We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeff Loeb and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeff, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Almost ten years ago we decided to survey every customer who would offer their thoughts regarding what they valued about our theatre. That active listening taught us that our brand was way more than just the shows that played our stage. Everyone loves a good musical and we have learned there is something special about being able to say “I saw it at the Hollywood Pantages.” So many people have made coming to the Hollywood Pantages a part of their regular lives with some families coming for over six decades. If we hadn’t stopped to ask, we would have just focused on the shows and missed the opportunity to talk about date nights, family reunion nights, girls night out, graduation celebrations and all of the wonderful moments that people come to celebrate while watching a show. It is in those moments that we form our memories around our favorite places. It’s been a true joy to watch the Hollywood Pantages become a place where so many people have made the theatre part of their own Hollywood history.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since I was a little kid I was always drawn to the performing arts and found any way to perform. I play a number of instruments, I like to sing, and even went to college to be an actor. My first professional arts administration job while in college was working for a producer who kept telling me I shouldn’t be a performer. I worked for him for three years and refused to acknowledge that perhaps performing wasn’t my strongest career choice. A few years after college I found that I was always drawn to the business of getting shows up and running. I loved the paperwork, the budgets, the contracts, and the beauty when all that work melted away into an amazing night of theatre. It energized me when I could take care of all of the stuff no ones else liked. Contracts are not sexy nor is hiring a plumber to fix a broken toilet, but when you know what is needed and take care of it quickly, everyone gets to go back to raising the curtain on a great show.
I am asked how I learned to do this job. I grew up in the Midwest and was taught at an early age that “early is on time and on time is late”. I look back at my first jobs and remember being told “give Jeff the keys, he’s always here”. Some of what I learned was because I was the only one around and offered to handle a task. Did I always do it right? No. Did I eventually figure it out, most of the time yes. I had great mentors who gave me so many opportunities, great guidance and the ability to try my ideas.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love creating iconic memories for friends and so often it involves live performance, great meals, and being outside. I would start up at Summerland Beach near Santa Barbara for a day at the beach. We’d spend a few hours body surfing, hiking the beach with all of the dogs and horses that are on the beach and then head south to Ventura for some of the best fish tacos. After a day at the beach we’d probably need a day to recover so the next day we’d start out with brunch at Nat’s Early Bite in Sherman Oaks. I love their turkey hash and their strawberry banana smoothies. Then to keep with the recovery theme I’d smoke some tri-tip, grill some vegetables, and hang in the back yard playing guitar and sing a bunch of Van Morrison songs. If they have never seen a show at the Hollywood Pantages, we would suit up and have dinner across the street at Wood & Vine (two words – pork shank) and catch Wicked or Hamilton. Then to mix it up the next day we’d catch a day game at Dodger Stadium in the all-you-can-eat right field seats. Nothing beats a Dodger dog while watching the Dodgers pummel the Giants. One of my favorite summer memories is to bring a picnic basket filled with Trader Joe’s treats and a few bottles of wine while listening to the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl and their fireworks spectacular. The last night would be a night listening to Peter Frampton or Heart at the Greek Theatre.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My wife is the foundation to my success. We have four kids and Cristen has grounded me in both family and a can-do attitude. Our family motto is “we’re the Loebs, we can do it”. No matter the problem (like kids needing to be in 4 places at once for sports), we figure it out. No problem is too large when the family works together.