The Echo's Mitchell Frank takes over downtown's Regent Theatre
After more than a year of speculation, the Echo's Mitchell Frank has confirmed the acquisition of a new venue -- the Regent Theatre in downtown Los Angeles' historic core.
Frank, whose concert-promotion company Spaceland Productions began hosting events in 1993 at the club now operating independently as the Satellite, said in an open letter that his company had signed a long-term lease on the Main Street space, which he plans to run as the Regent Theatre DTLA, and adapt into a live entertainment venue and restaurant. The letter includes a list of permit requests, among them a planned capacity of 1,289; full liquor license and operating hours of 8 a.m. to 4 a.m., which suggests a broad mix of hospitality and entertainment.
The Regent joins Frank's portfolio of restaurants, bars and music venues, including the Echo and Echoplex, contemporary Mexican restaurants Malo and Mas Malo, the latter a few blocks from the Regent, and Echo Park's El Prado beer and wine bar (all of which he co-owns with business partner Jeff Ellermeyer, save for the Regent). The Regent, once an adult movie theater, has officially been closed since 2000, but it has occasionally opened as a pop-up venue for art shows, movie screenings and as a record store. However, the Regent could profoundly affect downtown's nightlife culture in its new incarnation.
[For the record 2:06 p.m., Feb.2: An earlier version of this post listed Jeff Ellermeyer as co-owner of The Regent. Ellermeyer partnered with Frank at his other venues, but not The Regent.]
Frank indicated in 2010 that, after splitting with his former home venue, he was interested in an electronica and DJ-focused club. "Live indie rock music isn’t going to make anyone much money today. Bands need to get paid," he said in a 2010 interview. "But by us being able to have this new space and focus on the coming wave of dance music, and what we’ve seen with DJs and indie rock converging, people today want to shake a leg."
Frank will host a public meeting at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Regent to talk about the future of the space and take comments from locals. The full letter is below, after the jump.
We are the new operators of The Regent Theatre, located at 448 S. Main Street, and have recently signed a long-term lease at this location. In 2000, the Regent theatre closed its doors after years as an adult movie house. We are working on an adaptive reuse of the theater space and plan to reopen in fall 2012 as a live entertainment, live music, movie theater, special events venue and restaurant.
We are proud to bring this historic theater back to life and help further the growth and reemergence of the Historic Core area in Downtown Los Angeles. We would like to take opportunity to invite you to a community meeting where we will introduce ourselves and present the details of our proposed operation. We are eager to hear your feedback on our plans, answer any questions you have, and learn from you how we can best contribute to the neighborhood.
The official request that we have presented to the Office of Zoning Administration is:
“A Conditional Use, Pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 12.24-W,1, to permit the sale and consumption of a full line of alcoholic beverages in conjunction with an 11,790 square foot theater/restaurant/bar accommodating 933 patrons on the ground floor and 356 in a 1,780 square foot second story balcony for an approximate total of 1289 patrons with hours of operation from 8:00am to 4:00am and having live entertainment,”
“A Conditional Use, Pursuant to Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 12.24-W,18, to permit incidental patron dancing in conjunction with a theater/restaurant/bar,”
A Zone Variance, Pursuant to Los Angeles City Charter Section 562 and Municipal Code Section 12.27, to permit a variance from Section 12.26-E to allow six required parking spaces be located off-site and secured by lease in lieu of recorded covenant.”
Operating a theater venue and restaurant that is compatible with the neighborhood is something that we take very seriously, so we hope that you and our other neighbors can join us for this meeting:
Location: The Regent, 448 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
Time: 11:00a.m. -12:30p.m.
Date: February 4th, 2012
We encourage you to attend this meeting we and look forward to meeting you if we haven’t already.
Feel free to call or email Eddie Navarette, from FE Design our expeditor on the project, with any questions, comments, or concerns at (213) 687-6963 or email@example.com.
-- August Brown
Photo: Spaceland Productions' Mitchell Frank has signed a long-term lease on the Regent Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. August Brown / LAT