This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Poorly organized, reads like a list, needs sections (August 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Grand Olympic Auditorium is a former sports venue in southern Downtown Los Angeles, California. The venue was built in 1924 at 1801 South Grand Avenue, now just south of the Santa Monica Freeway. The grand opening of the Olympic Auditorium was on August 5, 1925, and was a major media event, attended by such celebrities as Jack Dempsey and Rudolph Valentino. One of the last major boxing and wrestling arenas still in existence, the venue now serves as a worship space for the Korean-American evangelical church, "Glory Church of Jesus Christ".
Throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s it was home to some of the biggest boxing, wrestling, and roller derby events.
The Auditorium was leased by the 1932 Summer Olympics Organizing Committee for a very nominal sum sufficient to cover expenses, for the purpose of conducting the training and competitions of the boxing (1932), wrestling (1932) and weightlifting (1932) events of the Games. At the time it was the largest indoor venue in the United States.
It has become somewhat of a landmark for boxing history. Charles Bukowski wrote about the Olympic: "even the Hollywood (Legion Stadium) boys knew the action was at the Olympic. Raft came, and the others, and all the starlets, hugging those front row seats. the gallery boys went ape and the fighters fought like fighters and the place was blue with cigar smoke, and how we screamed, baby baby, and threw money and drank our whiskey, and when it was over, there was the drive in, the old lovebed with our dyed and vicious women. you slammed it home, then slept like a drunk angel."
The 1960s and 1970s were a major boom period for the Olympic, as major boxing and wrestling events were held at the arena every other Friday night, as well as being the home to the Roller Games Los Angeles T-Birds.
The arena closed its doors in the mid-1980s when promoter Mike Le Bell discontinued his weekly wrestling shows due to low attendance figures when the boom of the professional wrestling era began. This was when the wrestling scene shifted from Los Angeles to Dallas' World Class, Minneapolis' AWA, Jim Crockett Promotions Mid-Atlantic/NWA, and Stamford's WWF, now known as the WWE.
It reopened in 1993, but the capacity was reduced from 10,400 to just over 7,300. In the 2000s the Auditorium sat 7,030 for boxing and wrestling, 4,514 for seated concerts, and 7,007 for general admission concerts. Up to 773 seats could be put on the arena floor, which measured 12,100 square feet (110' by 110').
Throughout the early and mid 1990s, the venue was often the host of many large, all-night rave parties, often held outdoors in the back parking lot, as well as inside the auditorium. On New Year's Eve of 1996/1997, a large-scale rave called In Seventh Heaven was being held at the Olympic. Dozens of people had to be taken to the hospital from a suspected overdose of a legal high called Liquid fX, which was being handed out at the party. The event which had already gathered over 10,000 ravers was shut down by the LAPD before midnight, sending much of the crowd into the street, where a melee broke out between upset revelers and riot police.
On July 16, 2000, ECW held its Heatwave pay-per-view at the Grand Olympic Auditorium. It was ECW's first and only West Coast appearance. Prior to the main event, six wrestlers from the LA-based Xtreme Pro Wrestling promotion, who were given front row tickets by promotion owner Rob Zicari, donned shirts of their promotion, which caught the attention of Tommy Dreamer and ECW security and were promptly ejected. A brawl followed in the parking lot between XPW ring crew and the ECW locker room, based on false reporting that Francine had been touched by someone from XPW.
On February 23, 2002, XPW held its Freefall event at the Grand Olympic Auditorium where New Jack tossed Vic Grimes off a 40-foot scaffold.
Wrestling legends such as Jim Londos, Joe Stecher, Ed "Strangler" Lewis, Gus Sonnenberg, Ray Steele, Frank Sexton, Man Mountain Dean, Everett Marshall, Ed Don George, Enrique Torres, Baron Michele Leone, Freddie Blassie, John Tolos, Buddy Roberts, The Sheik, Fritz Von Erich, Gorgeous George, The Great Goliath, Black Gordman, Bobo Brazil, Buddy Rogers, Roddy Piper and Chris Adams competed in the arena at one point in their careers, along with the legendary Lou Thesz, Mil Mascaras and André the Giant. Adams was one of the last big draws at the Olympic before promoters Mike Le Bell and Gene LeBell ended its wrestling cards in 1982. Adams went to Portland afterwards and eventually to Dallas to join Fritz Von Erich's World Class Championship Wrestling, as the sport's top wrestling city shifted from Los Angeles to Dallas and Atlanta before Vince McMahon's WWF reached national prominence.
