A proposal to build housing within the walls of the historic Fairfax Theatre has reached the point of no return.

Photos posted by the Los Angeles Theatres blog show that demolition of the shuttered venue's interior is now underway, leaving the building as a literal shell of its former self. That work is a necessary first step toward a longstanding plan from property owner Alex Gorby, who is planning a new mixed-use project which retains the exterior of the Fairfax Theatre while adding new housing and commercial uses within. Full plans call for a 71-unit complex with approximately 10,780 square feet of ground-floor commercial space and subterranean parking for 228 vehicles.

View looking northwest from Fairfax AvenueHoward Laks Architects

The new development, designed by Howard Laks Architectsis described as having "a contemporary interpretation of the original Art Deco theater facade." The new construction within the historic walls will also accommodate a rooftop pool and a recreation area.

The Beverly Press reported in April that Gorby, who has owned the theatre for decades, intended to break ground as soon as possible, as he was faced with a March 2024 deadline to begin work.

7901 W Beverly BoulevardGoogle Maps

The Fairfax Theatre, which debuted in 1930, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monuments since 2021. However, entitlements for Gorby's project predate those designations by nearly 10 years, which allows demolition and construction work to proceed.

Although the new apartments will rise above the formerly low-slung theatre, they pale in size to what is proposed across the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. Hackman Capital Partners is currently in entitlements for the redevelopment of the Television City complex, with plans to add new offices and soundstages to the 25-acre complex.

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