downtown los angeles, historic core

It’s Here! Urban Outfitters Opens Inside the Rialto Theatre on Broadway in Downtown LA

The new Urban Outfitters opens inside the historic Rialto Theatre at 8th/Broadway

The new Urban Outfitters opens inside the historic Rialto Theatre at 8th/Broadway

Stepping inside the Rialto Theatre last night was such an amazing experience. The historic theater built in 1917, once glorious and proud in its heyday, became the sad victim of urban decay due to LA’s post-war suburbanization. The inside suffered decades of rot, was gutted, and falling apart in disrepair. And then Urban Outfitters came to the rescue — summoned by the call of urban revitalization — and completely rehabbed the entire place from head to toe, including the now-gleaming historic marquee lit up in bright and colorful neon lighting. The grand opening of Urban Outfitters comes only a day after Swedish clothing retailer Acne Studios’ own amazing grand opening yesterday at 9th/Broadway just down the block.

Upon entering the Rialto from Broadway, walking toward the back of the store reveals a cavernous space with a soaring high wood-truss ceiling. The store, about 10,000 square feet large, is organized easily with the men’s section on the left and women’s on the right with fitting rooms on the second floor. And of course stocked with all the apparel and fashion accessories that Urban Outfitters is known for: crazy graphic tees, Herschel backpacks and wallets, Levi’s denim, Converse/Vans sneakers, etc.

In addition, in keeping with the Rialto Theatre movie theme and a nod to its grand historical past, the brick wall in the very back of the store (or theater however you look at it) is painted white, which is meant to be a movie screen where films are now projected onto.

Now that Urban Outfitters and Acne Studios have opened back-to-back, next up will be the Ace Hotel in Jan 2014.

I can’t wait.

Rialto Theatre before grand re-lighting of the marquee last night

Rialto Theatre before grand re-lighting of the marquee last night

Seconds after the marquee was relit with Councilman Jose Huizar

Seconds after the marquee was relit with Councilman Jose Huizar

The front the store when one enters

The front of the store by entrance

Vinyl

Vinyl

The cash wrap

The cash wrap

The cavernous main section of the store with soaring high wood-truss ceiling

The cavernous main section of the store with soaring high wood-truss ceiling

A close up of the "movie screen" in the back of the store

A close up of the “movie screen” in the back of the store

The women's section on the right side of the store

The women’s section on the right side of the store

Denim for women

Denim for women

Men's section on the left side of the store

Men’s section on the left side of the store

Graphic tees

Graphic tees

Denim for men

Denim for men

Comfy seating in the center of the store

Comfy seating in the center of the store

A view of the second floor where fitting rooms are

A view of the second floor where fitting rooms are

Fitting rooms with denim quilt curtains

Fitting rooms with denim quilt curtains

The beautiful marquee lit up at night, only 7 days before Christmas

The beautiful marquee lit up at night, only 7 days before Christmas

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2 Comments

  1. Andrew W. says

    Really nice! The Rialto marquee is very beautiful and emblematic of DTLA’s re-emergence. The former theater space inside was one of the more interesting-looking UO i’ve been to in awhile.

    I also noticed there was a bit of synergy going on between the various businesses (e.g. Urban Outfitters, Acne Studios, Umami Burger, Two Boots Pizza, Tacos Mexico, etc.) The Ace Hotel can’t get here sooner enough; I can’t wait till the day when all of Broadway’s theater marquees are restored/relit and their spaces finally reactivated.

  2. Lawrence says

    This Urban Outfitters may not be the largest of the company’s locations in L.A., but it definitely has the most personality! I liked the large open feel that the space provides and the projection of video content on the back wall is a nice homage to the Rialto’s former life as a theater. Someday soon there will be a see of re-lit neon signs and marquee’s along Broadway that which hasn’t been seen in over 60 years. The re-lighting of the Rialto sign is symbolic in so many ways and only points to better days ahead for this historic and important corridor.

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