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Saturday: Learn 'All About' the Belasco

By Eric Richardson
Published: Thursday, February 24, 2011, at 11:22AM
Belasco Theatre Wendell Benedetti / LAHTF

Inside the just-renovated Belasco Theatre at 1050 S. Hill

Opened in 1926, the Belasco Theatre was the first of two structures intended to be the core of what oil magnate Edward L. Doheny imagined would be a new theatre district between Downtown and USC. While the Belasco focused on vaudeville, the next-door Mayan Theatre was built to house musical productions.

The Belasco, located at 1050 S. Hill, opened with a run of the play "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes," but by the late 1940s "gentlemen" were preferring to see just a little bit more in high-class offerings like "Peek-a-Boo" and "Good Nudes for All."

In June of 1950 the building was bought by the Immanuel Gospel Temple for $200,000 and converted into a church, a use it would maintain into the 1980s.

Today, the Belasco is just reopening as a nightclub and event venue. Those interested in Downtown history will get a chance to learn more about both the history and future of the theatre on Saturday when the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation's "All About" series pays a visit. The event gets underway at 10:30am, and admission is $5 or free for LAHTF members.

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