The Hollywood Palladium is a theater located at 6215 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, California. It was built in a Streamline Moderne, Art Deco style and includes an 11,200 square foot (1040 m ) dance floor with room for up to 4,000 people.
Los Angeles Times publisher Norman Chandler funded the construction of the art deco Hollywood Palladium at a cost of $1.6 million in 1940. It was built where the original Paramount lot once stood by film producer Maurice Cohen and is located between Argyle and El Centro avenues. The style dance hall was designed by Gordon Kaufmann, architect of the Greystone Mansion, the Los Angeles Times building and the Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia. He was also the architect for the Hoover Dam and early Caltech dorms.
The ballroom opened October 31, 1940 with a dance featuring Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra and band vocalist Frank Sinatra. It had six bars serving liquor and two more serving soft drinks and a $1 cover charge and a $3 charge for dinner.
From 1955-1976, the scene of Latin Music Orchestras for ragers sponsored by radio personality Chico Sesma titled Latin Holidays. The Tito Puente Orchestra performed regularly between 1957-1977 to sold out houses of 5000. The Joe Loco Orchestra and show performed on the March 1965 Latin Holiday with singer/dancer Josephine "Josie" Powell.
During WWII, the Palladium hosted radio broadcasts featuring Betty Grable greeting servicemens' song requests. Big Band acts began losing popularity in the 1950s, causing the Palladium to hold charity balls, political events, auto shows, and rock concerts. In 1961, it became the home of the long-running Lawrence Welk Show.
Pop Expo '69, referred to as a "teenage fair," was a youth-oriented event held from 3/28/69 to 4/6/69 at the Palladium, and included performances by the Jimi Hendrix Experience and the MC5. Beginning in the 1980s and 90s, punk rock, rap and heavy metal concerts started to be booked at the venue. Several white power disturbances resulted, eventually leading to the Palladium closing for eight weeks, starting in February 1993.
In 1964, it was announced that none of the jazz bands scheduled were to be paid and a riot ensued after the show was cancelled. In 1973 Stevie Wonder performed with Taj Mahal in what was advertised as an "Afrocentric concert" to benefit African refugees.
Since 1985, the theater has been owned by Palladium Investors Ltd., a privately held group. Curfews were implemented in 1993 and a show by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch was called off because of a brawl that occurred a few nights earlier, . It was also used for Hollywood celebrity parties.
Renovation and reopening
In 2007, the owners agreed to a long-term lease to operate, manage and exclusively book the Hollywood Palladium with Live Nation, a Los Angeles-based company.
The Palladium reopened with a Jay-Z concert on October 15, 2008 after a year long, multi-million dollar renovation by Live Nation. The renovation included an overhaul of the venue's interior and exterior, a new dance floor, expanded concessions, upgraded restrooms and improvements to the stage infrastructure. Jay-Z performed for nearly an hour-and-half, backed by an eight-piece band and DJ AM, who played his first show after surviving a plane crash in South Carolina. The Hollywood Palladium was also used as the memorial service site for DJ AM on September 3, 2009.
For the 2008-2009 season, a yearlong table for four cost $30,000.
The Hollywood Palladium has been featured in many movies and tv shows over the years. Some of these are:
The Day of the Locust (1975).
Skatetown, U.S.A. (1979).
- The final concert scene in The Blues Brothers depicted as "Palace Hotel Ballroom". (The exterior was actually the South Shore Country Club in Chicago, IL.) (1980).
- Richard Pryor performed two dates in December 1981 and was filmed for the theatrical release Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip in March 1982.
- The scene in Almost Famous where Penny Lane dances to the Cat Stevens song "The Wind".
Keith Richards released a CD and DVD of his solo concert Live at the Hollywood Palladium, December 15, 1988.
- The Palladium served as the location for the Sci-fi convention in Galaxy Quest (1999).
- The Palladium played the exterior of the fictional Studio 60 on the Aaron Sorkin television series Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
- The television show Adam-12, episode "Something Worth Dying For (Part 2)" (1975).
- The Grateful Dead have released several CDs that featured music recorded at the Hollywood Palladium on August 6, 1971: Dick's Picks Vol. 35; Fallout From The Phil Zone; Road Trips Vol. 1 No. 3 (Bonus Material).
- The punk band Bad Religion recorded Live at the Palladium in 2006, a collection from their two days of performances.
Skrewdriver filmed the video for the song "White Power" in the parking lot.
- The Palladium was the location where C.J. Mack (played by Isaac Hayes) performed on an episode of The A-Team called "The Heart of Rock N' Roll" (Season 4, Episode 6) (1985).
Thrash Metal band Megadeth filmed a live DVD based on the 20th anniversary of their album Rust In Peace at The Palladium.
Luna Sea performed their first American concert at the Palladium on December 4, 2010. It was recorded in 3D and released as both a live album and concert film, Luna Sea 3D in Los Angeles.
On November 18, 1961, President John F. Kennedy took the occasion of a Democratic Party dinner at the Hollywood Palladium to speak out against ultra-conservative organizations.
In February 1965, Martin Luther King, Jr. was honored at the Palladium by city officials recognizing his Nobel Peace Prize. A bomb threat was called in for the event, frightening the attendees. Earlier in the day, LA Police had found 1400 pounds of explosives in a Los Angeles apartment.