Nokia Theatre is out, Microsoft Theater (and Square) are in

microsoft-sign-dtla.jpgSign being changed in DTLA: Juan Ocampo/NokiaTheatre

If you ask me, one of the cheesier things of these times is naming important places in a community after a not-very-famous person who happens to die or write a check — or rebranding a city landmark or well-known place when the desire for some more naming rights cash comes along. But so it goes. The Nokia Theatre downtown at LA Live will henceforth be called the Microsoft Theater (different spelling.) Microsoft is phasing out the Nokia name across the brand, so it makes sense — for them. But it points up how temporary these names are for us.

Worse, AEG will attempt to get people to call the standing area outside the theater Microsoft Square. Until the next change, anyway.

Of course, Microsoft is "incredibly excited" about the opportunity to pay AEG for the naming rights and buy an entry on the map of Los Angeles. Full release.

“We are proud to partner with one of the world’s greatest and most recognizable brands,” said theater president Lee Zeidman, who is also president of Staples Center and the L.A. Live entertainment district. “As technology continues to transform the live entertainment business, I couldn’t think of a better partner to help us create an even better experience for our fans, both on the stage and throughout Microsoft Theater.”

Microsoft and AEG plan to work together on a refurbishment of the theater beginning this fall, incorporating “cutting edge technology” in the project, officials said.

The outdoor plaza adjacent to the theater will be named Microsoft Square.

“We’re incredibly excited about deepening the relationship between Microsoft and AEG around this Los Angeles entertainment landmark,” according to Jeff Hansen, general manager of the Microsoft Brand Studio. “L.A. Live and our collaboration with AEG represents amazing opportunities to employ cutting-edge technology with world-class entertainment for thousands and thousands of fans.”

Quick test: How many people off their top of their head know the current name of the theater in Hollywood where they hold the Oscars ceremony? Or the current name of Grauman's Chinese?

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