Olympic Auditorium Facts and Information
The Olympic Auditorium is a well-known sports venue situated in Los Angeles, California, in the United States of America. The Olympic Auditorium hosts many events, including concerts, shows, and even sports events such as boxing, wrestling, and weightlifting.
Famous rock bands have performed in Olympic Auditorium including Rage Against the Machine, Redhead, Interpol and Jukebox Queens. By 2000, Rage Against the Machine had their final show and, in 2003, they released their DVD and CD entitled, Live at the Olympic Auditorium.
The Olympic Auditorium has a ceiling height of 50 ft. over an all-concrete floor and has a capacity of 7,030 seats for boxing or wrestling and about 4,514 seats for music concerts, and 7,077 seats for general admission, with the stage at one end of the facility. Temporary seating is added at ringside for boxing and wrestling. In addition to this, the facility also has a 250-square foot meeting room that can be used for administrative purposes. The Olympic Auditorium also has a fully-equipped VIP room, with a capacity of 40 seats, and a small media room for event support purposes.
The Olympic Auditorium is located at 1801 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, between 18th Street and Washington Boulevard at Grand Avenue. The Olympic Auditorium is adjacent to the Santa Monica (10) Freeway at the Grand Avenue exit.
The exact address information for the Olympic Auditorium is as follows:
The Olympic Auditorium
1801 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, California 90015
Olympic Auditorium History
On the 5th day of August, year 1925, the Olympic Auditorium was opened to the public. The venue had one huge ground floor, with a boxing ring in the center. In addition to this, the Olympic Auditorium has a large balcony that stretched diagonally away in every direction toward the roof. It offered 15,300 seats with an unhindered view of the arena.
The Olympic Auditorium that was opened as a sports venue had five 6-round fights during its first evening. Professional boxing champions attended the opening night as well as politicians and film stars. The grand opening of the Olympic Auditorium was considered as a big event. Some of the celebrities who attended the event are composed of Jack Dempsey and Rudolph Valentino. In 1932, the Olympic Auditorium also hosted the Olympic Games for sports such as weightlifting, wrestling and boxing.
The Olympic Auditorium was a place for unforgettable events. Some of these events were as follows:
- In 1947, Gorgeous George made his Los Angeles debut at Olympic Auditorium.
- In 1952, Lou Thesz defeated Baron Michele Leone at Olympic Auditorium.
- In 1962, Rikidozan won the World Wrestling All-Stars World Heavyweight title defeating Fred Blassie.
- In 1968, Mil Mascaras won the NWA Americas Heavyweight Title.
- In 1974, John Tolos defeated Firpo for the NWA Americas Heavyweight Championship.
- In 2000, the Heatwave pay-per-view of Extreme Championship Wrestling was also held in Olympic Auditorium.
- The Olympic Auditorium was featured in the Rocky movie, the Mike Tyson Story and The Don King Story.
The notable persons who became a part of the Olympic Auditorium are as follows:
- Jack Root, who was a former World Light-Heavyweight Champion and the first manager of Olympic Auditorium.
- Tom S. Andrews, who was the first matchmaker at the Olympic Auditorium.
- Joe Levy, who was a matchmaker from 1925 to 1927.
- Frank Garbutt, a well-known Los Angeles businessman and the owner of the Olympic Auditorium for many decades.
- Jack Doyle, who was a promoter from 1927 to 1933.
- Wad Wadhams, who was a matchmaker from 1927 to 1933.
- Tom Gallery, who promoted cards at the Olympic Auditorium.
- Joe Waterman, a longtime boxing man and was a matchmaker at the Olympic Auditorium in 1935.
- Luis Magana, who did the Spanish-language publicity from the 1930s to 1984.
- Suey Welch who was a matchmaker, promoter and manager from 1937 to 1939.
- Joe Lynch who staged cards at the Olympic Auditorium in early 1940s.
- Babe McCoy, the driving force of the arena, who was a matchmaker at the Olympic Auditorium from 1942 to the mid 1950s.
- Cal Eaton, who was a promoter from 1942 until his death in 1965.
- Aileen Eaton, who became co-promoter in 1958 with her husband Cal Eaton. She was a sole promoter from 1965 to 1980.
Other notable persons of Olympic Auditorium:
- Don Chargin
- Mickey Davies
- Don Fraser
- George Pamassus
- Rogelio Robles
Being located in the center of downtown Los Angeles, the Olympic Auditorium makes it easy for people, from all over the place, to travel by street car (transportation during that time). The arena also offered mouth-tasting snacks for viewers and fans alike. The Olympic Auditorium was also once the home for University of Southern California as well as University of California, Los Angeles, basketball teams.
Unfortunately, the Olympic Auditorium was closed for business in the mid 1980s, due to the facilities that were disorganized, not maintained, and not repaired. In addition to this, when the rise of the professional wrestling era started, the promoter Gene LaBell discontinued his weekly wrestling shows because of low attendance.
By 1994, the Olympic Auditorium was renovated by Bob Arum, who was a lawyer, making the arena open once again for boxing and other sports. The Olympic Auditorium was back to business in March 5, 1994. The Olympic Auditorium hosted a championship match, with Oscar De La Hoya winning his first pro title with a 10th round knockout of World Boxing Organization Junior Lightweight Champion, Jimmi Bredahl.
Notably, the Olympic Auditorium is one of the last known major wrestling and boxing stadiums whose respective golden eras are still in existence today. The Olympic Auditorium is well-known for its box office number RI-9-5171 that is still in use today as (213) 749-5171.
The Olympic Auditorium was sold to Korean-American church group. The arena was renamed “Glory Vision Center” in the summer of 2005. The vibrant memories of the Olympic Auditorium as a sports arena live in the fruitful history of sports industry.
In almost every sport there are some places that are considered to be sacred. Where you can still see and hear the spirits of the myths that were once there. Some sports have their Yankee Stadiums, their Fen way Parks, and their Soldier Fields. Sports places where your grandparents applaud their heroes and your parents applauded theirs. You too can have the chance to sit in the same place the generation before you have experienced joy and depression. Moreover, every sport has its famous arenas where the echoes of the past can still be heard till now. Pro-wrestling has its very vital arena, the Grand Olympic Auditorium.
The Grand Olympic Auditorium was built in 1924 and it has sat squat on the corner of 18th and grand in central Los Angeles. In the beginning, the Grand Olympic Auditorium seated about 15,300, believed to be the biggest structure ever built in this country specifically for boxing. The impressive opening of the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles on August 5, 1925 was a key media event, attended by such celebrities and famous people as Jack Dempsey and Rudolph Valentino.
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Wrestling started to make its mark in the history of the Grand Olympic Auditorium when in 1932 boxing, weightlifting, and wrestling events for the Olympic Games were seized at the Grand Olympic Auditorium Los Angeles. Few people did know at the time what a true Mecca for professional wrestling the Olympic Auditorium would be?
Grand Olympic Auditorium is considered to be one of the most unforgettable events that have been held at the Olympic. One of the most important events is the yearly battle royal that was detained every year in the 1970s. It was the only event that was seized all year. It was always the first house show of the New Year and was heavily endorsed. Twenty-two men were battling for $10,000 winner-take-all award. And, if that wasn't enough, they would bring in well known name talent that usually wouldn't be in the area.
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