With its many music venues, movie theaters, and comedy clubs, Los Angeles offers ample options for a great night out. When the weather’s nice, though, you might not want to spend the night indoors, and you don’t have to. The Ford Amphitheater brings you dance, theater, and more in an intimate outdoor setting.
A bit of Ford Amphitheater History
The Ford Amphitheater is, together with the smaller indoor Ford Theater, part of the John Anson Ford Theatres. Built in 1920 as the setting for The Pilgrimage Play, the complex is one of the oldest performing arts venues in Los Angeles that is still in use. Performances here were only interrupted by a fire that destroyed the original theater (in 1929) and during World War II, and The Pilgrimage Play was performed until 1964. The theater was renamed the John Anson Ford Theatre in honor of the late L.A. County Supervisor’s who had been an advocate of the arts throughout his career.
Catching a show at The Ford Amphitheater
The Ford Amphitheater grounds open two hours before most events. Go early and enjoy some pre-show picnicking. You can bring your own food and drinks, including beer and wine, or get a value meal ($13) or box dinner ($23 – $30) on site. Discounts offered for advance orders.
You can also just go to see a show, like we did. The LA So Cal Dance Invitational made for a great first experience at The Ford. As the sun set, the stage lights got more powerful, casting shadows that followed the dancers’ every move. In between the different choreographies it became so silent that you could hear the crickets, undoubtedly watching the spectacle from the hill behind the stage.
We’d managed to get seats in the middle of the theater (our tickets were unnumbered), but when walking through the theater after the show it became clear that there are no bad spots at The Ford. Because the theater is rather small and there are no balconies, everybody gets a good view on the stage.
Getting to The Ford Amphitheater
Going early is also the best way to secure a good parking spot, if you’re driving. The parking lot at the entrance to The Ford offers stacked parking (purchase tickets online or upon arrival). Stacked parking means first in, first out, so get their early and enjoy your picnic and be able to drive away first. If you prefer not to fight the traffic and parking, The Ford is accessible via MTA bus lines #156 and #222. Or take the Red Line Metro to the Universal City/Studio City Station and then take the free Ford shuttle to the theater. Alternate parking is also offered at this metro station parking lot, so parking here and taking the shuttle is another option.
Seats at the The Ford Amphitheater are numbered, but many performances offer festival seating (first come, first to choose seats). This can provide additional incentive to get to the theater early.
Location: 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, California
Photo credit: via flickr
Author bio: Sofie is a language lover and chocolate addict who travels the world in search of freedom and, let’s face it, herself. She shares her experiences on her blog Wonderful Wanderings in the hopes that they’ll inspire you to plan your own wonderful wandering. Be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.