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The Ricardo Montalban Theatre to Host Fall 2016 Launch Party

The Ricardo Montalbán Theatre presents its wonderfully diverse fall-winter programming schedule during a private open house and reception on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

The Montalbán's Fall 2016 Programming Launch Party will allow guests a first look at the multidisciplinary performing arts center's event schedule in the coming months. From nightly film screenings on its rooftop to Japanese dance/video troupe enra to the Los Angeles Jazz Society honoring Quincy Jones to children's troubadour Raffi celebrating 40 years of singable songs, The Montalbán is excited to share its dynamic upcoming programming with the world.

Complimentary dinner and spirits from The Montalbán's all natural foods menu from its Rooftop Cinema Club Café will be available from 6:30 to 8:00pm. At eight o'clock, guests will take a seat in the spacious theater for the event's short video presentation and live entertainment portion of the evening. Sponsors for the launch party include Arena Cinelounge, Farmers Belly, Five Chairs Hollywood, Hollywood Central Park, Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, KV2 Audio, Lady M Confections, PRG, and Rootfop Cinema Club.

The Ricardo Montalbán Theatre is located just south of the world-famous Hollywood & Vine intersection at 1615 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Please RSVP via or call 323-461-6999. For more information, visit and

The Montalbán's Fall-Winter 2016-2017 Programming Schedule

Here is a glimpse of confirmed events over the next four+ months:

September 23, 2016 -

Esperanza Azteca Honoring Placido Domingo

Now thru October 29, 2016 -

Rooftop Cinema Club - LA

Tuesday-Saturday; doors at 6:00pm

September 30 - October 20, 2016 -

Arena Cinemalounge Pop-Up

October 1, 2016 -

L.A. Works Day

- coordination with volunteer organization to improve our community

October 21, 22 and 23, 2016 -

Japanese dance troupe enra debuts new show, PROXIMA

October 24, 2016 -

World Choreography Awards

November 9-13, 2016 -

Only In Hollywood

November 12, 2016 -

The Black List Live

November 17, 2016 -

Los Angeles Jazz Society Honoring Quincy Jones

January, 21 2017 -

Raffi - 40 Years of Singable Songs

The Ricardo Montalbán Theatre was designed by Myron Hunt (Rose Bowl, Cal Tech, Ambassador Hotel) and built in 1926 as the Wilkes Brothers Vine Street Theatre. The gorgeous Beaux Arts building was the first legitimate live Broadway-style theater in Hollywood. By the early 1930s, Howard Hughes purchased and converted the venue into the first fully automated cinema, renaming it The Mirror. In 1935, he sold the building to CBS Radio, which needed a home for its local station KNX and its wildly popular Lux Radio Theatre. It became a playhouse again in the 1950s after CBS sold the theater to Huntington Hartford, heir to the A&P grocery chain. The Huntington Hartford quickly became synonymous with high-profile live productions featuring the biggest and brightest stars of the era, including Cary Grant.

In 1964, James Doolittle, who was running the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, bought the venue and staged smart productions for 20 years with both Hollywood and Broadway stars. UCLA took over in the 1980s until the Ricardo Montalbán Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, bought the building in 1999. Ricardo Montalbán's vision was to create a presence in Hollywood that provided inspiration and employment for young Latinos as well as other underrepresented people throughout the community. In recent years, under the direction of Montalbán's son-in-law Gilbert Smith, nearly $4 million has been invested into theater restoration to help preserve this good old classic that contributes to making Hollywood a very special and incredibly creative place.

Millions of people have attended live events at various incarnations of the venue, showcasing luminaries such as Lauren Bacall, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, Jack Benny, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, George Burns & Gracie Allen, James Cagney, Joan Crawford, Bing Crosby, Bette Davis, Cecile B. DeMille, Marlene Dietrich, Henry Fonda, Clark Gable, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, William Holden, Bob Hope, Gene Kelly, Myrna Loy, Robert Mitchum, Zero Mostel, Laurence Olivier, Anthony Perkins, Tyrone Power, Ginger Rogers, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Stanwyck, James Stewart, Gloria Swanson, Elizabeth Taylor, Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Dick Van Dyke, John Wayne, Orson Welles, and, of course, Ricardo Montalbán.

One of the few remaining mid-sized and fully equipped proscenium theaters in Los Angeles, the Ricardo Montalbán Theatre is known for its excellent sightlines and acoustics. It features orchestra, mezzanine, loge, and balcony seating and hosts screenings, comedy, and musical performances. In its early days, most of the productions had Latino themes and participants. As part of its programming, The Montalbán has partnered with community performing arts groups such as the Harmony Project, the Lula Washington Dance Company, the Tierra Blanca Arts Center, and the Universidad de Las Américas (UDLA).

Venue programming today, consistent with Ricardo Montalbán's convictions, strives to level the playing field not only for Latinos, but for everyone by embracing the community-at-large and attaining excellence. In recent years, a variety of eclectic professional productions have graced the venue's performance spaces including Selena, Culture Clash's Zorro in Hell, The Who's Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar, Eric Idle - An Evening Without Monty Python, an evening with comedian Billy Connolly, John Leguizamo's Ghetto Klown, Rooftop Cinema Club screenings, Nick Kroll and John Mulaney starring in Oh, Hello, and Hollywood Chamber Orchestra concerts.

The epitome of continental elegance, charm, and grace, Emmy Award-winning Ricardo Montalbán was America's first true Latino movie star, celebrated internationally for his iconic roles such as "Khan" in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan and "Mr. Roarke" in the popular television series Fantasy Island. The son of Spanish immigrants to Mexico, Montalbán first moved to the United States as a teenager. He lived with his older brother in Los Angeles, where he studiEd English at Fairfax High School. While performing in a Fairfax High theatrical production, he was first discovered by MGM executives. His suave voice will forever be associated with the phrase "Corinthian leather" from his commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba. More recently, he is known as "Grandfather Cortex" in the Spy Kids films.

Throughout his career, the handsome actor was frequently typecast as a Latin lover-type and he fought to improve the image of Mexicans in Hollywood. Off-screen, Montalbán was a dedicated family man and pioneering advocate who worked to create better opportunities for Latinos, both in front of and behind the camera. In 1970, he founded Nosotros, an active nonprofit that seeks to strategically change the stereotypical image portrayed by Latino actors. Montalbán believed that working on the live stage was the best preparation for a career in the performing arts and, in 1999, his foundation acquired the prestigious stage theater in Hollywood that now bears his name. Montalbán died in his Los Angeles home in 2009, at age 88.

Gilbert Smith is an internationally recognized advertising photographer specializing in high-action automotive and sports industry images. He created dramatic campaigns for American, European, and Japanese auto manufacturers and has won numerous photography and advertising awards. Canon USA included him in their prestigious "Explorers of Light," a small group of professionals known for pushing the boundaries of digital and printing techniques. He is married to Ricardo Montalbán's third child, Anita. Montalbán's appreciation for his son-in-law's artistic daring, business savvy, community spirit, and professionalism led to a partnership of mutual admiration and friendship. Today, Smith is the guiding force behind The Montalbán with his father-in-law's blessing.

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