Last week, my friends and I attended the eighth annual Night on Broadway, a festival consisting of artists and vendors all congregating in the theatre district of downtown Los Angeles on Broadway between 3rd and 7th street. Night on Broadway is part of the Bringing Back Broadway program started by Councilman José Huizar with the goal of revitalizing the theatres and commercial buildings of the area. Since the program’s initiation, it has aimed at making Broadway an enjoyable pedestrian experience (http://nightonbroadway.la/about/).
The event was a symbol of Los Angeles’s diversity, attracting people of greatly varying walks of life. Even the artists were of different backgrounds; there were contemporary street artists, sculptors, musicians, dancers and even men on stilts! Vendors were selling a variety of foods, and there was even a Ferris wheel operating in the middle of a street corner! The entire thing was unlike anything I’d previously experienced at downtown LA’s free events.
With the purpose of the event being to bring attention to the businesses and historic theatres of Broadway, we decided to explore some that were open to visitors. One was Million Dollar Theatre, which has history dating back to the 1910s. The theatre was built by Sid Grauman, who later was responsible for the famous Egyptian and Chinese Theatres of Hollywood Boulevard (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Grauman). We were able to learn about the theatre through flyers and writings featured around the theatre. For Night on Broadway, Million Dollar Theatre featured several internationally renowned burlesque dancers, paying tribute to the historic nature of the theatre.