The Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

135 N. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Downtown L.A.'s sumptuous Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, home to the L.A. Opera, has aged more beautifully than most civic buildings from the 1960s. Its 3,197 seats -- many of them good ones -- are set in four tiers, and concertgoers reach the upper sections by gliding up enormous curving stairways that seem borrowed from a Golden Era movie. The former site of the Academy Awards, the Dorothy Chandler features a towering lobby with massive, pendant-style crystal chandeliers and upper-story picture windows that offer fine views of downtown. The interior is drenched in gold tones that some say make the dressed-up crowds look even more refined. A number of beautiful, spacious hallways and carpeted interior plazas are used as gathering spots by patrons who mill around with drinks during intermissions or after a performance -- room-like spaces that double as pricey wedding venues. The Dorothy Chandler's grand entryway opens to a popular above-street-level outdoor plaza with a splashing fountain, where, before the show, patrons eat takeout salads and cheese plates from the plaza's Spotlight Cafe. Others try for a table at the more formal Pinot Grill or, downstairs, Kendall's Brasserie & Bar.

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