Live Nation inks H'wood Palladium deal

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Live Nation has signed a long-term lease to operate, manage and exclusively book the 4,000-capacity Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles-based Live Nation currently owns and/or operates Southern California venues including the House of Blues on Sunset (1,000-capacity), the Wiltern Theatre (2,300-capacity), Gibson Amphitheatre (6,185-capacity), the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine (16,300-capacity) and the Hyundai Pavilion in San Bernardino (65,000-capacity).

Bruce Eskowitz, Live Nation's CEO of North American Music, says the new lease agreement is part of the company's strategy to accommodate touring acts at all levels. "Basically, wherever an artist is in their career, we'd like to have a venue in the major markets that can accommodate the right play for them." Eskowitz tells Billboard.biz. "We've been working on this for some time."

With the addition of the Hollywood Palladium, Live Nation holds exclusive booking agreements at the House of Blues in Anaheim (950-capacity), the Avalon in Hollywood (1,400-capacity), the Long Beach Arena (13,500-capacity) and the Honda Center in Orange County (7,500-capacity). The company also promotes and produces concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

In Los Angeles, the Hollywood Palladium, which opened in September of 1940 with a concert by Frank Sinatra and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, will immediately undergo an 18-month overhaul with plans to reopen in fall of 2008. Planned renovations include upgrades to the stage infrastructure to accommodate larger productions, a top-to-bottom overhaul of the venue's interior and exterior, and additional restrooms and back-of-house space.

"We're working hard to make sure that a lot of the things that made it the Palladium are maintained," Eskowitz says. "The building is in great shape. ... We think this is a great addition to Los Angeles and Hollywood, and we can't wait to begin construction."

Booking operations at the Hollywood Palladiun will be led by Live Nation's Brian Murphy, chairman of Southern California music, and Nick Masters, president of Southern California music. "They'll be actively involved along with the rest of the team here in Los Angeles," Eskowitz says, noting that no concerts are currently scheduled at the venue.
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