There are few places in Los Angeles that impress most of us nowadays. And no, it’s not just because we’re jaded Angeleno’s, it’s because it’s all about being bright, shiny, and new in this city synonymous with fame and fortune.
And while bright, shiny, and new never gets old (seriously, I live for that new hotel smell), being generic does. And when I tell you that we found a hotel so cool, so unique, and so captivating that it made my curious little heart skip a beat, I truly mean it. Because this vaudeville theater turned hotel is anything but generic. And that’s exactly what makes it a place that everyone needs to know about.
Here’s exactly why I’m loving the Hotel: Kim Sing as one of Los Angeles’ best kept travel secrets.
It opened in 1926 as the Alpine Theatre, a vaudeville theater just a few blocks north of Sunset Boulevard in LA’s Chinatown.
In 1943 it’s rumored that the intersection in front of the theater is where the Zoot Suit Riots – the series of violent attacks by white American servicemen against Mexican American youths and other minorities – started.
But in the late ‘80s the theater closed its doors and was soon forgotten.
That is, until Harrison Ford’s son, Willard, came along. In 2000 Ford bought the theater and transformed it into its current state as a 3,500 residence (it was also home to Ford’s furniture and fashion showroom). Doing a lot of the work himself over the course of five years, Ford is the reason the space has turned into what it has.
Keeping three out of four of the brick walls, adding steel support beams and keeping the original bow truss ceiling, the space still resembles a theater if you look closely enough. Or maybe just look at the marquee out front, which is the original, if it’s that theater feel you’re looking for.
Then, in October 2016, for a mere $3.3 million, Indra & Company, the company that currently owns the hotel, bought it from Ford.
Fast forward to June 2017 and Katy Perry took over the entire space for her Big Brother-esque stunt, installing cameras throughout the house, erecting a meditation dome, and inviting media in to watch her every movefor a three day timespan before her last album was released.
Today the cameras are gone, but you can rent the hotel, which is actually more like a house rental with four beds, three rooms (complete with Casper beds), four bathrooms, one fully functional kitchen, two theater rooms (one with a massive projector), an indoor/outdoor speaker system, a washer and dryer, and a private driveway complete with a very secretive and private garage door entrance.
And right at the junction where Silver Lake meets Downtown meets Chinatown, the area is just as cool as the space. Mexicali tacos sits just steps away (this is the same chef that opened Salazar in Frogtown, one of the city’s most happening Mexican restaurants), and a coffee shop is set to open any day, along with a full restaurant concept.
And, oh yeah, the nightly rate starts at a mere $990.