Until 2005, the Olympic Auditorium was host to many music concerts and shows, as well as boxing and wrestling. The arena is famous for its box office number "RI-9-5171" (213) 749-5171 which is no longer in use.
As far back as 1951, there had been rhythm and blues concerts at the Grand Olympic. [ citation needed ] Black Flag was the headliner for a New Year's Eve show 1981-82.In 1969-70, The Grand Olympic Auditorium hosted concerts by hard rock acts such as Mountain, Jack Bruce, and Ten Years After. It would be used more extensively as a musical venue after 1980. This period in music performances began with a concert by the band Public Image Ltd. which was produced by Punk Rock impresario David Ferguson and his independent CD Presents production company. This was the first concert held at the auditorium since the early 1970s and is credited with beginning the Olympic's reputation for being a notorious Punk Rock venue. Thereafter legendary promoter Gary Tovar and Goldenvoice Productions started booking shows at the venue, with monthly concerts by the likes of GBH, The Exploited, T.S.O.L., SIN 34, Suicidal Tendencies, UK Subs, New Regime, Circle Jerks, Angelic Upstarts, The Dickies, Wasted Youth, Dead Kennedys, The Vandals, D.O.A., Love Canal, Bad Religion, FEAR, M.I.A. and many others.
Famous musical celebrities have also used the Olympic Auditorium for their music videos. Below are a few named who have used the venue.
Rage Against the Machine played their final show in September 2000 at the Olympic Auditorium before their break-up a month later. The concert was filmed and later released in 2003 as a DVD and CD Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium .
In June 2005, the Glory Church of Jesus Christ, a Korean-American Christian church, purchased the entire property. Although the name Grand Olympic Auditorium ceased to exist, many locals and longtime residents of Los Angeles still refer to the property by its former names. In 2007, the arena was given a new facelift back to its original brown coat of paint that was abandoned in 1993 when the arena reopened.
Films with scenes shot at the Grand Olympic Auditorium include:
Aileen LeBell Eaton was a boxing and professional wrestling promoter who was influential in the United States' west coast's boxing and wrestling scene for five decades. In 2002, she was the first woman inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
The Forum is a multi-purpose indoor arena in Inglewood, California, United States, adjacent to Los Angeles. Located between West Manchester Boulevard, across Pincay Drive and Kareem Court, it is north of SoFi Stadium and the Hollywood Park Casino. It is about 3 miles (4.8 km) east of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Opening on December 30, 1967, the Forum was an unusual and groundbreaking structure. Architect Charles Luckman's vision was brought to life by engineers Carl Johnson and Svend Nielsen, who were able to engineer the structure so that it had no major support pillars. This had previously been unheard of in an indoor arena the size of the Forum.
The Nashville Municipal Auditorium is an indoor sports and concert venue in Nashville, Tennessee, which also houses the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. Constructed in 1962, the Auditorium was the first public assembly facility in the Mid South with air conditioning.
2300 Arena is a multipurpose indoor arena used primarily for professional wrestling, boxing, mixed martial arts, and concert events. Located in South Philadelphia under an elevated stretch of Interstate 95, it is named after its address at 2300 South Swanson Street.
Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) is an American independent wrestling promotion. In 1998, John Zandig and five of his students, Ric Blade, T.C.K, Lobo, Nick Gage, and Justice Pain began to run professional wrestling shows in New Jersey and Delaware, showcasing a brand of hardcore wrestling dubbed as "ultraviolence". Ladders, tables, steel folding chairs, thumbtacks, barbed wire, weed whackers, light tubes, panes of glass, and fire are all common elements of "ultraviolent wrestling" in CZW. The company filled a niche for hardcore wrestling fans that had been left open by the folding of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). CZW established themselves as the leading American hardcore wrestling promotion at the ECW Arena with their Cage of Death 3 show in 2001, the year ECW folded.
