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  1. #1

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    Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the Building of a Broadway style Theater?

    Disney has brought a few hits to Broadway, (Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Little Mermaid) since Eisner decided to expand Disney's influence. The City of Anaheim, worked together with Disney, to turn at least part of Anaheim into a Resort area, and cleaned up the area around Disneyland.

    Anaheim even decided to take a little inspiration from Hollywood's Walk of Fame, and started their own sidewalk stars.

    Is it time for Anaheim to step it up further, and encourage the theater to make a home in Anaheim? Right now, DCA's Hyperion theater does an Aladdin Show, which has proved popular. And prior to that, Blast!, which was a Tony award winner on Broadway, also performed in the Hyperion theater, to great success. So, this would just be a step further to appeal to those same crowds.

    Now, of course there is Pantages Theater up in Hollywood. But is it possible that a theater, with full Broadway shows would work in Anaheim?

    The 2nd question would be where would a suitable place be? Could Anaheim Gardenwalk provide a home to a theater? Or is there a place in a DTD expansion that would work for a theater?

  2. #2

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    Absolutely. I think a Broadway style theater that played Lion King and/or Beauty and the Beast would be far more successful than a Cirque du Soliel show.

  3. #3

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    While i think this Is a good idea I'm not sure if it would be successful. DL sits pretty much in-between Cerritos and Costa Mesa both which have theatres that present Broadway shows. And being that broadway shows are both so costly to produce and attend I'm not entirely sure that such a venue in the Disneyland area would sell enough seats to be viable. It may be popular with those people staying in the Anaheim resort area, but outside of that I don't know if it would be able to attract that much of an audience.

  4. #4

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the Building of a Broadway style Theater?

    I believe that the actual stage area of the Hyperion Theater was built to Broadway standards. The theater was also supposed to be able to be cross utilized for non park applications, but the poor theater/NO LOBBY/NO BATHROOMS layout resulted in an EPIC FAIL on that attempt.

    If they were to correct those failings, adding bathrooms, an outstanding lobby and an actual Broadway level INTERIOR (they might look at the El Capitan for inspiration), they Hyperion could serve that purpose.

  5. #5

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    I don't see why not.

    A brodway theater can fit into a DTD expansion/renovation plan if placed properly in that area. But theres no way it could replace House of Blues, that place has proven to be popular from the start. If they plan to rip out ESPN Zone (not saying they are since they don't plan on removing it) then it can go there.

    Sounds like a good idea but I personally don't think we'll be seeing one soon.



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  6. #6

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    GardenWalk would work, or some other nearby parcel - perhaps they could buy out the Toys-R-Us parcel a few blocks south?

    Or one of the ground lots on the southeast corner of the Anaheim Convention Center lot facing the west side of Harbor Bl., where (last I looked) they have a huge lot being under-used with a ground-level parking lot.

    Live Theaters need a LOT of parking, but not necessarily on the same site - people will walk a little, or you run shuttles. And they don't usually need the parking during the business day - so they work best with a nearby commercial district they can use the parking in the evenings and on weekends.

    And don't discount placing it on or very close to the Anaheim Stadium lot, with the ARTIC train station right there. Just plan out the schedules so the Angels play a day game and the shows are later.

    A successful theater needs before and after show dining and things to do, and Anaheim has them. They need lots of lodging for people making a trip to see the show, and Anaheim has it. They need other things to do, so people make it a multi-day trip, and... (Say it with me...)

    Now they need to decide on How Big to go - the Hyperion is 2,000 seats, Walt Disney Concert Hall 2,265 seats, the Pantages is 2,703, Crystal Cathedral is 2,890 seats... Makes me think that 3,000 should be the bare minimum.

    On the other end of the spectrum - Staples Center is 20,000 seats, the Hollywood Bowl is 17,376 seats, and that would be a Mite Much. Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live is 7,100 the Shrine Auditorium is 6,300, and the Gibson at Universal is 6,021 - now you're getting closer to practical.

    3,500 seats would be a reasonable starting size, 5,000 wouldn't be out of the question - just need a big enough parcel to site it.

    BFD55: You could make-over the Hyperion - just have to level or gut Stage 17 (Hollywood and Dine food court) and use the space for the separate admission entrance off the East Esplanade, and separate lobby and restroom and concessions space.

