LAX Theme Building, Los Angeles

4.3
The Theme Building is an iconic Space Age structure at the Los Angeles International Airport. Influenced by "Populuxe" architecture, it is an example of the Mid-century modern design movement later to become known as "Googie".
The distinctive white building resembles a flying saucer that has landed on its four legs. The initial design was created by James Langenheim, of Pereira & Luckman, subsequently taken to fruition by a team of architects and engineers headed by William Pereira and Charles Luckman, that also included Paul Williams and Welton Becket.
The appearance of the building's signature crossed arches as homogeneous structures is a design illusion, created by topping four steel-reinforced concrete legs extending approximately 15 feet above the ground with hollow stucco-covered steel trusses. To counteract earthquake movements, the Theme Building was retrofitted in 2010 with a tuned mass damper without changing its outward appearance.
The original design for the airport created by Pereira & Luckman in 1959 had all the terminal buildings and parking structures connected to a huge glass dome, which would serve as a central hub for traffic circulation. The plan was eventually scaled down considerably, and the terminals were constructed elsewhere on the property. The Theme Building was subsequently built to mark the spot intended for the dome structure, as a reminder of the original plan. Initially, the restaurant on top rotated slowly, giving the visitors a 360-degree dining experience. However, it was later made stationary.
Arrange to visit LAX Theme Building and other attractions in Los Angeles using our Los Angeles road trip site.
Source
Create an itinerary including LAX Theme Building
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

LAX Theme Building Reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
10 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • When travelling from LAX the Theme building is instantly recognisable and still looks space age and a great piece of architecture, worth locating for a viewing.  more »
  • every second Saturday of the month, you can access the viewing plateform on top of what used to be the restaurant. Great view of the landing aircrafts on 24 R. keep in mind that you will be behind a....  more »
Google
  • As a Former Executive Chef of this iconic Restaurant ...I'd like to say BRING BACK ENCOUNTER
  • Very interesting historical architecture building, with not so good directions to visit it

Plan your trip to Los Angeles

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Popular things to do in Los Angeles

4.4
Duration: 8 hours
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
4.6
Duration: 1 hour
5.0
Duration: 2h 30 min

Side trips from Los Angeles

4.2
Duration: 5h 30 min
4.1
Duration: 1 hour

Hidden gems in Los Angeles

4.7
Duration: 2 hours
4.5
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
3.9
Duration: 2 hours

Historic Sites in Los Angeles

See all ›
2.6
Duration: 30 minutes
4.4
Duration: 30 minutes
4.1
Duration: 2 hours
5.0
Duration: 2 hours

Museums in Los Angeles

See all ›
4.4
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.6
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.8
Duration: 2 hours

Nearby attractions in Los Angeles

4.8
Duration: 4 hours
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
5.0
Duration: 2 hours
4.9
Duration: 4 hours
4.7
Duration: 1h 30 min
3.6
Duration: 2 hours
4.8
Duration: 2 hours
4.7
Duration: 2 hours