Monday, March 2, 2009

Reviving Downtown Palaces

Metblogs' Will Campbell toured Downtown's Palace Theatre with the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation this past weekend, and came back with a superb photoset.
As posted before, the Broadway District in Downtown Los Angeles has the largest concentration of pre-WWII movie theaters in America, yet most of them have been left to rot, or turned into storage rooms for cheap knick knack stores.

With the revival of Downtown, and initiatives from LAHTF, Bringing Back Broadway and the Los Angeles Conservancy, some of those Sleeping Beauties are being brought back to life. Call it Palace Revival, as Sam Lubell wrote in the Architect's Newspaper. Both LAC and LAHTF organize regular tours of the theater district, most recommended for a glimpse of the grandeur & décadence that Broadway once was. More info and great photography in Stephen Silverman's book Movie Palaces of Tinseltown.
various theatre photos: 1/2.Will Campbell - 3/4.LA Frog - 5.via Architect's Newspaperper


hollarback said...

If they hadn't been left alone and the area fallen into a slum, then they would have been knocked down ages ago as in other cities. It's a mixed blessing, but their state of disrepair is part and parcel of the overall neglect that saved them.

They are being restored gradually. The Orpheum is a good example. I'm just glad they are still here.You should check out the "last remaining seats" series if you haven't yet. See anything at the Los Angeles Theatre, it's my favourite.

LA Frog said...

Los Angeles Conservancy's "Last remaining Seats" series are really great. We went to see Metropolis @ The Orpheum wih live pianist, it was quite a trip. Btw, the new season starts on May 27: