Just east of Disneyland in Anaheim, you'll find what looks to be a small movie studio, complete with water tower and sound stage.
This is the The Grove of Anaheim, where you can see some of your favorite musical performers in an intimate setting.
This Orange County concert venue should not be confused with The Grove at Farmers Market , which is a popular shopping center that is a good 40 miles away.
In fact, this theatre has gone through a number of name changes.
Back in 1999, it was born as "Tinseltown", a unique dinner theatre which allowed guests to pretend that they were stars arriving at a Hollywood Awards ceremony (complete with paparazzi shooting photos of them as they walked in on the red carpet). Which explains why the Grove was built (at a cost of $15 million) to resemble a movie studio.
Alas, that imaginative concept failed, and they changed the format from fantasy dinner theatre to real-life concerts, and they changed the name to "The Sun". In 2001, they changed their minds again, and it was rechristened as "The Grove of Anaheim".
But at least the Grove has something special going for it: its small size, which allows the ticket holder to get very close to the performers. Compared to arena concerts, it's like sitting in their laps.
It's not every day that you can see Bob Dylan up-close & personal, but he was just one of the performers who has graced the stage here.
The Grove of Anaheim seats just 1,400 people for concerts, or 600 for dinner shows. Which means there's scarcely a bad seat in the house.
And if you're a baby boomer, you'll be dazzled by the opportunity to see some of the biggest acts of the 60's & 70's (as well as more current names) just a few feet away
first year, they booked concerts by Ringo
Newman, Ray Charles,
Hall & Oates,
Nelson, Lynyrd Skynyrd,
the Righteous Bros,
the Little River Band,
the Doobie Bros,
John Lee Hooker,
Weird Al Yankovic,
the Everly Brothers,
Mary Chapin Carpenter,
The Neville Brothers,
the Young Dubliners
Many of these same acts go on to play at the House of Blues in West Hollywood and Downtown Disney, and at larger venues such as the Gibson Amphitheatre and the Greek Theatre, where most of the seating isn't nearly as favorable. (However, recently, the quality of the acts they book seems to have slipped a bit. Let's hope they snap out of it...)
(To read more about what the Grove was like when it was Tinseltown Studios, just click here.)
Getting there: The Grove is located on Katella, in the south parking lot of Edison Field (Angels Stadium), just east of Disneyland and just west of The Pond. From Disneyland, just head east on Katella (about a mile), past State College Blvd., and the "studio" will be on your right (south) side. Look for the water tower. You can't miss it.
[For more information, you can access their official website at: http://www.thegroveofanaheim.com.]
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