Garden & Grounds


photograph by Sean Teegarden 

In the midst of an urban expanse, the blossoming gardens of The Velaslavasay Panorama offer an oasis of lush, tropical foliage and an escape from the city's everyday toils. The ever-evolving grounds are on view to astonish and educate the public.

Central features of the garden are the variety of intoxicating flora, carnivorous plant life, and poisonous euphorbia within the garden's exquisitely wrought gazebo - a cozy, shady refuge and vantage point from which to observe the immensity of the Panorama's thriving greenery.



The Pavilion of the Verdant Dream is a mist and meditation grotto which guests can enclose themselves in on scorching LA afternoons. The Pavilion's design draws inspiration from garden scenes described in traditional Chinese Opera, which the Velaslavasay held a series of in 2011, entitled Pursuing the Verdant Dream.

Lastly, the Isle of Penglai is a central waterfall reminiscent of the island home of the Eight Immortals from Chinese folklore. With exotic banana tress and a collection of fine succulents, the grounds are a calmative pleasure for the sense as well as a delight to behold.



photograph by Larry Underhill

The Velaslavasay Panorama is located inside the historic Union Theatre, a neighborhood landmark built in 1915 and located in the West Adams district of Los Angeles. The Union Theatre has enjoyed many incarnations over the years; in addition to being a movie theatre and play house of silent-era femme fatale Louise Glaum, it has hosted church meetings and was headquarters for the Tile Layers Union Local #18 for over 30 years.

Though ongoing research into the history of the Union has yet to uncover the exact year of its grand opening, based on  research in film yearbook and city directory listings we now know that the theatre was being built in 1915. We hope that further research will yield additional information about the Union Theatre's early years. Throughout its long history it has gone through a variety of owners and names, including being part of the local Fairyland chain in the late twenties, and serving as a venue for acting classes and small theatrical productions in the thirties. In 1939, it was re-configured into a neighborhood cinema and operated as the Union Theater until 1953.

The Velaslavasay Panorama is proud to inhabit such a special place and will strive to continue the Union's tradition of bringing the public quality entertainments while fulfilling our panoramic destiny. The Velaslavasay Panorama also produces events, such as film screenings and presentations that vary from Automata's toy theatre productions, illustrated lectures, and silent film programs to craft circles and other experimentations.