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:
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.
At first we thought we were lost. With Highland Park behind us, we slowly made our way up a series of narrow, twisting roads. We had only been in the car for 15 minutes, but the scenery felt as though we had left the city altogether. When we finally reached the entry gates, we were shocked by the sight of the gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Mt. Washington.
After spending the morning in Wilmington shooting the Granada Theatre, we came outside to particularly lovely weather. Not quite ready for lunch, we wanted to spend some time exploring the South Bay. Neither of us had seen the Korean Friendship Bell (formally called the Korean Bell of Friendship), so we decided to head up the hill to the former site of Fort MacArthur in San Pedro.