The public is invited to have one more look at the historic Alex Theatre at 216 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale before it temporarily shuts down for five months for renovations. The open house is on Sunday, June 30 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The event is free, but a $20 donation is suggested.
The event will include self guided tours of the 88-year-old venue, food tastings from local restaurants (Recess Eatery, Eden Burger Bar, Porto’s Bakery and The Spot Gourmet) as well as a look back at some highlights from the past 20 years and a peek at the upcoming season, which will re-start at the Alex in November. Some promoters in attendance include the Los Angeles Ballet, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Alex Film Society. At the conclusion of the evening, the Alex’s iconic 100-foot neon spire will go dark and remain dark until the venue reopens in November.
The 6,600-square-foot expansion of the Theatre’s backstage includes additional dressing rooms, storage and shop space, the installation of a new freight elevator to access the street and subterranean levels, a new passenger elevator and additional stair and hallways access to assist in loading.
Although the entire project will not be completed until May 2014, the Alex is reopening for performances in November.
The open house is being made possible through a grant from The Walt Disney Company.
A registered historic landmark, the “Alexander” Theatre began life in 1925 as a neighborhood vaudeville and movie house. It hosted Hollywood previews and screened first-run films until the 1980s, when it closed after several years of decline. In 1992, the Glendale Redevelopment Agency invested $6.2 million to transform it into a performing arts center and to serve as an anchor for their downtown revitalization plans.
Booked roughly 200 days a year, its diverse schedule ranges from classical and contemporary concerts, theatre, dance, comedy, fundraising, film screenings, TV/Film productions and special events. In addition, the Theatre’s resident companies include the Glendale Pops, Glendale Youth Orchestra, Los Angeles Ballet and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.