This July, the John Anson Ford Theatre complex is set to finally reopen after years of work and show off a host of new updates to the grounds, from a new stage and lighting to infrastructural improvements to a new mini mart-style market. The theater's public reopening this summer is just in time for the new season at the open-air theater, reports the LA Times.
When the venue reopens, the Ford's smaller, indoor theater, Inside the Ford, will have been turned into a "self-serve food market." The two theaters couldn't be used at the same time without sounds from one stage affecting the performance at the other, but getting rid of the 87-seat venue "was not a choice that was made lightly by any means," the executive director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, which supervises the complex, tells the Times.
Some of the less glamorous but still very necessary updates to the theater, tucked into a hillside in the Cahuenga Pass, include a new drainage system to prevent flooding (previously, flooding was dealt with via sandbags) and a new sound barrier, intended to muffle noise from the adjacent 101 Freeway.
Additionally, a new 125-person picnic area and food stand will be complete in August, at which point there will be a full dedication ceremony at the theater.
Work on this project to redo the 1,245-seat outdoor theater began in late 2014, and the Theater had no summer 2015 season. The 2016 season begins July 8. The Ford Theater complex is set to receive even bigger upgrades to its campus down the line, adding more space for retail and transit connections.
A time-lapse video posted on the Ford Theatres' website offers a look at the kind of work that went into getting the venue prepped for its summer reopening.