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Another link with great photos:
The whole site is amazing, poke around.
Don, I must have been there while you were, I took some photos of the guy taking photos!
Having problems posting, so I’ll continue. The guys said the building was damaged and dangerous, even the facade, but they were committed to salvaging at least that. The stagehouse has been swathed in blue tarps for several years; today they were removing them and revealing huge gaping holes at the top of the walls. I have some photos, and will go take more tomorrow if I can.
I haven’t really been following what’s going on with this theatre, but I know they’ve been debating over future use. Took some photos of it in February. Walked by it today and the scaffolding was down, there was a chain link fence across the front, but the face of the building was exposed. I could see the old “Alumni Bar” sign and entry on the right, and the old “Box Office” sign on the left of the marquee. You could see the underside of the marquee with its recessed can light fixtures (probably dating from the 70’s.) You could see a pigeon-poop-stained poster case with the remains of a poster for a movie titled “The Wild Wild West.” The guys behind the fence said they were salvaging the facade but demolishing the rest of the building.
You beat me to it, vokobab! But I agree with you, it sounds like the theatre has been demolished and they will build on the site.
Just got the Mary Henderson book about the New Amsterdam in the mail from Amazon.
The Detroit Fox is an almost-identical twin of the St. Louis Fox. Both are magnificent.
This theatre must the the one on the northwest corner of Crenshaw and Adams. It’s visible from the front lobby of Phillips Barbecue.
Just drove past the Fox in Inglewood today. How striking it is, even like that. Oh, I wish I had 1.8 Mil!
We took a drive today that started out at Crenshaw and Adams at Phillips Barbecue, and then meandered down Crenshaw to Manchester where we drove past the Academy Theatre and then into Inglewood where we drove past the Fox.
I was struck by all the buildings along Crenshaw that looked like they once were theatres. i’m going through the site now to see which ones I saw.
Cam, great photos.
Wow, Ken, what great photos!
I work just a little bit north of where this was, and it’s amazing how NOTHING is there. If I didn’t know that the POP and the theatres and the Municipal Auditorium had been there, there is nothing there now that would indicate they had ever been.
The La Paloma was well known in the 70’s as a place to watch surf films. Here’s an article that gives a glimpse of the experience:
“First opened in 1928, La Paloma has been showing new and old surfing movies at least since the early ‘70s. The combination of the Spanish-style motif, ruddy drapes and carpet, old-fashioned balcony and the smell of popcorn mixed with coconut suntan oil, the ambience transports you back in time.
“Some radical paganism went on there,” said Scott Bass, a surfer who patronized La Paloma beginning with his teen years.
He recalled the voluptuous pleasure of watching movies while reclining on one of the massive sofas that once graced the side aisles. Various shenanigans â€" glass bottles rolling down the aisle, for instance â€" occurred while surf footage flickered on the screen. Today, the sofas are gone, replaced by proper theater seats.
“It’s one of those buildings that, man, if the walls could talk â€” “ said Bass, online editor for Surfer magazine.
I just learned of this by reading about the memorial site on the home page. God rest you, Jim! Thanks for the wonderful bits of knowledge you passed along to us. We will miss you!
I always enjoyed Jim’s posts. Have a good journey, Jim!
Liz Goldwyn’s new book about burlesque mentions the Hollywood Theatre as the place where burlesque costume designer Rex Huntington got his start in the business as a chorus boy. The book includes backstage photos and ephemera of many of the theatres on the burlesque circuit. Great book! Amazing to see this fantastic theatre, and think about how it became a major burlesque house, and then vanished.
My goodness. It took me almost all afternoon, but I read this entire board. All I can say is, thank you all for the entertainment. If I could ever write a theatrical mystery novel, Mr. W. certainly serves as the model for a great character —– and yes, I’m aware he produces murder theatre pieces.
