The Jewel in the Crown, the Spanking New, Renovated Hollywood YMCA Reopens

Ashley Jude Collie
3 min readAug 10, 2023

Finally. We have. Our YMCA back.

One of the City of Angels’ most beloved and oldest institutions, has reopened its doors, having closed during the pandemic, The Hollywood YMCA, located right in the heart of the old City, at 1553 N. Schrader between Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards, is over 100 years old. But it now has a sparkling new look inspired by a multi-million dollar renovation campaign, and complete with more services like indoor parking and renovated facilities including: state-of-the-art equipment; new locker rooms for men, women and universal family; completely refurbished pools and renewed pool equipment; a new cardio fitness area overlooking the courtyard; and a renewed and revitalized “group” exercise studio, among other brand new things.

Refurbished pools
New equipment

Indeed, the fancy new YMCA is housed in an architecturally elegant and historic building that has been used by the likes of old Hollywood including Tarzan’s Johnny Weismuller and infamous mobster Bugsy Siegel way back, to contemporary Hollywood professionals (producers, actors, writers, directors, and musicians) and their families who rub shoulders daily with ordinary, hard-working LA denizens.

Mark Dengler (L) Executive Vice President & COO for all the 27 LA Y locations

Moreover, Mark Dengler, a former Hollywood Y director who would work out with his members and is now Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer for all the 27 Y locations in Los Angeles, insightfully says, “The Hollywood Y is important to us because it is a bellwether for our effectiveness in working with the community. Hollywood has always been this mystical place for so many, and the Hollywood Y humanizes the experience and makes it real for so many. Although our members come to improve their health, what they leave with is a whole lot more including socialization and the building of the community.”

Additionally, this writer, who has been an overall YMCA member since his teens and also been a Hollywood Y member for almost 30 years, can confirm that Dengler is correct when he notes, “The place looks amazing and we are ready to welcome the community, again.”

Ecstatic Merton Harris (foreground)

Furthermore, Merton Harris, District Vice President who oversees the Hollywood Y, relates that, “Our surrounding community and current members are excited to have us back after three years — the first few days back was evident of this excitement.” And, his overall message to the community is: “I would like to thank the community for your support of the Hollywood YMCA over the past three years, and moving forward. We have missed you so very much, and are so excited to see so many of you return with smiling faces on our reopening. The Hollywood team and I are looking forward to coming together to continue to build community inside and outside of the Hollywood Y’s doors. The way that we can make the greatest impact is with all of you. Come say ‘Hello,’ and give us the opportunity to shake your hand and share how much we’ve missed you.”

Drop in at the new Hollywood YMCA at 1553 N. Schrader Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90068. And check out its website, and Facebook pages.

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Ashley Jude Collie

Award-winning journalist-author-blogger for Playboy, TO Star, Movie Entertainment, HuffPost, Hello Canada & my novel REJEX (Pulp Hero Press) is on Amazon.