Last Remaining Seats Subcommittee
History of HTC and LRSCOM
Photo Gallery of Broadway Historic Theatre District
List of Operating Countywide Theatres
Goal: The historic theatres of Los Angeles County are a rich cultural and architectural resource. The Los Angeles Conservancy’s all-volunteer Historic Theatres Committee (HTC) works to foster greater public awareness and appreciation of these historic theatres through events, educational outreach, and alerting and advising Conservancy staff on historic theatre preservation issues.
Meets: Quarterly, usually on a Tuesday night, generally the last Tuesday of the designated month. General HTC meetings are held in historic theatres or other interesting locations throughout Los Angeles.
Contact: Michael Zoldessy
HTC Officers (2012 - 2013):
Chair: Michael Zoldessy
Vice Chair: Mariah Montgomery
Recorder: Marty Russell
Next HTC meeting:
At general HTC meetings we welcome all prospective members, HTC subcommittee members, members of our special projects, and their guests. Besides conducting general administrative business, our general meetings may include a site tour, guest speakers, or other special programming. General meetings offer prospective HTC members an overview of the Historic Theatres Committee, its subcommittees, and special projects.
At these meetings, proposals for new HTC projects are presented, and suggestions for future HTC member tours and activities are discussed.
The Conservancy offers weekly walking tours of the Broadway Historic Theatre and Commercial District in downtown Los Angeles. The tour mainly covers the exterior of theatres.
Broadway: Historic Theatre & Commercial District Tour
HTC has special projects that bring further awareness to historic theatres. Early HTC leader, Ed Kelsey created the oral history and database projects, which have become long-term committee projects.
The Historic Theatres Oral History Project
Goal: The Historic Theatres Oral History Project was born out of the realization that we are quickly losing the voices of those who were involved in the creation and operation of L.A.’s historic theatres. Several committee members expressed the desire to find and document the reminiscences of these theatre pioneers so that the history of our theatres could come alive for future generations of Angelenos.
HTC signing people up for the oral history project at LRS 2009. Photo by Bob Brennan.
The project so far has videotaped interviews with ten subjects. The usual procedure is to tape the interview in a theatre setting and allow the subject to determine the topics, guided by the interviewer.
Each session usually involves about two hours and four or five volunteers. The finished product will be archived on DVD and tape, with extensive written notes. Our list of future candidates is quickly growing, and the project’s potential is limited only by the time and dedication of the volunteers involved.
The HTC is currently seeking volunteers with experience in video-editing and the necessary equipment to work on the existing interview materials.
Meets: As needed
Contact: Michael Zoldessy
The Historic Theatres Database Research Project
Goal: The Historic Theatres Database Project is another ongoing special project, led by Tom Sutherland. Project participants coordinate research, including field research on existing historic theatres in Los Angeles County and handle data management and project planning.
Meets: As needed
Contact: Tom Sutherland
HTC is always looking for new members who have a passion for advocacy work. Individual HTC members have nominated theatres for landmark designation, protecting them from potential threats of demolition or alterations. Advocacy is incredibly important to the long-term protection of Los Angeles' many historic theatres. If you are interested in this type of work, please contact Michael Zoldessy.
First LRS committee. Photo by Bob Brennan.
Last Remaining Seats Subcommittee (LRSCOM)
Goal: To plan the Conservancy’s annual “Last Remaining Seats” series, which presents classic films in historic theatres during the summer. The subcommittee meets the second Tuesday of the month.
Meets: Meets at least once a month from September through April.
Contact: E-mail Bruce Scottow or call the Conservancy office at (213) 623-2489.
LRS Officers (2012 - 2013)
Chair: Scott Benson
Vice Chair: Ken Gehrig
Recorder: Ann Hobbs
Next LRS meeting:
Los Angeles Conservancy office
523 W. 6th St., Suite 826
Los Angeles, 90014
Learn more about LRS
HTC and LRSCOM History
HTC at LRS 2008. Photo by Bob Brennan.
The stories of the Los Angeles Conservancy’s Historic Theatres Committee and Last Remaining Seats Committee are tightly intertwined. In 1987, the landmark film series Last Remaining Seats (LRS) began, and the Conservancy’s Historic Theatres Committee consisted mainly of the volunteers who originated the LRS series. It wasn’t until about 1990 that this group became known as the Historic Theatres Committee. Even then, the film series was the primary committee activity for the next ten years or so, with volunteers working with Conservancy staff to produce the event.
First LRS. Photo by Tom Zimmerman.
The committee that staged Last Remaining Seats in 1987 formed the nucleus of the Broadway Theatre District Task Force, predecessor of the Historic Theatres Committee. These humble efforts continued for many successful seasons with a succession of veteran and new Historic Theatres Committee members.
In the early 2000s, Committee members wanted to expand the scope of the committee’s activities beyond the film series to include projects such as a database of historic theatres and an oral history library with statements from people who had experienced or worked at historic theatres during earlier eras. The Last Remaining Seats working group is now a subcommittee of HTC, and HTC has launched several exciting new projects. Last Remaining Seats has continued as a very successful event, the oral history project has collected several oral histories, and work on the theatre database has accelerated.
Both HTC and LRS committees have elected officers and established rules, such as membership requirements for voting.