The exciting facelift of the John Anson Ford Theatre complex, an open air theatre tucked into a hillside in the Cahuenga Pass, will be unveiled tonight, when it reopens after nearly two years of work. Former county supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky's website once likened the venue to an "under-appreciated secretary who finally whips off her glasses in Act III." The Ford Theatres, he said, "has been keeping its charms under wraps for a good long time."
Those charms are found in its dramatic history. Built in 1921, it faced a wildfire and raucous rock 'n' rollers. We've compiled a timeline below that provides a look back at those events and others:
As for the property's future, a new stage and lighting, part of $66 million in renovations designed by Levin & Associates, will breathe new life into the venue, and even fancier changes are still to come. A new 125-person picnic area and food stand are set to be completed in August. It might not get as much attention as the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek, but the Ford Theatre is steeped in colorful history that makes it an icon in its own right.