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Los Angeles Theatre Shines for Good Morning America TV Audience

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, February 23, 2009, at 08:03AM
Staged Lobby Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Show producers were looking for a glamorous lobby space to host the post-Oscars show.

At an hour when most neighboring residents were still sleeping, Downtown got a turn in the spotlight this morning as Good Morning America filmed its post-Oscar special live from Broadway's Los Angeles Theatre.

Asked before the show how the venue was going to work, Good Morning America Coordinating Producer Bill Cunningham was thrilled. "We've seen what it looks like through a viewfinder," he said. "It looks phenomenal."

Producers staged the show in the ornate lobby of the 1931 theatre, making great use of its central stairway. Standing in the lobby before the show, theatre General Manager Nicholas James Latimer remarked that he had never seen the space looking better.

Cunningham said that glamour and excitement were the qualities the show focuses on when trying to find an interesting Los Angeles home for its yearly post-Oscar show. Previous tapings have taken place in theatres and hotel lobbies, but this year a particular focus was put on the offerings Downtown. "We had heard about the Downtown revival," Cunningham noted, saying that a crew visited several options roughly before deciding on the Los Angeles.

The show then brought in artistic designer Rene Lagler to make the space shine. Working inside the narrow confines of the lobby, Lagler positioned movable lighting to show off the venue's golden interior. Room was provided for eighty guests, some friends of the production and some fans brought in for the taping. Despite the tight space, Lagler told blogdowntown that "the overall effect of the show is going to be very special and spacious."

Hosts Robin Roberts and Sam Champion were on hand in Los Angeles, while Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo manned the New York studio. While the broadcast featured plenty of interviews from Oscar night, the stars in the Los Angeles were performers from Bollywood dance troupe NDM Dance, led by Nakul Dev Mahajan.

The show aired live on the east coast from 7 - 9am, appearing in the Pacific time zone on a tape-delay (7 - 9am, ABC7).


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