Tag Archives: broadway

Broadway’s 100th Birthday Party

The Bringing Back Broadway initiative has announced plans to celebrate the 100-year anniversaries of the three oldest remaining theatres in the Historic Theatre District of Downtown Los Angeles. 100-year-old buildings. IN LOS ANGELES.

The Broadway Centennial Summer is envisioned as a month-long festival of films, art, theatre and tours to honor the oldest surviving theatre district in Los Angeles, and one of the largest intact historic theatre districts in the entire United States.  The two oldest theatres on Broadway, the Arcade Theatre (originally the Pantages) and its next door neighbor, the Cameo Theatre, turn 100 years old this fall, having opened on Sept. 26, 1910 and Oct. 10, 1910, respectively. To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the theatres opening, property owners of the Arcade and Cameo Theatres say they are planning façade improvements to bring back the original historic character of the theatres. The Palace Theatre opened on June 26, 1911.

Activities will include the 25th Annual Los Angeles Conservancy Last Remaining Seats screenings in Broadway theatres, special screenings of early films, tours and discussions, historical retrospectives and other arts and cultural activities.

While it remains to be seen exactly what “façade improvements” are in the works for the theaters, I thought you might like to see what the Cameo Theatre originally looked like, when it opened as Clune’s Broadway Theatre in 1910. Wouldn’t you love to see that sign restored?

A city celebrating it’s history. Don’t look now. But, maybe we’re finally growing a conscience.

Photo from Jose Huizar’s flickr stream

The Once and Future Clifton’s

With news spreading that the owner of The Edison has purchased Clifton’s Cafeteria – a downtown institution at 7th and Broadway – let’s take a moment to remember what once was, and could be again:

Notice that 1) there is no metal grate covering up the building, and 2) the sign reads “Open 6am to Midnight.”

Tear down this wall. The streetcar is coming.

Archiving Angeles (AA): Chamber Cornerstone


Architecture was more about civic pride than individual ego. It was a testament to the men and the mark they would leave on a city. It was their Los Angeles legacy.

On this day, it was the cornerstone laying ceremony at the Chamber of Commerce Building at First & Broadway. Spectators, dressed in their finest, came to see the marching band. They came to witness history in the making.

The year was 1903.

Photo from the USC Digital Archive

1947project.com Becomes “In SRO Land”

My love for Kim Cooper‘s projects & collaborations is no secret, but this latest endeavor thrills me even more. Chronicling the glittering and ghastly history of LA’s Historic Core, centered around the footprint of the Downtown Artwalk/Gallery Row, the blog “In SRO Land” is only a week old but already is a treasure trove of info that’s left me utterly absorbed.

srolandEvery year Kim’s original blog, 1947project, undergoes a re-casting and covers a different year in Los Angeles history. But this year it becomes “In SRO Land,” named alternatively after the Single Room Occupancy hotels that are so prevalent in the area, and “Standing Room Only”–the common refrain of Broadway, whose golden era was a cavalcade of dancers and entertainers, criminals and movie stars, freaks and fans.

I am so stoked to have this new blog up and running, and I’ll be sure to check it every day. Welcome to the party, In SRO Land.

Also, a great big Congrats to Kim Cooper’s husband & Esotouric curator Richard Schave, the newly-minted Director of the Downtown LA Art Walk.

Photo by In SRO Land contributor Rob Clampett.

Can We Learn From New York?


Mayor Bloomberg has a plan. He wants to transform Broadway in Midtown Manhattan into a more pedestrian-friendly environment. Streetsblog has the full story.

If you could do the same here – transform any part of Los Angeles into a walkable, car-free zone – where would it be? Broadway? L.A. Live? The Grove?

Would you rip out an entire freeway? Close off any streets? Demolish all parking lots near Trader Joe’s and force those idiots to walk?

Pretend that nothing is off-limits. Pretend that we just gave you a map of Los Angeles and a box of crayons. Think outside of the city. Play urban planner with us, and leave your suggestions in the comments.

Photo from Streetsblog

Downtown LA Comes Alive For Christmas & Drinkers

A Christmas tree light show at LA Live, the Grammy museum opening, and the return of Cole’s highlight the busy commencement of the holiday season in Los Angeles. And guess what? It’s all happening Downtown. Just in time to abuse Metro’s late night Red Line and DASH hours. Fill your Calendar app accordingly.


  • Ice Skating in Pershing Square with daily concerts. What, no outdoor movies this year? At least you have an excuse to wear that Old Navy scarf of yours in 80-degree weather without looking like a total Hollywood jackass.


  • ESPN Zone opens at LA Live. There is no local NFL team to cheer on to the playoffs, and the BCS Champion, the Super Bowl Champion, and the Gold Medal Curling Team of the 2010 Winter Olympics have already been decided by HAL 9000. But you can still watch the events as they happen on a bunch of big TV screens.

Continue reading Downtown LA Comes Alive For Christmas & Drinkers

Downtown L.A. Needs A Historic Streetcar

The biggest mistake Los Angeles can make in the Bringing Back Broadway initiative is the use of a modern streetcar in lieu of a historic trolley.

In recent months, meetings have been held to talk about where a new streetcar line would go in Downtown L.A., how it would integrate into the current transit system, and what it may look like. Eric Richardson of Blogdowntown has been covering the project, including a recent field trip to Portland, and now, to San Diego to study the success of similar projects in other cities. BDT even ran an in-depth look at the advantages of using a modern streetcar design for Bringing Back Broadway.

While the very notion of a new streetcar line in Downtown Los Angeles should excite all of us, L.A. would be missing a monumental opportunity by installing a modern streetcar line that pays no homage to our fair city’s past.

Continue reading Downtown L.A. Needs A Historic Streetcar