UCLA announced Thursday it has acquired the Crest Theatre on Westwood Boulevard and said it would turn the landmark venue into a new off-campus performing arts space.
UCLA’s purchase of the long-dormant theater was made possible by major gifts from actor, writer and director Susan Bay Nimoy, and an anonymous donor, UCLA said in a statement.
With an anticipated opening date in 2021, the venue will be re-named the UCLA Nimoy Theater in honor of Nimoy’s late husband, Leonard Nimoy.
“As a long standing supporter of the Center for the Art of Performance, and its inspired artistic director, Kristy Edmunds, I am thrilled to help provide UCLA with a long-awaited state-of-the-art theater,” Nimoy said. “My late husband, Leonard Nimoy, and I admire Kristy’s passion for the art of performance, her out-of-the-box imagination, razor-sharp intellect and her vision for what the UCLA Nimoy Theater will bring to Los Angeles.”
The UCLA Nimoy Theater is envisioned as a public platform for emerging contemporary performing artists across all disciplines whose work seeks an intimate scale, including extraordinary UCLA students and recent alumni, independent practitioners throughout Los Angeles, and national and international visiting artists, the statement said.
The reinvigorated theater, which will be upgraded to current standards and outfitted with advanced technology, will become a dynamic home on the Westside of Los Angeles for both audiences and artists, enabling creative collaboration and presentation in theater, music, digital media, spoken word, dance and contemporary performance.
The acquiring entities were identified as the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and the school’s performing arts program, the Center for the Art of Performance. The purchase price was not reported.
“The acquisition and transformation of the Crest Theater into the UCLA Nimoy is a critical next step in our effort to extend the reach of the arts at UCLA beyond the 420 acres of campus,” said Brett Steele, dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture.