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Apple finally unveils details on its Tower Theatre store on Broadway in Downtown LA

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A whiter, brighter interior, with many of the theater’s stunning interior details on display

The Tower Theatre.
Gina Power /

Apple is finally owning its plan to move into the historic Tower Theatre on Broadway in Downtown LA.

It unveiled its design scheme to the city’s Cultural Heritage Commission on Thursday, but before commissioners could take a look, the Los Angeles Times published new details and a rendering of the trillion-dollar company’s new outpost.

The Times says the Downtown location will be more than just a store. It will also be a place for Apple to host “programs, classes and other events for audiences of many ages” that sound a lot like the programming that many Apple stores provide. (Example: “People will meet at the Tower to be tutored in how to take pictures with an iPhone and then head out into the neighborhood to take their own shots.”)

The Tower would be restored by Foster and Partners and receive seismic retrofits. A sole rendering of the post-renovation Tower shows a whiter, brighter interior, with many of the structure’s stunning interior details on display.

Via Cultural Heritage Commission

Speakers from the Los Angeles Conservancy and Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar’s office spoke in favor of the project.

The Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation said in a statement that while it would have preferred to see the Tower reused as a theatre, it’s not opposed to the project at this stage.

They also say their priority is to see to it that many of the changes to the theater will be designed so they could be reversed at a later date, leaving the door open for the Tower to someday be a theater again.

The Tower opened in 1927, the first work by S. Charles Lee, who later designed the Los Angeles Theater, also on Broadway. The theater is owned by the Delijani family, which owns the Los Angeles and two other theaters on Broadway.

Located at Eighth and Broadway, the landmarked theater occupies a stretch of Broadway that’s gotten a lot of attention in recent years from big-name companies and retailers.

About a block away, the Ace Hotel resides in the old United Artists building. Across the street, the hulking Broadway Trade Center is slowly but steadily being transformed into a mixed-use powerhouse that will eventually hold a private club, a rooftop park, and a hotel.

Kitty-corner from the Tower Theatre, the Merritt Building, mostly vacant for years except for its ground-floor retailers, is slated to become offices and new retail.