Apple's retail arrival in Downtown Los Angeles has been rumored many times, but now it's been reported that the deal is basically sealed for a famed venue on a section of southern Broadway that's been heating up for a while. The tech giant is "in the in the process of securing a lease for retail space at the historic Tower Theatre downtown," sources with knowledge of the transaction tell the LA Business Journal.
The terms of the deal aren't clear yet, and Apple has yet to make any official announcement about a store in the recently rehabbed theater. The historic structure has about 7,500 square feet of space in the theater itself, plus an additional 7,500 square feet in the basement. (There are some photos of the interior here and here.)
The theater also has a handful of small retail storefronts along the street that are occupied by small artsy retailers, like a gallery and an artisanal popsicle shop, which LABJ says are on short-term leases. Those could theoretically go to Apple too, if they wanted the space.
The Tower opened in 1927; it was the first theater designed by the eventually prolific theater architect S. Charles Lee (he's also responsible for the nearby Los Angeles Theatre) and was also the first Downtown theater wired for sound.
This stretch of Broadway already houses the remodeled Rialto Theatre (now an Urban Outfitters) and the Ace Hotel with its restored United Artists Theatre, but the Tower is also across the street from the Broadway Trade Center, which is undergoing a major restoration and overhaul to become a kind of mini-city with a market, bars, a bevy of eateries, a private club, offices (it was rumored that big tech companies were all the leading contenders for space), and a rooftop public park with more places for food and drink and an Olympic-sized pool. Not a bad neighbor for Apple.