Over the past few years, the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles has rekindled its Hollywood roots by hosting a number of film premieres and screenings.

For instance, film director Paul Thomas Anderson chose the venue for a recent special screening of his 2002 quirky cult classic “Punch-Drunk Love.” In addition, the new L.A.-based Terrence Malick movie, “Knight of Cups,” also had its premiere there earlier this month.

“We chose to partner with the Theatre at Ace Hotel for the premiere of ‘Knight of Cups’ because it attracts an engaged audience of cinephiles that aligned perfectly with the film,” said Dylan Wiley, president of marketing at Broad Green Pictures in Hollywood. “The theater itself is an L.A. institution and a great setting for a film that pays homage to the city.”

The theater is housed in the historic United Artists building, which was built in 1927 for the maverick film studio created by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks.

“The Theatre at the Ace hotel has done a number of film premieres and also live orchestrations – two things that Mary Pickford had in mind when she built the now refurbished United Artists Theatre,” said Ace Hotel spokeswoman Meghan Hessel.

Former owner Greenfield Partners of Westport, Conn., renovated the ornate movie palace in 2014 along with the 14-story Spanish Gothic tower it’s housed in, which was retrofitted into the 182-room hotel.

Greenfield sold the building for $103 million in May of last year to Chesapeake Lodging Trust of Annapolis, Md., though Greenfield continues to operate the hotel.

About 1,600 people packed the house for the “Punch-Drunk Love” screening March 5, which was presented with composer Jon Brion’s original score performed live by a 50-piece orchestra.

Anderson, Hessel said, has a particular affinity for the space, noting that he premiered his documentary “Junun” there last year as well as his film “Inherent Vice” in 2014.

A slew of diverse artistic events is on the calendar for the spring including a concert by the Smashing Pumpkins on March 27 and a Literary Death Match performance April 1.

Concessions at the theater include a full bar and traditional fare such as popcorn, hot dogs and candy.

Keys to Growing Scene

The co-owners of the newly opened Piano Lofts, located directly behind the Ace Hotel at 932 S. Hill St., are hoping to capitalize on the area’s growing entertainment and retail sectors to attract tenants.


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