William and Kate Promote British Talent in LA

The royal visit to Los Angeles includes a black-tie dinner to showcase 42 up-and-coming British names in the entertainment industry.

Part of the royal couple's weekend swing through Los Angeles will take them to the Belasco Theater for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts "Brits to Watch" dinner.

Extra: The Royals' LA Itinerary

Prince William, president of BAFTA, is expected to speak at the $25,000 per-table event, the purpose of which is to promote British entertainment-industry figures in Hollywood.

Examples of 42 British up-and-coming artists' work will be showcased throughout the evening and given to attendees from studios, networks, talent agencies and video game companies.

The Belasco Theater reopened in March after 30 years of abandon. A three-year-long renovation process has restored the former theater turned church turned back to theater to much of its original glory.

"It was a labor of love," said Preston Gaspar, director of special events for the theater.

Gaspar said floors needed to be leveled, a new dance floor installed, electricity and plumbing restored all the while working with the city to honor the building history. The main room, with its huge overhead dome, has maintained all of its original architecture.


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While he could not comment on how or why the Belasco was chosen to host the event, Gaspar said it could be that the venue parallels the event.

"I can only hypothesize that the event is about being young and upcoming, and it’s a young venue in one of the most exciting neighborhoods in LA," he said.

The opulent theater also plays to the fantasy developed and portrayed in the city's defining film industry, said Trudi Sandmeier, director of education for the Los Angeles Conservancy.

"The theater represents the heyday for Los Angeles and buildings downtown, in general," she said.  "It (was created as) a tribute to the growing role of Los Angeles as the center of entertainment and culture."

Not only will the royal's trip to the Southland celebrate the city's iconic industries, it will also inspire a defining Los Angeles characteristic: traffic.

One weekend before the dreaded "Carmegeddon," when stretches of the San Diego (405) Freeway will be closed, Angelinos will have to endure a smaller set of roadblocks, literally.

The following streets will be closed for the royal visit:
- June Street between Fourth and Sixth avenues (Friday)
-11th Street between Broadway and Grand (Saturday)
- Hill Street between 12th and Olympic (Saturday)
- Kohler Street between Seventh and Eighth streets (Sunday)

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