Thursday, February 22, 2007

An evil day...

...when nothing good happened, not even those things I have a right to expect. It was cold and gray, which matched my mood...



I drove around aimlessly for almost five hours. I needed to be away, needed to see something that would cheer me up, make me feel any shred of enthusiasm. Mostly, the drive did nothing except depress me more.

A long time ago, I mentioned my interest in classic architecture and 1920s-vintage movie theaters. When I started noticing such things, there were hundreds of fascinating buildings and dozens of grand movie houses to look at and explore.

So many are gone now. I saw plenty of vacant lots, plenty of cheap shopping malls and hideous new buildings, none of which has any character at all.

And I saw this 1928 movie palace, which is soon to vanish. Except for those downtown, which are incorporated into office buildings and are harder to demolish, the stand-alone theaters are almost all gone now. I never knew what it was called (it has been closed for the better part of 40 years), but have seen records that referred to it as the "Atlantic and Whittier" theater while it was being built.

Each time something familiar and appealing is turned into rubble, it takes a piece of me with it...



So you won't feel as sad as I do, I'll end with a street sign that could only appear in Hollywood...



And a business with a totally incomprehensible name...

13 comments:

Justfly said...

Nice photos Scrib.
We drove around for about an hour looking at the old houses in San Antonio. I love doing that.

lowandslow said...

BK and I went to a concert a week ago at the old Granada Theater in Dallas, a 1930's vintage art deco style movie house. They still show movies, but mostly concerts for every taste imaginable. You would LOVE it! Enjoy these old buldings while you (we) still can. :)

MrScribbler said...

justfly -- if/when I can sheer up a bit, I have some interesting house-photos from today to post.

likeisaid said...

I love the pictures. I have a friend who lives in LA. She wants me to visit. I'm thinking about it, this time I really am!

T-E said...

L. Ron has his own street? This is such a weird state.

joan said...

You found some good ones. Hope things are looking up.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for shaing the pics with us.

Gill

HarpO'Fly said...

That tropical fish store is a classic. That's hilarious. They'll be shut down or bombed any minute.

DAL said...

Our fair city is in the middle of refurbishing an old concert theater, and it has, of course, gone way over budget. They haven't concerned themselves with keeping it original except for its external walls, which are also part of the walls of the adjoining buildings.

There are no old stand alone theaters here at all. The drive-in built in 1966 doesn't count :-)

MrScribbler said...

harp o'fly -- I admit I almost ran into the car ahead of me when I saw that fish shop. I think they meant "Korean," based on the location, but would love to know.

dal -- the last drive-ins here have been turned into outdoor swap meets. History means nothing in L.A.

Birdie said...

that building looks fascinating! it's a real pity that it's going to be demolished... what a shame! The old theater I used to attend in my home town is also long gone.. big shopping mall there now :-(

MrScribbler said...

Birdie -- if you're speaking of your current U.S. hometown area (where your folks live) there are still a couple of magnificent theaters there now. Not as many as there used to be....

Anonymous said...

I love old architecture. Most have a character and quality that new buildings cant even come close too.
here is a web address (sorry dont do links yet..) to the old movie house I used to walk down to as a child. Thank God this is one they saved. I too, just get disgusted and sad when I see what they are tearing down these days. Its so short-sighted...
http://www.coronadopac.org/index.asp

Hope today is a better one. I relate all too well to what you said. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Woofmeister