Los Angeles Theaters Walking Tour, Los Angeles (Self Guided)

Los Angeles is loaded with a great number of outstanding theaters. These theaters showcase outstanding performances and productions that you will not want to miss. Many of the theaters are now national historic landmarks. Take this self-guided tour to explore the amazing theaters in Los Angeles.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for IOS   Download 'GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities' app for Android

Los Angeles Theaters Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Los Angeles Theaters Walking Tour
Guide Location: USA » Los Angeles (See other walking tours in Los Angeles)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Author: ashley
TCL Chinese Theatres

1) TCL Chinese Theatres (must see)

You will find TCL Chinese Theatres (formerly known as Grauman's Chinese Theater) on Hollywood Boulevard’s famous Walk of Fame, and you certainly can’t miss this unique building.

The theatre was given its Chinese design by Raymond M. Kennedy, while Jean Klossner created the forecourt. The building is in the form of a giant pagoda with a huge dragon in bas relief over the wonderfully decorated front doors. Tiny dragons are also featured on the copper roof, while two beautiful Ming Heaven Dogs stand guard on each side of the entrance.

The theatre was opened in 1927 with Cecil B. de Mille’s silent epic “King of Kings”, and has since been the choice venue for the premiere of many great films, including “Star Wars” in 1977. Its interior is decorated in red and gold, with Chinese art and statues, the red curtains in front of the screen have delicate golden trees and birds printed on them.

On the forecourt, you will see over 200 signatures, hand- and footprints, prints from Roy Rogers’ pistols and even hoof prints from Trigger! There are several stories surrounding the origin of the prints: Sid Grauman said he’d accidentally stepped in the wet concrete and he decided to invite superstars Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks (one of the theatre’s backers) to do the same. Today you can see the imprint of Harry Potter’s magic wand as well as those of Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, among others.

There is no charge to walk around and take photos – you only pay for the movie-going experience and the guided tour.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-12am
Dolby Theatre

2) Dolby Theatre (must see)

You will find the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre) on Hollywood Boulevard in the Hollywood and Highland Center shopping mall and entertainment complex. Even though this might be the first time you have come here for a concert, you will have already seen this theatre many times on television over the past years. Don’t you recognize it?

Well, you would be forgiven if you don’t. Usually, when it’s on TV the shops on each side of it are delicately hidden behind swathes of red cloth and there is a long red carpet leading to the lobby, along which your favourite (and not so favourite) stars wave to huge crowds as they make their way to the front doors. The theatre hosts the Academy Awards Ceremony every year.

The theatre was built in 2001 by David Rockwell and sponsored by the Eastman Kodak Company, especially for the famous Oscars. It holds one of the largest stages in the United States, being 34 metres wide and 18 metres deep. The Award-Winning Ceremony has taken place here every year since 2002. The columns in the lobby all bear the names of the lucky Winners dating back to 1927.

On May 1, 2012, it was announced that the venue would be renamed the Dolby Theatre, after Dolby Laboratories signed a 20-year naming-rights deal. Dolby updated the sound system first by installing Dolby Atmos. The company plans to continue updating the auditorium with newer technologies as they become available.

The theater is rented to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for weeks before Oscar night. Having hosted the awards ceremony annually since 2002, the theater is best known for this event. As of 2016, the theater also hosts the live shows of America's Got Talent.

Why You Should Visit:
To admire one of the most elegant and sophisticated modern entertainment theaters in the US!
Guided tours are full of interesting facts and features, last approximately half an hour and are very frequent.

You can only book tickets on the day of your tour so plan ahead.
Tickets are booked on the ground floor box office.
Credit/debit card bookings will require a photo ID.
There are free restrooms on the first floor outside the Dolby.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10:30am-4pm
El Capitan Theatre

3) El Capitan Theatre

If you want to give your children a great treat during your stay in Los Angeles – or if you want to give yourself one for that matter – the best place to go is to the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

This movie theatre was commissioned by Charles Toberman in collaboration with Sid Grauman, a showman who had worked on two other theme theatres. This theatre had a Spanish Colonial Revival exterior and a beautiful Eastern Indian red and gold interior. It opened as a live theatre in 1926 and for over ten years some of the greatest artists of the time performed here, including Clark Gable and Will Rogers.

