The Greek Theater is perhaps one of the most important pieces of Los Angeles real estate to date. It is considered to be one of the city’s finest outdoor theaters. While the Greek Theater is still officially owned by the City of Los Angeles, the venue’s day-to-day operation and management by the Nederlander-Greek Inc. The same company also handles the necessary promotional work for its events.
Under the management of the Nederlander Company, the Greek Theatre has effectively turned into one of the most highly acclaimed venues in the world. The amphitheater has garnered renown as well as countless prizes from various award-giving bodies. Pollstar Magazine, one of the most prestigious publications in the industry, has named the Greek Theatre as the Best Small Outdoor Venue in North America.
Located at the city’s Griffith Park, this piece of Los Feliz real estate has served as a venue for career-defining performances by countless artists.The venue caters to all musical tastes as all types of music, from all types of genres, have been played in the amphitheater. Pop idols, rock stars, and orchestras have graced the Greek’s stage. The list of artists is as varied as they come, from British rock gods like The Who, Sting, and Sir Paul McCartney to contemporary artists like Alicia Keys and Jack Johnson. Other well-known rock acts like the Dave Matthews Band, The White Stripes, and Pearl Jam have graced the Greek Theater’s stage.
Greek Theatre History
This legendary Los Angeles theatre has one of the richest histories. The idea behind this vital piece of Los Feliz real estate came as early as 1896. Griffith J. Griffith, the wealthy landowner, originally wanted to have a Greek theatre built on the 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) of land he had donated to the city of Los Angeles. Of course, his generous land donation later came to be known as Griffith Park.
Aside from the land itself, Griffith also set aside a significant amount of money for the purpose of having the Greek theatre built. The builders chose a canyon because of the magnificent acoustics. The first cornerstone was put in place by 1928, however, it wasn’t until June 26, 1931 that the theatre was put into use.
The first performance at the Greek was attended by no less than 4,000 people, the theatre’s full capacity at the time. The venue has undergone a number of renovations over the years. For instance, its total seating capacity was expanded to 6,187in 1983 but has since been downsized to 6,162 seats then to 5,700 seats in 1995 and 2004 respectively. It is also worth mentioning that the venue’s entire facade had to undergo renovations as part of the Greek Theater’s 75th anniversary in 2006. The latest renovations to the Greek Theatre were done in 2009, with the building management having two additional rows of seats put in, expanding its capacity to 5,900.
Yearly, the Greek Theatre serves as the venue for numerous events. It has effectively become one of LA’s most well-known cultural icons. Your visit to LA won’t be complete unless you swing by the Greek Theatre first.