Start your Los Angeles area historic theatre explorations by heading to one of these major sections: Downtown | North of Downtown + East L.A. | San Fernando Valley | Glendale | Pasadena | San Gabriel Valley, Pomona and Whittier | South, South Central and Southeast | Hollywood | Westside | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | Long Beach | [more] L.A. Movie Palaces |
To see what's recently been added to the mix visit the Theatres in Movies site and the Los Angeles Theatres Facebook page.

Disney Hall

111 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90012 | map |

The Music Center pages: Ahmanson Theatre | Dorothy Chandler Pavilion | Disney Hall | Redcat | Mark Taper Forum |


Opened: The $100+ million Walt Disney Concert Hall opened in October 2003. Before this project was completed the Philharmonic had performed at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. This is the view of the building you get from the top of City Hall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018

The organization was formed in 1919 and did their first season at Trinity Auditorium. From there they moved in 1920 to the Temple Auditorium at 5th and Olive, which they renamed Philharmonic Hall. They moved up the hill in 1964. Disney Hall is part of the Music Center of Los Angeles County along with three theatres designed by Welton Becket: the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion (1964), the Mark Taper Forum (1967), and the Ahmanson Theatre (1967). 

Phone: 323-850-2000   Websites: www.laphil.com | about the hall | www.musiccenter.org | Disney Hall guided tours | Disney Hall self-guided tours | Music Center guided tours |

Architect: Frank Gehry. The acoustician was Yasuhisa Toyota.

Seating: 2,265, with seats on all four sides of the stage. There's also the BP Hall off the stage level lobby. The park on the west edge of the property features a small amphitheatre. A separately operated venue, the 266 seat Redcat, is on the lower level of the building with an entrance at 2nd & Hope.

Pipe Organ: It was designed by Manuel Rosales and nicknamed "Hurricane Mama." The look of the pipe array was designed by Mr. Gehry. There are a total of 6,225 pipes ranging in size from several inches to thirty-two feet long. Rosales Organ Builders has a page of data about the instrument on their site. Toyota Motor Co. made a gift of the $3 million instrument to the hall.

Disney Hall in the Movies:


Jason Lee drives up Grand Ave. toward Disney Hall near the end of Tim Hill's "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (20th Century Fox, 2007). He thinks he's lost the guys forever but they've smuggled themselves into his car. The big theatre action in the film is at the Orpheum. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for those shots.



We see lots of the building both inside and out near the end of Peter Segal's film "Get Smart" (Warner Bros., 2008). Here agents Alan Arkin, Anne Hathaway, Steve Carrell and Dwayne Johnson are outside before a concert that the President (James Caan) will attend. Johnson, it turns out, is one of the bad guys working for CHAOS. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for several more shots from the scenes at Disney Hall as well as an early shot across the street from the Warner Grand in San Pedro.



The building also appears in Jon Favreau's "Iron Man" starring Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges and Terrence Howard (Paramount, 2008). Here Downey is making an unexpected appearance at a pre-show reception in the lobby's BP Hall for a Stark Industries benefit event.



 
Dakota Fanning, playing a young girl with some developmental issues, makes her way from San Francisco to Los Angeles in Ben Lewin's film "Please Stand By" (Magnolia Pictures, 2017). She's a "Star Trek" fan and has written a script she wants to enter in a contest at Paramount. While trying to find the studio she's seen wandering in front of Disney Hall. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for a shot of the Los Angeles Theatre from the film.
 


 A shot showing advertising for a performance by an opera singer played by Marion Cotillard in "Annette" (Amazon, 2021). It's a film by Leos Carax that also stars Adam Driver as her husband, a stand up comedian. They have a two year old daughter, Annette, with a curious gift that upends their lives. The film features music and screenplay by Sparks and cinematography by Caroline Champetier. See the Historic L.A. Theatres in Movies post for another Disney Hall view plus a shot of the Palace and Los Angeles theatres from the film.


Street Level lobby:


Inside the entrance doors looking south. There are five lobby levels: Street, Stage, Garden, Terrace and Balcony. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



The Street Level lobby. The L.A. Phil store is straight ahead. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



The escalators and stairs up to the Stage Level lobby. The cafe is off to the left. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



The cafe on the south side of the lobby at street level. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


Stage Level lobby:


The stage level lobby as seen from the top of the stairs with the hall off to the left. Straight ahead is the Ira Gershwin Gallery exhibit area. Off slightly to the right is the small performance area called BP Hall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



Looking ahead to the BP Hall. The exit doors go to a patio north of the building with stairs down to the street. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



The BP Hall. The lower panels appearing a slightly different color have holes with acoustical material behind. It was an after-opening tweak. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018 



Looking toward the stairs and escalators from the house left side of the Stage Level lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



The Grand Ave. entrance doors from the house left side of the Stage Level lobby. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


Garden Level lobby: 


The house right side of the Garden Level lobby, one flight above the Stage Level. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



