May 10, 2004

Ricardo Montalban's Theater Opens

LOS ANGELES - Celebrities gathered for the opening of the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, owned by a group that advocates greater roles for Hispanics in Hollywood. The theater is a "dream come true," said the 83-year-old actor, who has long sought a home for Nosotros, the nonprofit theater group he founded in 1970.

The audience Saturday included Hector Elizondo, Robert Goulet and Valerie Harper.

The 1,200-seat theater, the largest theater in the country bearing the name of a Hispanic artist, is the latest remodeling of a historic Hollywood building dating to the 1920s. Most recently named the James A. Doolittle Theatre and previously the Huntington Hartford, it is co-owned by Nosotros and a nonprofit foundation.

Nosotros — "Us" in Spanish — set goals of increasing employment for Hispanics in the industry, improving the skills of actors and attracting new talent. Its original board included Desi Arnaz, Vicki Carr and Anthony Quinn, and it became a training ground for actors such as Edward James Olmos, Salma Hayek, Lupe Ontiveros and Lorenzo Lamas.

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