The Paley Center will soon be vacating its Beverly Hills digs, four years sooner than planned. The bicoastal org, which also maintains a headquarters building in New York, confirmed to Variety that it will move out of its Beverly Hills location in mid-2020.
The Paley Center has occupied the location since 1995, when it opened a new building designed by L.A. architect Richard Meier on the property — located on Beverly Drive at South Santa Monica Boulevard.
But Paley doesn’t actually own the land where its building sits. A group of seven trusts, dating back to families that purchased the property in the 1920s, had leased it to Bank of America, which in turn subleased it to the Paley Center (then known as the Museum of Television and Radio) in 1995. In 2008, the Paley Center extended the term of its lease until Feb. 28, 2024.
In 2014, New York real estate investment firm Jenel Management Corp. purchased the 26,500-square-foot property for nearly $47.3 million. The owners will now buy out Paley’s lease early.
“I think Paley’s intention is to stay in the building, and the buyer’s intention is to hold the property as a passive real estate investment,” John Bertram of Savills Studley, who represented the buyer in the deal, told the Los Angeles Business Journal at the time. “But when Paley leaves, it’s going to be converted to high-end retail with much higher rents.”
Per its 2013 financial statements, the Paley Center pays approximately $1.2 million annually on its lease.
“We are not going anywhere,” Paley Center CEO Maureen Reidy told the Los Angeles Times in 2015, a year after the sale. “We simply have a new landlord.”
Indeed, the Paley Center’s Beverly Hills location frequently holds industry events, such as newsmaker panels, and in recent years has showcased various TV-related exhibits, such as one sponsored by Warner Bros. TV.
But in recent years, the ubiquity of video clips on the internet meant that few people utilized the Beverly Hills museum for its original intent — as a place for users to view classic TV clips or listen to old radio shows.
And the location’s theater is too small to hold the Paley Center’s marquee event, Paley Fest, which attracts large crowds every spring with several nights of screenings and panels with TV producers and casts. That event is now held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Although the physical museum is going away, The Paley Center isn’t downsizing its events presence in Los Angeles. The org has already put together a full slate of events for 2020, including its “Paley Live” and Paley Media Council franchises. The org is now finalizing where those events might be held.
And Paley Fest is on tap, as usual, and this year will be held March 13 to March 22, 2020, at the Dolby. The first events announced include nights devoted to Starz’s “Outlander,” ABC’s “Modern Family” and Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek,” as well as “A Special Evening With Dolly Parton,” centered on Netflix’s “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.” More program selections will be announced in the new year, and pre-sale tickets are available starting Jan. 14.
In a statement, The Paley Center said: “The Paley Center for Media is thriving in L.A., and while our lease in Beverly Hills is ending, our commitment to presenting entertaining and educational programs in Los Angeles is stronger than ever. To that end, we are excited to share that we will be hosting a wide array of ongoing programs and events at the Beverly Wilshire, DGA and the Dolby Theatre, and as in prior years, we will announce our initial slates of programs in January.”
“In the coming years we will continue to offer the public ongoing programs that explore media’s impact on our society and culture, and on the industry side, we will continue to gather the esteemed Paley Media Council to hear from some of the most renowned leaders in media. Our iconic tentpole events, PaleyFest LA and The Paley Honors, will continue to be held at the Dolby Theatre and the Beverly Wilshire, respectively.”