Tuesday, January 10, 2017

"Nina"


The auditorium of the Music Box, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., is used for a club (presumably in the south of France) in "Nina" (RLJ Entertainment, 2016).  The exterior shot is of a European looking street with a nice neon sign that says "Caveau de la Huchette." But as soon as you go inside and get a look at the wall murals you know it's the Music Box.

The Nina Simone biopic, directed by Cynthia Mort, stars Zoe Saldana as Nina and David Oyelolo as Clifton, the nurse who becomes her friend and manager. Filmed in Los Angeles, a lot of it is set in France courtesy of some lovely stock footage.



It's interesting that for this scene we're not set up onstage but over on house right just in front of the balcony overhang. Here we've pulled back a bit and you get to see the front of the balcony with its Spanish revival style trim. On the right is an exit out to the foyer behind the auditorium.



A look out into the audience at our South-of-France club. The Music Box's proscenium is over on the right.  Note part of the house sound system piled up over there -- a strange location for where the musicians are in the film.  We've seen a similar blue curtain earlier in the film for a scene set in a club in Chicago. Perhaps that Chicago scene was also done at the Music Box.



Clifton (David Oyelolo) observing the performance from across the house.



The theatre's rooftop pavilion is seen in the final scene of the film just as the credits roll. It's a club space that's unidentified in the film. We're looking west -- the glass doors on the left wall open out onto the theatre's rooftop patio. The wall on the right once was open to Hollywood Blvd. back in the days before the facade got covered over with steel cladding.

 See our page on the Music Box/Fonda Theatre for a history of the building and many photos.

On IMDb: "Nina"

Sunday, January 8, 2017

"Messiah of Evil"

The Fox Venice Theatre is seen in "Messiah of Evil" (International Cine Film Corporation, 1973). The film, also known as "Dead People," was directed by Willard Huyck and stars Michael Greer and Marianna Hill. It's about a mysterious cult in a strange California seaside town.

The word on the Fox Venice comes from Jonathan Andrews via a comment to a comment on a Vintage Los Angeles Facebook thread about various filming locations in Los Angeles.

See our page on the Fox Venice Theatre for more about the building, now used for retail. It's at 620 Lincoln Blvd in Venice.

On IMDb: "Messiah of Evil"

Saturday, January 7, 2017

"Hail, Caesar!"


We head to the Los Angeles Theatre, 615 S. Broadway, for a premiere in the Coen Brothers Hollywood epic "Hail, Caesar!" (Universal, 2016)  and get shots of both the lobby and the auditorium. This view is from the trailer with a different film seen on the screen than we get in the film itself. Thanks to Wendell Benedetti for the screenshot, appearing on the LAHTF Facebook page with lots of comments. The film stars George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and many others.

Head to our pages on the Los Angeles Theatre for a history of the building along with hundreds of photos of different areas.

We also get an exterior look at the Music Box/Fonda Theatre for a nightclub scene. See our Music Box Theatre page for more on this venue, one that started as a legit house in 1926.

Interiors for that scene were done at the Hollywood Palladium, 6215 Sunset Blvd., and the Chapman Plaza in Koreatown.  Our Hollywood Palladium page has several interior views of that building. Thanks to Jonathan Raines for doing some research on this one!

On IMDb: "Hail, Caesar!"

Friday, January 6, 2017

"The Clonus Horror"


The Galway Theatre, 514 S. Main St., gets to put in an appearance in the epic called "The Clonus Horror" (Group 1, 1979) in which politicians are looking for an eternal hold on power via cloning. A young man has escaped from the Clonus Project and the scientists are looking for him. Main Street is, of course, the place to go if you're trying to hide from evil scientists. Robert S. Fiveson directed. Thanks to Don Solosan for spotting this one.

See our page on the Galway Theatre for more about this now-vanished grindhouse. The building it was in is still there, in use as a community services agency with offices downstairs and housing upstairs.

On IMDb: "The Clonus Horror

Thursday, January 5, 2017

"Rocks Off"


Footage shot by Robert Frank in 1971 shows Mick Jagger in front of the Galway Theatre, 514 S. Main St. -- as well as other Main Street shots. Frank later compiled a number of his images for the 1972 cover of the album "Exile on Main Street." The footage was edited in 2009 to the track "Rocks Off." Videodrumz has it on YouTube: "Rocks Off." Thanks to Jonathan at Vintage Venice Reel to Real Tours  for spotting this one.

See our Galway Theatre page for more on the Main St. grindhouse, around no more.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"Every Day's a Holiday"

A terrific proscenium view of the Follies Theatre, 337 S. Main St. It's a promotional still from the film "Every Day's a Holiday" (Paramount, 1937). It was directed by A. Edward Sutherland and stars Mae West, Edmond Lowe and  Charles Butterworth.

The photo once appeared on the Facebook page of the L.A. Conservancy but seems to have vanished from there. They had credited it to the Tom B'hend and Preston Kaufmann Collection via Terry Helgesen.  That collection is part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Margaret Herrick Library Digital.  The photo has also been seen on Photos of Los Angeles.

