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Hollywood stars to help Emerson College celebrate opening of Los Angeles campus

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  February 26, 2014 07:00 AM

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Exterior Shot at Dusk from West Sunset Blvd - Without ELA Sign.jpg

(Iwan Baan)

Larry David, Sofía Vergara, Maria Menounos and a host of other TV and movie celebrities will help Emerson College celebrate the grand opening of its new satellite campus in Hollywood.

The stars are scheduled to attend a ticketed celebratory gala on March 8 to kick-off a week-long series of events marking the unveiling of Emerson Los Angeles, an $85-million, 10-story, 100,000-plus square-foot building at 5960 West Sunset Boulevard featuring classrooms, offices, 217 dormitory beds and parking.

Many of the big name guests set to appear at the gala are Emerson alumni: including Menounos, Jennifer Coolidge, Max Mutchnick, Denis Leary, Ann Leary, Henry Winkler, Vin Di Bona, Norman Lear, and Doug Herzog.

Others expected to show include: Tom Bergeron, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, L.A. councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, and Emerson trustees and administrators.

“Emerson LA will provide our students with an unparalleled hands-on experience that only living in this great city can offer,” said a statement from college president M. Lee Pelton.

Check out photos of the new Emerson LA campus here.

“The opening of this magnificent building on Sunset Boulevard makes a statement that Emerson is committed to the City of Los Angeles and to the entertainment and communication industries for the long term," he added. "The work we do here will solidify Emerson College’s reputation as the world’s leading institution of higher learning in communication and the arts.”

The facility, designed by LA-based architect Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects, opened to students at the start of the current semester. It is home for an internship program the college launched 27 years ago that has students study in the city known as the heart of the entertainment industry.

The program previously ran out of rented office building space in Burbank, and many students lived in a nearby apartment complex.

The new environmentally-sustainable building will seek LEED Gold certification and features wired classrooms, an open-air screening and live-performance space, a Dolby Surround 7.1 audio post-production suite, a 4K screening room, computer labs, mixing suites, a planned green screen motion capture stage and other amenities.

The project broke ground two years ago after it was delayed when a recording studio across the street sued over concerns about construction noise disrupting their business.

“In addition to expanding our existing undergraduate program, we will also be offering workshops, lectures, and other events to Emerson alumni and the community at large,” said a statement from Emerson LA founding director Kevin Bright, who was the executive producer of the hit TV show “Friends.”

“We intend to be fully engaged with the City of Los Angeles and specifically the Hollywood community. Community service will be a big part of the new ELA,” he added.

Students will participate in at least two community service days each semester, campus officials said.

The college said it is also plans for Emerson LA to house academic offerings beyond just the internship, including arts and communication school, post-graduate, certificate and professional study programs.

The college said a series of free events open to alumni, parents and friends will be held in the days after the gala. For more information, visit www.emerson.edu/ela.

Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Looking for more coverage of area colleges and universities? Go to our Your Campus pages.

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