October 28, 2012

Photo Essay: Last Chance Look at the Tower Theatre Part 2 (Backstage, Projection Booth, Basement)

When I arrived at The Tower Theatre on Saturday morning, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised to see two lines, all the way down the block and wrapped around the corner. Turns out, there are more than just a few of us who'd like to take a peek at the interior of one of Broadway's historic theaters.

Especially since the LA Times wrote about it.

Especially since it might be our last chance to see it before it undergoes a major renovation for adaptive reuse, and the peeling paint is removed entirely.

Audiences could see the main parts of the theater - the lobby styled after the Paris opera, the house with its muraled ceilings, the balcony with its cry room - up until the Tower closed in the late 1980s. But very few civilians have ever gotten the opportunity to explore upstairs into the tower itself, as well as downstairs past the powder room and lounge, into the bowels of the basement, past all of the inner workings.

Until now.

At the top of the second balcony, on the opposite side from the cry room, there is an old wooden door that leads to the projection booth...

Balcony door to the projection booth

View of the stage from the projection booth

...which still houses its equipment and other ephemera.





Lighting board bulb

Beyond the projection booth is the rewind room...

Rewind Room

...which has a bit more light...

Rewind Room

...though the windows have been painted over.

Rewind Room

Downstairs, you can find original phone booths, and the public restrooms...


...featuring original fixtures and tile floors.

Men's Room

Powder Room

Ladies' Room

Beyond the bathrooms, there are a series of tunnels beneath the theater through which the various actors and crew would move about during the shows.

Back door

Utility sink in basement

Air conditioning compressor

Insulated pipe

Some of them may still roam these dark corners. There are rumors of hauntings at the Tower...

...and at least one light seemed to turn itself on while we were poking around.

As with many of Broadway's historic theaters, there are several chances to glimpse the exterior and interior of The Tower Theatre on film (The Mambo Kings, Mulholland Drive). But the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation takes you where the bodies are buried (so to speak).

Related Post:
Photo Essay: Last Chance Look at The Tower Theatre (Lobby, House & Balcony)

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