As someone with a background in venue management, I can say that a venue with fewer than 800 seats would be very difficult economically to program with quality name acts, even in a small town. An 800 seat venue is also a desirable size for rentals, where cutting it up smaller would very much limit rental opportunities. Also, it is nice to think of having 3 simultaneously programmed venues, but it often doesn’t work well in actual practice. There is noise conflict; it is difficult to accommodate 3 separate crowds in the entry; it is difficult to provide adequate restrooms and support areas for each venue without conflicting with the others.
The discussion that the drama group and the programming proposed in the 1-theatre proposal will split the same market is not consistent with my experience, either. Amateur drama, even of high quality, is not the same as professional music, dance, and touring theatre. Production values, format, and – yes – price are as different as apples from oranges.
I don’t see from Mr. W’s information on line that he’s ever actually run and programmed a building for a prolonged period of time. Nor do I see any discussion of technical issues, common practices of venue management, contracting, and development. Maybe the name-calling pre-empted that, but these issues don’t seem to be very important to Mr. W.
I do find it odd that someone whose contract was terminated nevertheless, a full year later, still aspires to “run” the theatre. Sir, your business is supposedly theatre restoration. Move on, and find another theatre that will hire your firm.
I was acquainted with Ray Shepardson during the mid 80’s and was quite impressed with his work, so I hope that he is serving the folks at the Grand well.
Ah, well. Maybe I’ll write that novel.
The surf movies were shown in the 60’s and 70’s.
Here’s a link that includes a poster:
I am interested in rock venues from the 70’s. I recently added a theatre that was a rock venue in Southern California, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. I also worked during the early 80’s at the Paramount Northwest (Now the Paramount Theatre) when it was a rock and roll hall. I lived in NY/NJ in the 70’s, and while I never went to the Capitol Theatre, the soundscape of my teens/early 20’s is radio commercials for shows at the Capitol. I also worked at a lighting shop in lower Manhattan that put out a lot of rigs for traveling shows during this era.
I’d love to talk/correspond with David Capo and TC and EastCoast Rocker about your memories.
“Lost Memory’s post of April 21, 2006 implies a true balcony level, but on April 22nd, GWaterman describes a raked stadium style "loge” section at the rear of the auditorium."
It was definately a raked stadium-style loge, but please understand that when I worked there it was 1977-78. Many things could have changed since that time.
I only saw one show at the Palladium during the 70’s, but it was a double bill of Parliament Funkadelic with Bootsy Collins opening for them. I had a friend who was a roadie for Bootsy’s Rubber Band.
Man. That was cool
I worked for a couple of months at the Shubert Theatre, running spotlight for the show “Ragtime”, and sometimes on matinee days I’d go over to the Century Plaza and catch a piece of a movie between shows. I loved the Shubert – what a great theatre to work in! The stage door corridor adjoined a property that I was told was the old original Playboy Club. I didn’t know that until the show loaded out and we used the space that had formerly been the club to store road cases and equipment before loading it onto the trucks.
The Shubert had an interesting apparatus to bring workers to the gridiron – it was a motorized endless belt with steps that ran the 80-something feet from stage floor to grid. You’d grab one tread with your hand and step on a lower one with your feet, and ride the endless belt up to the grid, then be sure yo stepped off at the right time. It was pretty amazing, and exhilarating to ascend on this thing!
Too bad these 2 theatres are gone!
This is my neighborhood pharmacy and hardware store now. The building has 2 stores in it. From the photos, it looks like the main entrance was on the side that has the hardware store. The structure for the big “Bay” sign still stands, it is emblazoned with the name of the hardware store. The pharmacy was a venerable old neighborhood independant store named “Bay” although in the last couple of years it has been bought by a national chain and renamed.
There appears to be no remaining trace of the theatre in the public portions of the stores. The pharmacy has undergone an extensive remodeling since its recent purchase, so I imagine any remaining artifacts of the theatre have been purged. The only sign that indicates there once was a theatre here is the vestiges of a terrazo sidewalk at the corner where the entry once was.
Next time I go shopping I will look at the place with new eyes….
Great, ken!! there’s a novel in this!
We didn’t go inside the Roxie during our recent Conservancy tour. I am wondering what the auditorium is used for. Is it storage, like the Cameo and the Arcade? Or is it no longer recognizable?