Warner Grand Update

A Season of Thanks and Uncertainty

We're grateful to those who brought exciting concerts to the Warner Grand Theatre this year, from Gary Wright to the Goo Goo Dolls. Yet, how the theater will be managed in the future is still unknown. The City of LA's Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking a major concert promoter to operate the theater received no responses. However, Grand Vision recently sent a letter, offering to run the theater in partnership with the City, according to a shared vision. Regardless of what happens, Grand Vision is excited to be launching a docent program, so we can offer tours of the Theatre by trained guides- revealing all of the Art Deco movie palace's mysterious and possibly haunted nooks and crannies and the tales they have to tell.
Reporter Donna Littlejohn summed up this continuing saga in a Daily Breeze article "Theater Benefactors Ready to Expand" on November 20, 2016. Here's a long excerpt from Donna's article: "....The city reportedly will regroup and rework the RFP to try again at a later date. The Grand Vision Foundation, however, while not submitting a formal application during the proposal period, sent a letter to the city expressing its desire and intent to continue being involved in the management, programming and restoration of the theater. "As you know, we have a deep love of the theater and are well-known and trusted in our community," stated the Oct. 26 letter signed by Jasna Penich, Grand Vision board president; Fred Allen, vice president; and Johnson.
"If there are no viable or responsive proposals to be considered, please look to your Friends (of the theater), including several capable and active individuals who have devoted their professional lives to improving the theater in countless ways, each and every day for two decades," they wrote. The group also requested a long-term management contract from the city, saying it could provide the operational support the theater needs. "If entrusted with management of the Warner Grand Theatre, we would reach out to all of the major area promoters, including Nederlander, Live Nation and AEG as well as smaller producers like Rum and Humble and The Knitting Factory, to invite them to produce concerts at the Warner Grand through an open-venue model."
The letter went on to say that the foundation had raise more than "$4.5 million for restoration and promotion of the Warner Grand Theatre," adding that going forward it could "put together a business plan and restoration plan, working collaboratively with city officials."
Meanwhile, in a telephone interview, Johnson said among immediate plans is establishing a docent group to provide tours of the theater built by Warner Bros. during Hollywood's golden age. "We're all really excited about putting together a 30- to 40-minute tour," she said, adding that volunteers will be trained to lead the excursions. The goal? "So everybody can get more knowledge about the history and the fun things that have happened there, from the ghosts to the movie stars and all the glamor and glitz that goes with these old movie palaces."

Article Posted: 11/26/2016