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06/22/2021

First Look: The newest Apple store is a stunner

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture

All photos by: Apple

Apple is opening a store in the historic Tower Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

One of Apple’s most significant restoration projects to date, Apple Tower Theatre will officially open its doors on June 24. It’s the tech giant’s 36th location in greater Los Angeles. 

The Tower Theatre was designed in 1927 by renowned motion-picture theater architect S. Charles Lee and was the first theatre in Los Angles to be wired for film and sound. It was also the first theater in the city with air-conditioning.

Since closing its doors in 1988, the space has been empty and unused. Apple collaborated with leading preservationists, restoration artists and the City of Los Angeles to preserve and restore the theater’s beauty and grandeur. Every surface was carefully refinished, the company said, and the building also underwent a full seismic upgrade.

As part of the project, Apple restored the building’s signature clock tower, recreated its marquee, cleaned the terra cotta exterior and renovated its historic blade sign. After walking through the doors, visitors enter a monumental lobby inspired by the famed Paris Opera house. The lobby features a grand arched stairway with bronze handrails flanked by marble Corinthian columns.

As in the case in nearly all of Apple’s new and many of its remodeled stores, a wide-open space called the Forum, complete with a signature video wall, is the heart of the store. Located beneath the fully restored arch and surrounded by the theater’s original balconies, the space will be home to Today at Apple, where free daily sessions led by Apple team members and members of the local creative community will provide inspiration and teach practical skills. Apple products are displayed in the expansive auditorium, surrounded by embellished arched bays and restored bronze. 

The theater’s original seating on the upper level has been updated to create an open, flexible space for Apple’s popular Genius Bar.  

Additionally, Apple also announced the launch of its new Creative Studios initiative, which it described as a global project that will offer hands-on experience and mentorship to young creatives. The program kicks off in the new LA store and at Apple’s store in Beijing. 

“Creativity and access to education are core values for Apple, so we are absolutely thrilled to kick off today at Apple Creative Studios in Los Angeles and Beijing and to bring this meaningful program to several more cities this year,” stated senior VP Deirdre O’Brien. “Building on our long history of using stores as a venue to host local artists to educate and inspire, Creative Studios is one more way we’re providing free arts education to those who need it most.”