Arts + Culture

Remodel Transforms UCLA’s Bridges Theater Into Superior State-of-the-Art Venue


Now that the site has undergone an extensive six-week summerrenovation, Los Angeles movie fans can walk into a brand-new James BridgesTheater on the UCLA campus in Westwood and enjoy a state-of-the-art movie-goingexperience.

The 276-seat Bridges Theater at the UCLA School of Theater,Film and Television has been completely renovated, including an entirely newacoustic design featuring industry-standard Dolby digital and DTS surroundsound system. The theater is the primary venue for the world-renowned UCLA Filmand Television Archive.

For the first time ever, archive patrons can order ticketsin advance through the recently launched online service at

The Bridges Theater's new acoustic treatment includesDigital Theater Systems (DTS) and SRD Digital 5.1 surround sound design with 24surround sound speakers, as well as five behind-screen speaker towers and twosub-woofers. The makeover also included restored seats, ADA handicapped areas andseating, a hearing-impaired system, and new carpet, paint and wall coverings.

The improvements to the theater were funded by a generousgift from the Bridges/Larson Foundation. In addition, crucial donations ofequipment for the remodel were made by Dolby, Digital Theater Systems, THX, QSCAudio and JBL.

"Now people who appreciate great movies can enjoy films in asuperior theater that is one of the best in the city," said Director ofOperations Chris Coppel, who oversaw the renovation. "We are extremely gratefulto those companies and the Bridges/Larson Foundation that helped make thisdream a reality."

"In addition, we gratefully acknowledge the time and effortcontributed by the project consultant Peter Gardner as well as Jess Daily andhis projection staff," Coppel said.

The James Bridges Theater at UCLA is located in Melnitz Hallin the northeast corner of the campus, near the intersection of SunsetBoulevard and Hilgard Avenue.

The archive presents a year-round calendar of film,television and video programs in the theater. The programs, open to the public,include international and contemporary productions as well as treasures of oldHollywood. For more information on the archive's programming, visit

In addition to archive programs, the Bridges Theater is usedas a classroom and as a screening facility for popular first-run films throughthe student-run Melnitz Movies programs, the prestigious UCLA Documentary Salonseries and films by alumni, as well as a venue for industry screenings andspecial events. It is also one of the few facilities in the world capable ofpresenting rare nitrate prints.

In 1997 the Bridges/Larson Foundation donated a significantgift to the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, allowing the theaterto be transformed into a technologically superior state-of-the-art filmexhibition venue.

In recognition of the gift, the theater was renamed in honorof actor, screenwriter and director James Bridges, who wrote and directed suchhits as "The Paper Chase," "The China Syndrome" and "Urban Cowboy."

For information on renting the James Bridges Theater, callCynthia LaBarre at (310) 206-8422. For information on renting productionfacilities on campus, call Chris Coppel at (310) 267-4419.



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