The new structure will resemble the architecture of the Holy Land for the purposes of the play performed there. The previous amphitheater on the site was built in 1920, but a brush fire in October 1929 destroyed that wooden structure. The religious-themed Pilgrimage Play, written by Christine Whetherill Stevenson, was performed every summer between 1920 to 1941. During WWII the theater was deeded to Los Angeles County and converted into dormitories for servicemen. After the war, the play resumed until 1964, at which time it was legally ordered to close due to its religious content. In the early 1970s, the amphitheater was renamed after John Anson Ford, in honor of his dedicated and successful campaign to revive the facility. Looking down into the site of the future Pilgrimage Theatre, revealing the Cahuenga Pass in the background.