Towards the end of the nineteen thirties, audiences fell off and in 1941, after Orson Wells used the place for the premier of his controversial film “Citizen Kane”, the theatre closed for over a year. It was remodeled in “Art Moderne”, completely covering Sid Grauman’s original decorations and it reopened in 1942 as a movie house called Hollywood Paramount.

In the late nineteen eighties the Walt Disney Company bought the theatre and restored it to its original 1926 decoration. A magnificent Wurlitzer organ and hi-tech special effect equipment was installed.

Before enjoying one of Disney’s great films, the kids will love the show on the stage in front of the screen, featuring characters from the film they are about to see. The children will be transfixed which is a great change from having them fidget through long boring advertising spots.
The Egyptian Theatre

4) The Egyptian Theatre

Sid Grauman and Charles Toberman collaborated to create three theme theatres and probably the best one – if not the most famous – is the Egyptian Theatre.

The theatre was built during the great interest in all things Egyptian sparked off by the English archaeologist Howard Carter and his excavations in the Valley of the Kings and the building was given an Egyptian Revival façade with Egyptian paintings and hieroglyphs on the interior and exterior walls. Four huge columns were erected in front of the entrance and a fountain and palm trees were set in the forecourt.

The theatre opened its doors for the first time in October 1922 – just two weeks before Howard Carter found Tutankhamen’s tomb. The film “Robin Hood” staring Hollywood idol Douglas Fairbanks had its premiere here and was the only picture house where you could see the film for over a year. This insured a full house every day which helped to repay the massive investment Grauman and Toberman had put into its construction.

During the nineteen eighties and nineties the theatre fell into disrepair and was threatened with demolition. Luckily, Los Angeles was going through period where they preferred to restore historic buildings if they could find the funds. The theatre was sold to the American Cinematheque, a non profit-making cultural organization, for the symbolic sum of $1, on the grounds that they restored the building.

Today you can see a daily screening of “Forever Hollywood” an interesting, hour-long documentary film explaining the history of Hollywood. Several famous actors are interviewed and they tell us about their love for the film industry and Hollywood in particular. Throughout the year American Cinematheque organizes events including the film, television and video festivals that are very popular.

A lot of films have their premiere here and sometimes the star and/or director of a film will host screenings and are there to discuss the film. There are two screens and sliding walls open to reveal the old theatre before closing to create a hi-tech cinema.
Pantages Theatre

5) Pantages Theatre

One of the best theatres for live performances in Los Angeles is the Pantages Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.

This wonderful theatre with its 2500 seating capacity and great acoustics was opened for the first time in 1930. Built in Art Deco design by B. Marcus Priteca, it was the last building commissioned by the great vaudeville impresario, Alexander Pantages.

Pantages was a very shrewd businessman; he knew that the “talkies”, as sound films were called, would soon mean the decline, if not the end, of live performances. This, he knew, was due to several factors: the sound in “talkies” was steadily improving; the price of cinema seats was less expensive than theatre ones and the films were action-packed, swash-buckling affairs designed to take people’s minds off the Depression that was spreading across the United States.

His theatre was therefore a mixture of movies and live vaudeville performances, therefore providing something for everyone. The building was also designed to give maximum comfort, with plenty of restrooms and lounges. The theatre operated with way for two years, until being sold to the Fox Theatre Company. From 1932 until 1977 it was exclusively a movie theatre. Howard Hughes bought it in 1949 for the RKO Theatre Circuit and had his offices on the second floor. Between 1949 and 1959 it was the hosting theatre of the Academy Awards.

In 1977 it closed as a cinema and after expensive remodeling it reopened as a live theatre. Since then it has staged many plays and comedy musicals, such as the Lion King and other Broadway hits. It is also a favorite venue for rock concerts and is often used as a backdrop in films.
Cinerama Dome

6) Cinerama Dome

If you are looking for a little nostalgia, not in your choice of movie, but in your choice of cinema, check out the Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard.

This movie theatre, opened in 1963 is easily recognized by its famous geodesic dome consisting of 316 concrete roof panels decorated in 16 different geometric patterns. When the film “Shrek” was showing there, the dome was covered with a green sheath and two “Shrek ears” were added. During the showing of “Spiderman”, a giant model of the hero was set up on the dome.

