UCLA Buys Historic Crest Theater in Westwood

Westwood Crest Theatre-Getty-H 2018
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

With backing from Susan Bay Nimoy, the plan is to convert the theater into an off-campus performing arts space.

The University of California Los Angeles on Tuesday announced that it has acquired the Crest Theater in Westwood, which will be converted into an off-campus performing arts space. 

Backstopping the deal were donations by writer-director Susan Bay Nimoy and an anonymous donor. The venue, which is currently scheduled to open in 2021, will be renamed the UCLA Nimoy Theater, in honor of Nimoy’s late husband, actor Leonard Nimoy.

The new venue, which will undergo a renovation, will serve as a multi-disciplinary space for emerging contemporary artists and will be managed by UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance.

“As a longstanding supporter of the Center for the Art of Performance, and its inspired artistic director, Kristy Edmunds, I am thrilled to help provide UCLA with a long-awaited state-of-the-art theater,” Nimoy said in a statement. “My late husband, Leonard Nimoy, and I admire Kristy’s passion for the art of performance, her out-of-the-box imagination, razor-sharp intellect and her vision for what the UCLA Nimoy Theater will bring to Los Angeles.”

Designed by architect Arthur W. Hawes, the space originally opened in December 1940 as the Westwood Theater. It went through various iterations over the years and was fully renovated in 1987 by The Walt Disney Company, which replaced the original façade with its current Art Deco Revival signage. The Crest was designated a Historic-Cultural Landmark by city officials in 2008.