Just Above Sunset Archives
January 25, 2004 Photography
Last week I had the occasion to chat with some people down the street at Deluxe Labs - "Color by Deluxe" - those folks. Deluxe is now part of the Rank Group out of the UK - they got out of their association with Xerox and now have three divisions - Deluxe, the Hard Rock Café and resort hotel business, and casinos and bingo halls in Western Europe. What was I doing dealing with these folks? My business.
But anyway, that inspired me to do some black and white photos this week.
On the Sunset Strip, a club where one could hang out, next to Duke's if one were a "cat." And just up the street, a little too much ivy.
Down the hill, the Formosa Café -
Step into the low-ceilinged joint, into the narrow
back room that once was a Red Car trolley, and it's easy to imagine - Bogart bellying up to the bar, Bugsy Siegel and
Mickey Cohen huddling in the corner, John Wayne passing out on a banquette and waking in the morning to fry up his own breakfast.
... When location managers look for authentic
Los Angeles noir, they often set their sights on the Formosa. It's where a cop
mistook Lana Turner for a hooker in the Academy Award-winning "L.A. Confidential."
When the Formosa's first owner, prizefighter Jimmy Bernstein, opened the converted trolley car as a lunch counter in 1925, he called it the Red Spot. Then he tacked on the kitchen and the main room where the bar now sits and decided to name the expanded space the Formosa. The studio space next door changed hands over and over, from Pickford-Fairbanks Studio to United Artists, to Samuel Goldwyn to Warner Hollywood Studios to today's "the lot." Each movie filmed there, from "Some Like it Hot" to "Scary Movie 2," brought new customers and often new framed photos to the Formosa, where the house rule is that the only shots displayed are of those who have visited.
- Los Angeles Times
Then there is the ever-depressing Hollywood High School on Sunset. So depressing one thinks of the famous cemetery down the street on Santa Monica Boulevard. But even the trees on the street, and the hill behind my apartment, and the roof outside my window look a tad Raymond Chandler ominous in black and white.
But there is color, next to the bed this morning....
From the home page of the last issue: Mid-afternoon Thursday, from my office window... Come visit? Work on your tan?