The Boy Who Lived is about to put an end to the 41 year old venue that has hosted everything from live concerts, award shows, and even a pope.
When it was announced that Universal Studios Hollywood would get its own Wizarding World of Harry Potter, exactly like its sister park in Orlando, Florida, the first question on everyone’s mind (other than how soon could we line up?) was, “where were they going to put it?” If you’ve never been to LA or, specifically, Universal Studios, there isn’t a lot of unclaimed land in Universal City. But once the decision was handed down by the LA City Council and the county Board of Supervisors, the Gibson Amphitheatre’s fate was sealed. Depending on how you look at it, it’s a sad day for live music fans, but a wonderful day for fans of the boy wizard, who have been waiting patiently for the attraction to be built.
According to the LA Times, the Adventures of Curious George play land is also on the chopping block, which will be mourned by toddlers for as long as their attention spans last (ooh, shiny). As the new Hogwarts castle is built in its new home, NBCUniversal has plans for other areas of the park and CityWalk as well. Over the next few years, possibly decades, they intend to build at least 2 new hotels, upgrade the movie and TV studios with new sets, create a riverfront park with a bike path, and expand CityWalk in ways not yet detailed. Although, as cool as the Waterworld stunt show is (not kidding), I’m surprised it’s not getting wiped from the map as well, as it sits directly next to the Gibson Amphitheatre.
As the venue is expected to close in September of this year, concerts and events taking place after that date will likely be moved to other locations. Don’t worry, that Jonas Brothers show is probably still happening there in August. Take a deep breath. Everything’s going to be okay…
Image from Universal Studios Orlando, by Doug Kline.