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The History of LA Live

Audience of smiling adults claps with arms in air

Nearly anyone who’s lived in the apartments of LA for long has at least hear the name LA Live muttered before. Any stroll through the downtown area where this fabled entertainment complex resides will provide some reminder of it’s storied past. It’s growth, in many ways, has gone hand-in-hand with the revitalization of DTLA, and the two are linked in a way that every resident of this prominent LA district should respect.

If you’re new to the area, though, or just haven’t taken the time to look, there’s also a good chance you might not know as much about LA Live as you should. So, in the interest of education, we’re going to take a peek into LA Live’s history, along with the phenomenal importance this institution now holds. Let’s start with a trip backwards, to 2005 — a time when ground was first broken on LA Live’s construction.

When LA Live Was But a Dream

There was a time before LA Live was born into existence. It took a confluence of powerful entities to see it to fruition, including AEG, Wachovia, Azteca, MacFarlane Partners, and, of course, the hard-working taxpayers of the city of Los Angeles. These groups banded together to produce the near $2.5 billion it cost to build LA Live, and once Baltimore-based RTKL Associates drafted the architectural plans for the compound, initial construction on the project began in September of 2005.

That initial construction period lasted more than two years, but LA Live finally opened in October of 2009, with the introduction of the Microsoft Theatre, Microsoft Square, retail spaces, and the underground parking area. Since that phase one construction, two more phases have been added to LA Live, increasing it’s offerings with:

  • ESPN Studios
  • ESPN Zone
  • Grammy Museum
  • Club Nokia
  • Lucky Strike
  • The Conga Room
  • Ritz Carlton/JW Marriott
  • REG Multiplex

In all, the complex takes up some 5,600,000 square feet — filled with ballrooms, bars, theatres, restaurants, and that massive hotel/condominium tower. It’s a crowning achievement for DTLA by just about any metric. People come from all over the city to enjoy what LA Live has to offer (which is quite a bit), so let’s explore what all that hard work transformed LA Live into and what you can expect if you decide to pay a visit.

So, What is LA Live?

There’s much you can say about LA Live, but it might be best to let them describe in their own words:

“L.A. LIVE is the sports and entertainment district that surrounds STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater. The campus features sports and music venues, night clubs, restaurants, a bowling alley, museum and movie theaters.”

They go on to claim that LA Live has distinguished itself as the premier destination for live entertainment in the downtown area — in other words, this is the place to be if you’re looking for a good time. There are a great many places to go within the complex to have some fun, but they all fall under three primary categories: movies, dining, and diversion. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Catching a Movie

Regal Entertainment Group (REG) operates a 140,000 square foot multiplex in LA Live. It has 14 screens, 3,772 seats, includes a three-story atrium, and, when it opened in 2009, was the “West Coast flagship location for Regal.” As you might expect, you can catch some of the newest and best feature films here, and, as a special treat, you can do so for relatively cheap during their $9 Tuesday events throughout 2018.

Enjoying a Meal

The list of places to grab a bite or drink at LA Live is long:

  • BOCA at the Conga Room
  • Flemings Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
  • Glance Lobby Bar
  • Glance Restaurant
  • Illy Espressamente
  • Katsuya
  • Lawry’s Carvery
  • Live Basil Pizza
  • Lucky Strike
  • Nest
  • Red Mango
  • Rock’n Fish
  • Rosa Mexicano
  • Smashburger
  • Starbucks Coffee
  • The Mixing Room
  • Tom’s Urban
  • Triple 8 China Bar & Grill
  • UPour Floor
  • Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill
  • WP24 by Wolfgang Puck
  • Yard House

As you can see, there are plenty of options to cover just about any sort of craving you might have. Whether you’re stopping by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the restaurants at LA Live have you covered, and you’ll be eating some of the best (coupled with the electric atmosphere of this state-of-the-art facility).

Having the Time of Your Life

If you’re heading to LA Live to cut loose, you’ve picked the right place to do it. The Grammy Museum, for instance, is all about “paying tribute to music’s rich cultural history.” Inside, you can explore the “enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the premier recognition of excellence in recorded music.”

If you prefer your music live, though, you might instead want to catch a show at the Novo. The 59,000 square foot venue, presented by Microsoft, is a great spot to catch both established artists and emerging musical acts. You’ll be treated to any of a number of outstanding performances here, so be sure to check what events are coming up and grab some tickets the next time you want to listen to something up-close and personal.

And if you’re all about relaxing, the Ritz-Carlton Spa offers up the ultimate in the luxury pampering experience. Get the treatments you want in the sleek and glamorous environment of the spa, and come out feeling rejuvenated and refreshed like never before.

Downtown Apartments in LA Are Also a Part of The District’s Appeal

Everyone wants to know more about the fabulous DTLA apartments. That isn’t just because they put you right in the neighborhood of fun places to be like LA Live. That appeal is intrinsic to the community itself. From the elegantly designed building to the wide range of resident and apartment-wide amenities you’ll enjoy here, fine apartments like Atelier are part and parcel of the DTLA experience. If you want to experience city living the way it was meant to be, you’d do well to check Atelier out, and place it at the top of your list of destinations for your next big move.