“Media District Photos”

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Photo By Photo by Devin Strecker
The southern Gateway, at Highland Avenue just north of Melrose, was completed in 2007.

Latest News

The Hollywood Fringe Festival
June 11th through 28th

January 28, 2015

The sixth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival is gearing up to take place from June 11th through 28th, with previews beginning on June 4th. While events will be spread throughout Hollywood, many of them will be taking place in the Media District at theaters along Theatre Row. This community-derived event celebrates freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts.

In 2014, nearly 1,500 performances were staged at 64 spaces throughout Hollywood. Over 46,000 seats were filled, generating an estimated $389,000 for artists, producers and venues. Ticket sales have nearly tripled since the festival debuted in 2010.

Fringe Festivals exist throughout the world as havens for underground and emerging arts scenes. The festival concept originated in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1947 when eight performance groups appeared uninvited on the “fringes” of the exclusive Edinburgh International Festival. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has since grown into the largest arts festival in the world attracting millions of patrons every summer. Fringe Festivals have since sprung up in dozens of cities across the world. Most Fringe Festivals are uncurated and open, which fosters the work of both the well-established and the obscure – everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Fringe organizers are seeking businesses to take part in the Fringe Hotspot Program, which provides discounts and services to Fringe-goers that will be attending the festival. For every $1 spent on local theater, another $7 is spent on local businesses. All eligible businesses that choose to participate will receive special promotion. For additional information and a list of Hollywood venues and performances go to: HollywoodFringe.org .

Expansion in Media District
6855 Santa Monica Blvd.

January 28, 2015

FotoKem, the industry’s premiere post production services facility headquartered in Burbank, has expanded to Hollywood Media District. The building at 6855 Santa Monica Boulevard will be the anchor location for FotoKem’s Hollywood expansion. The location is connected to FotoKem’s powerful fiber network for media creation and delivery, combined with massive storage capabilities in a highly secure location. This infrastructure allows maximum flexibility for moving content through pipelines, and creates time-saving efficiencies throughout the workflow. FotoKem’s Non-Linear Services (NLS) Department is also utilizing the new space for production and editorial services.

FotoKem is an independently-owned, full-service post production facility serving the worldwide creative community. Since 1963, the company has been a trusted resource for every corner of the entertainment market, providing broad post production expertise, high-end solutions and innovative in-house technologies. The company assists filmmakers in successfully bridging production and post, helping navigate the expanding world of motion picture finishing technology. FotoKem offers a broad spectrum of services, including a full service film lab, file-based workflows, digital intermediates, digital cinema packaging, mobile dailies, global data delivery, film and video finishing, audio mixing and mastering, visual effects, restoration, and production rentals. FotoKem has expanded over the years with the acquisition of SPY Post, Keep Me Posted, L.A. Studios, and Margarita Mix. For more info go to: www.fotokem.com .

Musicians Institute Guitar Craft Program
7070 Santa Monica Blvd.

January 28, 2015

The Musicians Institute is a college of contemporary music with an innovative approach to music education. Among the school’s variety of performance and entertainment industry offerings is the Guitar Craft Program, which gives students the artistic satisfaction of creating a guitar from scratch, and can prepare them for careers as guitar builders, repair technicians, and sales or manufacturing professionals.

The Musicians Institute has renewed its lease at 7070 Santa Monica Blvd. for another five years. Now their 6920 Santa Monica Blvd. location is dedicated to an Acoustic Guitar Design program, serving as an industry standard to teach specialized topics like fabrication, fretwork, wiring, and advanced electronics. By combining these skills with a passion for fine craftsmanship, Guitar Craft alumni are empowered to join the music industry’s global network of creators and innovators. Top companies like Fender and Electric Sound Products (ESP) Guitars have hired many Guitar Craft graduates to help build instruments that are played all over the world.

Crossroads of a New Emerging Arts District
N. Highland Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd.

January 28, 2015

Over the past few years the Media District has had a surge in galleries and alternative art spaces opening along the Highland Ave. corridor. Do to the rise of digital media requiring smaller spaces, the area’s many studios and film-storage facilities are being adapted and re-purposed for these welcomed new businesses.

This rapidly growing arts hub just got busier with the recent opening of Various Small Fires (VSF), 812 N. Highland Ave. Formerly located in Venice, VSF now occupies a more than 5000 sq. ft. building. VSF is dedicated to exhibitions that challenge conventional modes of art production and presentation, and its new gallery facilities were conceived to be a dynamic environment. The complex is a series of connecting indoor and outdoor spaces for the presentations of art in all media. Upon entering the facility, visitors first walk through an outdoor sound corridor architecturally outfitted with an array of hidden speakers to present an ongoing program of curated and commissioned sound art. At the end of the sound corridor is a roofless outdoor gallery, surrounded by white walls and dedicated to large-scale sculpture installations, performance, and video art.

