John Anson Ford Theatres

John Anson Ford Theatres

Situated in the Cahuenga Pass in the Hollywood Hills, the John Anson Ford Theatres have provided a dramatic outdoor entertainment setting in Los Angeles since 1920.  As part of the architectural design team led by Levin & Associates Architects, Studio-MLA designed improvements to accentuate the unique hillside character of the historic amphitheatre, elevate the beauty of the space, and manage the challenging terrain. Major improvements to the theatre landscape include hillside stabilization and drainage improvements, and new pedestrian and vehicular circulation. The first phase of improvements completed the amphitheater renovations, including a new performance stage and seating. The design accentuates the dramatic hillside extending down to the stage. A newly designed series of stone and concrete sedimentary walls form a series of sinuous plant-filled terraces. Extensive native plantings and various erosion control tactics, such as timber planter walls and fiber mat blankets, stabilize the hillside.

The second phase of improvements updated the loading and service area, utilizing the roof above as a dramatic landscaped terrace for a new flexible space. Wrapping the edges of the terrace, an integrated seatwall planter provides space to frame the terrace with planting and provide additional informal seating. To both cool and animate the space, the terrace includes a cascading water feature integrated into a planter and a series of colorful umbrellas that provide shade for patrons.


John Anson Ford Theatres, County of Los Angeles


35 acres


Hollywood, California



Project team

  • Levin & Associates Architect
  • Mollenhauer Civil Engineer
  • Structural Focus Structural Engineer


  • 2019 Los Angeles Business Council, Preservation Award
  • 2018 American Concrete Institute, Excellence Award
  • 2016 American Architecture Award