For more than two decades, the mile-long stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood known as Theatre Row has served as home to the city's densest plot of live theaters, drawing audiences to a diverse array of stages run by scrappy companies.
On busy nights, spectators can see works by new playwrights, revisit classic dramas or take in comedy shows. Weeknights often find the area filled with students attending acting classes and auditions.
But in the last several months, an array of challenges has mounted, and many observers believe Theatre Row's existence — and the cultural viability of the larger neighborhood — is threatened.
Rising commercial rents have...