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.
Through the 1940s and 1950s, it 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, and remains one of the most prominent entertainment venues in Hollywood.
The concrete exterior was rehabilitated in 2008, and the Sunset Boulevard façade was restored to its original 1940 appearance. The exterior rehabilitation project received a Conservancy Preservation Award in 2009.