Whether you're a tourist, a Hollywood resident, or just someone who enjoys watching the Oscars on TV (and who doesn't?), you've probably been exposed to the Dolby Theatre at some point (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre). Not only is the 3,332 seat theatre the permanent home of the Academy Awards ceremonies, but since opening in 2001 it's also hosted the Daytime Emmys, the ESPYs, it was even the home for the first season of American Idol – you know, back when the show had Simon and was still good. Aside from its recent money problems (hence the name change), the Dolby Theatre is still one of the premier venues in L.A. to see a live show. It's no wonder that Iris, the first Cirque du Soleil show to be permanently housed in Los Angeles, is scheduled to play there until 2021. Want to know more about the Dolby Theatre? Well you've come to the right place.
Where is the Dolby Theatre located?
The Dolby Theatre is located right next to the world famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre, at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., 90028. Once you see a guy dressed up as Captain Jack Sparrow you'll know you're in the right place.
How do I purchase tickets?
There are a number of options available for buying tickets to any event at the Dolby Theatre. For tickets to Iris, you can buy them online by visiting this website. Or you can just head over to the theatre's box office, located on level one. The regular hours for the box office are Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How do I get there by public transportation?
Getting to the Dolby Theatre is fairly easy given its location in the heart of Hollywood's tourist district. By train, take the Metro Red Line to the Hollywood/Highland Station, which is located right beneath the theatre. If you're coming by bus the Metro Local Line 156 will also take you right in front of it. You can find the exact times the buses are 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 theatre's front entrance. Pretty simple.
If you're coming from the 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 theatre.
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 Dolby Theatre.
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 theatre.
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 Dolby Theatre.
What's the parking like if I drive?
There's a huge public parking facility located right beneath the Dolby Theatre and it's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The facility has two entrances. The first is located just north of Hollywood Blvd. on Highland Avenue. The second entrance is located on Orange Drive, which is just west of Highland Avenue, and a little bit north of Hollywood Boulevard.
Parking will cost you a measly $2 for up to two hours. But only if you validate with any of the participating restaurants, shops and nightclubs located in the Hollywood & Highland complex. Now if you validate from Grauman's Chinese Theatre, well then, you only have to pay $2 for up to four hours of prime parking time. The daily max for parking is $10, but you're going to have to pay a $10 flat rate if you plan on parking there after 10 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
If you're a high-roller, valet parking is also offered at the Highland Avenue entrance for an additional $6.
What's the seating situation like?
The short walk leading into the Dolby Theatre is almost as glamorous once you get inside. Anyone watching the Academy Awards will notice that all the stars have to walk up two flights of stairs before arriving to theatre. This was done by design so that people could admire the 83 (and counting) glass plaques lining the walls, one for each Best Picture Oscar winner, before arriving to the main entrance. No wonder it's nicknamed the Awards Walk.
Once you get inside you'll notice there's not a single obstructed view in the place. The theatre seats 3,332, and is highlighted by a "tiara", which is basically an oval-type structure that disguises the lighting grid above. The theatre was designed in such a manner so that no wandering eyes would veer away from the enormous stage – no easy task in the age of constant Facebook and Twitter updates.
What kind of food do they serve inside?
Each floor of the Dolby Theatre has a concession stand where snacks, candy, soda, coffee and sandwiches are all available for purchase. Full service bars are also available if you want to buy a cocktail or beer. Prices can get a bit steep, meaning you might want to bring more than $20 if you've brought a date and he or she is hungry. Or you can just wait until after the show and get a bacon wrapped hot dog for $4 from any one of the street vendors outside. Not the healthiest of options, but still delicious.
Are there any good places to eat around there?
Since it's located within the Hollywood & Highland Center, the theatre has several great restaurants all around it. For lunch and dinner there's California Pizza Kitchen. If you're in the mood for a good steak then there's the Grill on Hollywood. And those looking for a high-energy type atmosphere can always hit-up the Hard Rock Café – where just about everything on the menu will satisfy you're hunger.
There are plenty of other restaurant options outside of the Hollywood & Highland Center as well. For sushi look no further than Katsuya, located on Hollywood and Vine. It's open until midnight. For American food with a Latin twist there's the Eva Longoria-owned Beso, located just down the street at 6350 Hollywood Blvd. And for smaller appetites there's Wood & Vine, which features a tapas menu for both dinner and brunch.
Where can I learn more about the Dolby Theatre?
For any other queries/questions/complaints, visit their website at www.kodaktheatre.com. Hopefully they get around to changing that domain sometime soon.