When you’re in a city like Los Angeles, sometimes you just want to dress up and go out to the theater, opera, a concert or the ballet. My favorite place for a classy night out is the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, part of the Los Angeles Music Center complex, the third largest performing arts center in the United States.
I won’t even try to tell you about all the great performances coming up this year, but I can give you a heads up on a few performances that have special ticket offers available for nearly half price from a couple of savvy sources.
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion tickets are pricey. But they have an amazing free annual holiday celebration on Christmas Eve, a day of dance and music performances by local groups, funded by Los Angeles County.
They also have a few free performances scheduled throughout the year, mostly chamber music concerts.
I had the pleasure of attending the opera Madame Butterfly with my mother-in-law, an LA native and season ticket holder. All I can say is they do everything right. I felt like I was in on a ritzy Hollywood movie set.
This gorgeous venue, named after Dorothy Buffum Chandler, is set up with 3197 elegant seats across four tiers. You will love the Pavilion’s eye-popping curved stairways and huge hanging chandeliers, which have made appearances in a few films over the years.
The Pavilion features 10 different seating areas, the orchestra section (premiere, center, main and ring), the circle section (grand and founders), the loge (front and rear) and finally the balconies (front and rear).
I believe the best seats in the house are around eight to 10 rows back from the stage.
Know Before You Go
Before you head out, here’s some basic info to help make your evening at the Pavilion a little savvier.
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is part of the Music Center (www.musiccenter.org), LA’s large and sprawling music complex, taking up two city blocks on Grand Avenue between Temple Street and Second Street.
Along with the Pavilion, you’ll find The Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, The Music Center Plaza, the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the W.M. Keck Foundation Children’s Amphitheatre.
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012.
Take the ramps on either Los Angeles St or Alameda, both accessible from HWY 101 or 110. (The 110 North and South ramps on Grand Ave and the 101/110 ramp on Broadway north of Temple will be closed through the end of June.) Get driving direction on the venue site.
Bring cash. You can valet park or self park at one of three garages: The Music Center garage, the Walt Disney Concert Hall garage, or the auxiliary garage (Lot 17, located within walking distance of The Center). Here’s a page with a good parking map and clear directions.
For theater performances, you’ll want to get there at least 45 minutes before curtain to deal with parking and finding your seats.
Food & Drinks
For quick bite, full dinner, or drinks, you’ll find plenty of options on site. Bar service is available in all theaters and on The Plaza during outdoor events and Chandler performances. There are several several good restaurants nearby (this is LA!). Dining options.
If this is your first time going and you need help, the Music Center has a good guest services team. Reach out to them at: (213) 972-7211 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.