Vibe and Atmosphere at the Ford
The John Anson Ford Theatres make up one of the oldest performing arts venues in town (that is still in use). There are two sections of the complex: the large outdoor amphitheatre, and the more intimate [Inside] the Ford theatre.
This place brings back memories for many a native LA kid. I can hardly forget the frenetic and amazing Red Hot Chili Peppers show I saw at the venue, when it was more formally referred to by local music fans as The John Anson Ford.
In the past two decades LA County (which owns the theatres) has provided $6.1 million in improvements to the complex, which is now more commonly known as The Ford Theatre, The Ford Amphitheatre, or simply The Ford.
These days, the Ford isn't billing itself as a the rock n' roll hub it once was. It's more of a diverse cultural space that boasts dance, music, theatre and film events.
On a recent visit to the amphitheatre, where I saw a lively flamenco troupe from Spain perform, I was pleasantly surprised by the Ford's outdoor (Hollywood Bowl-style) wine and bites vibe. It was casual but fun, summery and festive.
I enjoyed sharing a nice bottle or Merlot--purchased on-site--with my friend throughout the amazing show (played in front of the dreamy backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and a waxing moon).
- The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre was originally built in 1920
- It was intended as the site of The Pilgrimage Play: Life of Jesus Christ by Christine Wetherill Stevenson, because the author thought the dramatic outdoor setting would be the perfect backdrop for the work.
- The present theatre was constructed in the style of ancient Judaic architecture and built and opened on-site in 1931
Live Performances and Bands That Have Played at the Ford Theatres
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers
- L.A. Contemporary Dance Company
- Los Angeles Jewish Symphony
- Sigur Ros
- Jane's Addiction
- Jamie Cullum
Capacity: 1,245 seats (amphitheatre), 87 seats ([Inside] the Ford)
Opening Months: May through October (amphitheatre), November through April ([Inside] the Ford)
Getting to 'The Ford'
To get to the Ford by car, take the 101 freeway and exit at Cahuenga Blvd., turn right and follow the signs to the parking lot.
There is a free shuttle to the Ford from the Universal City Red Line Metro Station (in the "kiss and ride" area). It starts two hours before show time and runs in intervals of 20 minutes.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus lines #156 and #222 service the Ford.
Unfortunately--like other venues in the area (the Bowl and the Greek), stack parking is the norm. Costs range from free to $10.
Free satellite parking is available at the Universal City Metro Station in North Hollywood.
Reference: map of Hollywood Hills East
John Anson Ford Theatres
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East
Hollywood, CA 90068