The Venue: Downtown Independent Theater

The Downtown Independent Theater is located in the heart of recently revitalized Downtown Los Angeles. Designed by the award-winning architects HplusF, the space is light, sleek, and modern. The main space, the theater, is a 160 seat cinema space that forms the hub of this compact multi-purpose project designed by Hodgetts + Fung. The theater was originally constructed in 1923 as the Linda Lea Vaudeville house.

Downtown Independent Theater. Photo from hplusf studio.

A dramatic street presence, visually accessible lobby space, and seamless materials combine to create a powerful brand identity for the Downtown Independent Theater, formerly known as the Imaginasian Center Patrons first encounter a luminous, molded box office, which extends into the project to provide an enclosure for the concession stand. It is complemented by a deep, two-story lobby space accented by a vertical, glowing display on which coming attractions are featured.

Downtown Independent Theater. Photo from “hplusf” studio

Within the theater, backlit images of Asian destinations provide illumination for the darkened space which is accented by a single, intensely colored balustrade. Seating areas are supplemented by two tiers of Executive lounges, and fully accessible areas are distributed throughout the auditorium. A state-of-the-art THX sound system, consisting of a special, room-sized sound cavity behind the screen, carefully positioned speakers, and a specialized “clean” power system completes the theatrical experience.

Due to the transitional nature of the location and the need to provide a low-maintenance and highly visible street presence, the surfaces of the Center are composed primarily of glass and aluminum, accented by a unique, seamless plastic box office enclosure, which is impervious to graffiti.

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