Street view of The Complex Theater.


The Complex

This local landmark has been a site of community-based theatre for over fifty years, and is a rare example of streetcar commercial development in Hollywood.


Success! Thanks to a coalition of supporters, The Complex was designated a Historic-Cultural Monument in December 2023.

Place Details


6480 W Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90038



Complex Theatre Rally. Photo by Lindsay Mulcahy/L.A. Conservancy


For over fifty years, The Complex welcomed emerging and established performance artists to its intimate theatres, stages, and community. The Complex was also an anchor for Hollywood Theater Row, L.A.’s largest collection of small independent theatres. This Spanish Colonial Revival building is also a rare example of the commercial development that emerged along Hollywood streetcar lines in the 1920s.

The building owner’s decision to end the Complex Theatre and Studios’ lease and sell the building in 2022 brought together a coalition of  theatre community members and preservationists to advocate for the building. Working with The Complex leadership, the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and Hollywood Heritage, the Conservancy initiated a Historic-Cultural Monument application. The Complex was designated in December 2023.

About This Place

About This Place

The Complex is a Spanish Colonial Revival style building built in 1928. Located at the southeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Wilcox Avenue along the historic Pacific Railroad Company red car line, the mixed-use building served the surrounding
community with commercial storefronts on the first floor and residences on the second floor.

The building had long been a site of both Hollywood artistry and industry. The building has hosted businesses and offices, including 17 labor unions locals, that supported the Hollywood industry. It is located within the Hollywood Entertainment Industry Support Services Planning District, the most significant collection of entertainment industry-related support services buildings in Hollywood.

In the early 1970s, portions of the building were converted into small theaters and studio spaces. In 1991, a studio tenant named Matt Chait purchased an existing theater company located at the building and renamed it The Complex. Over the years, he built out the current five theaters and five studio spaces. In 1992, Chait led other small theaters on Santa Monica Boulevard to organize together and brand the area Hollywood Theatre Row. The Complex anchored Theatre Row for three decades before closing in 2022 when the owner did not renew the lease.

Our Position

The Complex, like many buildings in Los Angeles, holds layers of significance. This building tells the story of Hollywood’s development in the 1920s, and the myriad of ways people have used and re-used the space for evolving purposes. The history that is most meaningful to supporters today is, of course, its role as a performing arts space. We support stakeholders on Theatre Row who are working with new ownership to maintain theatre space in the building.


Complex Theatre Rally. Photo by Lindsay Mulcahy/L.A. Conservancy
Complex Theatre Rally. Photo by Lindsay Mulcahy/L.A. Conservancy
Photo by SurveyLA | SurveyLA

Related Links

  • The Complex Historic-Cultural Monument application