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Get an Earful – LA’s Iconic Live Music Venues

Everywhere you look, The Pearl is within easy reach of some of LA’s most stunning historic buildings. The golden age of movie palaces in the 1920s and 1930s has gifted our city with a legacy of architectural treasures, many of which have been lovingly restored and reborn as live music venues. So next time you go out to hear your favorite band, take a moment to look up, down and all around. A feast for the senses–both sight and sound–awaits!


The Wiltern

3790 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90010


Located in the heart of Koreatown, The Wiltern is one of the prime Live Nation-run venues in the city, drawing an impressive array of artists into its ornate halls. Built in 1931, The Wiltern’s magnificent art deco design evokes a nostalgic period of elegance and style, with decorative tile work, colorful murals, and the pièce de résistance – a dramatic sunburst on the ceiling of the auditorium, with each ray representing its own art deco skyscraper. Several full bars are scattered around the roomy environs, including in the sumptuously gilded lobby. Event calendar and tickets here.


HOW TO GET THERE: The Wiltern is located at the corner of Wilshire & Western, directly across the street from the LA Metro Purple Line Wilshire/Western station.


El Rey Theatre

5515 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90036


Come for the live music, but glue your eyeballs on the beautiful art deco architecture and design features! Originally built in 1936 as a single screen movie theatre, the El Rey was designated as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1991. Much of the theatre, including the lobby, still retains its art deco roots, with Zigzag and Streamline Moderne design motifs. Operated today by Goldenvoice, the El Rey regularly plays host to an eclectic array of artists and is also available for private events. The venue is big on environmental and sustainability issues, with ongoing efforts to save energy and water and use environmentally preferable products. Event schedule and tickets here.


HOW TO GET THERE: LA Metro Bus Lines 20 & 21 run straight down Wilshire Blvd. with a stop right in front of The El Rey.


The Fonda Theatre

6126 Hollywood Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90028


The Fonda Theatre was built in 1926 as one of Hollywood’s first legitimate theaters. Originally designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival Style, after undergoing a series of incarnations over the decades, the building was finally restored to its Roaring Twenties elegance in 2002. Since its takeover by Goldenvoice in 2012, The Ford Theatre is considered one of LA’s top venues, having played host to such luminaries as The Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Black Eyed Peas, Radiohead and Katy Perry. Fans can rock out on the big dance floor, cozy up in the balcony seats, or enjoy libations on the rooftop bar. Event calendar and tickets here.


HOW TO GET THERE: LA Metro Red Line Hollywood/Vine Station is just 2 blocks away from The Fonda Theatre.


The Theatre at Ace Hotel

929 S Broadway

Los Angeles, CA 90015


Built in 1927 as the flagship movie palace for United Artists — the maverick film studio founded by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, D.W Griffith and Charlie Chaplin — The Theatre at Ace Hotel is a marvelous reanimation of one of the city’s most remarkable gems. The meticulously restored 1,600-seat cathedral to the arts dazzles the beholder with a three-story, 2,300 square foot grand lobby, an ornate open balcony, and a vaulted ceiling dotted with thousands of mirrors that glimmer like tiny stars. Today the theatre serves DTLA’s burgeoning art and entertainment scene with a prime setting for a wide array of events — from large-scale concerts to movie premieres, conferences, seminars, symposiums and other performances.  Event calendar and tickets here.


HOW TO GET THERE: Take the LA Metro Red Line to 7th Street/Metro Center. From there, it’s a short walk down 7th Street to Broadway. Turn right. The Ace is right by the Eastern Columbia Building, another art deco landmark.