Hollywood Palladium

Hollywood wouldn't be what it is today without the Palladium, a popular venue for dance, live music, and special events since 1940.

The Hollywood Palladium was successfully nominated both locally and nationally in 2016.

Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy


Designed by noted Los Angeles architect Gordon B. Kaufmann, the Palladium was completed in 1940 in a simple Moderne style that belies the dramatic curves of the interior.

The curving rear automobile entrance leads into a circular foyer topped by a domed ceiling with a central Art Deco wood relief. The rounded columns, walls, ceiling soffit, and balcony stair railing in the entrance foyer from Sunset Boulevard convey a quiet glamour. In the main ballroom, the curved balcony, ceiling, and wood floor pattern all align to create a dynamic space.

Since its opening in 1940, the Palladium has been a popular venue for dance, live music, and special events through different eras as musical tastes have changed. From its opening night, with big band leader Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra featuring an up-and-coming Frank Sinatra as the band vocalist, the Palladium became a part of the lively Hollywood nightclub scene.

About This Place

About This Place

Through the 1940s and 1950s, The Palladium was the home of swing dance and big band music. The 1960s brought Lawrence Welk and his champagne music and eventually rock and roll acts in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. It has also hosted political events and awards shows.

The Palladium remains one of the most prominent entertainment venues in Hollywood, but has suffered from deferred maintenance throughout the years. Its concrete exterior was rehabilitated in 2008 with financial assistance from the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles. This included restoring the Sunset Boulevard façade (altered in the 1960s) to its original 1940 appearance with a reconstructed neon pylon sign, flanking grid elements, and neon dancing figures. Minimal interior rehabilitation was completed. The exterior rehabilitation project received a Conservancy Preservation Award in 2009.

Our Position

Developer Crescent Heights proposed an ambitious project for the Hollywood Palladium that would protect and retain the historic venue, and construct two 28-story towers for residences or hotel use, retail and restaurant space, along with recreation and open space on the parking lot to the west and north (rear) of the building.

It also included interior rehabilitation of the historic main lobby or foyer, replacement of the non-historic entry doors on Sunset, and repairs to the ballroom. Long-term tenant Live Nation will continue to operate the Palladium as an entertainment venue.

The Conservancy submitted comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) in December 2014. We are pleased that the Palladium Residence project protected and enhanced the historic Palladium venue as the centerpiece of this sensitive new development in the heart of Hollywood. The two 28-story buildings are compatible in scale and massing to the one-story Palladium, and proposed improvements to the venue, including reactivation of the storefronts and an interpretive plan, will reinvigorate its presence along Sunset Boulevard.

The Los Angeles City Council voted to approve the project on March 22, 2016.

In order to ensure the continued vitality of the historic venue, we strongly encouraged the applicant to include the much-needed interior rehabilitation as part of the project scope. Similarly, we stressed the importance of nominating the building for Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) designation prior to the project’s approval to allow the Cultural Heritage Commission to review and comment on the project for compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards.

Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell (CD 13) made a motion to nominate the Palladium for Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) designation in November 2015, and the application first went before the Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) in May 2016. On July 7, the CHC voted to recommend designation to City Council. Following a meeting of the Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee, City Council approved the nomination on September 30, 2016.

The Palladium was similarly nominated for and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in the fall of 2016.


Hollywood Palladium | Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy
Hollywood Palladium, 2013 | Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy
Interior of ballroom, undated | L.A. Conservancy archives