The dome is 70 feet high, the auditorium is round and the screen has a 126° curve. The seats are really comfortable and the delicious pop-corn from the cinema’s snack bar is home-made. You are shown to your seats by an usher, who also announces the film. It’s like going back in time to the days when going to the movies was a real treat and the theatre staff was kind and helpful.

The futuristic sound system in DTS-6 boasts 44 surround speakers and a Kinoton projector is used for some 70mm films. Other films are shown in digital projection, or 3D, depending on the film. You can be sure to find a great film showing during your stay in Los Angeles, because of the great acoustics and the curved screen at lot of films are shown here first after their premier.

Walking Tours in Los Angeles, California

Create Your Own Walk in Los Angeles

Create Your Own Walk in Los Angeles

Creating your own self-guided walk in Los Angeles is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Places of Worship Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Places of Worship Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Los Angeles features a great number of beautiful churches and temples. These religious buildings attract a lot of tourists as well as Hollywood celebrities. For instance, Bing Crosby often visited the Good Shepherd Church in Beverly Hills. Take this self-guided tour to explore some of the wonderful Los Angeles churches.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 6.2 km
Hollywood Walk

Hollywood Walk

Hollywood, LA's by far most famous district, is a popular destination for sightseeing and nightlife. It is also a historic center of film making. Paramount Studios, the only large film studio still operational in Hollywood, and the iconic Walk of Fame, are just some of the district's major attractions. To see what else the famous area has to offer, follow this self-guided walking tour...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 km
Los Angeles Comedy Clubs Walking Tour

Los Angeles Comedy Clubs Walking Tour

Los Angeles is an absolutely perfect place to enjoy comedy performances, as the crowd is especially warm and energetic here. Great comedians from all over the US and the world come to Los Angeles to perform and become famous. Take this self-guided tour to discover LA’s best comedy clubs.

Tour Duration: 4 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 9.6 km
Live Music Venues Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Live Music Venues Walking Tour in Los Angeles

The nightlife in Los Angeles is extremely varied to suit everyone's taste. This is particularly true in relation to the clubs, restaurants and bars that host live music performances. Take the following walking tour if you'd like to see live R&B, rock, jazz or blues concerts.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Movie Studios Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Movie Studios Walking Tour in Los Angeles

Los Angeles movie studios are truly star factories, where many great movies are filmed. There are many movie studios in Los Angeles. Some of them, such as Paramount Pictures and Dreamworks, are very famous, while others, like Raleigh and Ren-Mar are obscure. Check out these wonderful movie studios in Los Angeles in the following self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.8 km
Museums Tour in Los Angeles

Museums Tour in Los Angeles

Being one of the most culturally diverse cities in the US, Los Angeles contains a great number of museums that reflect the history of this city and the world. Its museums feature outstanding permanent collections, as well as rotating displays that specialize in television, radio and movie archives. Check out the famous museums in Los Angeles on the following self-guided tour.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

10 Amazing Food to Try in Los Angeles (LA)

10 Amazing Food to Try in Los Angeles (LA)

I love food. You love food too. And because we’re foodies, we want every meal to be as good as if it were our last. So for those few times us foodies sit at a table and unexpectedly strike gold, we must remember, honor and share that memorable meal. Here is a list of affordable LA area culinary...
Los Angeles: 15 Souvenir Shopping Tips and Ideas for Travelers

Los Angeles: 15 Souvenir Shopping Tips and Ideas for Travelers

With some many celebrities per square mile, living or just visiting, practically any stone in LA could pass for a souvenir that one time or another was touched, held or walked upon by some of the movie or rock stars, or was filmed in one of the many movies shot in the City of Angels for almost a...
15 Charming Cafes with Fast and Free Wifi in Los Angeles

15 Charming Cafes with Fast and Free Wifi in Los Angeles

Need to find free wireless connection AND a great cup of coffee? These charming cafes, hot-spots and writers’ hang-outs are scattered across LA but catalogued by neighborhood. These indie cafes cater to screenwriters, students and tourists who want to set up camp with their laptops for a few hours...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Los Angeles for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Los Angeles has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Los Angeles, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.