The Inglewood Forum is a multi-purpose arena located southwest of downtown Los Angeles, in the City of Inglewood. It is located at 3900 W. Manchester Boulevard (the corner of Prairie and Manchester Avenues).
1968 photo: LAPL digital photo data base
It is adjacent to Hollywood Park Racetrack.
Hollywood Park Racetrack, Clubhouse
LAPL digital photo collection, photographer unknown
The Forum was built by sports enthusiast and businessman Jack Kent Cooke. Cooke had purchased the L.A. Lakers (NBA) in 1965. The next year Cooke founded of the L. A. Kings (NHL) hockey team. He also owned the Washington Redskins (NFL).
Cooke was determined to build his own sports arena after long disputes with the L. A. Coliseum Commission over use and ownership of the L. A. Memorial Sports Arena. The Lakers had played the previous seven season at the L. A. Sports Arena.
So Cooke set out to build the most beautiful arena in the world for his teams to play.
Ground breaking for the new Forum. In picture; Jack Cooke, Kenneth Hahn
1966 photo by Bud Neuharth, Herald-Examiner Collection. LAPL
The Forum opened to much fanfare in December 1967. Cooke referred to it as the Fabulous Forum. The Lakers would go on to play here for 32 years. In 1999 the Lakers and moved back to downtown and now play at the L. A. Staples Center.
The $16 million Forum was designed by the renown L. A. architectural firm of Charles Luckman (CBS Television City, LAX Theme Building). It has a contemporary classic design which evokes the Roman Forum. The exterior is a perfect circle surrounded by 80 white concrete columns.
The exterior was originally dark orange. The foyers was carpeted in orange, the inside area was carpeted in yellow. There were steep theater style seats. The inner arena is oval shaped. Half the seating was yellow, the other half orange.
The Forum in 1972
LAPL digital photo collection
It was originally designed to seat 16,600 for basketball, 15,000 for hockey and 18,000 for conventions, boxing and stage events.
It had a private club and 20 luxury boxes with close circuit TV, bar, refrigerator, telephone and lounge chairs.
Originally there was parking for 4,000 cars.
In addition to the basketball and ice hockey, the Forum was used for tennis matches, boxing, ice shows, rodeos, soccer, and political events. Holiday on Ice, Ringling Brothers circus, and the Barnum & Bailey circus.
Throughout the 1970's major rock concerts were presented at the Inglewood Forum - even though it was ill-suited for musical performances. For one thing, there was notoriously poor acoustic.
In 1979 Jack Cooke sold the Forum to Jerry Buss along with the Lakers and Kings. Cooke moved East to be near his Washington Redskins.
In 1988 the name was changed to the Great Western Forum. It had this name for 15 years. The building was painted blue.
In 1999 Buss sold the Forum to L. A. Arena Co. who sold it the next year to Forum Enterprises Inc., home of the Faithful Central Bible Church. It is still available for rent for concerts and other events. In 2003 it reverted to it's original name - The Forum.