Without further ado, YouTube Theater takes the stage
Last week, using a giant pair of gold scissors, YouTube and Hollywood Park officially opened YouTube Theater for business at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The new 6,000 seat performance venue located at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California, will host a variety of live entertainment events including concerts, theater performances, award shows, esports competitions, community gatherings, conferences, and more.
“YouTube is the world’s largest virtual venue connecting artists and fans, and we realized that YouTube Theater would have the ability to blend the physical and the digital together in new and exciting ways,” says Angela Courtin, YouTube’s marketing VP of brand, media, culture, and creative.
YouTube Theater was built from the ground up in a 10-year partnership with the team at Hollywood Park, a nearly 300-acre sports and entertainment destination. Its unique features focus on interactivity, including a large-scale digital YouTube icon outside the venue and a digital wall inside. Both utilize motion-sensor technology so fans can interact with the screens, and it can be programmed with content related to events.
“Sporting event? We can program relevant creator content so the experience is extended beyond just what’s happening in SoFi Stadium next door,” Courtin says. “Esports competition? We can feature gaming creators on these digital screens. If you can dream it, we can do it through these cool new digital components.”
YouTube Theater also includes livestreaming capabilities built into the infrastructure so performers can livestream their events to billions of YouTube viewers around the world.
“Being in Southern California, we wanted to have both indoor and outdoor spaces, and, because we’re YouTube and a platform for artistic expression, having creative canvases throughout the theater was also key,” Courtin explains.
While this partnership has been years in the making, helping to launch a venue alongside our partner during a pandemic made it a more challenging process for the teams to navigate.
“We really had to be thoughtful, flexible, and patient,” Courtin asserts. “Safety has been key throughout. We’ve been very strict in following city COVID protocols, both during construction all the way through to the ribbon-cutting. We’ll continue to follow them to ensure the safety of anyone who comes to YouTube Theater.”
The first event is scheduled to kick off in September, and the team is continuing to work with Hollywood Park on what YouTube programming will look like. In the future, they hope to use it to celebrate YouTube creators, extending content from the platform into the real world to help creators grow their businesses, and as a place to bring our company events to life.
As for Courtin, she also wouldn’t mind one day seeing Chris Stapleton or Kacey Musgraves up on the YouTube Theater stage: “As a Texan, who ran to the coasts as quickly as I could out of school, I am clearly coming back to my country music roots.”