    (Leave the open-air lobby and stairs on the south side of the Hyperion, but put gates so it can be the emergency exit zone from the theater without shoving people into DCA for free.)

    Problem: Use the Hyperion as a separate hard-ticket venue too much, and you are reducing the daily capacity of DCA. And they really can't afford to lose any more attraction space yet. When they push DCA out all the way to Harbor and Katella and Disneyland Drive on all sides (including buying back the 7-11 lot at the corner) then they might be able to spare the space.

    Oh, and as I point out above, 2,000 seats is a bit small by 'Broadway theater' standards.

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  7. #7

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    I like the idea but I wonder if they could fit it in. Perhaps once more parking structures are built they could use one of the surface lots.

    That said, my wife and I would make it part of our trips down there for sure if they were to decide to do it.

    The Lion King was playing in Vancouver recently at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (one of two Broadway style theatres here - pardon my Canadian spelling of theater. ) but we weren't able to go even though we wanted to.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    Quote Originally Posted by The Forbidden Eye View Post
    I don't see why not.

    A Broadway theater can fit into a DTD expansion/renovation plan if placed properly in that area. But theres no way it could replace House of Blues, that place has proven to be popular from the start. If they plan to rip out ESPN Zone (not saying they are since they don't plan on removing it) then it can go there.

    Sounds like a good idea but I personally don't think we'll be seeing one soon.
    The ESPN Zone space would be a nice start - but the existing building they have there would just about be big enough for the lobby and the dedicated concessions inside the ticketed area.

    If they shoot for 4,000 to 6,000 seats, the actual House and Stage (and the necessary backstage work spaces and loading docks) would pretty much fill up that parking lot behind it, all the way north to Cerritos Street (or whatever they renamed it to).

    And they'll have to put up another large Parking Structure in Simba Lot to make up for the spaces they will lose, and the ones they'll need for the theater crowd parking.

    I can't see them being in a rush to build it, unless they get some serious tax incentives for building right now.

    Disney has enough on their plate for the next few years just getting DCA whipped into shape, getting the Puumba Parking Structure up and open, the two hotels at Gardenwalk built and open (unless they abandon that plan) and some sort of a Peoplemover from Puumba to the Parks Esplanade.

    Then they can worry about a Big Theater, and/or working on the Third Theme Park. Can't let the Strawberry Farm land sit fallow forever.

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  9. #9

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    If the Hyperion added Bathrooms and a lobby that would be great.However the only problem I see is having it inside Ca Adv.Would they make guests pay admission to the park besides their theatre ticket?Or just let guests in about 1-2 hours before a nightly performance to have time to line up,use restroom,or grab a bite before showtime.Either way DCA is getting business.

  10. #10

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    I wasn't really suggesting using any of the current DTD area, but rather an expansion of the current DTD area. (and Bruce said would need additional parking would be needed, of course)

    The old Toys R Us location is a good idea, as is the surface parking for the Anaheim Convention Center, as Bruce suggested.

    And yes, this isn't a project that would work in the next couple of years, but perhaps for something in 4 to 6 years. The Pumba Parking lot structure would need to be completed first.

    The Hyperion Theater is fine for what it is, but that should remain with DCA, and not turned into a separate venue. That building is the only place within DLR that is used for a stage show in either DL or DCA. It's definitely a venue that DCA will need to continue to utilize for it's guests.

    Now, as for the 3rd theme park , since the strawberry field area does still have residential areas on many sides. and the space is limited, perhaps the idea that was tossed around a while back would work - the Boutique Theme Park -

    Would it work to build a 5 to 6k theater as the main evening entertainment, and run two shows on satudays and sundays, This park would be designed as a 6 to 7 hour experience.

    The exterior of the Theater structure would be completely over the top in themeing, as would the rest of the park, Then there would be a separate store themed to the play, and an activity area - similar to how the El Capitan does it's special events, with the tent on the Hollywood High Football Field. There would also be other more permanent type of attractions, too. I'm just thinking off the top of my head.

  11. #11

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    ...YES.

