Saban Theatre has been entertaining audiences since 1930, when it was one of old Hollywood's premiere film palaces. The art deco theatre, then named the Fox Wilshire, attracted its fair share of cinema legends. In 1953, the stars of Hollywood turned out for the premiere of Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall's film, ¬How to Marry a Millionaire. Walt Disney arrived at the theater later that year to exhibit the fist widescreen Donald Duck cartoon, which required subtitles for non-avian audience members.
In 1981, the theater's owners chose to shift from film to live performance. They renovated the building, converted the auditorium into a stage venue, and changed the name to Saban Theatre. Since then, the venue has hosted performances from the likes of Richard Pryor, Billy Crystal, and Sting. Even with its modern headliners, the theater still echoes Tinsel Town's Golden Age with its ornate plasterwork and grand sculptures.
As dancers step into The Choreography House’s sleek red-and-white studio, they’ll quickly realize that the vertical chrome poles are not structural supports. Instead, they’ll learn how to twist, climb, and pass a tetherball around these cylindrical columns under the supervision of instructors who have spent years gracefully entangling themselves around these very poles. Their classes train both aspiring professionals and those in search of a body-bettering hobby from a packed weekly schedule that hosts sessions Sunday–Thursday from late morning to late evening.
If El Portal Theatre looks familiar, that's because it probably is. The legendary space has starred in Modern Family, Glee, and Last Comic Standing, and has guest starred in dozens of piano-recital nightmares. Built as a vaudeville house in 1926, the venue has earned its celebrity status, welcoming performers such as Jason Alexander, Bea Arthur, and The Manhattan Transfer to its stage over the years. After an extensive renovation, El Portal now boasts three stages that host everything from small comedy shows to Broadway performances.
The Academy for New Musical Theatre began over forty years ago as the west coast branch of the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, and has now become the premiere place to study and develop new musicals. ANMT is a community of bookwriters, lyricists, composers, performers, and producers sharing a love of new musicals.
Although it’s named after a screen legend and housed in a restored movie house, the Kirk Douglas Theatre is all about the stage. The 317-seat venue hosts intimate showings of plays and musicals selected by artistic director Michael Ritchie, who strives to feature productions scribed by local playwrights.