Universal CityWalk, Los Angeles’ landmark urban entertainment complex that ushered in a generation of similar open air destinations, undergoes an elaborate revitalization as the pop cultural mecca embraces change to remain contemporary and fresh.
For over 20 years, CityWalk has boosted the city’s rhythm through a foundation built on providing memorable entertainment experiences. With a series of dramatic enhancements currently underway that includes the introduction of new restaurants, shopping experiences, visually aesthetic design features and a state-of-the-art movie theatre renovation, the spotlight shines brightly on CityWalk as it continues to resonate as one of L.A.’s most influential lifestyle centers.
This significant undertaking coincides with Universal Studios Hollywood’s recent epic transformation in which 75 percent of the world-class theme park was completely reimagined.
“This is an exciting time as Universal CityWalk undergoes a transformation of its own,” said Larry Kurzweil, President of Universal Studios Hollywood. “For over two decades, CityWalk has been the go to place for locals and out-of-town visitors alike to enjoy a variety of entertainment, and we’re excited to bring these significant enhancements to our guests as we continue to invest in our world-class destination.”
Introduced in 1993, CityWalk was the prototypical one-stop leisure destination that redefined the mall of yesteryear as a vibrant multi-sensory outdoor complex. With grand neon signs and larger-than-life decorative sculptures complimenting the diverse offerings, this whimsical street was reflective of L.A.’s eclectic landscape and distinguishing characteristics. Hailed as a revolutionary achievement at its inception, CityWalk was constructed in collaboration with visionary architect Jon Jerde to mastermind the quintessential urban California street, set amid a theme park and a movie studio, and sandwiched between palm trees and asphalt.
For film buffs, CityWalk has long been the epicenter for fans seeking an environment that matches the excitement of their favorite blockbusters. CityWalk’s revitalization will elevate the Universal Cinemas to new heights as the 18 screen and IMAX 3D theatre updates with the most technologically advanced sight and sound achievements. A complete refurbishment of the split level structure will include the installation of deluxe recliner seats to all 18 theaters—the equivalent of those found in Hollywood screening rooms—making every seat, the best seat in the house.
An all-new dedicated and stylish second level bar-lounge, flanked by the upper level theatres, will add a new dimension to the space as it blends high-tech elegance with chic sophistication for casual pre- and post- movie-going fun.
Each redesigned theatre will be fully upgraded with Christie RGB Laser projection Dolby Atmos immersive surround sound and equipped with Christie Vive speakers for optimal audio performance. The installation of new, state-of-the art screens, perforated to enable 360 degree audio will complement the overall enhancements.
The iconic, dancing water fountain situated at the heart of CityWalk recently got a splashing make-over from the designers behind the creation of the Las Vegas Bellagio hotel’s spectacular water art. This new, modern and impressive display incorporates over 230 individual power jets projecting streams of water choreographed into the air, complimented by programmable colorful LED lights for round-the-clock entertainment.
Universal CityWalk also adds four-star dining and shopping to its roster of best-in-class offerings. A sampling of the newly-introduced and soon-to-open palate pleasers include, LudoBird™ restaurant featuring world-renowned and award-winning Chef Ludo Lefebvre famous fried chicken, and Blaze Fast Fire’d Pizza, the fast-casual and artisanal pizza place. Meizhou Dongpo, a highly regarded modern restaurant in China will open Dongpo Kitchen this summer serving up authentic Sichuan and traditional Chinese fare in its first U.S. casual dining concept.
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville will bring the musician and entrepreneur’s celebrated Caribbean-themed restaurant, club and music enclave to Universal CityWalk, in its first-ever Los Angeles-based locale. Voodoo Doughnut will take a bite out of CityWalk when the sweet, savory and generally out-of-this-world Portland, Oregon-originated donut masters open its first-ever California location. Both venues, slated to open this fall, will join existing eateries including Wolfgang Puck Bistro, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Hard Rock Café Hollywood, Pink’s Hot Dog, Smashburger and Buca di Beppo, to name a few.
CityWalk shopping gets a running start with the grand opening of Shoe Palace, as the shop, renowned for selling top tier recreational shoes and apparel, joins a sampling of such retailers as Abercrombie & Fitch, Fossil, Skechers, Francesca’s Collections, Guess Accessories, Hot Topic, Dodger’s Clubhouse, The Raider Image, and Lush Cosmetics.
As a premier entertainment hub, CityWalk’s popular “5 Towers” concert stage has helped to further establish the destination with its intimate, outdoor music venue, delivering spirited concert performances from some of today’s most influential artists, including Justin Bieber, CeeLo Green, Carly Rae Jepson, Ludacris, Tyrese Gibson, Wiz Khalifia, 2 Chainz and Good Charlotte.
From A-list stars to A-list hopefuls, CityWalk has also been at the forefront of helping budding artists find their voice through its successful Street Performers program, a platform for emerging artists to showcase their talents to a wide range of visitors from across the globe. In typical Southern California fashion, where aspiring artists migrate from all parts of the country to find fame and fortune, CityWalk’s prolific Street Performers program has sustained since the beginning, evolving over time as a leading public stage for up-and-coming musicians to hone their craft before a live CityWalk audience, be it tourists, locals or talent agents.
More information on CityWalk’s is available at www.CityWalkHollywood.com. Regular updates can also be found on CityWalk’s Twitter @CityWalkLA, Facebook-Universal CityWalk Hollywood and on CityWalk’s Instagram @CityWalkLA.
Universal Studios Hollywood is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter TM” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff™,” Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor rollercoaster. Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM.” The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s flagship attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television studio where they can also experience such authentic and immersive thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.” The destination also features the Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, including the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue.