Topic: Color Studies
The Fairfax District is an area of neighborhoods in central Los Angeles - and Fairfax Avenue between Melrose and Beverly is sometimes called Kosher Canyon or "The Bagel District." It's the center of Los Angeles' Jewish community - Kosher delis, restaurants, butcher's and baker's shops, fish markets and that sort of thing. There are lots of signs in Hebrew, of course. Recently arrived Jewish immigrants from Israel and Russia have made the place almost cosmopolitan, although the Russians, Ukrainians and Belarus folks actually settled further north on Fairfax, where it crosses Santa Monica Boulevard, which oddly enough is historic Route 66 from the "get your kicks" song. The signs up that way are in Cyrillic. That's not in the song.
The center of the district on Fairfax Avenue south of Melrose is now a mix of some very seedy stuff, and the trendy. There will be a full photographic tour of the neighborhood in this Sunday's Just Above Sunset, but here are three of the odder façades you will see there, and a reminder. They are, really, color studies.
In case you were wondering...
Topic: Insider Stuff
In case you were wondering…
Thursday, August 10, 2006 - 2:10 pm Pacific Time
The Silent Movie Theatre
611 North Fairfax Avenue, Hollywood, California 90036 (a half block south of Melrose Avenue)
From Los Angeles City Search this -
Rumors of blood on the lobby carpet and ghosts in the projection room have titillated Angelenos for years. Silent-film fans John and Dorothy Hampton opened this movie house with Cecile B. DeMille's "The King of Kings" in 1941 just as Nora Desmond's close-up was fading to black. But it was the headline-grabbing murder of their slick-talking protege, Laurence Austin, by a hired gun who sprayed the theater with gunfire in 1997, that cemented the house's place in Hollywood lore.
After rescuing the theater from certain demolition, songwriter Charlie Lustman rehabilitated the interior. Today, the only ghosts lurking are those of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, who frequently headline along with vamp retrospectives and the occasional 3-D night. The theater regularly fills with kids, octogenarians, and all ages between. Drop by for live piano accompaniment, cartoons and shorts - and don't miss the new art deco coffee shop and back garden.
From Flickr this
The Silent Movie Theater in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles had been founded by a couple of dreamers after the Second World War. After they had become old and decrepit, Lawrence Austin appeared to help them. He was a felon, having served a term in California prison for embezzlement. He induced the old couple to sign over the property to him; they were dispatched to a nursing home.
The crook seemed, at last, to have found his vocation: he refurbished the old theater, and employed musician/composer Robert Israel and other musicians to provide live musical accompaniment for the many rare and remarkable films which the theater promoted and screened with fanfare and style.
Unfortunately, Lawrence Austin was shot to death during a screening. He had kept a catamite, and had foolishly made the boy his heir. The catamite - eager to get his inheritance - had hired an assassin.
Eventually the gunman was caught. He confessed the plot. Both gunman and catamite were convicted of murder, and are now in prison.
Unfortunately, the Silent Movie Theater's only valuable asset was its collection of rare prints of silent movies. It was sold. The movie house remains, but its program of regular screenings of rare and classic films from the silent era has been discarded.
Catamite (noun) - from Latin catamitus
- a boy kept by a pederast.
History in the Window
Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis, each week offers two "Paris Posters of the Week" - but don't expect anything new there. It's August and he's one more Parisian taking the month off - he's in Manhattan or Queens at the moment. Perhaps he'll post what's on the walls there.
As his site is somewhat a sister site to the weekly Just Above Sunset, or at least its inspiration, and he is Our Man in Paris in those pages, providing a parallel Hollywood posters feature would be cool. But we don't have the kiosks and poster thing out here - and the billboards on the Sunset Strip don't change weekly, even if some are bizarre, and some cover a whole wall. It's just not the same thing.
But then there is something out here that will do for "odd things photographed head-on through glass" - at the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, at the old shuttered "Google-style" coffee shop (it's only used in movies now when the location director needs a fifties scene). There's history in the windows - old newspaper front pages - 1921, 1940, 1945, 1964, 1977.
Blue and Red
Topic: Color Studies
Color studies, Tuesday, August 8 - at the pool in Hollywood, and enough of Hollywood, the famous sign as seen from Mulholland Drive -
Kids at Play
Topic: Technical Exercises
Saturday, August 5 - Poway, California (inland San Diego) - the nephews' kids (and friends) playing at the ledge at the deep end of the pool, late afternoon - lens 70-300mm - 1/640 sec - F/5.6 - ISO 200 - trying for the essence of the thing, shooting from the far end of the pool -