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Dolby Theatre

Hollywood, California

Client: Trizec Hahn
Architect: Rockwell Group
Theatre Consultant: Theater Projects Consultants
Completion: 2001

The Dolby Theater, home of the annual Academy Awards ceremony, is a 180,000 sq ft live entertainment venue in the Hollywood and Highland shopping mall on Hollywood Boulevard. The 3,500-seat theater is designed specifically for live broadcasts and houses one of the largest stages in the country. FMS was commissioned to light the auditorium, lobby and circulation areas, and specialty back-of-house spaces.

Within the auditorium, ceilings host swirling, silver-leaf latticework patterned with recessed downlighting to add sparkle and usher circulation. The balcony faces an aisle seat rails are cast glass and backlighted to provide scale and glamour. The control room, follow spot room, orchestra and media pits meet the functional lighting requirements needed without diminishing or distracting from the theater’s rich, warm ambiance.

The corridors wrapping the grand staircase display the portraits of past Award recipients, each illuminated in a crisp, warm light. At the apex of the atrium, a glass chandelier recalls the auditorium’s “tiara” of light, reinforcing the elegance and magic one expects to find in a Hollywood venue. The total project cost is $615 million.