Looking back from the center of the Garden Level. The carpet, designed by Gehry, is named "Lillian," in honor of Lillian Disney and her love of flowers. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



Around on the far end of the Garden Level lobby along the house left side of the hall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



Looking up from the house left end of the Garden Level to the Terrace and Balcony levels. The doors straight ahead go out to the south end of the garden. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


The Balcony Level lobby: 


Checking out the roof structure on the house right side of the Balcony Level. On the right is an entrance into the hall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



Looking down to the bar at Garden Level. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


 
Another view down from house right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


In the hall:  


Checking out the stage and organ pipes. The cardboard instruments were for an interactive exhibit during a September 30, 2018 open house celebrating the Philharmonic's 100th anniversary. Photo: Bill Counter  



A closer look at the organ pipes. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



The pipes from above. Thanks to the L.A. Philharmonic for the photo. 



The console. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


 
A better look at the array of pipes right above the console. Thanks to the L.A. Philharmonic for the photo.



The rear of the hall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018  



An upholstery detail. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018 



The house left seating section. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


 
The stage set for a small ensemble. Thanks to IK Koskinen for the 2007 photo, appearing on both Wikipedia and Flickr.



The view in from the Garden Level. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


In the park:


Looking north in the park. It's on the west side of the Hall, up a flight of stairs from either Grand Ave. or 1st St. Or you can come out from the Garden Level lobby either house left or house right. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



The Keck Children's Amphitheatre on the south end of the park. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


On the Aerial Pathway: 


The stairs are on the north end of the garden. Here we're up on the stairs looking down into BP Hall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018 



Stairs to the Aerial Pathway. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



Along the north side of the building. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018



The view south to the Broad and beyond. Stairs head down from this level to Grand Ave. near the Hall's entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - 2018


More exterior views:


A flyover from Ian Wood's "Downtown Los Angeles" on Vimeo. He spent several months in 2014 shooting downtown theatres and other historic buildings from a drone that resembled "a mutant chicken." It's four minutes and forty five seconds of wonder that's not to be missed.



Another drone's-eye view. Photo: Ian Wood - "Downtown Los Angeles" - 2014. Thanks, Ian!



A 2012 photo by John O'Neill that appears on Wikipedia.



A view from the cafeteria atop the Stanley Mosk Courthouse. Thanks to Peter Chacona Chaconas for his 2014 photo, one appearing on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles



Thanks to Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography for this 2015 view. 



Setting up the projectors for the the Philharmonic's 100th anniversary light show that ran for ten days beginning in late September 2018. It was a 42 projector installation by Refik Anadol titled "Walt Disney Concert Hall Dreams." Thanks to Mike Hume for his photo. Don't miss his page about the Music Center on his Historic Theatre Photography site.



Another shot during the alignment and mapping process. Photo: Mike Hume - September 2018. Thanks, Mike!



A pre-show pattern. Photo: Bill Counter - September 2018 



The control area on the back of the top deck of the parking garage across the street. The deck was also set up as a viewing area. There were also projectors stationed near the front of the deck and over on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  Photo: Bill Counter - September 2018



A view of the projections by Refik Anadol on the Hall to celebrate the L.A. Philharmonic's centenary. It's a Luis Sinco/L.A. Times photo appearing with Mark Swed's September 28, 2018 Times article "L.A. Phil's 100th anniversary gala spreads good vibrations...." Curbed L.A. had a September 26 story about the projection project: "Take a sneak peek..."



 A shot of the projections by Louis Escobar appearing on the DTLA Town Square Facebook page.
  

 
A September 2018 photo by Patrick Coyne appearing on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 



A photo by Eric Smith on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 



Thanks to Paul Wright for this one. It's one of four photos of the show on September 29 that he posted on the Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page. 


 
A view looking north along the facade. Photo: Paul Wright - Photos of Los Angeles - September 29, 2018



Images cascading upward near the end of the 12 minute show. Photo: Bill Counter - September 2018 



Disney Hall deconstructed. Photo: Bill Counter - September 2018



The Hall with its front yard cleared for construction of the Frank Gehry-designed Grand Avenue Project. Photo: Hunter Kerhart Architectural Photography - April 2019

More information: Check out Mike Hume's fine page about the Music Center on his Historic Theatre Photography site for more photos.

The L.A. Conservancy has a page about the Music Center. The Los Angeles Public Library has many construction photos. Wikipedia has an article on the building.

The Music Center pages: Ahmanson Theatre | Dorothy Chandler Pavilion | back to top - Disney Hall | Redcat | Mark Taper Forum |

| Downtown: theatre district overview | Hill St. and farther west | Broadway theatres | Spring St. theatres | Main St. and farther east | downtown theatres by address | downtown theatres alphabetical list

| Westside | Hollywood | Westwood and Brentwood | Along the Coast | [more] Los Angeles movie palaces | the main alphabetical list | theatre history resources | film and theatre tech resources | theatres in movies | LA Theatres on facebook | contact info | welcome and site navigation guide |

No comments:

Post a Comment