Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pantages Lobby

If you've been to see Wicked, you might wonder how much of the elaborate lobby decor in the Pantages Theater has been redone to enhance that production.

The answer is "Not much."

This picture, from the Los Angeles Library's online photo collection, was taken in 1930--the year the Pantages opened as part of the Fox Theater chain. According to the website , the opening bill on June 4, 1930 consisted of:

"MGM's The Floradora Girl, starring Marion Davies, an edition of Metronome News, a Walt Disney cartoon, Slim Martin ("The Maestro of Mirth and Melody") conducting the Greater Pantages Orchestra and finally, a Fanchon and Martin stage piece, The Rose Garden Idea."

There was a Depression going on, but the theater had been designed and built before money got too tight. 40% of the Pantages space is in the lobbies and lounges,. The building cost $1.25 million (that's $10 million in today's dollars, according to the website above) and that's excluding the sound, theatrical, and projection equipment.

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