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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Events California Events JOHN-O 's Oct 16th TC Event (pictures, pg 3)
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JOHN-O 's Oct 16th TC Event (pictures, pg 3)
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2370
From: Corona, Ca
Posted: 2010-10-15 10:53 pm   Permalink

Damnit -- I have to work tomorrow!!! Looks like I won't make it. I was really looking forward to this too.


Poly-Pop *

Bartender, make mine a glass of WATAHHH!!!!!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2720
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-10-16 11:20 pm   Permalink

The Broadway historic movie palaces tour was great fun !! A big thanks to Laura of LA Conservancy for leading our group of 12 budding urban archaeologists.

For those of you saying "JOHN-O, what's up with another non-Tiki event posted here on Tiki Central?", let me give you the Tiki-style connection.

Tiki is whimsical interpretation of a native culture (i.e. Oceanic) now documented as a unique mid-century art form. The pre-Depression movie palaces (vaudeville actually) were a pre-cursor to that same intent of style.

Note the side exterior of the Million Dollar Theater. This Spanish (Churriguera) architecture includes icons native to the American West like longhorns and bison heads. The Spanish Baroque interior was inspired by a Victorian fairy tale. The idea was to create a (pre-Walt) Disney environment for people to "escape" into.

It was too dark inside for my flash to be effective, so here's an image off the web:

Too bad so many of the other interesting places wouldn't allow interior photography. Several are now repurposed as churches, retail electronic stores, and jewelry marts.

LA Conservancy describes this architectural phenomena as follows:

"Decorative elements from a wide range of cultures and historical periods came together in fantastic combinations that prompted one critic to complain that 'no more pitiful degradation of art' had ever occurred than the 'prostitution of architecture in (the Broadway) movie theaters'. 'Taste and beauty', he concluded, were 'abased to the lowest degree.'"

Sound familiar ??

Afterward the TC-half of the group went to pay our respects to nearby Clifton's Cafeteria. (Others headed to Wurstkuche for beer and sausages.)

We retreated with lunch trays in hand to Clifton's upper level, currently decorated in Regency-style. The lower level is modeled like a fairy tale forest.

Clockwise: My friend Marianne, Teresa (the first "T" of TNT), Melekalikimaka, TikiG, CalTiki, and Tim (the second "T"). Your humble tour organizer took the picture. I'm sorry so many TC'ers had to cancel.

This level will soon be converted into a "Tiki" bar, paying homage I hope to the pre-Poly Pop Clifton's South Seas.

Afterward the group split up for further downtown adventure. CalTiki, Marianne, and I rode on the recently reopened Angel's Flight, the world's shortest railway.

Later I headed out to Tiki-Ti, which quickly turned into a "Who's Who on Tiki Central."

[ This Message was edited by: JOHN-O 2010-10-16 23:32 ]

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Atomic Tiki Punk
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 19, 2009
Posts: 7048
From: Costa Misery
Posted: 2010-10-17 05:03 am   Permalink

Thank's for showing what we missed out on John-O, I really want to tag along on one.
we missed you guys at the Tiki Farm show,was hoping you would stop by afterwards?

Props for getting people out of the house & seeing these great places in person
we really need more of that on TC!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 17, 2008
Posts: 1560
From: Riverside, California
Posted: 2010-10-17 2:28 pm   Permalink

Aloha TC peeps...what a fantastic Saturday! The John-O coordinated Los Angeles Broadway Theatre tour was a blast. I finally had the chance to enter some buildings that are usually closed to the public, as well as revisiting sites I've previously toured.

Laura, our L.A. Conservancy tour-guide, was great. Laura answered all our questions with a passion that was infectious and because of this positive experience I'm confidant I'll be taking more walking tours of the downtown LA district in the near future (For further information contact the L.A. Conservancy directly via their website.)

Below is a selection of pics I took that give a sense of the sheer architectural grandeur this premier Historic Theatre District offers.

TikiG, John-O and Melekalikimaka meet in downtown L.A. to begin our tour.

Waiting for the rest of our touring party to arrive - on the sidewalk in front of the Million Dollar Theatre (3rd Street and Broadway).

The facade of the Million Dollar Theatre. Opened in 1918 and designed by Albert C. Martin, one of the most important architects in Los Angeles at the time.

Our tour guide Laura talks about the Million Dollar Theatre. I learned the Million Dollar was created for theatre impresario Sid Grauman.

Great window shopping fodder found at the Pharmacy adjacent to the Million Dollar Theatre.

The exterior of the Bradbury Building (304 S. Broadway - across Broadway from the Million Dollar Theatre.)

Our group stands within the lobby of the Bradbury Building. Opened in 1893, the building's construction cost had reached $500,000.00. Many movies, television shows, music videos etc. are filmed here.

Interior view of the Bradbury Building. George Wyman, the architect, initially declined the invitation to design the building until one evening George and his wife supposedly contacted George's dead brother Mark via a planchette board...Mark telling his brother George to take the job and "become famous." The rest, they say, is history.

Detail of one of the elevators inside the Bradbury Building. This building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

Walking south along Broadway offers many photographic opportunities.

Art Deco style building found on Broadway (Sorry - I don't remember the name of the building!)

The facade of the Roxie Theatre located at 518 S. Broadway. Built in 1931, it was the last theatre constructed on Broadway before Hollywood usurped its position as Los Angeles' principal theatre district.

Laura talks about the Arcade Building behind her.

The heart of downtown Los Angeles...the intersection of Broadway and 7th Street.

The facade of the Los Angeles Theatre at 615 S. Broadway. The last of Broadway's great movie palaces was constructed for independant film exhibitor H. L. Gumbiner, designed by the legendary S. Charles Lee and constructed in 1931 at a cost of over one-million dollars.

