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Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural amphitheatre in the United States.
The Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural amphitheatre in the United States. Its origins are found in the hillside amphitheatres of ancient Greece and Rome. Watch the SLIDESHOW for details about the development of the Hollywood Bowl shell from the nineteen-twenties until its most recent renovation in 2003.
Video: 1926 Construction
Although the Hollywood Bowl had its first official season in 1922, a permanent seating area was not built until 1926. This silent documentary footage shows the construction of the seating area which was designed by famous California architect Myron Hunt. Mules were used to bring equipment up the hillside, which was too steep for trucks.
Notice that there is no permanent "shell" over the Bowl stage. Visible in the film is a temporary stage set used for a special event at the beginning of the 1926 season.
Video: 2003 Construction
A new shell for the Hollywood Bowl, funded by voters through the passage of Proposition A, was designed to bring the venue up to current standards, improving shell acoustics and artist facilities while preserving the historic look that has become synonymous with the Hollywood Bowl.
Architects Hodgetts + Fung Design Associates and Executive Architects Gruen Associates were engaged to prepare a renovation plan that would involve reconstructing the old shell structure, built in 1929. Time-lapse photography captures the progress of the renovation.
The new shell dramatically improves the shell's acoustics and is 30% larger than the old shell. New lighting and sound technology was integrated into the design.