Hollywood's Historic Buildings
Theaters and other architectural gems lined Hollywood's famous boulevards during its Golden Age and now hold restored star appeal
- By Laura Kiniry
- Smithsonian.com, March 01, 2010
Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry struts his signature "duck walk" while playing his Gibson guitar, to the delight of fans, during a 1980 Hollywood, California, concert at the Palladium (George Rose / Getty Images)
6215 Sunset Boulevard
When the Palladium Theater opened on Halloween night 1940, hundreds packed the enormous coral and chromium ballroom to hear the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and a young Frank Sinatra. Judy Garland, Jack Benny and Lana Turner joined the throngs who sipped champagne, dined on $3 meals and danced on an 11,200-square-foot maple wood floor under sparkling chandeliers. With Big Band music on the wane a decade later, the Art Deco-style building attracted such award shows as the Grammys and Emmys as well as rock musicians from James Brown to Bjork. It was the home of the Lawrence Welk Show in the 1960s and the venue for a 1961 political dinner attended by President Kennedy. Falling into disrepair in the 1980s and ’90s, it became notorious for brawls and prison-style security and eventually closed. Concert promoters Live Nation put millions into restoring the theater and reopened it with hip-hop artist Jay-Z in October 2008.