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Wiltern Theatre: house basement areas

3790 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90005  | map |

Pages about the Wiltern: history + exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | backstage | house basement areas | booth and attic |

Basement house left: the theatre's original electrical switchboard. Looking to the right is a corridor to backstage. Behind us is the plenum area and a route on to the basement lounge area.

The main service switchboard for the building was in the garage, along the Western Ave. side of the building. Both boards are now fed by a new switchboard in the house right organ chamber. A new transformer vault is perched on top of the dressing rooms nearby. Photo: Mike Hume - 2014

Head to the Historic Theatre Photography section of Mike's website for his full Wiltern Theatre set as well as hundreds of other theatre photos. The Wiltern set is also on Flickr. You can also pay him a visit on the Historic Theatre Photography Facebook page. Thanks, Mike!

Basement house left: in the plenum under the main floor. The chillers and main supply fan are farther back under the lobby at the rear of the main floor. Supply air originally came up into the auditorium from this area via mushrooms under the seats. There are now grilles integrated into the terraces that were installed on the main floor in 2002.

The orange posts are screwjacks installed in 2002 -- the engineers for the project didn't trust the slab to hold the additional weight of the new construction. Photo: Mike Hume - 2014

Basement house left: another plenum view. We're toward the lobby end on the house left side -- note the downward floor slope as we look off to the left toward the stage. It's a 2014 Hunter Kerhart photo. Keep up with his many explorations on the website and on the Facebook page for Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography. Thanks for all the great photos, Hunter!

Basement house right: the corridor to get back to the mechanical rooms.  The plenum is off to our right, part of the dressing room area beyond the wall to the left. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - 2014

Sandi's Avoiding Regret photo essays "Wiltern Theatre, Public Areas" and "Wiltern, Off Limits Areas" have lovely photos of the theatre. Her photos were taken during the August 2014 LAHTF tour. Thanks, Sandi!

Under the rear of the main floor: the air washer/supply fan. Originally there was no air conditioning at the Wiltern -- just evaporative cooling provided by passing the air from the main supply fan at left through a mist of cold water provided by a bank of nozzles. Chillers were added during the 1985 restoration and the water nozzle array was replaced by cooling coils.

We're looking west -- toward house left. The door on the extreme right of the photo leads down the corridor along the house right side of the auditorium to the green room and backstage. Ahead is a kitchen added in 2002 to meet requirements for food prep capability that was required for a change in the liquor license. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014

Under the rear of the main floor: a door to the air washer. Photo: Sandi Hemmerlein - Avoiding Regret - 2014

Under the inner lobby: mechanical room. The green switchboard at left is a 1931 piece of gear serving three phase mechanical loads. Take a left beyond it and you're around with the supply fan and air washer. In the center of the photo are the theatre's water heater and furnace.

There's access to the building's basement garage through the door at the left. The room with the chillers for the air conditioning system is farther off to the right. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014

Under the south walkway: the chiller room. These units were added during the 1984-85 renovation project. Wonder where all the chairs and tables are stored when the main floor isn't set up in "banquet" mode? There's no room backstage for them. They come down through the garage and you see some stashed here. Photo: Hunter Kerhart - 2014. Thanks, Hunter!

Pages about the Wiltern: history + exterior views | lobby areas | auditorium | backstage | back to top - house basement areas | booth and attic |

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