    In my recent mini-golf thread, I proposed that Disney should start looking to expand its on-site offerings for its out-of-town guests, beyond the current two theme parks, as a means of keeping people on the property longer. A Broadway show would be another great resort addition, because it virtually requires that guests spend an extra night to watch the show (since they likely wouldn't want to give up an evening in a theme park). And if Disney were to bring in some of their successful Broadway shows like Lion King, Mary Poppins, or Beauty & the Beast (this one especially, since it's not on Broadway anymore), I bet it would be a huge hit with locals and hotel guests alike. Then there's the opportunity to bring in touring non-Disney shows and concerts, as a sort of limited engagement offering, which would be especially appealing to locals.

    I could see a theater doing really well as part of a Downtown Disney expansion, or as an addition to GardenWalk, should Disney ever buy that - especially since audiences of a theater often like eating out for dinner before the show, and visiting shops on the way to the car afterward. If they were to play their cards right, a theater would have the potential to be HUGE for Disney.

    ... Did I mention I'm a Broadway fan?


  12. #12

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    WDI is actually considering the hard ticketed idea for the Hyperion. A plan I heard was using the Hyperion during the day for a small scale show and then at night do a full scale broadway show that is hard ticketed. The first broadway show would have been a spin on the Pinnochio story told from Geppeto's perspective. I wouldn't be surprised if they add a lobby and restrooms when the Hyperion goes down for refurb in 2 years. The idea still might be in their heads and I think might work quite well.

  13. #13

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Bergman View Post

    Now they need to decide on How Big to go - the Hyperion is 2,000 seats, Walt Disney Concert Hall 2,265 seats, the Pantages is 2,703, Crystal Cathedral is 2,890 seats... Makes me think that 3,000 should be the bare minimum.

    On the other end of the spectrum - Staples Center is 20,000 seats, the Hollywood Bowl is 17,376 seats, and that would be a Mite Much. Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live is 7,100 the Shrine Auditorium is 6,300, and the Gibson at Universal is 6,021 - now you're getting closer to practical.

    3,500 seats would be a reasonable starting size, 5,000 wouldn't be out of the question - just need a big enough parcel to site it.


    Oh, and as I point out above, 2,000 seats is a bit small by 'Broadway theater' standards.

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    Eek! 3000 seats for a 'Broadway' style theatre is enormous!! The Civic Theatre in San Diego is just shy of 3000 and it's a barn. You might as well be on another planet if you're sitting in the balcony! Haha. The largest theatre on Broadway is the Gershwin at 1900 seats and people complain that's too big!! So 2000 seats is huge compared to a New York Broadway theatre. Theatres around the country are often multi-purpose so their seating capacities tend to be much, much bigger.

    Good luck trying to fill a 3000 seater at Broadway prices! ;-p
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  14. #14

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    Quote Originally Posted by GapToothed View Post
    Good luck trying to fill a 3000 seater at Broadway prices! ;-p
    Ahh, but there's a little secret of economics - the larger the audience (within reason) the more they can back off on the ticket pricing and still 'make the nut' and pay the bills and the payroll.

    You take your fixed costs, a cast of 40, 20 ushers and concessions, and a tech crew of 6-10 - and perhaps a 12-piece pit orchestra if you want live music. Rent/Mortgage service, electric bill, gas bill, water bill, refuse service...

    The larger the ticket pool in the house, the more ways you get to split that bill up among the audience - you can choose to make it far more affordable for large families and seniors.

    Still allows you to charge more for the box seats right up front, with the concierge concessions service or other over-the-top amenities... And the families can go for the cheap balcony seats up in the "Nosebleed Section" - but they can still go.

    (Or conversely, they can leave the prices ridiculous and not have to worry about selling every seat for every show - they hit the break-even point at less than a half-full house, and the rest is gravy. Not the way I'd prefer to do things, but then again it's their decision not mine.)

    And if you design the house right, you could make it big and still see the stage without a Predator drone relaying the video. Take the basic Hyperion layout and make it a little wider and wrap around some more, with several levels of boxes and balconies on the sides.

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  15. #15

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    Re: Should the Anaheim Resort Consider encouraging the building of a Broadway Theater

    To answer your question...

    SIMPLY NO! Not needed. 'nuff said.

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