Los Angeles is getting more and more artsy, and we couldn't be happier: Beverly Hills will soon get the Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, giving visitors another reason to explore Beverly Hills’ art and culture. “This theater has been in the works for over a decade and we are thrilled that the opening is finally upon us,” explains Julie Wagner, Executive Director, Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau. “While Beverly Hills is home to some of the finest galleries and public art in the area, its art and culture are often overlooked.”
The new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts will combine a historic monument, the 1933 Italianate-style Beverly Hills Post Office, with a modern building to create a theater complex in the heart of the city. The 500-seat Goldsmith Theater and a 150-seat studio theater will be a top venue for theater, music, dance, opera and professional theater for young audiences from around the world. The center will also have courtyards, sunken sculpture garden, promenade terrace, a café and gift shop and a theater school for young people.
An inaugural fundraising gala will be held on October 17, 2013 and shows will begin in November 2013. Hotels and restaurants in the area will create special packages, offer amenities and provide special menus to complement the theater schedule.
Some of Beverly Hills’ other art and culture highlights include:
Greystone Mansion - This historic mansion is tucked away in the hills and often overlooked by visitors as well as residents. The mansion and gardens are home to some of the best special events in the city throughout the year and can be rented for private events and weddings. Greystone is also featured in dozens of films, including The Big Lebowski, The Dark Knight, The Social Network, Ghostbusters and There Will Be Blood. The property’s landscaped gardens are free and open to the public and the interior mansion can be seen through private small group tours.
Paley Center for Media - The Paley Center for Media provides guests with an opportunity to access an international collection of nearly 150,000 programs covering nearly 100 years of television and radio history. Choose a program from the collection and watch or listen to it at an individual or family console. Throughout the year, the center’s public programs, including the annual interactive television event PaleyFest, bring together writers, directors, producers, actors, critics, journalists and fans to discuss the creative process behind television and current trends in media and popular culture.
Academy Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Headquarters - Located on Wilshire Boulevard, the center features a Grand Lobby Gallery, which has rotating film exhibits The lobby is free and open to the public. Screenings happen throughout the year in the building's 1,012-seat, state-of-the-art Samuel Goldwyn Theater and its 67-seat screening room.
Art galleries - Some of the biggest names in contemporary and fine art can be found in Beverly Hills. Galleries in the city include Gagosian Gallery, Galerie Michael, Denis Bloch Fine Art Gallery, Ace Gallery, Timothy Yarger Fine Art and auction house Christie’s Inc.
Public art – More than 60 public art pieces can be seen throughout the city with notable works including Torso by Robert Graham on Rodeo Drive, Hymn of Life: Tulips by Yayoki Kusama in Beverly Gardens Park and The Swan by Jack Zajac on Camden Drive.
Rodeo Drive Walk of Style – Introduced in 2003, the Walk of Style honors style legends for their contributions to the worlds of fashion and entertainment. Walk of Style inductees receive permanent plaques featuring their signatures, which are embedded into the sidewalks along Rodeo Drive. Recipients of the Rodeo Drive Walk of Style Award have included Giorgio Armani, Bvlgari, Missoni and Diana Vreeland.