Since opening in 1940, the Palladium Theater has become an icon of Los Angeles entertainment and culture. The building was constructed on the former site of the original Paramount Theater, and funded by then-publisher of the Los Angeles Times, Norman Chandler. Its inaugural performance (on October 31, 1940) featured the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra with band vocalist Frank Sinatra. During the Second World War the venue hosted radio broadcasts by Betty Grable, greeting song requests by servicemen.
Other notable performers in the venue’s history include Tito Puente, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Taj Mahal, The Grateful Dead, and Richard Pryor among many others. The Palladium was the home of the Lawrence Welk Show from 1961 to the end of its run. Prominent figures who have spoken here have included President John F. Kennedy, who spoke out against ultra-conservative organizations during a Democratic Party dinner, and Martin Luther King, Jr., when he was recognized by city officials for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. It has been depicted in films such as The Blues Brothers (as “Palace Hotel Ballroom”), The Day of the Locust, Skatetown USA, Almost Famous, and Galaxy Quest.
Though the venue has had a somewhat rough-and-tumble existence at points in its past, today the venue is a respected symbol of Los Angeles’ popular culture history. It features performances by many of today’s top-billing popular music acts, and is managed by major Los Angeles concert promoter Live Nation.
Hollywood Palladium Information
- Public Transportation: Very Good (a short walk from buses 2, 210, and 302 at Sunset Boulevard/Vine Street; and a 6-minute walk from the Metro Red Line and buses 180, 181, 210, 212, 217, 222, 312, and 780 at the Hollywood/Vine Station)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 60 events annually
- Ticket Prices: Varies ($25–$60) depending on event and seating.