April 26, 2016 - From the April, 2016 issue

John Anson Ford Theatres Transformed for Patrons and Performers

 After being closed for construction to complete the first phase of a multi-year transformation, the John Anson Ford Theatre wlll reopen in July for the 2016 season. The historic outdoor amphitheatre will feature a new two level, sprung wood stage, theatrical lighting, audio visual and acoustic improvements, and a new terrace featuring a concession for dining pre and post performance. TPR features remarks from Los Angeles County Arts Commission Executive Director Laura Zucker on the project. (Headshot photo by Gennia Cui, courtesy of Ford Theatres.)


Laura Zucker

"In July 2016, the John Anson Ford Theatres will reopen for the 2016 season after being closed for 21 months of construction to complete Phase One of a multi-year, nature meets culture, transformation." -Laura Zucker

Ford

Laura Zucker: Hello everyone. I am so looking forward to welcoming the public back to the beloved Ford Theatres, which is both as intimate and historic as everyone remembers and better than you’ve ever seen it. 

We are grateful to all of the supporters, private and public—with special thanks to Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors for their long term commitment and support—who have made this renovation, and an extraordinary re-opening season, possible. 

Many of you may not know this, but the Ford is owned by the County of Los Angeles and operated jointly by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Ford Theatre Foundation. All three of these entities have come together seamlessly to restore, renovate and create new experiences to benefit Los Angeles artists and audiences alike. 

In July 2016, the John Anson Ford Theatres will reopen for the 2016 season after being closed for 21 months of construction to complete Phase One of a multi-year, nature meets culture, transformation. 

This phase is nearing completion and has focused on the heart and soul of The Ford—its site and the artistic brilliance that is created here by and for Angelinos. 

It is a $65.8 million renovation project involving dynamic Los Angeles teams. Designed by Levin & Associates Architects with Mia Lehrer + Associates as our landscape architects, the transformation was initiated in 2012. When the theatre was closed during 2015 we took the Ford on the road at venues off-site, allowing us to deepen our engagement with Los Angeles communities. 

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Audiences attending the 2016 Summer Season will enjoy state of the art lighting and sound on a new bi-level wood stage that will last for the next 100 years. Construction of a new picnic terrace and concession stand with a full kitchen will be completed in August, when the county and the Ford Theatre Foundation will conduct a civic dedication ceremony.

And today, we will take you behind the scenes and under the stage to show you the improved amenities for our artists, the heart and soul of the Ford’s programming. The hillside amphitheater built in the 1930s has been upgraded to provide new dressing rooms and support spaces with the latest in backstage technology to bring productions at the Ford into the 21st century. 

This is an exciting time for the arts in Los Angeles and for the special way the Ford supports its growth. The idea for the Ford’s Partnership Program was born almost 25 years ago.  We wanted to re-animate this beautiful historic outdoor amphitheatre to support LA’s greatest artistic assets, its performing artists. 

Our idea was to create opportunities for artists to adventure artistically while building their audiences by providing a 1,200 seat venue, which for most of our partners is significantly larger than the venues they are accustomed to, with a broad range of marketing, technical, and logistical support that would make their productions at the Ford soar.

The Ford has long been dedicated to representing the rich and diverse cultures of the Los Angeles region and often brings together established talent with emerging artists to illuminate the best of LA’s cultural tapestry.  

Exploring the depth and breathe of Los Angeles’ cultural richness through dance, music, theatre and spoken word is what sets the Ford apart from other performing-arts venues in the region. We are about growing Los Angeles artists and presenting them under the stars in the breathtaking outdoor landscape of the Hollywood Hills.

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© 2017 The Planning Report | David Abel, Publisher, ABL, Inc.