Other galleries and such that have opened in the past few years are:

Regen Projects, 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., formerly located in West Hollywood, now has a 20,000 sq. ft. building just off of the corner of N. Highland Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd.

Michael Kohn Gallery, 1227 N. Highland Ave., formerly located on Beverly Blvd., now has a 10,000 sq. ft. gallery space. As per Michael Kohn, “I do expect more galleries to open in Hollywood, and I expect them to start moving to the streets east of Highland. There’s no reason why great spaces won’t be built on Cahuenga and Vine, re-energizing this part of Hollywood.”

Perry Rubenstein Gallery, 1227 N. Highland Ave., is in a former 7200 sq. ft. film-stock warehouse.

LAXArt, 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., relocated from Culver City into a former recording studio.

Blackman Cruz, 836 N. Highland Ave., an eclectic interior design studio with offbeat curiosities.

La-La Land Gallery, 6450 Santa Monica Blvd., home base for artist, Kii Arens.

LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), 6775 Santa Monica Blvd., a non-profit organization curating site-specific public art exhibitions.

J. F. Chen, 941 N. Highland Ave., an antique furniture dealer with recent contemporary art installations inside their 40,000 sq. ft. former warehouse.

Just One Eye, 7000 Romaine St., in a building once owned by Howard Hughes, they are a high-end luxury boutique and part art gallery.

Greg Lauren, 730 N. Highland Ave, contemporary-artist-turned-clothing-designer Greg (nephew of Ralph) has worked for years out of several studios along Highland Ave.

Others include: Redling Fine Art, 6757 Santa Monica Blvd.; Gavlak Gallery, 1034 N. Highland Ave.; Hannah Hoffman Gallery, 1010 N. Highland Ave.; and Thomas Duncan Gallery, 6109 Melrose Ave.; Steve Turner Gallery, 6830 Santa Monica Blvd.

Hollywood Arts Council
Theatre Symposium

January 28, 2015

On November 15th last year the Hollywood Arts Council held a symposium hosted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Renberg Theatre addressing the challenges faced by live theatre in Hollywood. The symposium billed as “Stayin’ Live,” was attended by a coalition of theatre, business, neighborhood leaders, and government officials. Also Media District Executive Director, Steven Whiddon, was asked to speak on behalf of the BID.

Some of the initiatives proposed include: installing commemorative “Hollywood Theatre Row” signs along the Santa Monica Blvd. corridor, and improving the pedestrian experience along Theatre Row so that people will be encouraged to stay and take a stroll after a show. Also, the need for repaving Santa Monica Blvd. between La Brea and the 101 was discussed.

“Live theatre in Hollywood is a valuable asset to our community,” said Chair of Hollywood Arts Council Board of Trustees David Warren. “We’ve promoted and encouraged it for decades and we will do all we can to ensure that it continues to thrive and flourish.”

PATH in the BID
(People Assisting The Homeless)

November 21, 2014

Since 1984 PATH has grown into a family of agencies working together to end homelessness for individuals, families, and communities throughout Southern California. Each agency addresses homelessness in a different way – supportive services, permanent housing development, support for homeless families, and community engagement.

As of 2013, a Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count determined that there are 58,423 individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles on any given night, 74% (43,410) of whom go unsheltered and literally live on the street. These people become homeless for many reasons, including job loss, domestic violence, lack of affordable housing, under-employment, health issues, substance abuse, natural disasters, and more. Each person has a unique life history and unique issues that have contributed to their situation.

Of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, 33% are living with a mental illness, many of whom are stable when receiving the support and/or medications they need. It is important to move past the stereotype that all homeless people are “crazy” and beyond the notion they can not be helped.

PATH has been working with our BID’s Security Patrol force, as well as the Hollywood Police Division, to mediate interactions with homeless individuals and ensure that the needs of the community and the homeless individual are addressed. For additional information you can contact PATH at path@epath.org, or go to epath.org .

City Approves BID Renewal for Another Ten Years

August 29, 2014

The Hollywood Media District BID completed all the City of LA requirements and has successfully been renewed for the next ten years. On July 29th, and after LA City Council approved the renewal, the office of the City Clerk tallied ballots. Overwhelmingly the owners of property in the BID voted yes for this renewal.

Since 2000 the BID has been providing 7-24 security patrols and daily cleaning services, and there have been over 600 new street trees planted within the District. These much-needed services, as well as the greening, have helped make central Hollywood’s Media District more desirable to businesses and prosperous. Property owners and their tenants, businesses and their employees, and visitors to the area have all benefited from having a BID. And now that the BID has been renewed for the next ten years, the BID will continue serving all the Media District stakeholders.

