In my daily life I don’t think much about LA as Hollywood. Most of us live very ordinary lives, even those who work in the business. Things are different in June. The Last Remaining Seats put on by the LA conservancy. For 28 years their biggest fundraiser has been a chance to view classic movies in the classic theaters along Broadway.
This year the old United Artist Theater is back in the game. Ace Hotels bought the theater and adjacent building a few years ago and created a wonderful boutique hotel. They continued the wonderful work of Dr. Gene Scott of the University Cathedral Church. They occupied the theater for 20 years. Churches don’t make changes to theaters when they own them, they have no problem with the raked floors and often are fine with the heavy ornamentation of these old movie palaces. Dr. Scott loved and cared for this theater. Ace hotels has done many necessary upgrades as well.
It was quite an honor that the debut of the Theater was the movie Back to the Future. We arrived early, to get in line, no reserved seats. This is what greeted us at the front door.A local car buff recently purchased the original DeLaorean from a prop house. That is the overboard on the passenger seat.This one already has the Fushion tank that Dr. Brown brings back from the future.
Then it was into the lobby where my mind was blown. Sorry about the quality of the photos. I brought my small camera, not very good for dark shots. But how can I not share this incredible building??Gothic is probably the best way to describe the decor.I’m glad they retained some of the church decorations. Most people in LA are familiar with the ‘Jesus Saves’ sign that stood atop the building for years, it has been reinstalled behind the building. Unfortunately one aspect of all the construction going on downtown is that it isn’t as visible as it used to be. At least it is still there.We rushed in, grabbed seats as well as pictures, clearly I’m not the only one. Then out again to explore.Sorry this is so grainy but I had to get some Studio Hubris in here. Murals, here are better images as well. For some reason, being half a block south of 9th street put this theater out of the district. The Orpheum is half a block away and was very successful. This one – not so much.This is shot from the upper balcony, love how the mirror reflects the mob down in the lobby.Details of the ceilingUnknown sculpture down by the women’s bathrooms.
Then it was on to the movie. One great thing about Last Remaining Seats is that before each movie there is a short live offering. This time it was Leonard Maltin interviewing, Lea Thompson – Lorraine, Claudia Wells – Jennifer and Donald Fullilove – who will become mayor in the future. He was having so much fun taking photos of us.
An amazing Los Angeles experience, have I mentioned how much I love this city?Leah