expand Maybe you came for the band everyone was talking about (The Byrds) or for the one no one had ever seen (The Fraternity of Man). Whichever it was, when you finally arrived, the Valley Music Theatre might have, by itself, been worth the trip. After all, this wasn’t on the ‘strip’, not even in Hollywood. It was on Ventura Boulevard, far out in Woodland Hills. The VMT was a massive dome cleverly ‘built’, in 1963, by pouring concrete over one of those rounded hills. When all that dirt was dug out, 2,865 seats were put in to surround a stage at the very center. It was a beauty. The theater’s angels were Bob Hope, Art Linkletter, and Cy Warner. The doors opened in July, 1964 to The Sound of Music, followed by 18 other musicals, 3 comedies, a drama, and concerts, too. In fact, that year, the seats were filled more than 600,000 times(!) and the stage was taken by Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Carson, Don Rickles, Woody Allen, Ray Charles, Art Linkletter, Robert Goulet, and Mitzi Gaynor – but, also, by Ike & Tina Turner, Peter, Paul & Mary, B.B. King, Lou Rawls, Three Dog Night, Jim Croce, and the Spiral Staircase. Even the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and The Doors - all of them, and all together. Can you imagine that? Well, it happened, and that was in February, 1967, only several months before the Oracle Benefit… one of last of the best. Bottom line, even with such beautiful bookings, audiences had been drawn elsewhere. Eventually, the Jehovah's Witnesses moved in and, now, they, too, are gone. As is The Valley Music Theater, itself.