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Comedy Gets New Life West of the 405

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The outside of the new Westside Comedy theater, formerly Westside Eclectic. Photo courtesy M.i. Productions.

...Well, sort of. The new Westside Comedy theater, formerly the Westside Eclectic in Santa Monica, has undergone a renovation and (hopefully) a renaissance. A few months ago longtime touring improvisers Mission IMPROVable (M.i.) took a majority stake in the theater and have since decided to really revamp the look and feel of the place. Their mission? To be the premiere spot for comedy west of the 405.

Located just off the Third Street Promenade, in the alley between 3rd/4th and Arizona/Santa Monica, the former Westside Eclectic certainly had it's ups and downs over the past few years, as it tried to establish itself on the westside and in the larger Los Angeles comedy scene as a whole. Some shows were certainly better than others, and despite its central Santa Monica location it was often bypassed or simply forgotten about. But the ultimate question here is: what will this really mean for the future of westside comedy? There's no denying that the five million people along the coast deserve some good laughs now and again, but are they more likely to catch a show at Ultimate Improv near UCLA or the Comedy and Magic Club in the south bay? Maybe all the beachcombers are heading inland at night for the big laughs and lights of Hollywood? The new Westside Comedy theater certainly hopes not.

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Keep reading after the jump to find out about the opening weekend party happening for the relaunch of the theater.

Luckily, the M.i. guys have built a solid reputation for quality shows, and a recent open forum discussion on the future of the theater brought a lot of good ideas and gave some people the chance to express their frustrations over 'what might have been' with the former full owners of the space. Already the changes are evident, with a new website, paint job, and interior redesign. Now all the Westside Comedy theater needs is for people to show up.

Luckily, this weekend is your chance to do just that, should you wish. Chris Hardwick, Sean Conroy, Jeff Richards and the Walsh Brothers are all scheduled to perform at the new digs, with a full line-up meant to entice the locals and the tourists alike into sticking around for future shows. And for any of you already familiar with the theater, they still do plan on offering classes and comedy six nights a week, so don't expect that to change. Whether or not the Westside Comedy theater really will become the place for comedy west of the 405, the idea of a comedy theater relaunch in this economic environment certainly is promising. And the opening weekend line-up (if it is a glimpse of the future) certainly is exciting as well.

If you're on the westside, where do you go for comedy? Lets us know below!