Howard Building Corporation our-work

iHeartRadio Theater LA

Project Team
Luckett & Farley, Worthe Real Estate Group
12,000 Square Feet

Project Description

The award winning iHeartRadio Theater LA project is located at Stage 3 of the Burbank Studios, previously known as NBC Studios and the location where Johnny Carson's Tonight Show was filmed. The 21,000 square foot space has been completely renovated to house the iHeartRadio Theater, which serves as a venue for intimate, live music performances, “red carpet” movie premiers, and celebrity events that can be simultaneously broadcast directly from the Theater to multiple media platforms. Millions of fans are able to enjoy radio and television broadcasts, as well as live streaming video and audio productions, all produced directly from the Theater.

The intimate live performance venue only seats 400 people and includes a mezzanine VIP lounge and a separate VIP bar and seating area. Rich stone and wood millwork, gilded globe pendant lights, and painted black walls and ceilings create a lush Hollywood club feeling. The original concrete floors in the theater and public areas have been retained and polished, and the original backstage rigging from The Tonight Show was meticulously restored. VIP hospitality suites, hair and makeup rooms, and private dressing rooms provide performers with their own private backstage retreat.

 The truly impressive aspects of this project include the state-of-the-art technology utilized in the facility. The theater space is equipped with an intensely complex, fully integrated technology system controlled entirely within the audio, video and radio control rooms adjacent to the theater. The editing and production of video and audio feed occurs in real time and is broadcast live to radio, television, the internet, and massive LED screens inside the theater. The 32 foot long, floor-to-ceiling LED screen in the public entry and two 16 foot LED screens, which flank each side of the stage, are also capable of displaying programmable graphics or social media streams as desired by iHeartRadio and the performer. The theater and stage lighting is controlled centrally through a very sophisticated system and supported by the “largest of its kind” hoist system structurally supported above the stage.

 Retrofitting the original 1955 construction to accommodate a 2014 theater automation package while maintaining much of the 1955 glamour presented many challenges. The original space was designed with a counter-weighted fly system, and the structure was therefore not “plug and play” with the current technology. As a component of the renovation the base structure required both lead and asbestos abatement and extensive custom structural modifications. The client also required that architectural lighting be integrated with the theatrical control systems in order to maintain a streamlined operation. To achieve that goal, the electrical subcontractor worked closely with the entertainment technology vendors and the engineering team to evaluate, modify and install the architectural lighting system. This necessitated the due-diligence exchange of lighting fixtures and controls components such that the project team could create original solutions to the unique challenge.