Hardcore Homecoming was a series of professional wrestling events which were advertised as a reunion of talent from the defunct Extreme Championship Wrestling promotion. The tour was booked and promoted by Cody Michaels, Shane Douglas and Jeremy Borash in 2005. The event footage was released on DVD with a companion documentary of ECW's history called Forever Hardcore.
The Sportatorium, located in downtown Dallas, Texas, was a barn-like arena used primarily for professional wrestling events. The building, which stood at 1000 S. Industrial Blvd, or the intersection of Industrial Boulevard and Cadiz Street, had a seating capacity of approximately 4,500.
Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW) was an American independent professional wrestling promotion in Los Angeles owned by Rob Zicari. Zicari appeared on shows as the on-camera owner under the name Rob Black alongside his wife Lizzy Borden. The promotion focused on hardcore wrestling, and under Zicari, it had connections to the Los Angeles porn industry as real life owner of Extreme Associates. From 2000 to 2002, XPW held an annual deathmatch tournament called Baptized in Blood.
The Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center is a convention center located in Long Beach, California. Built on the former site of the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium; the venue is composed of the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach Arena and the Long Beach Performing Arts Center.
Universal Wrestling Federation (UWF) was an American professional wrestling promotion owned by Herb Abrams from 1990 to 1996. The company aired nationally on SportsChannel America, and later on Prime Ticket and ESPN2.
The Mayo Civic Center is a multi-purpose convention center and event facility in Rochester, Minnesota.
The Bill Graham Civic Auditorium is a multi-purpose arena in San Francisco, California, named after promoter Bill Graham. The arena holds 8,500 people.
Victor Grimes is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), Xtreme Pro Wrestling (XPW), and the World Wrestling Federation (WWF).
Arena México is an indoor arena in Mexico City, Mexico, located in the Colonia Doctores neighborhood in the Cuauhtémoc borough. The arena is primarily used for professional wrestling, or lucha libre, shows promoted by Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL). The building is called the "cathedral of lucha libre". Arena México has a seating capacity of 16,500 when configured for professional wrestling or boxing events. The current building was completed in 1956, built by Salvador Lutteroth, owner of CMLL at the time and is the largest arena built specifically for wrestling. The building was used as the venue for the boxing competition at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and throughout the last half of the 20th century hosted several large boxing events.
HHG Corporation, doing business as Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), is a defunct professional wrestling promotion and media company that was based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The promotion was founded in 1992 by Tod Gordon and in 1993, Scarsdale, New York native and businessman Paul Heyman took over the creative end of the promotion from Eddie Gilbert and rechristened the promotion from Eastern Championship Wrestling to "Extreme" Championship Wrestling.
NWA Hollywood Wrestling was a professional wrestling promotion headquartered in Los Angeles, California in the United States that promoted professional wrestling matches throughout Southern California. It was founded in 1958 as the North American Wrestling Alliance, a member of the National Wrestling Alliance. It broke away from the NWA in 1959 and was renamed Worldwide Wrestling Associates in 1961. In 1968, it rejoined the NWA and adopted its final name, remaining a member until closing in 1982.
The Fillmore Auditorium is a concert venue located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Denver, Colorado. Since opening in 1907, the venue has hosted numerous functions both private and public. It holds the title of the largest indoor venue for general admission seating in Colorado. The venue also holds an exclusive dual Minors with Adults Liquor License in Colorado for a private venue; it allows minors and consumers over 21 to stand together, rather than having to be separated by their ages. In 2006, local newspaper Westword awarded the venue the "Best Place to Run into a Hippie turned Yuppie". The venue also houses an office for the Bill Graham Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides music grants.
Reseda Country Club was a nightclub and multi-purpose venue located on Sherman Way in Reseda, California.
Heat Wave (2000) was the sixth and final Heat Wave professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). The event took place on July 16, 2000 from the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California.
War Memorial Auditorium is a 2,110-seat multi-purpose arena and convention center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.