August 19, 2014

Photo Essay: The Wiltern Theatre, Off Limits Areas

As a preservation enthusiast, I know I should revel in the beauty of the restoration of the former Warner Western Theatre... thriving as The Wiltern.

But here's my favorite part of these tours that give me all access to these historic theaters of LA:

...the stuff you don't normally get to see when attending a show...

...though maybe when you're actually doing a show.

Behind the scenes.

The sandbags and curtains.

The fly systems and the lighting rigs.

The catwalks of the underbelly...

...the sliding doors...

...and the bars on the dressing room windows.

The Wiltern has a somewhat secret upper level that is rarely accessed by the public (except, I suppose, as an emergency egress), so it hasn't been restored in decades...

...though it does provide access to the projection booth (and now spotlight room), whose door is marked by an inviting "DO NOT ENTER" sign.

This creepy stairwell, too, is unrestored...

...and shows signs of water damage, as well as general creepiness.

The projection booth has been modernized to accommodate the type of lighting equipment necessary for their modern day stage shows (as well as larger windows), though it still houses the stall-less toilet so typically found to satisfy projectionists needs when nature calls.

Behind the scenes at the Wiltern, spooky hallways and staircases abound.

In the basement, you can find spare light cans... well as the antique fuse-based electrical system, which still powers the theater today.

Under the stage, there are mechanical and machine rooms full of cooling equipment, ducts and other ventilation...

...and hallways most people wouldn't want to go down.

Except me, of course. I could spend all day down there, trying to figure out what's behind every door.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: The Wiltern Theatre, Public Areas
Photo Essay: Open House at the Restored Alex Theatre, Magic Hour

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