Sixty eight years ago, Frank Sinatra was on stage on the grand opening night of a soon-to-become famous Hollywood Palladium. From that night forward, a long line of artists graced its stage, including salsa classics like the La Sonora Matancera, Celia Cruz, the Fania All-Stars and El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico.
The venue became the place to be, and therefore, nearly anyone who has lived long enough in Southern California has a story to tell about a fabulous night once had at the Palladium.
Mine was only eight years ago or so, when I attended a Pochy y su Coco Band concert and, as an exciting first for me, made it backstage to take pictures of the band, thanks to the pull of Abelardo de la Pe??a Jr., the editor of LatinoLA.com, who allowed me to cover the event. Sure, by that time the Hollywood Palladium was only a shadow of what it had once been, although it still had the largest dance floor I had ever seen and it was still possible to visualize the splendor it once held. But the Palladium continued to deteriorate until finally a broken pipe and a flood brought about its complete close down.
The good news are that last year Live Nation signed a contract to renovate and run the Palladium, and the work is now done. Like so many other landmarks in Hollywood, the Palladium has undergone "reconstructive surgery" and for all accounts is now as good as new, with fresh bars and restrooms, light and sound systems, refurbished chandeliers, and more. Last month, Jay-Z was on stage on its rebirth night.
It is now time to bring salsa back to the Palladium!
On Saturday, December 13th, Eddie Palmieri (pictured) and his orchestra La Perfecta II will perform, accompanied by Herman Olivera, Tito Rojas, and Los Angeles orchestras Son Mayor and Charanga Cubana. The dance party is in honor of KXLU's Alma del Barrio radio show's 35th Anniversary.
General admission is $49.50. Tickets can be purchased here.