Los Angeles Celebrates Ultra Violet, the Pantone Color of the Year 2018

Experience the purple reign from Downtown L.A. to the Beach Cities
Photo courtesy of Pantone Color Institute™

The global color authority, Pantone Color Institute™ has announced Ultra Violet as the PANTONE® Color of the Year 2018. According to Pantone, Ultra Violet "suggests the mysteries of the cosmos," a mystical or spiritual quality and is often associated with mindfulness practices. Purple is also symbolic of counterculture and "artistic brilliance" - no wonder it was a favorite of music icons Prince, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix. (In August 2017, the Pantone Color Institute announced the creation of a standardized custom color, Love Symbol #2, as a tribute to Prince.)

"We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination," said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. "It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, a blue-based purple that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come."

From the Metro Rail Purple Line to jacaranda trees to the studio where “Purple Rain” was recorded, read on for some of the best places in L.A. to experience the purple reign of Ultra Violet.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Break Room 86 | Photo courtesy of Houston Hospitality


The Purple Line is one of six lines on the Metro Rail system, operated by the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro). The Purple Line begins at Union Station in Downtown L.A. and terminates at Wilshire/Western in Koreatown. Along with the Red Line, the Purple Line is one of L.A.’s two subway lines, servicing districts such as the Civic Center, Pershing Square (near the Historic Core), the Financial District, Pico-Union and Westlake.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Former Laker Kobe Bryant in the team's purple road uniform | Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Lakers, Facebook


The famous purple and gold uniforms of the Los Angeles Lakers made their debut when the team began playing their home games at The Forum in 1967. Purple was the favorite color of the Lakers’ then-owner, Jack Kent Cooke, who changed the color scheme when he bought the team and moved them from Minneapolis to L.A. For some reason, Cooke always referred to the Lakers’ purple as “blue,” so Hall of Fame broadcaster, Chick Hearn coined the phrase “Forum Blue and Gold” to describe the team’s home uniforms. The purple away jerseys have remained consistent through the years, while the home gold has gone through numerous changes.

Grape Agate from Indonesia at the Natural History Museum
Grape Agate from Indonesia | Photo: Gem & Mineral Council of the NHM, Facebook


The Gem and Mineral Hall at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) is one of the finest exhibits of its kind in the world. You’ll find every shade of purple as you explore over 2,000 spectacular specimens on display, which are only a fraction of the more than 150,000 specimens in the museum’s collection, considered the most significant in the country west of the Smithsonian.


The 2016 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival, The Color Purple will be at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood from May 29 to June 17, 2018. Hailed as “a direct hit to the heart” by The Hollywood Reporter, The Color Purple is directed by Tony winner John Doyle, featuring a re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South - New York Magazine praised it as “one of the greatest revivals ever.” Based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel and the 1985 Warner Brothers movie, The Color Purple features a jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues score that gives an exhilarating new spirit to the Pulitzer Prize-winning story.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Disco Ball Forest at L.A. Zoo Lights | Instagram by @chrismk2

L.A. ZOO LIGHTS (through Jan. 7, 2018)

Since its debut in 2014, L.A. Zoo Lights has grown into one of L.A.'s can't-miss holiday light experiences. Come explore a wild wonderland of light, where fantastical glowing animals welcome you on a magical tour of the Zoo that includes a disco ball forest, giant illuminated snowflakes, glittering light tunnels, a spectacular water and light show, and much more. Your journey’s final destination is a kaleidoscopic savanna featuring animals that are shining examples of the L.A. Zoo’s important work to save species here at home and around the globe.  

Admission for this all-ages evening program is separate from daytime Zoo admission. No live animals other than reindeer and animals in the LAIR will be on display during evening events. L.A. Zoo Lights is open nightly at 6 p.m. through Jan. 7, 2018. Guests may enter any time after 6 p.m. until 9:15 p.m. Closed on Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 23), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For more info and to purchase tickets, visit www.lazoolights.org.

