes [LA Times]