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They Say The Neon Lights Are Bright On…Broadway L.A.?

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Los Angeles Streetcar
Broadway L.A.

When we think of Broadway, we think of the thriving, vivacious theater district of New York City.  What if I told you that one of the most historic, eccentric, and largest theater districts in our nation happened to be located along a little street in Downtown Los Angeles called, well…Broadway St.

L.A. City Council Member Jose Huizar has teamed up with Executive Director Jessica Wethington McLean and a superstar team of Public Trustees, as well as the City of Los Angeles, to develop a dynamic, ambitious ten year project called “Bringing Back Broadway”.  After officially being ignited in 2008, the project has already made significant headway in the revitalization of Broadway St.

While some theaters, such as the Orpheum Theater, remain central to the entertainment scene in L.A., others, such as the historic Globe Theater, are being inappropriately used to house reoccurring indoor swap meets.  “Bringing Back Broadway” has set out to make the necessary changes in order to assure that these stunning theaters are restored to facilitate world class theatrical productions.

jose huizar
Councilmember José Huizar has made the project a priority.
According to Council Member Huizar, “The streetscape plan boldly prioritizes people over vehicles, provides much-needed infrastructure support and major improvements to a street that has been neglected for far too long, while providing a showcase for the Downtown L.A. Streetcar and the revitalization of the Historic Broadway Theatre District.”

The project includes a complete, pedestrian-friendly exterior makeover of Broadway St., the installation of a brand new City Streetcar, and a revamp of the twelve historic theaters that quietly haunt it’s cracked, aging sidewalks.

This project is believed to be long overdue, as many Angelinos agree that Downtown L. A. seems to lack an identifiable sense of communal culture outside of the overpowering stigma of Hollywood and the film industry.  Until recently, its streets have been lined with old, somewhat abandoned banks, factories, and run down warehouses where garments and other goods are silently produced in a somewhat depressing, questionable fashion.  There seems to have been a revitalizing effort within the past couple of years, with some of these old buildings being remodeled into trendy, art-inspired lofts featuring ground floor gourmet restaurants and trendy nightclubs.  After a recent late night drive through the district, I was pleasantly surprised at how much work seems to have been put into the clean up and re-awakening of Downtown L.A.

Once a site for Vaudeville performers of the roaring 20’s, the stage is now being set for future generations to maintain and enjoy Broadway Los Angeles the way it was originally intended.  For more information on this exciting new project, visit www.bringingbackbroadway.com .

orpheum theater
Since its February 15, 1926 opening, the Orpheum has played host to some of the most venerable names in show business.