Levitt Pavilion Pasadena Has Become a Bandshell of Echoes

Once popular summer series of free family concerts attracting large crowds seems gone forever

Published : Friday, June 21, 2019 | 4:49 AM

If it wasn’t yet clear, the Pasadena Pavilion for the Performing Arts will not be offering a 17th consecutive summer concert series this year.

“We hope to restore ongoing seasonal entertainment at the Pavilion in the future, but at this point nothing further has been determined at this venue,” said City spokeswoman Lisa Derderian Thursday. “We are meeting with some interested parties but no commitments on either end at this point. It’s a beautiful venue and we hope to restore a concert(s) series there in the near future.”

Home to the short-circuited Levitt Pavilion summer series of music, the renamed venue is located in Pasadena’s Memorial Park. The bandshell was built under the auspices of the legendary, Depression-era federal Works Project Administration, which employed thousands of Americans across many occupations.

The summer series of music performances were launched by New York clothier-cum-philanthropist Mortimer Levitt. He died in 1995 and his foundation subsequently gave $250,000 to the City for the revamping the bandshell.

The foundation also promised $100,000 a year, for five years, in matching funds. Levitt’s daughter, Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch engaged the project on the condition that, when the five-year period was up, the local organization — Levitt Pavilion Pasadena — could stand on its own thereafter.

In 2017, the groups parted ways. The local organization claimed the Levitt group wasn’t coming up with enough money and that it was too hard to meet its requirements for accessing funds. But Hirsch for her part had continued to prop up the group financially for years after the agreed-upon five-year support deadline.

Levitt Pavilion Pasadena faltered in 2018 and, given the City’s announcement, it would appear nothing constructive regarding its renewed use has occurred.

The organization itself has not tweeted about holding any events since Aug. 23, 2017.