United Methodist Church
Northwest Corner of Highland Franklin
Hollywood, CA 90048
At Hollywood’s United Methodist Church, located at 6817 Franklin Avenue, where Highland meets the Hollywood Hills, space in their 1930’s style gymnasium has been used regularly since the 1980’s for film auditions, rehearsals and location shooting. Les Meserable, Cats, Evita, and, through, November, the Radio City Rockettes find the wooden floor good for their soles ( for the protection of dancers feet and legs, the resilience of wooden floors in a must). Founded in 1909, its neo-gothic sanctuary (copied from Westminster Hall in London), interior courtyards and a classic exterior have been used as prime to the Future I II, Sister Act starring Whoppi Goldberg, and That Thing You Do, starring Tom Hanks. Television shows such as Days of Our Lives, The Golden Girls, and Murder, She Wrote, have also used its facility as a backdrop.
With this support, the church whose congregation has declined steadily through the years, is able to supplement its funding for its more churchly activities. This fall the congregation celebrates its 90th anniversary; it built its church 70 years ago in 1929.
According to Jonathan DeForest, Co-Chair of Communications and Archives, there are other small bonuses also.
“When Sister Act was filmed here, in 1992 when our sanctuary choir performed all the songs in the movie, Touchstone Pictures released the music [ rights] to our sanctuary choir to use”…
The Hollywood United Methodist Church is also home of the Hollywood Court Theater, a 77-seat playhouse. Theatre companies in residence include First Stage, Circle X, and most notably, Grupo De Teatro Sinergia.
Founded in 1987 by church members, Grupo De Teatro Sinergia ( translated ‘Theater Group of Synergy’) is the first theatrical company in Hollywood to offer original productions in Spanish and has been featured in La Opinion.
“I first started as a Church Custodian,” explains Founder and General Director Anibal Aprile. “When I found out about the theater space, - I asked to use it… We started two people, then three, then many… We are very successful now, every month there’s a new play and … we’re now become bilingual.”