Now Playing…?

I’m hip only in the musculo-skeletal sense that I have a pair. I’m certainly not hip in the socio-cultural sense of effortlessly saddling up and riding the vanguard of individualism. My unhipness becomes that much more apparent by the fact that I not only attempt to differentiate between me and those who are, but that I attempt to define those who are.
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Bear with me. I do have a point and it’s around here somewhere, first to be prefaced with the 20 or so decidedly unhip times (8 a.m., 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m., you get the idea) I’ve driven or biked by the above-pictured theater in Echo Park on Sunset Boulevard just west of Alvarado over the past 16 months that I’ve lived in the area. During that time and those drive-bys it has always looked like this: battened down and dark. Now, being so square and traveling at such L7 ticks on the tocker, I have no way of knowing if this space might come alive as an after-hours club or avant garde performance space. If so, excellent. If not, why is this place dormant and who put it to sleep? Can anyone with deeper roots and a firmer grasp clue me in as to how a space with such creative potential could be so dark in what is purportedly such an arts-minded conglomeration of communities?

Sure, outrageous rents and limited parking are probably part of the sad reality of its emptiness and silence. Sadder still is that perhaps only in my daydreams while sitting at the lame Starbucks across the street sipping an uber-goober grande caramel frap will I ever see all that stupid white paint sandblasted off of what must be a wonderful brick facade beneath which a popular restaurant bustles on the left with after-show patrons next to the marquee on the right which is ablaze with: Sunset Playhouse Presents: Echo Park Playwrights Festival. Now wouldn’t that be sweet?

8 Replies to “Now Playing…?”

  1. It’s the fate of so many grand old buildings — they either get the wrecking ball when someone with the proper amount of ducats buys the property for what’s underneath said building, OR it gets reincarnated as something akin to what you described.

    I’m always keeping my fingers crossed for the latter! As long as there’s still a structure there, there’s still hope.

  2. i looked into purchasing the place and was hoping to make it a film/bar thing but the seller did not seem interested. parking is really the biggest issue– i was told that you would have to provide parking for at least 50 cars. the only way to do that was to rent spaces at the lucy’s across the street and some other spots. thats all pretty costly. there were some folks working on it about a year ago… cleaning up the junk in the front, but i havent seen anything recently.

    but basically it boiled down to being too much dough to try and fix it up and provide parking.

  3. Is it a very busy part of town? I’d think a parking lot would welcome the potential extra business brought about by such an endeavor and cut the owners a deal…

  4. The area around Sunset and Alvarado is certainly traffic-heavy, but other than the Lucy’s laundry/Starbucks/Subway across the street, I’m not sure if there are a lot of other establishments open deep after dark (although the Lucy’s et al have the largest parking lot in the area).

    It’s too bad what Meara says about needing to provide so many supporting parking spaces. Show me where Spaceland or the Silverlake Lounge or the Vista Theater keeps its 50.

  5. Woah…I so knew where that was right when I saw it. I walk by it everyday at least twice to catch the bus.

    Now that you guys mention it, it does make sense why no one is interested…Parking there is a bitch. If it was a night club, it’d be awesome. You could park cars on Lucy’s lot across the street. Sadly, Lucy’s is open 24/7 so you got a problem there.
    I’d love to find old pictures of this place or what it was called to begin with.

  6. every other year it seems an aquaintance looks into buying it and its always the same answer: the owner’s not interested in selling.

  7. Hi all–I met with the owner a few months ago and he very badly wants to do something with the space. We are trying to assist him with the parking spaces (when the new Edendale Branch library opens next to Taix, that may help him if he opens it as an evening venue) issue, and he indicated he is interested in some kind of coffee-house/mixed-use space. He brought his mother with him to the meeting and they seemed ready to being moving on something, but we haven’t heard much in the last couple of months.

    We’ll try and keep you abreast of any developments. It is a great space and the business district along Sunset is well-suited now for some more good stuff.

    Best,
    Councilmember Eric Garcetti

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