Apple's Tower Theater: 'I almost feel like I'm standing in the Vatican' (video)

From ABC7's "Apple CEO Tim Cook greets customers at new store in downtown LA's converted Tower Theater" posted Friday:

A new Apple store opened its doors inside the converted Tower Theater in downtown L.A., with CEO Tim Cook among the company officials greeting customers.

See also iMore's "Why can't anyone else build retail outlets like Apple builds Apple Stores?"

Friend-of-the-blog Bart Yee's take: If it really was this easy, some would do it.  But most don’t have the $$$$, will, sense of aesthetics, and most importantly, attractive products that would make a store like this a retail success.  That’s the risk that holds all competitors back.


  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    Bart Yee’s comments are spot-on, but I believe the inherent factor that differentiates Apple from all other retailers is the fact Apple is investing in the local community. Few other retailers I know take this approach in development of their physical locations, the “brick & mortar” stores. Other retailers may make a community grant, an endowment or some other civic contribution but they do not do it through historical restoration architecturally in one of their brick & mortar stores. I suspect we may start seeing other prosperous retailers taking Apple’s approach. I know that my community’s historical preservation society would welcome such partnership as we have a myriad of downtown and other community decaying buildings that have rich historical community value but we lack the funds to restore them.

    June 26, 2021
  2. Fred Stein said:
    Agree Bart and Jerry.

    Two years after the MacBook Air intro, Sony launched Air knock-off (a while ago, eh), I visited their store and Microsoft store in Stanford Shopping Center. Both Sony and Microsoft were empty. Both closed their retail operations, despite being iconic brands. Sony’s location is now a Tesla showroom.

    Sidenote: That brand new Sony MacBook Air knock-off was priced identically to the Air, but slightly LESS spec-wise. People still assert Apple has premium pricing.

    June 26, 2021
  3. Fred Stein said:
    More: Apple did not “invent” retail as an experience.

    As usual, they arrived later and gave us the best retail experience.

    June 26, 2021
  4. Fred Stein said:
    One more:

    Apple retail stores add to local real estate and sales taxes. They employ local people at competitive pay plus stock options, in sharp contrast to Amazon. Apple never seeks concessions from local communities for bringing their stellar brand. Apple appears to work hard, and successfully, to achieve diversity in their store employee composition.

    And you feel GREAT when you’re there.

    June 26, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      Well, I remember going to Apple Store #2 (Tyson’s Corner VA) shortly after it opened. It was definitely a different experience. A couple years later, a Microsoft store opened in the same mall, I always felt sorry for those employees standing around with no customers.

      Then an Apple Store opened in Reston, where we lived. At the beginning, that too was a great experience. I knew at least one of the ‘genius bar’ people from a previous Apple specialist store. Service there was great.

      June 26, 2021
      • David Emery said:
        But over the years, the experience changed. The ‘geniuses’ got younger and snottier. I almost got thrown out of the Reston store when my wife was there for an iPhone with a failing battery. “Our software is always right” said the punk (I bought my first computer well before he was born and was using a Mac when he was in diapers. As a software developer, I know the limits of software diagnosing hardware problems.)

        My most recent experience was in the Manchester NH store, where I went to pick up an iPad I ordered on-line. I didn’t appreciate the employee treating me like one of his 20-something buddies. Nor did I feel particularly welcomed, it all felt too mechanical. Greeter looked up my order, handed me off to the 2nd guy, who went to fetch my product. I thought about looking at some of the stuff on display (M1 Mac), but decided that it was not the same welcoming environment. It was more about “pushing me to their marketing flow.”

        Color me -very disappointed- with how the stores have evolved.

        June 26, 2021
    • S Lawton said:
      Apple doesn’t seem concessions? Apple’s $88 Million Tax
      And when did Apple guarantee a $15 minimum for all employees including retail?

      June 26, 2021
    • David Drinkwater said:
      [This was a reply to Fred’s “one more”, but it detached.]

      Amazon also does not own its brick and mortar Fulfillment Centers (FCs). Intentionally. They rent them, so that they can turn them on a dime. I do not know about Headquarters, or HQ2, but I know from a friend inside Amazon, whose job is essentially to create FCs, that Amazon doesn’t own them.

      So that might change “community engagement”.

      I do quite enjoy shopping at Whole Foods Markets when I do so. They are certainly aesthetically above average. That counts for something.

      We can argue all we want that they (Amazon) don’t show “profit”, but the do generate good cash flow. Shares purchased in 2014 certainly haven’t hurt my portfolio. Maybe I should just stick with my “A” stocks.

      June 26, 2021
  5. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Just another architectural innovation by Apple that “gets it!” Even more amazing though than the restoration and the preservation of the historic foundation of this building, are all of the supportive consumers who utterly defy the antitrust label being imposed on Apple by the politicians and Epics of the world.

    June 26, 2021

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