‘Day on Broadway’ Attracts Hundreds of Visitors
By Jacqueline García, EGP Staff Writer
The 6th anniversary of the Bringing Back Broadway initiative was celebrated Saturday with an event that drew hundreds of visitors happy to walk freely along the downtown where for the first time in years, five historic theaters simultaneously opened their doors to the public.
The Orpheum, Palace, Globe, Million Dollar and Los Angeles theatres, or movie palaces as they were called in the early 1900s, welcomed visitors who listened to a group of volunteers from the Los Angeles Conservancy explain the history of Broadway from the beginning of the 1900s to present time.
Bringing Back Broadway is a 10 year project—a public-private partnership—spearheaded in large part by Councilman Jose Huizar — to restore the Broadway corridor between 1st and 11th streets to its glory days by bringing in more restaurants, retail shops and making use of vacant commercial spaces.
The ultimate goal is to provide economic development by creating more businesses, according to Huizar’s office.
“After six years, the momentum we have created to revitalize this historic street through the Bringing Back Broadway initiative is undeniable,” said Huizar in a press release.
“Gone are the days that we ask potential partners to imagine what Broadway will look like one day. More and more are seeing for themselves that marquees are lit up, store fronts and upper floors are open, restaurants and retail are thriving.”
During the four-hour tour people heard stories about the area’s fascinating history, that ranged from the opening night gala with a movie screening of Charles Chaplin at Los Angeles Theatre in 1931 where Albert Einstein was one of the celebrities attending to see and listen to the Mighty Wurlitzer original organ from 1928 at the Orpheum theatre and which is the last remaining theatre organ in Broadway.
The next phase of the project, Huizar announced Saturday, will be for the Department of Transportation to in the near future start removing “one lane of traffic on Broadway to create more pedestrian space” along a 10 block stretch of the street. The construction should be completed by this summer, “and will be larger in scale then a similar plan implemented in Times Square in New York City,” according to a statement from his office.Print This Post
January 30, 2014 Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.