This is a guest post by Lisa Bianconi
I was born and raised in the Valley and have seen North Hollywood transform from a bit scary (but always fun) to an eclectic, vibrant, creative neighborhood - a real one where folks actually know each other. Back in 2000, my mother and I joined forces to run NoHoArtsDistrict.com, and over the years the theatre owners, visiting companies, acting classes and everyone who uses our theatres have become our friends. When we saw the 18 NoHo Theatres struggling to save their creative homes due to the pandemic shut down, we had to figure out some ways to help.
Together we’ve created “Save NoHo Theatres from COVID-19” Go Fund Me campaign. We are going to do whatever is in our power to keep the NoHo Theatres alive.
As with most LA theatres, the NoHo theatres survive month to month in order to create their shows because they’re not government supported and cannot sustain even a short-term shut down. Without shows, classes, rentals and ticket sales theatres cannot survive. This has an effect on the entire community because without the theatre patrons, actors and crew, restaurants, bars, apartments and other local businesses lose revenue. Without NoHo theatres, there will be no NoHo Arts District.
“Why did residents and businesses move into the area? Because it’s an arts district,” says Nancy Bianconi, publisher of NoHoArtsDisrict.com. “If 18 out of 22 theatres close, this area will have to be called North Hollywood again. Theatres have a huge economic impact on restaurants, bars, apartments, hotels, other creative industries, local businesses, etc.”
Here are the owners of Brews Brothers, one of NoHo’s beloved craft beer bars, who chose their location because of the artsy neighborhood vibe.
But what makes NoHo theatres important to the neighborhood is:
- NoHo has 22 theatres in one square mile.
- NoHo had the highest concentration of theatres outside of New York City.
- NoHo theatres present more than 500 shows per year, including world premieres.
- NoHo has 35 acting classes held any given night.
- More than 20,000 people enjoy NoHo's shows throughout the year.
- NoHo theatres are an economic multiplier for local restaurants, bars, local businesses, etc.
Theatre goers spend on average of extra $32 above the theatre ticket price for dinner, drinks, and retail purchases.
But NoHo wasn’t always how it is today. In the 90s, it was the theatres who helped rebuild the blighted and crime-ridden North Hollywood neighborhood that we now call NoHo. Theatres were the impetus for the creation of the NoHo Arts District and attracted other theatres and creative industry folks as well as new developments, restaurants, bars, apartments, and hotels.
Meet The Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre. They are one of the founding members and longest-running theatre company in the NoHo Arts District.
“As one of the founders of the NoHo Theatre District, I have witnessed the most incredible blossoming of the entire neighborhood,” said Ed Gaynes, owner of three NoHo theatres. “When a few of us began opening theatres in the many empty storefronts, the area was a wasteland. No foot traffic, no shops, practically no restaurants even. The theatres attracted the people, the crowds flowing into our theatres attracted the restaurants, art galleries and shops. Ultimately, it all attracted the flood of new residents who poured into the district.”
But NoHo theatres are more than a place for shows. It is a place to practice your craft and make friends in a city of 10+ million people.
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💗 Thank you, @chelseycrisp , for helping to spread the word about our mighty mile arts district!⠀ Let’s make sure #NoNo STAYS an arts district. We can all help #SaveNoHoTheatres - LINK IN BIO! 💕@freshofftheboatabc ・・・⠀ @discoverla #mydayinLA⠀ #nohoartsdistrict #northhollywood #nohotheaters #nohotheatres #losangeles #corona #coronavirus #covid19
THE BOTTOM LINE
The goal of raising $108,194 will allow theatres to survive into the summer when the productions and audiences return, and NoHo’s entertainment and nightlife scene will be booming again.
WHERE CONTRIBUTIONS GO:
ACME Comedy Theatre, ACME Comedy Club
Actors Workout Studio, Actors Workout Theater B
Avery Schreiber Playhouse
Brick House Theatre
Group Rep Theatre Main Stage, Group Rep Theatre Upstairs
Loft Ensemble Mainstage, Loft Ensemble Sawyer’s Playhouse
Secret Rose Theatre
Theatre 68 Flex, Theatre 68 Main Stage
The Sherry Theater
Theatre Unlimited (T.U. Studios)
The Whitmore-Lindley Theater Center Theatre #1, Whitmore Lindley Theater Center Theatre #2
Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre
ABOUT THE NOHO ARTS DISTRICT
The NoHo Arts District is one of Los Angeles' eclectic and walkable neighborhoods - an enclave of all things artistic. This one-square-mile performing arts community is filled with 20+ live, professional theaters, which is the highest concentration outside of New York City. NoHo is also the hip hop dance capital with studios and choreographers that create the moves we see on TV and in film and all over Instagram. NoHo makes a lot of music and boasts the largest amount of recording studios west of the Mississippi with musicians from all genres having recorded in the district. NoHo was the first neighborhood in the Valley, it has become a Metro hub, and attracts new talent, creative businesses and visitors alike. Visit NoHoArtsDistrict.com for more information.