Wednesday, March 20

A&E’s Guide to Westwood


Westwood Village is home to a variety of arts and cultural hotspots, such as The Treehouse (above) where students can catch live music in a friendly party scene. From the latest movies to independent music and theater, Westwood has a niche for any arts lover. (Austin Yu/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Westwood Village is home to a variety of arts and cultural hotspots, such as The Treehouse (above) where students can catch live music in a friendly party scene. From the latest movies to independent music and theater, Westwood has a niche for any arts lover. (Austin Yu/Daily Bruin senior staff)


Going to school at UCLA means being exposed to all the arts and entertainment that Westwood has to offer. From its movie theaters and playhouses to its large concert halls and coffee shops, Westwood boasts a heavy influence on culture in Los Angeles. Whether you’re returning or an incoming student, Daily Bruin A&E; is here to help spark the fire – or rekindle the flame – for the arts in UCLA’s own college town with our Guide to Westwood.

Royce Hall

(Yin Fu/Daily Bruin)
(Yin Fu/Daily Bruin)

One of the most noticeable landmarks on campus, Royce Hall serves as a leader in hosting performances from artists within and outside the Bruin community. The Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA has released its 2014-2015 calendar,which ranges from concerts by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra to a discussion with Star Trek legend Leonard Nimoy.

In addition, Royce Hall serves as a public venue for big-name artists, such as Coldplay. Royce Hall’s ability to showcase dance, spoken word, music, theater and UCLA’s long-standing student-run culture nights only breaks the surface of Westwood’s A&E; scene.

– Brendan Hornbostel

The Improv Space

(Daily Bruin File Photo)
(Daily Bruin File Photo)

Sandwiched in a shady nook past In-N-Out Burger and before Bella Pita is a storefront that is almost claustrophobically small – inside are just a stage and a few rows of chairs. This hole-in-the-wall hosts UCLA’s own student improvisational comedy team, Rapid Fire Improv, in addition to a rotating cycle of improv teams of students and adults alike. The Improv Space also holds open-mic nights to the public for both improv and stand-up comedy and offers multilevel classes in improv as well as sketch writing. Don’t hesitate to join in for a much-needed laugh during midterms.

Natalie Green

Flavors of Westwood

It’s hard to even know where to begin with the restaurants and cafes that line the streets of Westwood. But somehow we’ve begun to touch the surface of where to visit throughout the year by mapping it out in the Daily Bruin’s Flavors of Westwood online feature. In addition to all of the deliciousness a hungry student can find at the locations listed, one might even stumble across a great new study spot in Westwood, away from the crowded pods of Powell Library and the Charles E. Young Research Library. Some personal favorites for spots that are savory and study-friendly include the Novel Cafe and Elysee Bakery and Cafe or, for a coffee shop vibe without the crowds, try Espresso Profeta or Boba Loca.

– Natalie Green

Oh the theater, the theater

(Miriam Bribiesca/Daily Bruin)
(Miriam Bribiesca/Daily Bruin)

Sometimes the 10-minute walk into Westwood from campus seems daunting, let alone the bus trip or drive to get to Los Angeles’ fine playhouses. For those who prefer to stay close to home but still want their fill of arts and entertainment, let North Campus ease your worries. Neighbors to Melnitz Hall are the Freud Playhouse and Macgowan Hall’s Little Theater, which hold a variety of shows, student-run and those presented by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. With the intimate size of the playhouses, you’ll feel as if you’re a part of the production.

– Natalie Green

Kerckhoff Coffeehouse

(Daily Bruin File Photo)
(Daily Bruin File Photo)

Not only does the Kerckhoff Coffeehouse provide us with our much-needed cups of coffee, but it also offers us its own concert series put on by the Undergraduate Students Association Council’s Cultural Affairs Commission. The sounds of bands, a cappella groups and solo artists fill the air and travel outward to the textured walls of this intimate space, perfect for a break from schoolwork. With its tastefully rusted furniture and stained-glass windows, the coffeehouse is also a comfortable place to study. But you might want to skip it during finals week because the seats get filled quickly.

– Gail Acosta

Regency Village Theatre

(Daily Bruin File Photo)
(Daily Bruin File Photo)

If Hollywood is the center of the American film industry, the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood may be the center of movie premieres. Opened in 1931, the theater has become ever popular in recent years as the premiere’s red carpet venue for films such as “Mission: Impossible,” the “Harry Potter” series, “Twilight,” and “The Lego Movie.” The Regency Village Theatre will see yet another red carpet premiere with “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in August and “Dolphin Tale 2.” If you want the full Hollywood film experience, Westwood is sure to keep rolling out the red carpets.

– Brendan Hornbostel

The Fowler Museum

(Brandon Choe/ Daily Bruin senior staff)
(Brandon Choe/ Daily Bruin senior staff)

Students who want a taste of diversity and culture can flock to the Fowler Museum at UCLA, host of the annual “Fowler Out Loud” concert series. The series stages bands, dancers and cultural performance groups – many of which are student-based. Among all of the music outlets on campus and in Westwood, it is a favorite of mine because of the peaceful and artful aura permeated by the artwork within the museum. One might feel as if he or she is traveling the world at this spot – one day witnessing a Japanese taiko drum group and the next listening to the folk sounds of Chicano musicians.

– Gail Acosta

The Treehouse

(Austin Yu/Daily Bruin Senior Staff)
(Austin Yu/Daily Bruin Senior Staff)

Walk up Strathmore Drive on a Thursday or Friday night and you will almost always hear live music coming from a unique apartment complex called the Treehouse. Inside, the spiraling walkway will lead you to a room where UCLA’s own student bands and DJs perform. Boasting a lively and tightly packed atmosphere, the venue is a weekly hot spot for musicians and anyone curious to see what the UCLA music scene has to offer.

– Gail Acosta

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