What do you do after you become one of the largest online tech companies in the world? You open a traditional physical performance space. That’s exactly what YouTube has done with its new 6,000 seat YouTube Theater in Inglewood, California. YouTube Theater was built from the ground up in a 10-year partnership with Hollywood Park, which is a nearly 300-acre sports and entertainment destination on the site of a former racetrack.
The new venue features state-of-the-art sound and lighting, private club areas and premium amenities in the hopes of attracting a wide range of events from conferences, to award shows, to eSport events, to live performances. Seating is scalable from 3,500 to the full 6,000, which is a nice size for any performance.
According to the company, “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.”
You’d expect live-streaming to be a must for a YouTube venue and it’s certainly included here. All the basic infrastructure for live-streaming is built-in “so performers can live-stream their events to billions of YouTube viewers around the world.”
The venue officially opens on September 3 with the Hollywood Black Comedy Festival. YouTube is also expected to soon announce its inaugural “artist residency” for the space, which supposedly will feature “one of today’s most popular music groups.”
Southern California is blessed with many great performance spaces already, including The Forum (which has been remodeled especially as a concert space) right down the street. The nice thing about YouTube Theater is its size, which is half to a third as large as the biggest venues, that keeps things somewhat intimate. It should be interesting to see exactly what kind of events happen here, and exactly what YouTube does with them.
You can see more in the video below.