The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, a part of the Los Angeles Music Center, stands as a testament to the passionate pursuit of cultural enrichment. This venue, nestled in the heart of downtown Los Angeles, is a premier destination for performing arts enthusiasts, history buffs, and admirers of architecture and interior design.

Opened in 1964, the Pavilion was named after Dorothy Buffum Chandler, a Los Angeles cultural leader and dedicated advocate for the arts who raised the funds needed for its construction. Mrs. Chandler's goal was to provide a world-class venue for the performing arts in the city, and she accomplished this with the creation of the Pavilion.

This magnificent structure, measuring 330 feet long and 252 feet wide, features an auditorium that comfortably seats more than 3,000 patrons. The Pavilion's design, a grand fusion of gold leaf, velvet, and crystal, is reminiscent of traditional mid-20th-century American aesthetics and Vienna State Opera House influences. These details speak to the historic nature of the venue and the artistic excellence it aims to uphold.

Recognized for its exceptional acoustics, the Pavilion provides an unparalleled sensory experience, enriching every performance. It is a place where the sound of music isn't merely heard; it resonates, immersing the audience in the beauty of artistic expression.

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion has served as home to the Los Angeles Opera and, until 2003, the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It's also been the stage for numerous prestigious events, like the Academy Awards. Indeed, the Pavilion hosted the Oscars more frequently than any other venue until 2002, when the event was moved to the Dolby Theatre.

Related tours:

Why visit the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion?

  1. Historical significance. Stepping into the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, you are immersing yourself in a piece of Los Angeles's cultural history. The venue has played a pivotal role in the city's arts scene and has left an indelible mark on the nation's cultural landscape.
  2. Architectural splendor. The Pavilion is a visual delight, flaunting a design inspired by the Vienna State Opera House. Its grand chandeliers, luxurious velvets, and gold-leaf accents exude a sense of opulence that complements the magnificence of the performances hosted here.
  3. Performances galore. There's no shortage of entertainment at the Pavilion. It hosts a plethora of events, ranging from opera and symphony concerts to dance performances and community events. The variety ensures that the Pavilion caters to a wide spectrum of artistic preferences.
  4. Acoustic excellence. The Pavilion is renowned for its superior acoustics, which amplify the pleasure derived from any performance. Whether it's the soaring notes of a soprano or the melodic strains of a violin, every sound is enhanced within this auditorium.
  5. Home of the LA Opera. As the home of the Los Angeles Opera, the Pavilion is a must-visit for any opera enthusiast. The LA Opera is one of the leading opera companies in the US, known for its innovative productions and talented performers.
  6. Behind-the-scenes tours. The Music Center offers guided tours of its venues, including the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The tours allow you to delve deeper into the venues’ history, architectural design, and role in the performing arts, enhancing your appreciation for these cultural landmarks.

Best places to visit near the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

  • Walt Disney Concert Hall. Located just across the street from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, this venue is an architectural masterpiece designed by Frank Gehry. It is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and offers guided tours and concerts.

  • The Broad. Situated just one block away, this museum showcases an impressive collection of contemporary art. It features works by renowned artists like Jeff Koons, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Yayoi Kusama.

  • Grand Park. Adjacent to the Music Center, this beautiful urban park spans over 12 acres. It offers a peaceful oasis in the heart of downtown, with landscaped gardens, fountains, walking paths, and public art installations.

  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Located just a short walk from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, MOCA is a prominent museum dedicated to contemporary art. It features rotating exhibitions showcasing works by both established and emerging artists.

  • Olvera Street. Known as the birthplace of Los Angeles, this historic street offers a glimpse into the city's rich cultural heritage. You can explore colorful shops, sample delicious Mexican cuisine, and enjoy live music and performances.

  • Staples Center. If you're a sports fan or want to catch a live event, Arena, formerly known as Staples Center, is nearby. It is the home venue to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Los Angeles Clippers (NBA), and the Los Angeles Kings (NHL) and hosts concerts and other major events.

  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Situated in Exposition Park, this museum is home to an extensive collection of natural and historical artifacts. It features exhibits on dinosaurs, gems and minerals, indigenous peoples, and much more.

  • Griffith Observatory. Located several miles from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the observatory provides stunning views of the city skyline and the stars above. It offers interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, and telescopes for stargazing.

  • Getty Center. While a bit further away, the Getty Center is worth the visit. It houses an impressive collection of European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The architecture of the museum itself is remarkable, and the panoramic views of the city from the hilltop location are breathtaking.

  • LA Fashion District. For shopping enthusiasts, the Fashion District is a must-visit. It offers a vast selection of wholesale and retail fashion outlets, including clothing, accessories, fabrics, and more.
  • 1
    What are the most interesting and unique facts about the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion?
    • The Pavilion is known for its grand staircase, a central design feature that was common in the grand European opera houses of the 19th century. This staircase, along with stunning crystal chandeliers, adds a certain elegance and historical touch to the building.

    • Outside of the Pavilion, in the Music Center plaza, there is a well-known fountain called "Peace on Earth." The imposing bronze sculpture by Jacques Lipchitz, standing amid 280 dancing water fountains, is topped by a dove descending to earth with the spirit of peace.
  • 2
    What's the best way to see the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for tourists?
    • Attend a performance. This option is hands-down the best way to see the Pavilion. The venue was originally designed as the home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, but it now hosts various types of performances, including opera, dance, music concerts, and more. Look at the Music Center's calendar to see what shows coincide with your visit.

    • Take a guided tour. The Music Center offers free guided tours of the Pavilion, which include interesting details about its history, architecture, and the performances it has hosted. You can see many areas that are usually off-limits to the public. Check the Music Center's website for the current schedule.