Variety Arts Theater

The Variety Arts Theater, designed by architecture firm Allison & Allison, opened in 1924. Some of the character defining features of the Italian Renaissance style theater include a gold-leafed coffered ceiling and faux marble columns. The theater was originally built for the Friday Morning Club, a social and political organization for women. The main theater, referred to as the Playhouse, would help generate financial support for the building. During its time as the Playhouse, the theater played host to speakers such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothy Parker. Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor hosted live radio shows that were broadcasted from the Playhouse, and it is rumored that Clark Gable got his start performing Romeo and Juliet at the theater in 1925.

By the 1970s, the theater had fallen into disrepair. Several attempts were made to reuse the theater for live performances and nightclubs. Today, the building has been rehabilitated as part of a Historic Tax Credit project. It is listed as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Spectra Company worked as the general contractor for this project overseeing electrical, mechanical, plumbing, elevator and fire and life safety upgrades as well as completed façade restoration, decorative cast stone restoration, restored the wood doors and windows, and other historic features.

Scope of Work

Adaptive Reuse • Architectural Woodwork • Concrete Repair • Decorative Concrete • Decorative Metal • Decorative Paintings & Murals • Estimating & Value Engineering • Facade Rehabilitation • General Contracting • Lighting & Chandeliers • Materials Restoration • Metal Windows • Ornamental Plaster • Plaster • Restoration Painting & Coatings • Selective Demolition/Abatement • Self-Perform • Stone • Waterproofing/Roofing • Wood Doors • Wood Windows



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