Last week, the CIM Group and the Pantages Theatre made a very significant announcement for Hollywood. The two companies announced that they have signed an agreement to bring Broadway productions to the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland, beginning in 2020.
The Hollywood Pantages Theatre, owned by the Nederlander Organization, is truly one of the treasures of Hollywood. The visual splendor of the theatre complements the wonderful Broadway productions produced there. An evening at the Pantages makes for a magical and memorable evening.
The stunning Dolby Theatre is known worldwide as the home of the Academy Awards and other award shows, but this announcement is very good news for Hollywood. The agreement between these two legendary venues means that Southern Californians will be able to enjoy more Broadway productions and lengthier runs on popular productions.
This will especially be beneficial for Hollywood restaurants and retail businesses as more people are drawn to our community on a nightly basis. It also “further cements Hollywood as the entertainment capital” for Southern California, as the press release making the announcement stated.
As the President & CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce I follow what is happening elsewhere that might pose competition or create problems for our community. Recently, I have started seeing press releases and news stories from Downtown L.A. boosters hoping to supplant Hollywood as the “entertainment capital”. Downtown is truly going through an amazing renaissance, and we wish them well … BUT, let me tell them that Hollywood does not plan to roll over and play dead so that they can take our place.
There is only one Hollywood. We are the entertainment brand – in fact, one of the strongest brands in the world. Over the years, we have worked hard to maintain that brand. The Hollywood Walk of Fame, for example, is one way we constantly reinforce our entertainment reputation. We have the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre, the Pantages, the El Capitan, the Egyptian, the Dolby and so many other entertainment venues. Japan House, our unique new cultural center celebrates its grand opening this weekend. Just as Downtown is undergoing a renaissance, so is Hollywood. Having been here for 26 years, I have truly witnessed the amazing comeback of this community. Three new hotels opened last year and three more are under construction this year that will provide even more opportunities for entertainment.
I am optimistic about Hollywood. There is a lot going on here, with more office construction currently than any other community in Los Angeles County, and thousands of units of housing under construction. Even with that, it is critical that we not “rest on our laurels” but seek to stay competitive with new attractions.
I feel confident that Hollywood will continue to have a bright future, because of companies like the CIM Group and the Nederlander Organization that recognize the opportunities here and which are investing millions of dollars to enhance our entertainment offerings. Nothing like a little friendly competition to keep us on our toes, but so long as Hollywood continues to attract major investors and new stakeholders, I don’t think we will have to worry. After all, we are HOLLYWOOD!
Leron Gubler has been serving as the President and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the past 26 years. His tenure since 1992 continues to oversee the great comeback story of Hollywood.