Regent Theatre in Downtown L.A. to Become Performance Venue
Frank suggested a grab-bag of performances he'd like to see at the Regent. "I'd love for someone to come in and do a film series ... we're also very interested in doing plays." Penn and Teller are another option; Frank said he was working with someone interested in bringing in the comedians. When asked if he foresees any conflict with The Smell, which stands just a couple of blocks north of the Regent, Frank is pragmatic: "I absolutely pay attention to what they're booking over there. I'd love to have them put some nights on over here." [Editor's note: A correction related to this paragraph has been appended at the bottom of the post.]
There are Department of Building and Safety zoning and permit hearings in the offing. Among other things, the venue will need a permit for video games, like the Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga tabletops that liven up Spaceland.
Said Ana Henten of Mass Architecture and Design, the lead architect and Frank's longtime design partner, "The first battle is getting through the City. The second battle is construction." They project they're six months away from opening.
"When we went and talked to LAPD and Vice," Frank told the crowd, "Officer Lara mentioned that he was denied entry to Spaceland when he was younger." There was laughter, and then he continued, "which I think really helps us."
Frank professed his commitment to the site. "We're signing a 30-year lease," he emphasized. "We're not just going to be in here 10 years and then leave."
Editor's note: A previous version of this post quoted Frank as saying that he had people working on bringing Penn and Teller to the new venue. Frank actually said he was working with someone who was working with Penn and Teller. We regret the error.