hollywood-blackbox-theatre-district-to-disappear The Hollywood Theatre Row starts on Santa Monica and ends on also on Santa Monica. It has always been known as one of the seedier sides of Hollywood, even after the cleanup and Disney-fication up near the Chinese Theatre and the huge shopping complex Highland and Hollywood. This area of Hollywood has the huge gay club Circus; slated to close before the year is over; and a few art galleries, and playhouses catering the LGBT lifestyle towards the the area near Highland and Santa Monica. It used to be full of transexuals just a few months ago, but with the closing of gay club Arena/ Circus, the XXX store and gentrification of the entire area into Hollywood’s own little Art district, things seems to be on the up and up. NorthWest of Circus is LA’s own LGBT theater district with The Renberg (FB), McCadden Place Theatre and The Celebration Theatre. Most theatre are less than 99 seats and there are more than 20 theaters in the area.
The missing link is the Hollywood Theatre District. In a town like this you can find an improv, comedy club or some production company scattered throughout the city and most predominant in this area. It is officially known as the Hollywood Theatre District and zoning in the area allows big studios such like Hollywood Center Studios. It is also ground zero to Fringe Festival in Hollywood. The Hudson Theatre is actually three theatre in one and is the most elegant of all theaters in the area, plus an espresso bar, a Comedy central stage and they even have an art gallery inside. Also, if you go further south from that area you will see the very backstage of Hollywood, if you will. The places where all the equipment, lighting, etc are housed and stored. This is the area that houses those type of companies.
Just east of the Hollywood Theater District near Santa Monica and Highland and even though less well known with many is a black-box theatre district, near Cahuenga and Santa Monica Blvd . Examples are the Flight Theatre, Elephant Theatre Company and the Open Fist Theatre Company. Asylum Theatre it certainly has a great deal of character and hopefully stays true to its identity and is not eaten up by corporations or huge improv companies in the future. The same goes for the Flight at The Complex which is very cozy and still fells like you could get shanked at any moment. It is one of the few areas of Hollywood still untouched by gentrification, the epicenter of “Hollyweird” and a great place to see an underground show that always entertains.
The plays, improv and other events held in this area are…errr…lets just say very different from other playhouses in the city which take themselves so damn seriously. This area has a totally different attitude about the whole thing. Here are a few shows that played in the area in the last few years and during The Fringe Festival.
The Dragonfly is a club that throws crazy Halloween and other important date parties that cater to the wildest crowd in Hollywood, hands down. Flight Theatre at The Complex and other theaters surrounding it are near Santa Monica and Cahuenga Blvd.
Great article about the increase rents, increase in crime, marijuana dispensaries and many other things that are threatening the very survival of Hollywood’s unique Theatre Row.