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The Greek Theatre Restoration Will Include Picnic Spots And Historical Flourishes

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The Greek Theatre (Photo via Facebook.)
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The city's restoration plans for the historic Greek Theatre will begin immediately and be much tamer than those proposed by private companies.On Nov. 1, Los Angeles' Recreation and Parks Department took over operations of the Greek, and the city has already begun the $1.5 million dollar renovation of the 1929 theater, according to the Los Feliz Ledger. Plans for the remodel include a new plaza for picnics before shows—including a public space for when it's closed—a new entrance design, removal of some electronic signs and other aesthetic improvements aimed at restoring the historic character of the 5,900-seat, open-air concert venue.

The city's plans for the Greek—which were developed by L.A.-based Rios Clementi Hale Studio—also include modernizing dressing rooms, offices and other areas, while adding drought-tolerant landscaping. And in a nod to the Greek's original columns that once stood at the edge of the stage—but were covered when the stage was expanded—a projector showing images of columns will soon be projected onto new curtains.

The unveiled plans for the Greek, however, are a very scaled back version of proposals put forward by private companies. Nederlander—who had operated the Greek Theatre since 1975 until their contract expired on Oct. 31—had partnered with L.A. LIVE owner AEG and had competed for months with concert promoter Live Nation to operate the venue, according to Curbed LA. The competing plans were both far more ambitious and costly than the city's current plan, but were ultimately rejected by the L.A. City Council, partly due to concerns over a lack of input from the surrounding residential neighborhood. In the end, the city decided to operate and renovate the theater itself. Using an "open venue model," the city plans to find a manager for the space and host concerts with different promoters during the year.