The theatre had opened in 1904 as the Belasco and was a fixture on Main St. until its 1974 demolition. See our Follies Theatre page for a history of the building and more interior photos.

On IMDb:  "Every Day's a Holiday"

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Stuart Saves His Family"


We get this look down on the Chinese in "Stuart Saves His Family" (Paramount, 1995). The film, directed by Harold Ramis, stars Al Franken, Laura San Giacomo, Vincent D'Onofrio and Shirley Knight. Thanks to Chas Demster for the screenshot, on his Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles page about the film. For the film they have "Alfie' up on the marquee -- an August 1966 release that didn't actually play the Chinese.

"Stuart" features a Saturday Night Live character as he attempts to solve the many problems of various family members. Mostly set in Chicago, we get this shot and a few other Los Angeles views when the family takes a trip west.  See our pages on Grauman's Chinese, 6925 Hollywood Blvd., for a history of the 1927 building and several hundred photos.

On IMDb: "Stuart Saves His Family"

Thursday, December 29, 2016

"Valley Girl"


In Martha Coolidge's "Valley Girl" (Atlantic Releasing Corporation, 1983) we, of course, do a bit of cruising. Half hour into the film we get a look at the Chinese, 6925 Hollywood Blvd. Thanks to Chas Demster for the screenshot. It appears, with many more location views from the film, on his blog Filming Locations of Chicago and Los Angeles.  The film, starring Nicolas Cage and Deborah Foreman, is a story of the punk from the city meeting the girl from the other side of the hills.

Visit our Grauman's Chinese pages for hundreds of views of the theatre inside and out.



An hour and nineteen minutes in  we go to the movies at the Sherman Theatre, 15052 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks. Thanks to the San Fernando Blog article "Filming Locations: Valley Girl" for this screenshot and the two below.  Also see a Fast-Rewind article "Valley Girl Behind the Scenes."



Another shot from the scene.



Back at the Sherman again for a second film. The theatre has been demolished. See the Sherman Theatre listing for it on our San Fernando Valley Theatres page.

On IMDb: "Valley Girl"

"52 Pick-Up"


We get a look at the Cinema Theatre, 1122 N. Western Ave., in John Frankenheimer's "52 Pick-Up" (Cannon / Golan-Globus, 1986). Thanks to Yuri G. for spotting the shot and including it on his Movie Tourist page about the film where he also has many more photos of other locations that were used.

The poor theatre went from being a cute foreign film venue to the porno business and now, even worse, it's a church. See our Cinema Theatre page for more photos.

The film, based on an Elmore Leonard novel,  stars Roy Scheider as an L.A. businessman who gets hit with some blackmail just as his wife (Ann-Margret) is running for city council. Going to the police is out of the question so he tries to deal with the issue quietly -- but problems arise as he doesn't really want to pay.  Kelly Preston plays Scheider's mistress.   John Glover is the manager of the Cinema Theatre. 

On IMDb: "52 Pick-Up"

Saturday, December 17, 2016

"The Neon Demon"


We begin with a bloody looking fashion shoot in "The Neon Demon" (Broad Green Pictures, 2016), Nicholas Winding Refn's sordid tale of the modeling business in Los Angeles. A look out the window lets us know where we are -- across the street we see the arches of the Schaber Cafeteria Building, 620 S. Broadway, just north of the Palace Theatre. The shoot is taking place on the second floor of the south storefront of the Los Angeles Theatre building.

The girl in the shoot is Jesse (Elle Fanning), an aspiring model from the sticks who comes to a sad end at the hands of spurned girl friend Ruby (Jena Malone) and envious competitors Gigi (Bella Heathcote) and Sarah (Abbey Lee).



At the shoot Jesse meets Ruby, a makeup artist who we later learn likes girls -- including dead ones. Ruby invites her to a party. Next thing we know we're coming out of the elevator at the Orpheum.



At the party on the balcony level of the Orpheum's lobby. Yes. everything at the party is very blue.  See our pages on the Orpheum Theatre at 842 S. Broadway, a glorious house opened in 1926, for many photos of the theatre lit in something other than blue.



We're still at the party but when it's time to go to the ladies room we use the one at the Los Angeles Theatre.



Another shot from the scene at the Los Angeles Theatre's ladies room.  The trio is trying to figure out the new girl and see what she likes. In terms of lipstick and other things. "Beauty isn't everything. It's the only thing." says Robert Sarno (Alessandro Nivola), a clothing designer we meet in the film.



Heading back to the party, Ruby is seen here exiting the deeper reaches of the restroom area and emerging into the cosmetics room.  See our pages on the Los Angeles Theatre for hundreds of photos, including a whole page on this area seen in "The Neon Demon."

On IMDb: "The Neon Demon"

Saturday, December 10, 2016

"The Killing"


We're all over town in Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing" (United Artists, 1956). Here we're on Hollywood Blvd. as Sterling Hayden is coming out of a store just east of the Warner Hollywood, 6433 Hollywood Blvd. The fuzzy marquee in the background is the Warner.



