Hollywood Bowl


The Hollywood Bowl is a modern amphitheater in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California USA, that is used primarily for music performances It has a seating capacity of 17,376. The Hollywood Bowl is known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that graced the site from 1929 through 2003, before being replaced with a somewhat larger one beginning in the 2004 season. The shell is set against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood Sign to the Northeast. The "bowl" refers to the shape of the concave hillside the amphitheater is carved into. The bowl is owned by the Los Angeles County and is the home of the Hollywood Bowl orchestra, the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the host of hundreds of musical events each year.  The organizers of the Hollywood Bowl met at the Hollywood Hotel, on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. & Highland Ave., to discuss how to put their plans into effect.The Bowl held its first afternoon concerts in 1921 on the site of a natural amphitheater formerly known as the Daisy Dell. The first Easter Sunrise Service was held in March 1921. At first, the Bowl was very close to its natural state, with only makeshift wooden benches for the audience, and eventually a simple awning over the stage. In 1926, a group known as the Allied Architects was contracted to regrade the Bowl, providing permanent seating and a shell. These improvements did provide increased capacity (the all-time record for attendance was set in 1936, when 26,410 people crowded into the Bowl to hear opera singer Lily Pons), but were otherwise disappointing, as the regrading noticeably degraded the natural acoustics, and the original shell was deemed acoustically unsatisfactory (as well as visually unfashionable, with its murals of sailing ships). For the 1927 season, Lloyd Wright built a pyramidal shell, with a vaguely Southwestern look, out of left-over lumber from the movie making of Robin Hood at the Pickford Fairbanks Studios. This was generally regarded as the best shell the Bowl ever had from an acoustic standpoint; unfortunately, its appearance was deemed too avant-garde, and it was demolished at the end of the season. It did, however, get Wright a second chance, this time with the stipulation that the shell was to have an arch shape. For the 1928 season, Wright built a fiberglass shell in the shape of concentric 120-degree arches, with movable panels inside that could be used to tune the acoustics. It was designed to be easily dismantled and stored between concert seasons; apparently for political reasons this was not done, and it did not survive the winter. For the 1929 season, the Allied Architects built the shell that stood until 2003, using a transite skin over a metal frame. Its acoustics, though not nearly as good as those of the Lloyd Wright shells, were deemed satisfactory at first, and its clean lines and white, almost-semicircular arches were copied for music shells elsewhere. As the acoustics deteriorated, various measures were used to mitigate the problems, starting with an inner shell made from large cardboard tubes (of the sort used as forms for round concrete pillars) in the 1970s, which were replaced by the early 1980s with the large fiberglass spheres that remained until 2003. These dampened out the unfavorable acourstics, but required massive use of electronic amplification to reach the full audience, particularly since the background noise level had risen sharply since the 1920s. The appearance underwent other, purely visual, changes as well, including the addition of a broad outer arch where it had once had only a narrow rim and the reflecting pool in front of the stage that lasted from 1953 till 1972. Sculptor George Stanley designed the Muse Fountain. He had previously done The Oscar statuette. Shortly after the end of the 2003 summer season the 1929 shell was replaced with a new, somewhat larger, acoustically improved shell, which had its debut in the 2004 summer season. From the beginning, in 1921, the Hollywood Bowl audiences sat on simple wooden benches placed on the natural hillsides, conductor Alfred Hertz and the Los Angeles Philharmonic inaugurated the first season of music under the stars at the Hollywood Bowl. While much has changed in the ensuing years, the tradition of presenting the world's greatest musicians and striving for musical excellence has remained a constant goal of this famed Los Angeles cultural landmark. The Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, since its beginning in 1921, and, in 1991, gave its name to a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Of course, it is the incomparable performances that have truly made the Hollywood Bowl's history unique. Artists that have appeared at the Bowl throughout the years include: The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, The Greatful Dead, The Doors, Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Boticelli, Nat King Cole, Queen, The Eagles and many, many others. All of the Hollywood Bowl photos, Hollywood Bowl pictures and Hollywood Bowl images on this site are available for purchase.  

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Daisy Dell which became the Hollywood Bowl
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Early concert at the Hollywood Bowl
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Hollywood Bowl
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Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood BowlDaisy Dell which became the Hollywood Bowl
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1917
Hollywood BowlEarly concert at the Hollywood Bowl
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1921
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1921
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1921
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Hollywood Bowl
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Testing the acoustics at the Hollywood Bowl
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Armistice Day at the Hollywood Bowl
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Early Concert at the Hollywood Bowl
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1921
Hollywood BowlTesting the acoustics at the Hollywood Bowl
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1921
Hollywood BowlArmistice Day at the Hollywood Bowl
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1921
Hollywood BowlEarly Concert at the Hollywood Bowl
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1921
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Early concert at the Hollywood Bowl
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First Easter Sunrise Service
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EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE AT HOLLYWOOD BOWL
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The first Easter sunrise service at the Hollywood Bowl.
Hollywood BowlEarly concert at the Hollywood Bowl
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1921
Hollywood BowlFirst Easter Sunrise Service
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Hollywood BowlThe first Easter sunrise service at the Hollywood Bowl.
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