downtown los angeles, historic core

H&M’s Upscale COS Store Opens Inside Historic Theatre in Downtown LA

COS opens its Los Angeles flagship store in the historic Olympic Theatre on 8th Street in Downtown LA (Photo: Pablo Enriquez)

Today, a new exciting retailer opens for business for the first time in Downtown LA’s Historic Core. A brand new COS store will be opening today at 12 pm in a former historic theater built in 1927. After a lengthy restoration process by historic preservation experts, Spectra Company, the once dilapidated Olympic Theatre has been transformed into a stunning new flagship store for H&M’s upscale subsidiary brand. The exterior of the theater now includes a beautifully restored “Olympic” blade sign that lights up at night with bright yellow neon accents adding renewed life to the street.

Located at 313 W 8th Street just off Broadway, the new 5,500 square foot space has a modern and functional design that reflects the brand’s core aesthetic featuring raw steel hanging rails that run throughout the first floor and mezzanine, which is meant to divide the large cavernous space into more intimate “rooms” for a more personal shopping experience.

For those unfamiliar with COS, the brand was launched on London’s Regent Street in 2007​ and now has more than 200 stores worldwide. It is much more exclusive in the United States as the brand was first introduced here in 2014 with currently only 13 stores, including four in the Los Angeles metro area. COS focuses on fashion essentials, reinvented classics, and modern trends for men and women. Prices remain reasonable with T-shirts selling around $30 and a full-suit for about $350.

I am particularly excited and proud about COS opening at the Olympic Theatre as I co-listed the commercial space with my real estate partner John Kim of Miren, Inc. From start to finish, it took us about 3.5 years to get to this point! We are beyond excited that such a high quality tenant was secured for this amazing space, giving new life to a defunct theater that would have ended up sitting vacant or underutilized for possibly another decade or more.

Sitting across the street from the massive Broadway Trade Center, COS joins a slew of new retailers opening along Broadway and the immediate vicinity including: Vans new LA flagship store, Theory and A.L.C., MYKITA, A.P.C., Aesop, and an exciting new Shake Shack.

The History of the Olympic Theatre

  • Built in 1927, the theater opened as Bard’s 8th St. Theater with the Universal comedy “Oh, Baby” starring Madge Kennedy and Creighton Hale.
  • The Olympic Theater was run by Lou Bard who operated a number of other theatres including two nearby Hill Street theatres, the Town Theatre and the College Theatre.
  • Lewis A. Smith was the Architect.  He took what was a restaurant at the time and remodeling it to be the last in Lou Bard’s theatre chain, it was said to have been decorated in Chinese decor and held 600 seats.  Architect Charles O. Matcham later remodeling it in 1942.
  • The 600-seat theater was originally called Bard’s Eighth Street Theatre but was renamed Olympic Theatre in 1932 to commemorate the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
  • The Olympic Theatre closed its doors in the summer of 1986, 2007 found the Olympic being transformed into a furniture store.
  • The Olympic Theatre was featured in several movies including; “The Omega Man”(1971) starring Charlton Heston. “War of the Worlds” (1953) and “Fight Club” (Fox, 1999).

For more info about COS, please visit their website.

All photos by Pablo Enriquez

The once dilapidated exterior of the Olympic Theatre, built in 1927, has been restored beautifully with a brightly lit neon blade sign
COS has transformed the Olympic Theatre in Downtown LA into its new LA flagship store
The new DTLA COS store will carry its collection for men and women
The new DTLA COS store will carry its collection for men and women
COS opens today on August 25 in Downtown LA

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10 Comments

  1. It looks great! So polished and shiny! I look forward to the many events I’m sure they are planning there! Beautiful photography!

  2. Bryan says

    They’re serving blue bottle coffee today till 3pm. Is the shake shack going to open this year? Doesn’t seem like their space is progressing.

  3. Brenda Stevens says

    Congratulations, Brigham! I am so happy for you both!

  4. Jimmy says

    Went there today. Beautifully renovated space and beautiful clothes. Spent a bundle buying some finely made basics.

  5. Paul wright says

    This store turned out beautifully. I love it! One by one these historic buildings are turning out to be true shining stars. And 8th is becoming a gem. Also Brigham your photos are outstanding.

    • Thank you Paul! I completely concur that the store turned out beautifully and 8th Street is the new hot DTLA address. Just to clarify, the pretty pictures were captured by the talented photographer Pablo Enriquez.

  6. John Lee says

    Great news.Would love to see more in the near future. Just curious if the photo of the exterior has been PS for the building on the right hand side because google map is still showing those ugly swap meet stores as of Feb 2017. But on the picture here all those stores have disappeared and became part of the wall tiles..

    I didn’t have time to drive by to take a look myself yet..

    • Lawrence says

      John – those stores have actually now disappeared and the building next door is under active renovation into creative office space with new ground floor retail. Looking forward to it shining again like the Olympic Theater and the May Co. Building across the Street.

      • John Lee says

        I passed by today. While stores might have been moved out, the relics are still there. Definitely do not look like what the picture is shown with the smooth wall tiles but it is great to learn there are more upscale stores are underway.

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