Say goodbye to an old titan of '90s electronics sponsoring a downtown L.A. music venue, and say hello to the new one.
The Nokia Theatre, part of downtown's popular (if a bit Potemkin) L.A. Live complex, has been rechristened as the Microsoft Theater.
Go ahead, make jokes about the upcoming AOL Dial-Up 20 Free Hours Trial Disc Theatre. But the rebrand will be a notable change for the 7,100-seat venue, which, though unloved, has been part of the revitalization of regular major live music in downtown Los Angeles.
Since the theater opened in 2007, more than 3.5 million fans have attended over 700 events at the venue. The first concert under the new era will be a set from the Indian composer A.R. Rahman on Wednesday.
"L.A. Live and our collaboration with AEG represents amazing opportunities to employ cutting-edge technology with world-class entertainment for thousands and thousands of fans," Jeff Hansen, general manager of Microsoft Brand Studio, said in a statement.
Microsoft also will be renovating some interior AV equipment and public spaces at L.A. Live as part of the rebrand. The plaza at L.A. Live will hereby be known as Microsoft Square, which might make Clippers owner Steve Ballmer feel a little testy.