Apple Shares Details on Planned Tower Theatre Flagship Store in Los Angeles
Apple has long been rumored to be working on plans for an Apple Store at the iconic Tower Theatre in Los Angeles, and today, Apple shared details on the upcoming location with the Los Angeles Times.
According to Apple, the Tower Theatre store will be one of the world's most prominent Apple retail locations when it is completed, with the company planning to entirely overhaul the interior of the building to turn it into retail space and an interactive community area.
In a rendering shared by Apple, the Tower Theatre store preserves the ornate Renaissance Revival style of the interior of the theatre for an Apple Store that will indeed be one of the most unique. The building, which features French, Spanish, Moorish, and Italian elements, was built to mimic the Paris Opera House.
The Tower Theatre is in disrepair, though, and the area around it has become outdated, leaving the building's owners and city council members eager for Apple's revitalization efforts. Apple is using the original Tower Theatre blueprints and photographs to restore original theatre elements like murals, decorations, and the leaded-glass window over the entrance.
BJ Siegel, senior director of retail design at Apple, told the Los Angeles Times that Apple was inspired by the Tower Theatre's history and many of its firsts -- it was one of the first air conditioned buildings in Los Angeles.
"All of that cool technology inspires us because we are a technology company and we are bringing new technology to the place," Siegel said.
According to Siegel, while many people picture Apple retail stores as "big glass boxes," that's not true of all stores the company designs. Other similar stores include Covent Garden, the Opéra store in Paris, Apple Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, Apple Amsterdam built in the famous Hirsch building, Apple's Grand Central store in New York, and the planned Carnegie Library store in Washington, D.C.
The Tower Theatre location will be very different than other Apple retail stores in Los Angeles, says Siegel, describing it as "in the upper echelon of what Apple does."
Siegel expects some events at the upcoming store to draw hundreds of people, while other events will be planned for smaller groups. Apple will use part of the store for its Today at Apple sessions, where it provides tutorials and help with various Apple products, along with seminars and programs for children.
Apple is aiming to file plans with the city this week to gain approval for its planned renovation of the location.
Top Rated Comments
Apple at least is trying to preserve the best features of the building which would not be the case if the place were used as a warehouse or simply torn down for glass condo building. This renovation will allow the building to survive for much longer and maybe one day in a time when the arts are valued again it could more easily converted back to a theater.
When Steve Jobs announced the first Apple stores were coming marketing and retail experts literally fell out of their chairs laughing. Fast forward to today and they’re not laughing anymore. For years now Apple stores have generated more revenue per square foot than any other retailer. And their stores are the envy of marketing gurus the world over.
So add that to the list of reasons AAPL will probably close above $1trillion market cap today.
The way some of you reacted, you would think Apple was muscling out a bunch of independent businesses to build a retail Taj Mahal.
That Apple is now planning on moving into the space is merely a recognition of the fact that the population of Downtown LA has exploded in the past 20 years. This is not the same downtown I knew as a kid growing up in the late 70s and early 80s when downtown was primarily a place where you worked. But with 10s of thousands of residents in addition to the thousands who come in to work each day, as well as USC being nearby, building out a retail location is essentially a no-brainer. I will also add the long abandoned May Company/Hamburger’s department store building across the street is also undergoing a major transformation.
In my 51 years I can’t ever recall seeing moviegoers at this particular theater. Not only that, spaces get repurposed all the time. Grocery stores become office buildings. Bowling alleys become coffee shops. Movie theaters transform into houses of worship. Surely you are not saying if building X is built for a particular a particular purpose it must remain that way perpetually? Given that downtown already has large multi-screen venue at LA LIVE, believe me, (and as MRR explained regarding the economics of movie theaters today) there was little to no chance it was going to see life as a movie theatre ever again.