Latest News – 15th August 2020
Update – October 2019
Ghost signs on the 8th St façade have been covered with a protective layer and terracotta wall tile restoration has started.
Graffiti is being addressed as part of the terracotta restoration. The stained-glass window over the Broadway entrance has been protected while work is taking place.
By far the most noticeable change at the Tower – and only at night – is a new lighting scheme being trialed on the 8th St façade and the clock tower.
We're not entirely sure how long it has been since the Tower's iconic clock face was last lit up, but we're delighted to see it lit again!
Update – September 2019
Interior work has started on the Tower Theatre. As proposed, some of the interior finishes are being carefully removed in order to do the required structural enhancements. The historic elements removed are being stored for eventual replacement. LAHTF is in contact with the design team and is monitoring the process.
Update – 3rd July 2019
Permits have now been pulled for the majority of the adaptive reuse of the Tower Theatre (1927) as an Apple venue. Scaffolding has gone up, and the non-original marquee on Broadway has been removed. According to the renderings presented at the public hearing last year, it will be replaced by a replica of the original 1927 marquee.
At the start of July LAHTF Board Members reviewed the full plans with the architect. We will continue to monitor progress and meet with the working group, which includes both the City's Office of Historic Resources and the LA Conservancy.
Update – 7th August 2018
Cultural Heritage Committee (CHC) Meeting August 2, 2018 at Los Angeles City Hall
Click here to read a summary of, and see photos from, the Tower Theatre project presentation made to the Cultural Heritage Committee on 2nd August 2018.
While there will be a primary non-theatrical use of the Tower Theatre, LAHTF is encouraged by the current plans to incorporate live events, recognizing the important part the Tower Theatre and the Broadway Historic Theatre District have played in the evolution of Los Angeles and the Entertainment Industry.
Whereas final plans and/or renderings of all areas of the theatre are not yet available, LAHTF is cautiously optimistic at the proposed plans and progress to date. We look forward to hearing more about the live programming element as the project evolves.
LAHTF will continue to advocate for the protection, preservation, and restoration of the historic theatrical elements of the building by closely monitoring the treatment of all unique and character-defining features to ensure that as much as possible is restored in place, and that any historic elements which must be removed are preserved and protected on-site.
Update – 2nd August 2018
"Apple premieres plans for store and event space in historic downtown L.A. theatre"
With a mission to preserve, protect, restore and sustain the historic theatres of Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation's (LAHTF) first priority is that they are maintained and activated in the purpose for which they were intended. LAHTF understands that the project to renovate and convert the Tower Theatre to a non-theatrical use will generate mixed reactions. Accordingly, it is important to make our position clear.
A conversion to non-theatrical use is not LAHTF's preferred future of the Tower Theatre; however, after meeting with the owners, development team, and viewing early design concepts, LAHTF has decided not to opposed the project at this time. While we acknowledge the project will reactivate the historic space and deliver an essential seismic retrofit, our priority is that the project be designed such that the vast majority of changes are reversible, so that the Tower Theatre could be restored to a theatrical use in the future. LAHTF is closely monitoring the treatment of all unique and character-defining features to ensure that as much as possible is restored in place, and that any historic elements which must be removed are preserved and protected on site.
Along with additional stakeholders and city officials, LAHTF has been involved in regularly held working sessions with the owner and development team to discuss the project's evolution and preservation efforts. Prior to renovation work commencing, the building owners allowed LAHTF to carry out a full photographic survey of the building in July 2018, including 3D photogrammetric surveying of the most significant areas. We have been assured that preservation experts will make regular site visits during renovation and construction to ensure that the best possible care is taken with the historic elements of the Tower Theatre. While we do not oppose the project based on the current design concepts, LAHTF will continue to advocate for the protection, preservation, and restoration of the historic theatrical elements of the building.
About the Tower Theatre
Completed in 1927, the Tower Theatre was the first theatre designed by renowned architect S. Charles Lee, as well as the first movie palace in downtown wired for sound films. The theatre was designed in the French Renaissance style with Spanish, Romanesque and Moorish influences. Through decades of different operation, it was known as the Newsreel and the Music Hall. The Tower Theatre returned to its original name after a major renovation in the early 1960s. The theatre has remained largely dormant the last few decades being used primarily for filming locations. The Tower Theatre was designated as part of the Broadway Theatre and Commercial District in 1979 on the National Register of Historic Places, and as a Historic Cultural Monument by the City of Los Angeles in 1989.