Thursday, July 5, 2012

FORD AMPHITHEATRE SET TO UNDERGO IMPROVEMENTS STARTING OCT. 2012, Construction Will Pre-Empt [Inside] The Ford 2012-13 Season


Los Angeles, Calif. – July 5, 2012 — Construction to improve the stage and floor of the historic outdoor Ford Amphitheatre is scheduled to begin in October 2012 immediately following the close of the Amphitheatre’s current summer season.

Key improvements include:

    * Resurfacing and sealing of the Amphitheatre floor to prevent water leakage to areas beneath the theater including the 87-seat [Inside] the Ford theater, dressing rooms and green room.
    * Installing new Amphitheatre seats.
    * Reconfiguring the stage to allow for better drainage, create an even surface and reduce the angle of the stage’s rake.
    * Upgrading the Amphitheatre’s lighting and sound systems.

“We have wanted to make these improvements for some time,” said Adam Davis, Managing Director of the Ford Theatres. “We are currently going through a planning process that’s enabled us to prioritize needs and these were at the top of the list. These improvements will make producing at the Ford better and maintaining the facility easier while retaining the Amphitheatre’s historic character.”

The construction is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2013 Ford Amphitheatre Summer Season opening next May, but will pre-empt the 2012-13 season in the [Inside] the Ford theater. For the past four seasons the [Inside] theater has been home to the Ford’s Winter Partnership Program that helps L.A. County-based theater companies present new plays in the space.

“The construction will make it impossible to produce in the indoor theater this coming season,” said Laura Zucker, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, “but the Arts Commission will continue to support theater companies in the region through our myriad other programs, including grants and technical assistance.”

The project is expected to cost $7.5 million and is funded with capital projects funds made available by Board of Supervisors Chairman and Third District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

A detailed master plan for the future development of the Ford Theatres is expected to go before the L.A. County Board of Supervisors in fall 2012. In 2010 Levin & Associates Architects were selected to develop that plan. The firm has a wealth of experience in revitalizing and enhancing historic sites including the Griffith Observatory and Los Angeles City Hall Restoration.

The Ford Theatres, located in a Los Angeles County Regional Park on Cahuenga Blvd. East in the Hollywood Hills, are operated by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. The 1200-seat Ford Amphitheatre was built by Christine Wetherill Stevenson in 1920 as the site of her Pilgrimage Play. Since 1993, the amphitheater has been home to the Ford Amphitheatre Summer Season, a multi-disciplinary performing arts series produced by the Arts Commission in cooperation with Los Angeles County-based arts organizations. The current construction project is a continuation of a series of upgrades the County has made to the historic theater over the past two decades. These have included replacement of aging power and water lines, the expanded entryway with more picnic tables and the addition of an elevator to make the facility ADA accessible.

The 2012 Ford Amphitheatre Summer Season opened June 1 and continues through October 7. Complete information is available at

The Los Angeles County Arts Commission, Laura Zucker, Executive Director, provides leadership in cultural services of all disciplines for the largest county in the United States, encompassing 88 municipalities. In addition to programming the John Anson Ford Theatres, the Arts Commission provides leadership and staffing to support the County-wide collaboration for arts education, Arts for All; administers a grants program that funds almost 400 nonprofit arts organizations annually; oversees the County’s Civic Art Program for capital projects; funds the largest arts internship program in the country in conjunction with the Getty Foundation; and supports the Los Angeles County Cultural Calendar on and, Creative Spaces for Creative People. The Arts Commission also produces free community programs, including the L.A. County Holiday Celebration broadcast nationally, and a year-round music program that funds more than 140 free concerts and participatory arts events each year in public sites. The 2012-13 President of the Arts Commission is Mattie McFadden-Lawson. For more information please consult the Arts Commission online press kit:


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