The challenges facing the Media District over the next ten years will certainly change and the BID will be ready to meet them. The BID will need to maintain competitiveness, continue to add value to the importance of having a BID, and provide more services as demands increase. Issues of homelessness, street crime, cleaning and greening, changes in land use and new development, parking, and the overall prosperity of the District are and have been the BID’s concerns and will continue to be. Also, the BID will need to maintain fiscally responsible as the needs for more services increase and change in the coming years.

The BID’s goals are many and multifaceted, but the basic core importance is to maintain and to enhance the security, cleanliness, beautification and commercial desirability of the area. The Media District BID is extremely grateful for the support received from the property owners, as well as the entire Hollywood community over the past 14 years. We also look forward to growing new relationships and partnerships that will further the BID’s goals. Also a big welcome goes out to the new property owners and businesses in the BID’s expansion areas, which are located to the north up Highland Ave. to De Longpre Ave., south down Vine St. to Melrose Ave., and to the west to Formosa Ave.

Abandoned Shopping Carts?
What To Do

August 06, 2014

The California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corp. (CSCRC), located in Burbank, is your source for requesting pickups and removals of abandoned shopping carts left along public streets. (Please note that not all stores’ carts are serviced by CSCRC and carts containing homeless peoples’ belongings can not be removed).

Call them toll free at 800.252.4613, or go online to cartretrieval.net .

BID Services Keep Your Property
and Business Clean and Safe

February 21, 2012

Highland Ave. looking north from Melrose Ave.
The Hollywood Media District BID has a contract with the Hollywood Beautification Team (HBT) for cleaning and maintenance needs within the District. HBT’s responsibilities include emptying trashcans located along sidewalks, cleaning and removing all trash and debris from sidewalks, gutters, driveways, tree wells and from around trashcans. They also remove stickers and paint over graffiti on buildings, trees, poles, planters, utility bases or other surfaces on a daily bases. HBT also pressure washes bus stops and sidewalks throughout the BID. There is a minimum of 8 people per day to accomplish these services.

Also, the Media District contracts with Universal Protection Services (UPS) to provide Security Patrols within the BID. These patrols are by foot, on bicycles, and in the Media District’s security vehicle. Patroling security officers are present throughout the District 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If needed, they can be directly contacted by calling 323.871.4150.

If you are having any problems keeping your property or business clean and safe – trash dumped or graffiti, suspicious or nuisance individuals coming onto your property or into your business – please consider completing two very important forms that can help. These forms are: a “Trespass Authorization” form and a “Graffiti Paint Out Agreement” form.

The first form is a “Trespass Authorization” that gives permission to Officers of the LAPD and the Media District to come on to your property and exercise enforcement of your No Trespassing signage. (Please note, you must have No Trespassing signs posted.)

The second form is a “Graffiti Paint Out Agreement” that allows HBT to come on to your property and paint out tagging and graffiti. Also, upon request they will accept paint from property owners and businesses in order to match your existing colors.

To obtain these Authorization and Agreement forms, or to request any other services within the BID, please contact Jim Omahen, Operations Manager for the Media District at 323.860.0088 or email jim@mediadistrict.org .

A Bit About BIDs

January 22, 2014

A business improvement district (BID) is a defined area within which commercial property owners pay an additional assessment in order to fund improvements within the district's boundaries. BIDs may go by other names, such as business improvement area, business revitalization zone, community improvement district, special services area, or special improvement district. BIDs provide services, such as cleaning streets, providing security, making capital improvements, and marketing the area. The services provided by BIDs are supplemental to those already provided by the local municipality.

The first BID was the Bloor West Village BIA, which was established in Toronto in 1970. The first BID in the United States was the Downtown Development District in New Orleans in 1974. BIDs have been established around the world, including in New Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, Serbia, Albania, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. A study in 2007 found 739 BIDs worldwide, but current estimates are that there are well over 1000 BIDs in the United States alone.

Legislation is necessary to permit local governments to create BIDs. The process for creating a BID varies from one jurisdiction to another, but generally three steps are involved. First, some number of property owners in the area organize and petition the local government to create the BID. Second, the local government determines that a majority of property owners, usually done by a vote, want the BID. Third, the local government enacts legislation creating the BID. Residences and some governmental entities are usually exempt from making any contributions, and the operating budgets of BIDs range from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars.

A BID may be operated by a nonprofit organization or by a quasi-governmental entity. The governance of a BID is the responsibility of a board of directors composed of some combination of property owners or their designated representatives. The management of a BID is the job of a paid administrator usually called an executive director or a management company and often other managing staff.

