Originally a first-run movie theater that held red carpet premieres for some of the biggest films of Hollywood's "Golden Era", the Pantages Theatre has since become L.A.'s premier venue for live theater. So when huge Broadway musicals like Wicked, Mamma Mia!, and Billy Elliot arrive in town for an extended run, they come here. The Pantages is also a favorite shooting locale for film directors. Martin Scorsese shot parts of his 2004 Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator, here. And in 1994 Tim Burton did the same with Ed Wood. The Pantages was even the unofficial home of the Academy Awards from 1949 to 1960. You don't see any of those theaters on Broadway even attempting to pull of something that monumental. So why do they call it the Big Apple again?
Here's everything you'll need to know when visiting the Pantages Theatre.
Where is the Pantages Theatre located?
The Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA 90028. You can call the Theatre directly at 323-468-1770.
How do I purchase tickets?
The Pantages has several options available for purchasing tickets. If you go to their website, www.broadwayla.org, there's a list of all the current and upcoming shows playing with a link on how to buy tickets. Once you click on that link you'll be directed to Ticketmaster's website, where you can proceed with your purchase.
You can also call their ticket hotline at 1-800-982-2787 to purchase tickets, or simply do it the 20th Century way by visiting the box office. The box office is located at the theatre's entrance and is open 30 minutes after the last scheduled curtain time on performance days. You can confirm current box office hours by calling their information hotline at 323-468-1770.
How do I get there by public transportation?
The Pantages is located right next to the Hollywood/Vine station so if you're taking the train that should be your final stop. From there it's a short walk to the theater. If you're coming by bus both the Metro 780 and Metro 217 will take you right to the theater's front steps. You can find the exact times the bus is running by visiting www.mta.net.
How do I get there by car?
Those coming from West Hollywood or Hollywood can take Hollywood Blvd. all the way to Vine and you'll end up right at the theater's front entrance. Pretty simple.
If you're coming from South Bay and the beach cities, take the 405 North to the 10 East. Merge on to the 110 North and take that until you merge again on to the 101 North. Get off at the Hollywood Blvd. exit, which will take you right to the theater.
Those traveling from Pasadena need to take the 110 South to the 101 North. Get off at the Hollywood Blvd. exit then follow it to the venue.
If you're coming from the San Fernando Valley, take the 101 South and exit on Hollywood Blvd. This will lead you right to the venue.
Those coming from Orange County should take the 5 North to the 101 North. Get off at the Hollywood Blvd. exit and follow it to the venue.
What's the parking like if I drive?
There are several independently managed parking lots located around the theatre. Prices usually range from $10 to $15. The Pantages has also authorized Sunshine Parking to operate two lots on Argyle. To purchase parking in advance for either of those lots visit www.sunshineautoparks.com, or call 213-617-7275. Street parking is also available at the Pantages but you'll definitely have to read the street signs before parking anywhere. That is unless you want a $60 ticket with the possibility of your car being towed. Call it a hunch but something tells me you don't.
What's the seating situation like?
The Pantages offers lush, comfortable chairs and pretty much any seat in the house is a good one. The rows are always clean and the staff is always friendly, meaning all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. So do it already!
What kind of food do they serve inside?
All of your traditional sodas, candies, popcorns, and other various snacks are sold at a large concession stand in the main lobby. There's also a full bar available at the west end of the main lobby, with a smaller bar available on the west stairway. For those that need a caffeine fix, there's a cappuccino bar located on the east stairway. Expect to pay around $5 for candy and soda. Bottled water, however, will only cost you $4. Hey, at least you're still saving a buck!
Are there any good places to eat around there?
Since it's located a few feet away from the most famous intersection in the country, there are dozens of good restaurants all around the Pantages. If you're in the mood for sushi, Katsuya is located just around the corner and open until midnight. Pizza? Combo's is always serving up huge New York style slices for under $5. But for those who don't feel like walking, or paying money for a cab, Dillon's is right next door and has lots of great burgers, sandwiches and appetizers on their menu.
Where can I learn more about the Pantages?
You can learn more about all the upcoming shows coming to the Pantages by visiting www.broadwayla.org.