For meeting professionals and event planners, Los Angeles offers world class venues in a dynamic city that’s constantly evolving and expanding its possibilities. Even frequent visitors who think they know LA can always discover something new in this exciting metropolis. Read on to find out more about the latest developments in the City of Angels.
“The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”
Universal Studios Hollywood announced the Spring 2016 arrival of the West Coast’s most anticipated entertainment experience “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” and the introduction of the land’s signature attraction, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” in hyper-realistic 3D-HD. Inspired by J. K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters and the Warner Bros. films, “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” delivers a fully immersive themed land that will bring the Harry Potter series to life with impeccable detail and precision. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will be faithful to the visual landscape of the fiction and films, including Hogwarts castle which will serve as its iconic focal point. Like its counterparts in Orlando and Japan, Hogwarts castle will sit at the heart of the themed land where the signature 3D-HD adventure ride, “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™" will make its U.S. debut and take guests on a journey into many memorable scenes alongside Harry, Ron and Hermione. The world will also feature an enchanting family coaster “Flight of the Hippogriff,” food and beverage offerings true to the series and retail shops that will add to the authenticity of the land.
L.A. LIVE’s 7,100-seat concert and special events venue has officially been renamed Microsoft Theater. The theater, formerly known as Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, opened on October 18, 2007 and has hosted over 700 concerts, family shows, product launches, conventions, special events and annual awards shows including the American Music Awards, Primetime EMMY Awards, ESPY Awards, BET Awards, People’s Choice Awards, 2010 & 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and 2014 MTV Movie Awards among others. The comprehensive partnership between AEG, owners and operators of L.A. LIVE and Microsoft will also include rebranding L.A. LIVE’s 40,000 sf. outdoor plaza into Microsoft Square. Microsoft will also contribute cutting edge technology and expertise to AEG’s upcoming refurbishment and renovation of many of the public and private spaces of Microsoft Theater that will begin this fall as well as other signage, marketing and business opportunities.
Los Angeles will welcome a spectacular new museum of contemporary art September 20, when The Broad opens on Grand Avenue in Downtown. The $140-million museum designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro creates a 120,000 square-foot, three-level facility with 50,000 square feet of gallery space, plus a lecture hall, public lobby with display space and a museum shop. Upon entering the lobby, visitors will travel up a 105-foot escalator, through the second-floor concrete vault, and enter the third-floor gallery, which features 23-foot ceilings and 318 skylights that filter in diffused sunlight through the building’s exterior exoskeleton (aka “the veil”). The museum will offer free general admission to all. Group tours will be available after December 1, 2015.
The Broad’s inaugural exhibition is entirely focused on the renowned contemporary art collection of Eli and Edythe Broad. Organized in a roughly chronological timeline, the exhibition will begin with Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg in the 50s and continue to the heart of the collection, 60s Pop Art by Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha and Roy Lichtenstein. The exhibition concludes with 70s and 80s works by Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jeff Koons. Located directly south of the museum, a 24,000 square-foot public plaza features 100-year-old Barouni olive trees, an open lawn, and enhanced landscaping and improvements along Grand Avenue. On the western end of the plaza, restaurateur Bill Chait is developing a free-standing restaurant featuring chef Timothy Hollingsworth, former chef de cuisine at The French Laundry in Napa Valley.
Petersen Automotive Museum
A uniquely L.A. venue for meetings, gatherings and events boasting more than 50,000 square feet of jaw-dropping event space, The Petersen Automotive Museum is transforming into one of the finest automotive museums in the world. Reopening its doors this December, the new Petersen will seamlessly blend cutting-edge interactive technology with rare and historically significant vehicles, and will feature 22 new galleries as part of the complete three-floor re-design. The stunning new exterior will wrap the museum with long ribbons of stainless steel. Other highlights will include cutting-edge galleries, interactive children’s displays, exhibits dedicated to art and design, media and industry, motorsports and technology and the unique role motorized transportation had in the development of Los Angeles.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood
Elevate group or teambuilding activities to new heights with the newly expanded Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood. The studio’s popular tour is anchored by the addition of a brand new feature, Stage 48: Script to Screen, which offers guests an opportunity to see how their favorite movies and TV shows were made – right on the studio lot where many of them were created. Stage 48: Script to Screen offers guests the unique opportunity to explore the full film and television production process. From the earliest scripts and casting sessions to the final touches in postproduction and the glory of awards season, each component is represented step-by-step throughout the purpose-built soundstage.
Among Stage 48’s various interactive elements - exclusive to the Studio Tour - is the opportunity for guests to re-enact a scene from Friends on the iconic Central Perk set. Guests will also be able to design their own Batmobiles and movie costumes in the pre-production section. Guests will enjoy “flying” on Harry Potter’s broomstick at the photo opportunity, which employs the same green screen technology used in the Harry Potter movie productions. Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood gives guests a behind-the-scenes experience like never before as they explore the sets, soundstages, and iconic locations on Warner Bros.’ legendary studio lot. Knowledgeable tour guides lead intimate groups on an unrivaled journey behind the camera, sharing stories and moviemaking secrets with guests along the way.
Escape Room LA
For a fun, interactive group experience or incentive activity that nobody will soon forget, Escape Room LA is a unique team building activity where teams must race to beat the clock and escape from a locked room in one hour or less. Created and produced by Race/LA, groups must gather clues and solve fun and challenging puzzles in order to find the escape key. The interactive live-action adventure offers two different themed rooms: The Detective (up to 12 people), set in a 1940s detective’s office and The Cavern (up to 10 people), set into a mysterious cavern deep under the city streets.
The Bloc, an exciting open-air shopping and dining complex will debut in Downtown Los Angeles this October. The new 180 million dollar multi-level public plaza complex will feature a transformed flagship Macy’s department store, unique retail concepts and several restaurants. Among them are Wingtip, offering solutions for the modern gentleman; N’ice Cream, serving 10 freshly made, hand crafted gelato flavors; Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse, featuring a delectable tour of Northern Italian cuisine; and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema where the hottest indie, foreign and repertory films are served up with craft beer and gourmet chow.