Tower Theatre, Los Angeles, CA.

Renovation & Preservation

The historic Tower Theatre in downtown LA was the original home to the first theater in Los Angeles wired for film and sound.  It was designed in 1927 by renowned motion-picture theater architect S. Charles Lee and has gone under a complete renovation into a new retail store.

A team of leading preservationists, restoration artists, and the City of Los Angeles worked together to thoughtfully preserve and restore the theater’s beauty and grandeur. Every surface was carefully refinished, and the building has undergone a full seismic upgrade.

Lighting Design: Francis Krahe & Associates

Architects: Fosters & Partners | Gruen Associates

Photography: © Lime Leaf Studios

IES Illumination Awards

2022 - Los Angeles Conservancy - Preservation Design Award, Winner

The Tower Theatre anchors the corner of Eighth Street and Broadway, where visitors will immediately recognize the fully restored clock tower, recreated Broadway marquee, clean terra cotta exterior, and renovated historic blade sign.
The theater's façade lighting converges along the two sides of the building at the lighted clock tower which anchors the theater and completes the layered lighting composition. Artisans thoughtfully restored, repaired, painted, and polished each surface by hand.

The lighting design team from Francis Krahe & Associates and Architects, Fosters & Partners | Gruen Associates, collaborated on the design to preserve the historic feel and charm of the exterior and to accent the fine architectural details with Targetti's DART SMALL floodlight projector.

"There is often an opportunity to improve lighting performance and energy efficiency by creating a visually authentic replica historic fixtures. The goal is to retain the look of 100-year-old incandescent lighting, but have high energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. "
Francis Krahe & Associates Lighting Design
The DART projectors are used throughout the facade to illuminate the terra cotta exterior facade. Color temperature was of upmost importance, 2700K was selected specifically to enhance the properties of the terra-cotta cladding and replicate period-correct CCT. DART SMALL flood light fixtures were selected for the smaller facade detail nitches and DART MEDIUM fixtures were used at the larger corner facade openings.