Ahmanson Theatre

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Ahmanson Theatre
Ahmanson Theatre
Location 135 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates 34°3′29″N 118°14′50″W / 34.05806°N 118.24722°W / 34.05806; -118.24722
Public transit LAMetroLogo.svg  Red Line   Purple Line  Civic Center/ Grand Park
Owner Los Angeles Music Center
Type Indoor Theatre
Seating type Reserved
Capacity 2,084
Broke ground March 9, 1962
Built 1962–1967
Opened April 12, 1967
Renovated January 25, 1995
Official Website

The Ahmanson Theatre is one of the four main venues that comprise the Los Angeles Music Center.


The theatre was built as a result of a donation from Howard F. Ahmanson, Sr, the founder of H.F. Ahmanson & Co., an insurance and savings and loans company. It was named for his second wife, businesswoman and philanthropist Caroline Leonetti Ahmanson.[1]

Inaugural Program 1967

Construction began on March 9, 1962. The theatre's inaugural event was held on April 12, 1967, with the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Association sponsoring the national cast production of Man of La Mancha, starring Richard Kiley and Joan Diener.[2] The theatre also was the U.S. premiere of More Stately Mansions starring Ingrid Bergman, Arthur Hill, and Colleen Dewhurst, which opened September 12 of that same year.[3] Since then, it has presented a wide variety of dramas, musicals, comedies and revivals of the classics, including six world premieres of Neil Simon plays and works by Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson, A.R. Gurney, Terrence McNally, John Guare and Edward Albee. The Ahmanson also has served in the capacity of co-producer for a number of Broadway productions, including Amadeus, Smokey Joe's Cafe, The Most Happy Fella, and The Drowsy Chaperone.

The Ahmanson has the largest theatrical season-ticket subscription base on the West Coast. Its year-round season begins in early fall and lasts through late summer.

1990s renovation

Throughout 1994, a major $17 million renovation moved the mezzanine and balcony closer to the stage, reduced the width of the auditorium, lowered the ceiling and significantly improved the acoustics, which had long been criticized since the theater's opening. It also allowed the theatre's seating capacity to be reconfigured from 1,600 seats for an intimate play to 2,084 for a major Broadway-sized musical.[4]

Designed by Ellerbe Beckett Architects and constructed by Robert F. Mahoney & Associates, the renovation took eighteen months to complete. During this time, the Ahmanson's season-ticket subscriptions were presented at the UCLA James A. Doolittle Theatre in Hollywood. The Ahmanson reopened on January 25, 1995, with an ​8 12-month-long run of Miss Saigon.

World premieres

The Ahmanson served as the world premiere venue for the following plays and musicals:

Awards and nominations

Awards Production Nominations Wins Notes
2009 Ovation Awards 9 to 5: The Musical 7 0
2009 Ovation Awards Minsky's 5 0
2011 Ovation Awards Leap of Faith 1 1 Won for Lead Actor (Raúl Esparza)
2012 Ovation Awards War Horse 1 1 Won for Best Presented Production
2012 Ovation Awards Follies 1 0
2013 Ovation Awards The Scottsboro Boys 1 1 Won for Best Presented Production
2013 Ovation Awards Anything Goes 1 0


  1. ^ David Wise, Tiger Trap: America's Secret Spy War with China, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011, p. 38 [1]
  2. ^ "More Stately Mansions". Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  3. ^ "The Ahmanson All-Star Stage". Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Ahmanson Theatre Renovation, Los Angeles, California". Boulder, Colorado: Robert F. Mahoney & Associates. Retrieved June 20, 2012.

External links

  • [2]

Coordinates: 34°3′29″N 118°14′50″W / 34.05806°N 118.24722°W / 34.05806; -118.24722

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