The facade of the Orpheum (also known as The Palace Theatre.) Built in 1911 as the third home of the Orpheum vaudeville circuit in Los Angeles, it is now the oldest remaining original Orpheum theatre in the country.

The ceiling detail inside the lobby of Lowe's State Theatre at 703 S. Broadway. Built in 1921, Loew's State was for many years Broadway's most profitable theatre accomodating crowds with entrances on both Broadway and Seventh Street.

The exterior of Pantages Downtown Theatre located at 410 W. Seventh Street. The Pantages Downtown opened in 1920 as a vaudeville house. Today the theatre houses a jewelry mart, although many of the original theatre features are intact.

At the conclusion of our tour, a few of us visited Clifton's Cafeteria for lunch. We sat at a table on the third level, which is earmarked to become a tiki-bar.

After saying our goodbyes to our Broadway tour group, Mel and myself visited the Museum of Neon Art (MONA) at 136 W. 4th Street. An indoor display area houses many original examples of mid-century neon signage as well as new pieces created by local artesians.

One of my personal favorites was this FUN LAND sign that features a blinking bullseye. No other info available. Salvaged from the Long Beach Pike perhaps?

This is a cool display that shows the different qualities of gasses used in neon sign design.

The last must-do of my afternoon in downtown L.A. - a trip up and down the famous Angels Flight railway.

Later in the afternoon Mel and I visited Tiki Ti in Hollywood for cocktails and socializing before attending the Tiki Farm event at Wacko later in the evening (of course those events are detailed on other TC threads.)

All-in-all yesterday was a full, fun-packed day... the type of day that doesn't come around too often, y'know?

Thanks John-O for organizing this event. Thanks to the TC ohana that made it out to participate. Thanks to Mel for going with. I look forward to the next John-O historical tour of our great So. Cal. landscape. Cheers! G

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Tiki Centralite

Joined: Aug 03, 2009
Posts: 63
From: Palmdale, CA
Posted: 2010-10-17 4:21 pm   Permalink

Thanks, John-O for arranging this tour. It was fabulous to see all the theaters of Los Angeles' 'glory days'. Here are a few shots that aren't found in the previous postings.

A bit of the modern times...

Million Dollar Theater

this is the best I could do with the low lighting. This picture shows a little of the details inside the Million Dollar Theater.

Naughty ladies...one has an injury (missing leg)


the crew

random shot of a boarded up window at the top of a tall building...

Gazing up Broadway

tile work inside the Bradbury


illuminates the intricate ironwork on the bannisters

The inside of the Bradbury is so spectacular...

interesting native-Californians roam the streets

Fabulous mural

Strange place for a tree to grow

Alley shot


Freshly cleaned

trying to take pictures looking up, while walking, can cause dizziness

Heading toward the Palace, we briefly entered an ornate lobby...

Amazing Marble lobby with ceiling adornments

the colors on this building will never fade since the tint is incorporated right into the stone

ended this portion of the day with the Angel's flight.

From there, TikiG and I went to the Tiki Ti in preparation to attend the Tiki Farm gallery show.

Left the house around 9am, returned home at midnight.
It was an awesome day!


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 19, 2009
Posts: 136
From: way out there
Posted: 2010-10-17 5:03 pm   Permalink

Thank you John O for putting this together. We had a great time. When is the next event?

[ This Message was edited by: tnt 2010-10-18 07:01 ]

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Tonga Tom
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Sep 24, 2009
Posts: 1194
From: 2 mi. south of the Hut
Posted: 2010-10-17 5:32 pm   Permalink

Thank you for all the photos, looks like ya'll had a great time!!!

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 11, 2008
Posts: 358
From: Long Beach, CA
Posted: 2010-10-17 7:19 pm   Permalink

John-O, thanks for doing the leg (phone?) work to set up this tour. It's something that I've wanted to do for 20 years but have been too lazy to actually set it up and commit to it, so I really appreciate it! Great to hang out with Tiki G, Melekalikimaka, TNT, Marianne and everyone else on the tour!

I had grandiose plans of hanging out in LA all day until the Tiki Farm event that night. Unfortunately, being the old fart I am, after walking around downtown LA all day I was feeling a bit wiped out, and--with my bed down in Long Beach, and not being quite adventurous enough to seek out downtown hotels that rent "by the hour" for a quick catnap--I realized I wasn't going to be able to hang out for another 5-6 hours until 8pm (especially having to be back up in LA for band practice the next morning at 10:30am). And going to Tiki Ti for 4 hours to drink coffee just didn't sound right. However, the photos look like it was fun (and Rama Lama and Nepheria--who did attend--told me all about it this morning), and I will get down to check out the display of TF goodies before the show ends. Sorry to have missed you ATP, but I will be at Dons on Monday.


[ This Message was edited by: congawa 2010-10-17 20:56 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 16, 2008
Posts: 2720
From: Dogtown, USA
Posted: 2010-10-18 10:37 am   Permalink


On 2010-10-17 17:03, TNT wrote:

Thank you John O for putting this together. We had a great time. When is the next event?

1. If anyone's interested, I'm planning on attending the following LA Conservancy one-time event on Nov 7th...


If enough TC'ers plan to attend, maybe we can meet before or after for a meal or drinks.

2. Also earlier that week, I'll be conducting "field research" for a Honolulu mid-century dive bar crawl. If anyone's going to be in Oahu that week, please feel free to PM me. I'll be there from Oct 29th - Nov 4th.

3. When the weather warms up again, the Westside Nautical Bar Crawl will be happening.

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