The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre | Los Angeles, California | 2016
Architect: Levin & Associates
Original Architects: Bernard Maybeck (1920)
Client: Ford Theatre Foundation John Anson Ford Theatres
Owner: County of Los Angeles
General Contractor: Pankow Builders Inc.
Renderers: Keely Colcleugh, Principal -Kilopraph
The John Anson Ford Theatres, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, is one of the oldest performing arts venues in Los Angeles still in use.
The historic open-air amphitheatre is set in a natural canyon and encompasses a 45-acre park.
The Theatre and site are owned and operated by the County of Los Angeles, and as stewards of this resource, they invested in a Master Plan to identify operational, theatrical and audience upgrades that could be implemented in a unified manner.
In addition, the plan was to identify opportunities for new facilities that could generate income and activate the site year round.
The Master Plan resulted in the development of a new 299-seat theatre, restaurant, office building and rehearsal hall, two parking structures, along with the renovation of the 1200-seat historic amphitheatre.
Phase one of the three-phase Master Plan included the restoration, renovation & expansion of the 1931 amphitheatre, to provide state-of-the-art theatrical infrastructure and to enhance both the patron and performer experiences. Unique to the setting is the natural hillside, which is augmented by new rock-clad retaining walls, and landscaping.
The two-level stage has been reconstructed in wood and now provides direct access to the audience. New and improved performer dressing rooms are located below both the stage and seating areas. The house seating has been completely renovated.
The control booth is now incorporated into a new sound wall providing theatrical lighting catwalks and an improved acoustic experience within the amphitheater, supplemented by surround sound speakers. A new loading dock provides direct access to the stage and dressing rooms.
Above the loading area is the new theatre terrace that serves pre-and post-performance receptions and intermission concessions.
The theatre terrace has landscaped raised planters with built in benches along the perimeter. Access to the terrace is from a new stair from the amphitheatre walkway and elevator.
A marketplace will provide grab-and-go picnic food choices and beverages at the Plaza level.
When completed, The John Anson Ford Theatre reopens to provide County arts organizations an opportunity to perform in a state-of-the-art facility and for the patrons to experience their performances in an intimate and natural setting.