Kinetescape was a short-lived, but fondly remembered shop that recently vacated its home on 7th and Spring in downtown. For years, the A.G. Bartlett building retail spaces have been occupied by lowbrow discount shops, so it was incredibly exciting when the paper came off the windows to reveal the handsome corner shop in 2013.
If you’ve ever seen The Naked Gun, which I had the delight of re-watching this weekend, you might recognize El Miradiro as the terrorist headquarters (set in Beirut) from the opening scene. Before serving as a backdrop in the crass comedy, as well as a handful of other earlier films, the Indo-Saracen style structure served as the private residence of real estate tycoon, Leslie C. Brand.
Our year began with a fun personal project – the Lindbergh Beacon. When we heard the news that it would be lighted for the 12 days of Christmas (nice move, Mayor Garcetti), we rushed out to capture one of the coolest historic features of downtown. Between out-of-town trips, scheduling new jobs and battling this never-ending cough, things have been a little delayed around here, but we’re finally back to our regular schedule. So, without further ado, here it is:
Recently I shot Parker Center for the LA Conservancy as part of their campaign to save it. Opening in 1955 as the Police Facilities Building, it currently awaits an uncertain fate – either expansion or more likely, demolition. (Apologies for the recent array of stories of lost and soon-to-be lost architectural landmarks lately, I promise to feature at least one structure that isn’t facing demolition next week.)
I’ve often favored more elaborately decorated architecture styles like Art Deco and Beaux Arts, but I still enjoy the occasional Mid-Century Modern. Standing alone with plenty of cushion around its perimeter, Parker Center is a grand sight of its own in downtown’s Civic Center. I’ll be honest and admit that the landscaping does make all the difference, especially with the long palms casting their shadows on the facade.
The poor Roxie Theatre has been standing on its last leg for a while now. For the last few years we’ve fawned (and cried) over the now-derelict Art Deco facade. We have seen vintage photos, and the interior was, admittedly, nothing spectacular. The seats and the ticket booth had been torn out years ago, and last we heard the auditorium was full of merchandise boxes and rubble from the shops that occupied the lobby. Never ones to turn down an opportunity to shoot the interior of a movie palace, we waited for our chance to get in. A few months ago, we received a tip that the retail space was being worked on (aka swapmeet expansion) so we ran over to check it out. After pleading with the construction crew, we ran up the stairs in the back of the lobby to see the auditorium.