Damn, the battle for control of the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park has gotten so. juicy. After a heated decision-making process, Los Angeles's Board of Recreation and Parks Commissioners voted in October to give a new contract to mega-concert-promoter Live Nation, which runs the Wiltern and the Hollywood Palladium, over long-time operator Nederlander, which runs the Pantages, and its partner AEG, which owns LA Live. But today, following lots of public testimony and a closed session, the Los Angeles City Council voted against Live Nation; but City Attorney Mike Feuer had warned them this morning that they don't haven't the authority to overturn the Rec and Parks decision in this case, so they've also asked that the department to scrap the whole process and start over with new proposals from everyone.
Why does anyone care who runs the Greek Theatre? Neighbors around the venue worry Live Nation won't be as respectful as Nederlander, which has operated the theater for 40 years, and that new management will bring new noise, traffic, and trash. Nederlander also promises more revenue for the city. Live Nation, though, has said it'll put far more money toward improvements for the 1929 theater. (Here are both bidders' proposed renderings.) In the bidding process, which weighed several criteria, Live Nation scored 91 percent and Nederlander/AEG got a 79 percent, according to a press release from Live Nation.
Last month, Rec and Parks General Manger Mike Shull said his department's process emphasized a "look forward beyond what the Greek is currently today." City Councilmembers had all kinds of issues with it, though; the Los Feliz Ledger tweeted that Councilmember Bonin objected to how little weight (10 percent) the Board of Rec and Parks Commissioners gave to revenue, considering the department is underfunded, and Councilmember Koretz trashed Live Nation's design plan, calling it a "space ship" and saying "I don't think that will ever be built."
Live Nation already threatened a lawsuit before today's vote and says in its release that it "will continue to protect our position as the winning bidder for the Greek Theatre concession."
· Stunning Reversal in the Battle to Run the Greek Theatre [Curbed LA]
· Mega-Promoter Live Nation Picked to Take Over the Greek [Curbed LA]
· See the Competing Upgrade Plans for the Greek Theatre [Curbed LA]