Renowned as the home of Hollywood's night of nights a.k.a. 'The Oscars', the Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak Theatre) has hosted the Academy Awards, among other high-profile televised award events, concerts and Broadway productions, since opening at the end of 2001. Part of the Hollywood & Highland Center entertainment complex, just dare to resist treading where cinema royalty and TV faves have gone before.
The design of the 3,400-seat theatre was inspired by European opera houses with warm cherry wood finishes and deep-plum upholstery. Outside, a towering portal serves as the entrance to the theatre which leads to a two-storey wall of plaques commemorating Best Picture Oscar recipients and up a sweeping staircase.
The five-level theatre lobby contains design elements inspired by both Michelangelo and Busby Berkeley's dance choreography. The sumptuous interior is also home to one of the most sophisticated state-of-the art sound and lighting systems to provide the most lifelike interactive entertainment experience you'd expect from Dolby.
While you can't just rock up to the Dolby Theatre and take a stickybeak around if you're not taking in a show, for the inside scoop it's worth taking a guided tour to access the Oscars gossip and see the inner sanctum of the stars.
Daily 30-minute guided walking tours of the venue operate between 10.30 and 2.30pm to provide an architectural and historical overview of the venue and allow visitors to view an Oscar statuette, visit the Dolby Lounge where the stars hang out at the awards plus other celeb hotspots, and see images from previous Academy Awards events. Tickets are US$15 for adults, US$10 for children aged three to 17 years and free for tots under three years.
To visit the Dolby Theatre from downtown Los Angeles, from Civic Center/ Grand Park Station take the Metro Red Line subway to Hollywood/ Highland Station. From here, it's a two-minute walk along Hollywood Boulevard to the Dolby Theatre.