Property of Discover Los Angeles

"PURPLE RAIN" - Sunset Sound

Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution is the Grammy- and Oscar-winning soundtrack album to the 1984 hit film. Released in June 1984, Purple Rain is consistently ranked as one of the best albums in music history. Take Me With U, The Beautiful Ones, When Doves Cry and the string section of Purple Rain were recorded at Studio 3 of Sunset Sound, located at 6650 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. Founded in 1962 by Walt Disney’s Director of Recording, Tutti Camarata, the historic music facility has recorded everything from the audio for Disney’s Bambi and Mary Poppins to landmark albums such as Exile on Main St., Pet Sounds, Smile, and Led Zeppelin II and IV.

A four-disc Deluxe Expanded Edition of Purple Rain was released in June 2017, featuring the Prince-supervised "2015 Paisley Park Remaster" of the original album, "From the Vault & Previously Unreleased," Single Edits & B-Sides," and a DVD of a 1985 concert in Syracuse.

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Gerhard Marcks, “Maja” (1941) at the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden | Photo courtesy of Hammer Museum


Every fall and spring - yes, L.A. has seasons - the city welcomes an explosion of purple as jacaranda trees bloom in neighborhoods from Downtown L.A. to the Beach Cities. Native to South America, Jacaranda mimosifolia was introduced to Southern California by the horticulturalist Kate Sessions. L.A.'s jacarandas have inspired generations of creatives like Vladimir Nabokov, who recalled in Conversations with Nabokov: "I love Los Angeles, where we lived while I was writing the screenplay of Lolita. I had never seen jacaranda trees before, at least in bloom.” [turning to his wife] “Do you remember, darling? There was a whole street lined with jacarandas.” Raymond Chandler wrote in his 1933 short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot": “Beautiful hands are as rare as jacaranda trees in bloom, in a city where pretty faces are as common as runs in dollar stockings.”

One of the best places in L.A. to enjoy jacarandas in bloom is the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden, located on the UCLA campus in Westwood. Named for UCLA's third chancellor, the five-acre sculpture garden was dedicated in 1967 and features more than 70 works by artists such as Hans Arp, Deborah Butterfield, Alexander Calder, Barbara Hepworth, Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, and David Smith. 

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's Tweedy Pie | Photo courtesy of Galpin Auto Sports

Tweedy Pie - Galpin Auto Sports

Based in the San Fernando Valley since 1946, Galpin Motors is a family-owned, award-winning automotive collective that includes ten dealerships, Galpin Auto Sports (GAS), and the Horseless Carriage, America’s first full-service, in-dealership restaurant. Galpin Motors' renowned in-house customizing and aftermarket center, Galpin Auto Sports offers everything from window tinting to complete restorations and coach building - taking the wildest ideas from concept art to reality.

Not mentioned on the website is the GAS showroom, a stunning display of dozens of customs, race cars and hot rods that's one of L.A.'s best car collections. One of the highlights is Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's famed Tweedy Pie, a 1923 Ford Model T on a '32 Ford chassis. Featuring some of Roth's earliest pinstriping, Tweedy Pie is one of the most recognized T-Buckets in history, selling over 11 million model kits and counting since 1963. Owned for more than 40 years by the Lavoy family, Tweedy Pie was sold in 2006 to Larry Tarantolo, who lightly restored it along with fellow Roth aficionado, Dave Shuten of Galpin Auto Sports. 

Property of Discover Los Angeles
Purple Orchid Tiki Lounge | Instagram by @brettster86


A former neighborhood dive bar in El Segundo, the Purple Orchid transformed into a tiki bar under new ownership in 2001. Complete with the requisite carved tiki idols and glowing pufferfish, the bathrooms are wallpapered with The Book of Tiki by historian Sven Kirsten. Purple Orchid serves their signature French Zombie to thirsty travelers who wander in from nearby LAX, and the small stage hosts to surf and garage rock bands, as well as a free stand-up comedy night.