Opening Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 12 - 5pm | Closed Monday & Tuesday

CANCELLED -“18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium” Opening Celebration | Free

Due to inclement weather, the Opening Celebration is cancelled.

18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium is an immersive exhibition that encompasses both floors of the museum and cultural center and remembers characters from a disappearing world, from heroes to villains, connecting the venue to seminal events and cultural movements throughout L.A. history. Gathered from multiple collections the exhibit features distinctive objects, relics, and images, such as embroidered boxing robes, hand-stitched lucha masks, race-worn roller skates, illustrations, photography, film, oral histories, boxing posters, wrestling programs, punk rock flyers, art and more. The exhibition runs through May 12, 2024.

You are invited to attend the Opening Celebration of our newest exhibition with an afternoon of activities that are sure to delight and inspire. All events are open to the public. View the exhibition on both of LA Plaza’s temporary galleries, located on the first and second floors. Limited capacity … arrive early!

18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium Spotlight Tours
12 to 5pm | Free
Les Navegantes, LA Plaza’s volunteer museum guides, will lead visitors on excursions through the exhibition. Limited capacity … arrive early!

Live at the Olympic Auditorium! – Legendary Event Posters | Drop-In Art Workshop
12 to 4pm | Free | LA Plaza Room 306
The Olympic Auditorium hosted an array of thrilling events: from boxing, lucha libre matches, and roller derby, to punk rock concerts and música en vivo! What event do you imagine attending at this iconic event venue? Use specially designed stencils to unleash your imagination and design your very own event poster. Inspired by the rich history of this iconic community space in Los Angeles, this art workshop brings the past to life through screen printing. Workshop facilitated by: Ni Santas, an all womxn of color collective working to write their history through art, with responsibility to create socially conscious visual narratives. Ni Santas envisions creating a safe space by cultivating a community of womxn, free of judgement to nourish emerging artists. Limited capacity … arrive early!

Plática: 18th & Grand and the Mexican-American Experience
1:30 to 2:30pm | Free | Room 406
The Olympic Auditorium was the people’s venue, a place where Angelenos came together to enjoy intense, visceral sports and entertainment. It had a particularly strong connection to L.A.’s Mexican-American community who made up a majority of the fighters, skaters, and fans. Join L.A. Times columnist Gustavo Arellano, world champion boxer Carlos Palomino, wrestler Mando Guerrero, L.A. T-Bird roller derby star Honey Sanchez, along with guest co-curators Gene Aguilera and Steve DeBro, as they discuss the intersection between the Olympic Auditorium and the Mexican-American experience. Limited capacity … arrive early!

Signing by Steve DeBro and Gene Aguilera
2:30 to 3:30pm | LA Tienda
18th and Grand: The Olympic Auditorium is based on guest co-curator Steve DeBro’s Emmy Award-nominated documentary “18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium Story,” and inspired by the books of fellow guest co-curator, boxing author Gene Aguilera, including “Mexican-American Boxing in Los Angeles.” Steve will sign BluRays of the documentary and Olympic Auditorium tee shirts, and Gene will be signing his books. Limited capacity … arrive early!

Plática: The Olympic Auditorium and the Legacy of Aileen Eaton: Women In Charge
3:30 to 4:30pm | Free | Room 406
Olympic promoter Aileen Eaton became business manager of the Olympic Auditorium in 1942, methodically rebuilding the business of what was then a money-losing arena. Over her nearly four decades in charge, she became the most powerful woman in combat sports, influencing the careers of Muhammad Ali and wrestler Gorgeous George and building boxing champions such as Mando Ramos, Carlos Palomino and many others. LA Plaza CEO Leticia Buckley moderates a conversation with women in the sports and entertainment worlds who have also found success in male dominated fields, including Christy Castillo Butcher, Senior VP of Hollywood Park; Lisa Fancher, founder, and owner of Frontier Records; and Lucha VaVOOM co-founder Rita D’Albert. Limited capacity … arrive early!

Intermission – 5 to 6pm
The museum and outdoor campus will be closed.

18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium Spotlight Tours
6 to 8pm | Free
Les Navegantes, LA Plaza’s volunteer museum guides, will lead visitors on excursions through the exhibition. Limited capacity … arrive early!

RESCHEDULED TO SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10! KCRW Summer Nights with LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes featuring Jungle Fire
6 to 10pm | Free | Outdoor Stage
Meet the KCRW crew at LA Plaza for a brand-new Summer Nights! With sets from KCRW DJ José Galvan (6 to 7:30pm & 8:45 to 10pm) and Jungle Fire (7:30 to 8:45pm), food, beer garden, silk-screen printing, vendors and after-hours museum access until 8pm. Hailing from Los Angeles, Jungle Fire’s diverse musical and cultural backgrounds are a direct reflection of the landscape of our city. This local TropiFunk juggernaut pulls its influences from the music of legends such as Irakere, Ray Barretto, James Brown, Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango (just to name a few) while creating a melting pot of Afro-Caribbean and West African rhythms with heavy breakbeat funk that is as authentic as it is explosive to see live– did someone say dance party?

Onsite Silkscreening with Dewey Tafoya, Master Printer, Self-Help Graphics & Arts
6 to 10pm | Free | Patio
Exclusive 18th & Grand: The Olympic Auditorium-inspired design t-shirts available. Limited quantity.

Food and drink will be available: Tirzah’s Mexic-Terranean,  Savage Tacos,  and Rice Ball of Fire

Image: Bob Willoughby (1927-2009), Ecstatic Crowd, Big Jay McNeely Concert Olympic Auditorium, c.1951, Black and white photograph, Courtesy of Bob Willoughby Estate, ©The Bob Willoughby Photo Archive. Used with permission, all rights reserved 

August 20, 2023 |  12:00 pm *