From music video and movie location to modern-day prom venue

The history of The Majestic Downtown

Photo taken from OPHS website

Photo taken from OPHS website

Prom is taking place this year in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) at The Majestic at 650 Spring St. on May 20, 2023. With its beautiful Beaux-Arts Revival architecture, this stunning building has an appropriate name and a rich historical background. The iconic venue was built by architects Leonard Schultze and S. Fullerton Weaver, who designed the Millennium Biltmore Hotel down the street, the Waldorf-Astoria in New York and the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. 

The Majestic first opened in 1924 as the Hellman Commercial Trust and Savings Bank and shortly after became the national headquarters of Bank of America (1930-1972). In the early 2000s, it was the home of SB Spring Lofts, one of the hottest places to rent an apartment in DTLA. The Majestic today is preserved as a landmark building by the National Register of Historic Places.

According to The Majestic’s website, the landmark building features an “Indiana limestone facade, crystal chandeliers, high hand-painted Italian ceilings, arched windows, sculpted marble columns, and original marble floors.” Its interior consists of more than 30,000 square feet of party space.

The Majestic retains the classic look of a 1920s elegant bank. It has been featured in multiple films, like “Ghost,” “L.A. Story,” “Se7en,” “The Dark Knight,” “The Prestige,”“The Mask” and even the most popular TV shows like “American Horror Story,” “The Good Place” and “Criminal Minds.” 

In “Spider-Man 2”, it’s where Doc Ock/Dr. Octavius (Alfred Molina) tries to rob a bank vault while fighting with Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire). Adam Sandler applies for a bank job in “The Wedding Singer.” The fancy bridal shop in the comedy “Bridesmaids,” is where bride-to-be Maya Rudolph and friends Kristen Wiig, Ellie Kemper, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Melissa McCarthy have an uncomfortable reaction to Mexican food. In “13 Going on 30”, Jenifer Garner saves a dud office party by teaching her Poise Magazine colleagues how to do the “Thriller” dance, according to The Majestic’s website. 

In the music video world, it was a primary shooting location for Usher’s “DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love,” Yo Gotti’s “Down in the DM,” and “Dinero” with DJ Khaled and Cardi B.  

The complex also includes an underground entertainment/nightclub venue called The Catwalk, which features, according to The Majestic’s site, “boiler room decor” and “programmable lighting with an Antari haze machine, multi-use TV wall, individual spot lighting and interchangeable color schemes.”

“I know DTLA really well,  I checked out the venue on Instagram, and it looks like an awesome place for Prom,” says senior Madeline Sean.

Downtown Los Angeles is a long way from Oak Park High School – nearly 40 miles away, in fact – but there’s nothing quite as “majestic” near our neighborhood. OPHS students are excited to check out the historical site while spending an unforgettable night in the city of stars.