July 29--One of Hollywood's most famous landmark buildings is looking for a name change.
The historic Pantages Theatre -- which has served as a movie palace, hosted the Academy Awards and is now a plush venue for touring Broadway shows including "The Book of Mormon" and the recent "Sister Act" -- is offering naming rights for sale.
Marty Wiviott, the theater's general manager, said in an interview that the naming-rights sale is in an exploratory phase and that the theater has allotted six months to find a partner. The Nederlander Organization, which owns and operates the Pantages, has hired Front Row Marketing Services, a subsidiary of Comcast Spectacor, to oversee the project.
The name change would bring in money, but Wiviott said it was too early to discuss possible amounts.
Nederlander has partnered with corporations for naming rights on some of its other theater properties, including City National Grove of Anaheim and the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago.
Since opening in 1930, the Pantages has been a symbol of Hollywood-style glamor at its location at Hollywood Boulevard near Vine Street. The venue was named after the Greek-born, Los Angeles-based producer Alexander Pantages.
At one point, the theater was renamed the RKO Pantages in a deal that involved the famed movie studio and the eccentric entrepreneur Howard Hughes.
Nederlander came aboard in 1977, transforming the Pantages into a live-theater house. The company undertook a major renovation of the venue in 2000, restoring the theater's art-deco interior to its original luster.
Earlier this year, naming rights to another historic Hollywood venue -- Grauman's Chinese Theatre -- were sold to the Chinese television maker TCL. The renamed TCL Chinese Theatre is expected to open in September after renovations that will include an Imax screen.
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