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Royce Hall

340 Royce Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90095
| map |

Opened: 1929 as the original building on the UCLA campus. The first performing arts season was in 1937. This construction photo by Thelner Hoover is from the Los Angeles Public Library. They have about 150 more photos of the building in their collection.

The building is named after Josiah Royce, a California-born philosopher who received his bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley in 1875 and became a noted philosophy teacher at UC Berkeley and Harvard.

The venue has hosted numerous greats including George Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Arnold Schoenberg, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, Twyla Tharp and Mikhail Baryshnikov. It's the main performance venue for UCLA, what they're calling the Center for the Art of Performance. 

Phone: 310-825-4321   

Website: | | Center for the Art of Performance on Facebook

Architects: James Edward Allison (1870-1955) and David Clark Allison (his brother, 1881-1962) of the Los Angeles firm of Allison and Allison. The Italian Romanesque style building was modeled, in part, on the 10th/11th century San Ambrogio Church in Milan. Allison and Allison also designed the Variety Arts Theatre downtown.

A main floor plan from the website.

Seating: 1,836

The building was restored and upgraded after the 1994 earthquake. Landry and Bogan were the theatre consultants, Ashen + Allen were the executive architects, Barton Phelps & Associates were the design architects. Project cost was $68 million. It reopened in 1998 and is considered one of the nation's top concert halls.

Organ: It's a 5 manual, 104 rank Ernest Skinner organ Opus 818, built in 1930. It had a 1999 restoration by Turner Organs. There are pipes above the proscenium because the chambers designed by the architects were too small. 

Stage specs: 
Proscenium: 48' 5" wide x 23' 6 1/2" high
Fire curtain to back wall: 33' 9"
Fire curtain to edge of apron: 2'3"
Fire curtain to stage extensions (or pit): 12' or 17'
Pit capacity: 35 to 40
Pit depth below stage level: 7' 6"
Centerline to lock rail SR: 36' 11"
Centerline to wall SL:  38'
Balcony rail to curtainline: 80' 4"   22 circuits
Ceiling slots to curtainline: 71' and 85'  35 circuits each
Box booms to curtainline at center: 75'  12 circuits per side
Anti-pro and proscenium window areas: 26 circuits

Rigging: 34 single purchase sets operate stage level stage right. 11 double purchase sets upstage operate from the flyfloor. In addition there are 4 motorized sets for the first electric and orchestra shell components.  High trim about 50'. Sets use 7 lift lines on 9' centers. Average batten length 58'.  Typical arbor handles 1,200 pounds with 50,000 pounds of weight available.

Flyfloor: stage right, 21' 9" above stage.

Loading bridge: 47' 5" above stage.

Grid: 55' above stage. The deck is subway grating.

Stage floor: Sprung, no traps. Surface is 3/4" Plyron painted flat black.

Dressing rooms: Total capacity 56 with a green room and one room for four people at stage level, all others are under the stage.

Loading: A door upstage center leads to a corridor terminating at the loading dock 105' away. 

Lighting: 428 2.4 Kw, 24 6 Kw ETC Sensor dimmers. The console is an ETC GIO with ETC Obsession II and ETC Express 125 also available. House lights are on an additional 55 2.4 Kw dimmers

Road power: 2 400A 3 phase disconnects with Cam-Lok connectors or lugs downstage right, 1 100A 3 phase switch with Cam-Lok connectors upstage right.

Sound: Meyer line array left and right, Yamaha PM1D 96 channel console. House mix position is at the rear of the main floor.

Projection: 20' x 40' screen, 2 Simplex XLs with 4.5 Kw xenon lamphouses. A TB Woods control unit allows variable speeds from 16 to 24 fps. Soundheads are Simplex 5 Star optical analog plus Dolby Digital. Processing is a Dolby CP650D-EX unit. The throw to the curtainline is 119' and to the screen 127' 4".

Followspots: 2 Strong Gladiator II 2.5 Kw, 2 Colortran Colorarc 2000 2 Kw.

Head to the rental page on the Royce Hall website for links to PDFs with more detailed tech information.

 A lobby view provided by UCLA to Yelp.

The lobby from the second floor. Thanks to Mike Hume for all his photos taken during the August 2017 LAHTF tour of the building. In addition to what's on this page many more can be seen on his Royce Hall page. For photos and tech data on many additional theatres he's studied see the main Historic Theatre Photography page of the website.

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation is actively involved in the study and preservation of the vintage theatres in the L.A. area. The group frequently supports events and offers tours of various historic theatres. | LAHTF on Facebook

A lobby ceiling detail. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

A wonderful view of the auditorium during the renovations following the 1994 earthquake. It's a photo from Heliphoto, used with permission. The firm specializes in aerial and architectural photos of Los Angeles.

A  wide angle main floor view. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2017. Thanks, Wendell!

 A closer look at the proscenium. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

The view from the front. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

The lie-on-your-back ceiling detail. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

A view toward the stage from Richard L. on Yelp.

An organ pipe detail. The chambers were too small to get them all in. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

A closer proscenium view by Timothy Norris. It's a photo he took for a 2008 concert review for L.A. Weekly. It's also been seen on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.

A balcony level look across the house from Bernie G. on Yelp.

A sidewall detail from Natalie M. on Yelp. Note the drapes deployed to vary the acoustics.

A great view from the balcony. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

A ceiling detail by Danny P. on Yelp.

The house from the right side of the balcony. Thanks to James Cottle for his photo taken at the 2017 LAHTF tour. It's one of eight in a set on the LAHTF Facebook page.

The rear of the house. It's a Wendell Benedetti photo that appeared on the LAHTF Facebook page advertising their August 2017 "all-about" tour of the building.

A Tom Bonner photo looking at the rear of the auditorium from onstage. It's on the website of Landry and Bogan, the theatre consultants for the restoration and upgrade work following the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

A view offstage right from the Landry and Bogan page about their work which they describe: "Landry & Bogan designed the system of movable acoustical panels within the acoustical chambers, as well as the method of opening and closing the chamber doors. In addition, L&B worked with the design team to find opportunities for improvement wherever changes had to be made to structure or equipment.

"The stage gridiron was replaced with a new one which combined the required stiffness and properly-spaced loft wells. The main headbeam was relocated to provide the last possible inch of batten travel. Virtually all the stagehouse electrical items had to be removed, and the ones that had been preventing function were consolidated. Front of house lighting was improved modestly, and the massive 1984 loudspeakers and the door machinery and crane rails were replaced by a more modern and flexible system."

Another look across from stage left. The door on the upstage wall leads to the loading dock.  Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

A peek up at the grid. Note the upstage double purchase linesets that are operable only from the flyfloor.  Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

Offstage right. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

A look along the lockrail. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

The view into the house. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017

A few more exterior views: 

Opening day at the new campus, September 20, 1929. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Trekking up the Janss Steps in 1929. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

A 1930 blimp view of the campus. Photo: Los Angeles Public Library

Many steps to get up to the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010 

A facade view. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010 

The arches of the entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010 

The colonnade across the front of the building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2010

Another look down the colonnade. Photo: Wendell Benedetti - LAHTF Facebook page - 2017

A colonnade ceiling view. Photo: Mike Hume - Historic Theatre Photography - 2017. Thanks for all the terrific photos, Mike!  

A night view from Pamela Y. on Yelp.

More Information: Check out "Temple of Academia..." Sandi Hemmerlein's  2017 Avoiding Regret photo essay about her visit to Royce Hall. Wikipedia has an article on Royce Hall. The Yelp page for Royce Hall currently has over 200 photos of the building.

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