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The McCadden Place Theatre began January of 1980 as a dream in the minds of two New York actors, but was fulfilled in the hearts of two unique individuals. Jay Donohue and Joy Rinaldi had both been performers on the “other side of the Mississippi”, and both curious to explore other possibilities in an ever expanding creative world. After some tireless times on film and television sets, both longed to be back on the live stage.
They began to plan a theatre in which they could have a more direct participation and the satisfaction of acting a role for more than ten minutes at a time. The goal was to bring Los Angeles more quality productions with as much diversity in plays as there are in actors to be found to act the parts.
The two began working to make the dream a reality. The first effort was to seek out a place to house their theatre. They found a graffiti-laden furniture warehouse at 1157 North McCadden Place in Hollywood. There was no question the place needed work. But with good friends, materials and supplies scraped together through donations, a little elbow grease, a few six-packs of the beverage of the day, you are witness that dreams do come true.
In July 1991, the McCadden Place Theatre was gutted by a rather unfortunate fire. After a full year of rebuilding, the theatre reopened with many improvements, including an updated grid, and raised ceiling, and a balcony on-stage.