Eight years ago, Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar decided it was time to reinvest in Broadway. Pairing goals of historic preservation with economic development, he created the Bringing Back Broadway initiative. The ambitious ten-year plan aimed to transform the corridor back into a pedestrian-focused transit-oriented entertainment district, reflecting how it began a century ago. Amongst Los Angeles’ most historically significant streets, Broadway was the West Coast’s entertainment and commercial hub, with some of the world’s largest department stores standing side-by-side with lavish movie palaces financed by the entertainment industry. Decades of change left the street with neglected historic spaces and little to no nighttime activity. But a lot has changed in the past eight years.
Celebrating Broadway’s transformation, Night on Broadway returns for its second year with a street-long festival showcasing Bringing Back Broadway’s efforts to revitalize the corridor through art and entertainment. Like a choose-your-own-adventure book of Broadway, the event aligns dozens of art events, installations, merchant pop-ups, and performances. Several of the street’s historic theaters will be open to the public and will host entertainment. Local arts organizations become block-long curators: Downtown LA Art Walk from 4th–5th Streets, Art Share LA from 5th–6th Streets, and Think Tank Gallery from 6th–7th Streets. Last year’s event drew tens of thousands, an unprecedented number for Broadway on any given day or night. With so much cultural programming enlivening the street, Night on Broadway transcends mere recognition of what’s been accomplished, but projects a wishful vision for the corridor’s future: one filled once more with bustling sidewalks, nighttime activity, and arts entertainment. •