The Best Big Rooms in America


El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles

El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, California
CC Image courtesy of DB's travels on Flickr

After almost 60 years as a first-run movie house in Los Angeles' Miracle Mile theatre district, the El Rey reinvented itself as a live-music club in 1994 – and hired Bob Dylan to christen its new stage with five shows. The club maintains its classic touches, including a giant staircase, ornate lobby and VIP balcony lounge, but the grand ballroom is simple, narrow and great for shows. Indie-rock agent Tom Windish calls the El Rey and the equally historic Henry Fonda Theatre "the best mid-sized venues in LA." Coming up this year: Dale Earnhart Jr. Jr., Shuggie Otis and, befitting its location, actor Jeff Bridges' band.

Capacity: 770


Fun Fact: At one point in its history, the space served as a flophouse.

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