BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., May 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The eagerly awaited Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts will debut with a star-studded, black tie Inaugural Gala, Thursday, October 17, presented by internationally renowned fashion house, Salvatore Ferragamo. The evening celebrates the transformation of an entire Beverly Hills city block into a vibrant new cultural destination with two distinct buildings; the historic 1934 Italianate-style Beverly Hills Post Office and the new 500-seat, state-of-the art Goldsmith Theater.
Wallis Annenberg, Jamie Tisch, Brad Pitt and Robert Redford will co-chair the evening which will unveil the 2.5 acre center. The centerpiece of the event will be a performance on the Goldsmith Theater stage created exclusively for the Gala, followed by dinner and dancing. The Inaugural Gala highlights a series of opening events including a dedication ceremony, community open house event and exclusive showing of Salvatore Ferragamo's Spring/Summer 2014 collection.
"From the start, we wanted our new center for the performing arts to be a celebration of great and innovative architecture," said Wallis Annenberg. "That's why I'm so pleased that we were able to restore the iconic Beverly Hills Post Office, even as we made the new Goldsmith Theater a monument of modern design; a place where LA's future embraces LA's past. I'm grateful to Ferragamo for being part of this extraordinary gala opening, and I'm excited about sharing our new center with the entire city and community."
"My father, Salvatore Ferragamo, arrived in America almost 100 years ago with dreams of creating some of the world's most beautiful shoes, settling in Hollywood, where he opened his first shop," said Ferruccio Ferragamo. "Known for its worldwide dedication to the arts, the House has deep roots in the Los Angeles community. Salvatore Ferragamo is pleased to support today the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills with the sponsorship of the inaugural gala in October 2013."
"The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts will be a vibrant, unique cultural destination and we are thrilled to open our doors and share our dream with the city in October," said Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Executive Director, Lou Moore. "We have a world-class venue in a world-class city and now an iconic partner, Salvatore Ferragamo, to celebrate this remarkable evening. Together we will honor the rich history we both share in this legendary city and celebrate our future."
The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts will present and produce a breadth of theater, music, dance and family programming in each subscription season, showcasing the finest artists from around the world.
The landmark Post Office which opened in 1934 is noted for its WPA murals and is listed on the prestigious National Register of Historic Places. The then Honorary Beverly Hills Mayor, movie star and political satirist Will Rogers, personally lobbied Washington, DC which resulted in a stunning Italianate Renaissance-styled Post Office. Artisans, craftsmen and construction crews have been working since groundbreaking to preserve, restore and adapt the landmark building. The majestic marble Grand Hall is being transformed into the lobby and the vast interiors, once used for mail sorting, are being adapted into theater school classrooms, a flexible 150-seat studio, and cafe and gift shop. The buildings will be surrounded by a sculpture garden, promenade event terrace and intimate courtyards. The design was led by award-winning architect Zoltan Pali, principal and founder of SPF:architects.
SOURCE Salvatore Ferragamo