Welcome to the Nimoy.
Renovations at the historic Crest Theatre in Westwood are officially complete, following a $24 million renovation by UCLA.
The Crest Theatre is now the UCLA Nimoy Theater, aka, the Nimoy, named after the late filmmaker and “Star Trek” star Leonard Nimoy.
The renovated theater is located on Westwood Boulevard and will provide UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance a “flexible, state-of-the-art performance center.”
The restoration project was spearheaded by Shawmut Design and Construction, and BAR Architects & Interiors Completes, and was made possible by a sizeable donation from the Spock actor’s widow, Susan Bay Nimoy.
The theater originally opened in 1940 as a movie theater and performing arts venue. A renovation in the 1980s turned it into a 299-seat, 10,500 square-foot Art Deco-inspired landmark.
In this latest renovation, the project team reconfigured the front and back spaces to “revive” the structure as a place for live performances.
The new-look theater features an enlarged lobby, a new bar and lounge, and support spaces that are designed to “enhance the theater-going experience,” while maintaining its historic décor.
The building’s “historic marquee, light fixtures, decorative columns, and wall mounted interior decorative pylons, designed by Disney Imagineer Joseph Musil” still remain, and a 230-foot mural of 1930s L.A. from artist Bill Anderson was restored.
The Nimoy includes 150 permanent seats on risers and a flexible seating area that allows for an expanded capacity of 299, with unique configurations depending on need, including cabaret tables and standing room spaces.
The stage is 35 feet wide with an adjustable stage depth of up to 23 feet.
Leaders of the project say the revamped and renovated theater is not only an important restoration project, but one that contributes to the vibrancy and health of the neighborhood where it sits.
“This project goes beyond the preservation of an iconic venue; it builds on the vitality of the neighborhood,” said Greg Skalaski, executive vice president of Shawmut’s West region. “The reimagined Nimoy Theater, boasting its versatile, state-of-the-art performance space, will shine as a cultural cornerstone in Los Angeles, igniting inspiration for generations to come.”
UCLA officials said the Nimoy “boosts revitalization of the Westwood neighborhood by reviving a dormant building into a community gathering place, restoring a valuable cultural asset, and improving the financial wellness and social vitality of the neighborhood.”
Opening night for UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance’s inaugural season at the Nimoy begins Saturday with a performance by Grammy Award-winning poet J. Ivy.
“The birth of The Nimoy signifies Leonard’s enduring passion for theater, and serves as a lasting tribute to his extraordinary legacy,” said Susan Nimoy. “‘Live long and prosper’ is indeed a fitting phrase that is displayed above the doors of the venue, as it encapsulates the essence of The Nimoy. It serves as a gentle reminder for us all to embrace a life filled with blessings, creativity, and peace.”
For more information about the theater, the renovation and upcoming performances, click here.