BIDs have also become a powerful lobby group, lobbying government for improvements such as new sidewalks, trees, park benches and other restorations. BIDs can also lobby different levels of government for a complete facelift on their area if they feel it is necessary. BIDs have been created in situations where neither the private sector nor government can adequately provide needed changes or services for the betterment of a specific area.

There are four BIDs in Hollywood: Hollywood Media District, Hollywood Entertainment District, the Hollywood & Vine Business Improvement District, and the East Hollywood Business Improvement District.

Media District Dining Guide

August 25, 2014

Ammo, 1155 N. Highland Ave.
With an upscale atmosphere and an air of sophistication, AMMO has been located on Highland Avenue since 1996. With a full bar, AMMO is a great place for lunch or dinner. www.ammocafe.com


Bombay Grill, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
Serving up traditional Indian cuisine for lunch and dinner.


Chinese Express, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
Inexpensive chinese food, good combo deals available.


Crown of India, 6755 Santa Monica Blvd.
Come see why people are flocking to this authentic Indian eatery! Amazing food with great lunch specials keep this place bustling.


Eat This Café, 6547 Santa Monica Blvd.
Offering seasonal sandwiches, fresh salads, and panini in an eclectic space in the heart of the Media District. Also lemon bars and peanut butter cookies for your sweet indulgences. Lunch and dinner daily, serving brunch on Sat-Sun 9am to 3pm, and catering available.


Grub, 911 Seward St.
Serving up California Comfort Food with a side of sass and a quirky and inviting atmosphere! Now open for lunch or dinner everyday, plus weekend brunch on Sat-Sun (and also now serving wine and beer). www.grub-la.com


The Hollywood Corner, 1156 Highland Ave.
This place has a little of everything, including wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, an amazing breakfast menu, beer and wine, and red velvet mini-cakes to die for! Sign up for their loyalty program and get 15% off your meal. callthecorner.com


Jack in the Box, 1243 N. Highland Ave.
Fast food with an eclectic menu - everything from salads to burgers, to egg rolls and tacos. Drive-thru open late. www.jackinthebox.com


Marino Ristorante, 6001 Melrose Ave.
This family owned business has been serving up the finest traditional Italian food for nearly thirty years. With an upscale atmosphere and a great wine list. Serving lunch and diner. marinorestaurant.net


Rao’s Italian Restaurant, 1006 Seward St.
With locations in New York’s East Harlem and inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, this Southern Neapolitan family-style upscale eatery is now open in the Media District. Serving dinner Monday through Friday only, with a full bar. Reservations recommended, 323.962.7267. raosla.com


Shakey's Pizza, 7001 Santa Monica Blvd.
Known for their large buffet, Shakey’s is a favorite lunch time spot for many employees in the District. Mojo Potatoes are just one of the highlights here. www.shakeys.com


Subway, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
A healthy alternative to fast food, who doesn't love a Subway sandwich? www.subway.com


Mud Hen Tavern, 742 Highland Ave.
Chef Susan Feniger and Executive Chef and partner Kajsa Alger have reinvented the former STREET with refurbishing the space. Also they have an expanded bar with a draft beer system. For reservations or more information go to mudhentavern.com or call 323.203.0500.


Taqueria La Pinata, 6751 Santa Monica Blvd.
This taco stand, formerly Benitos and more recently Hoagie's and Wings, is now operated by the same folks that run the Crown of India Restaurant directly behind it. So expect the same quality food and service but with a latin flavor!


Tasty Thai Restaurant, 718 N. Vine St.
Great lunch specials at this hole-in-the-wall asian eatery.


Trois Mec, 716 N. Highland Ave.
Simple but interesting with an open-kitchen interior and offering an exclusively French wine list. Pre-paid ticket reservations only, serving one nightly 5-course dinner Mondays through Fridays only. troismec.com


Xiomara Restaurant, 6101 Melrose Ave.
A favorite of the Media District Board of Directors, this exotic restaurant features Cuban-inspired food and a full bar where you would think the mojito was born. Great lunch specials, too! www.xiomararestaurant.com


Yoshinoya, 6300 Santa Monica Blvd.
Home of the Beef Bowl, Yoshinoya is fast food with a Japanese twist. Drive through available, open late. www.yoshinoyausa.com


Did we miss you? We aimed to include every restaurant within the boundaries of our District, so please let us know if we failed to include something. Email Jim Omahen, jim@mediadistrict.org with your information.


Board of Directors Monthly Meetings

Thu, Mar 26, 2015
4:00 to 5:00
Musicians Union Auditorium, 817 N. Vine St, Hollywood