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Located on the Miracle Mile in the Mid-Wilshire district, the El Rey is indeed something of an architectural miracle. Designed by the noted architect Clifford A. Balch in 1936, the art deco venue boasts a Streamline Moderne design, with sleek contours and a classically elegant exterior and interior. For more than 60 years, it was used mainly as a movie theater, but in 1994 it was reconfigured as a live-music concert hall. Since then, the room, which holds about 700 people, has hosted such diverse musicians as Iggy Pop, Neko Case, Radio Birdman, Wanda Jackson & Jack White, Buzzcocks, the Dresden Dolls, Wire, Emmylou Harris, Mission of Burma and the Avengers. An upstairs VIP balcony looks down over the grand ballroom, which is sided by plush red walls and illuminated by several gigantic glass chandeliers. The all-ages venue usually features standing-room admission, with a few booths located along the sides. The ballroom has a full bar, and another full bar is based in the venue's fancy art deco lobby, which includes a dramatic staircase that leads to the balcony. Street parking, plus paid parking in a lot across the street.
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