Hollywood Pantages Postpones 90th Birthday
Due to the gravity of the events occurring across the country and around the world, the Hollywood Pantages has decided to postpone its 90th Birthday Celebration (originally scheduled for today, June 4.
The rescheduled date has yet to be announced.
The Hollywood Pantages was primarily a movie house for several decades. In 1949 came Howard Hughes, acquiring the theatre through RKO, changing its name to the RKO Pantages and setting up offices there. (His upstairs apartment and screening room are today theatre offices, and Hughes' ghost is among several rumored to frequent the building once the audience leaves.)
Starting in 1953, television cameras brought the Oscars - and Hollywood Pantages Theatre - to America's living rooms. Its hosts included such notables as Fred Astaire, Danny Kaye, Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis. Frank Sinatra was honored as Best Supporting Actor in 1954, receiving one of eight Oscars awarded that year to "From Here to Eternity". Grace Kelly took home her award as Best Actress for "The Country Girl" in 1955, just a year before she left Hollywood to become Her Serene Highness, Princess Grace of Monaco.
Pacific Theatres bought the Hollywood Pantages from RKO in December 1967, leading to a refurbishment and reopening of the theatre sections closed down during the Hughes reign. The much-anticipated Music Center raised nearly $400,000 there in 1963 at a $250 per seat premiere of "Cleopatra".
In 1977, The Nederlander Organization came in as Pacific's partner and gave the Hollywood Pantages another overhaul before re-opening it as a legitimate theatre with "Bubbling Brown Sugar" in February 1977. When The Nederlander Organization heard that the Walt Disney Company was seeking a home for its Los Angeles production of "The Lion King", Chairman James M. Nederlander locked up a Pantages booking by agreeing to a substantial renovation. It was time, thought Nederlander, to get the theatre looking more like it did in 1930. The theatre was restored to its original luster in time for the highly-anticipated L.A. Premiere of Disney's THE LION KING.