As Hayden gets into his car we get a glimpse in the background of the Iris Theatre. It's the second vertical down -- the first is for a Karl's shoe store.



Another frame a moment later gives us sharper look at the Iris, 6508 Hollywood Blvd.   See our pages on the Warner Hollywood and the Iris, later rebranded as the Fox Theatre, for more on those two buildings, both still on Hollywood Blvd.



Hayden has engineered a heist at the track. His buddies have all been killed so he has all the loot. He heads to a pawn shop on W. 3rd St. to buy the biggest suitcase he could find to put it all in for his flight to Boston. It doesn't end well for him -- he needed better locks on the suitcase. A lovely film.

That pawn shop is adjacent to the Lux Theatre, 827 W. 3rd St., here seen at the right of the frame. It's no longer with us -- a victim of the Bunker Hill redevelopment. See our listing about the Lux Theatre on the Theatres West of Broadway page for more details. The posters we see for Lenny Bruce with a burlesque show aren't for the Lux -- they're for the Gayety Club in Hollywood.

An earlier shot in the film a couple of blocks east, on the top of the 3rd St. tunnel, gave us a glimpse of the building that once was the Tunnel Theatre.

On IMDb: "The Killing"

"A Bucket of Blood"


A shot from the top of the 3rd street tunnel looking west in Roger Corman's "A Bucket of Blood" (American International Pictures, 1959) gives us a look at the building just west of the tunnel that used to be the Tunnel Theatre, 712 W. 3rd St.

The theatre entrance used to be where that big arch is in the lower center of the frame. Long before the filming it had been converted to a garage. It's been demolished. See a bit more on the Tunnel Theatre  in the listing on our Theatres West of Broadway page. Stanley Kubrick gives us a similar view from the top of the tunnel in "The Killing" (United Artists, 1956)

Thanks to GS Jansen for the screenshot on Flickr. It's in his album "Bunker Hill in Movies."

The film, shot in five days, has an all star cast that includes Dick Miller, Barboura Morris and Antony Carbone. Miller plays Walter Paisley, an untalented sculptor who, after covering his landlady's cat in plaster, is acclaimed as a genius. His friends expect even bigger works leading to all sorts of problems.  It's also been known as "The Living Dead."

On IMDb: "A Bucket of Blood"

"La La Land"

 Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) mourns that his favorite jazz club, Van Beek, has been turned into a samba and tapas joint in Damien Chazelle's "La La Land" (Lionsgate, 2016).  "Just pick ONE!" he says. The building is the former Magnolia Theatre, 4403 Magnolia Blvd. in Burbank. In the years since its film house life has been over it's been a recording studio, once owned by Barbra Streisand. See our Magnolia Theatre page for more on the venue.



Sebastian keeps running into Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress. When they finally start clicking after a number of mis-steps, their first date is to be at the Rialto in South Pasadena to see "Rebel Without a Cause." She's late and can't find him in the dark theatre so she steps out on stage to look into the house. The still, from the first "La La Land" trailer, was featured on an a page about the film from Elle.  The trailer is on YouTube, as is trailer #2 and a four minute making-of featurette.



Sebastian and Mia watching the film at the Rialto. It's a Dale Robinette photo for Lionsgate.  See our page on the Rialto Theatre for more about this historic venue. It's currently closed awaiting its next act.

Later in the film the duo go to the El Rey Theatre on Wilshire Blvd. where pianist Sebastian is playing with a group called The Messengers, fronted by Keith (John Legend).  We don't see much of the building itself. Our El Rey Theatre page has more about the 1937 vintage theatre, now used as a music club.

Mia puts together a one woman show. The exterior of the theatre she rents for the production is the Variety,  5253 W. Adams Blvd.  The interiors were shot elsewhere.  On our South, South Central and Southeast Theatres page you'll find our listing for the Variety Theatre, now a music club.

Other locations seen include the freeway interchange between the 105 and the 110 for the opening number, the Smokehouse Restaurant in Burbank (where Sebastian plays Christmas music), the Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach, the Hermosa beach pier, Angel's Flight, the Watts Towers, Griffith Observatory, and the Blind Donkey in Long Beach (Seb's nightclub at the end).

The N.Y. Times had a fine story "L.A. Trancendental: How 'La La land' Chases the Sublime" that included several shots from the film. On L.A. Curbed see "LA's Starring Role in 'La La Land'" and "The Ultimate 'La La Land' Filming location Map."

David Ng's December 25, 2016 L.A. Times story "'La La Land' looks beautiful but..." talks about the difficulties of location shooting for this film (and others) with so many historic locations vanishing.

USA Today has "Your La La Land Cheat Sheet."  Architectural Digest weighed in with "La La Land Set Design" profiling designers David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco. E Online has "The Official La la Land Guide To Los Angeles."

On IMDb: "La La Land"

Friday, December 9, 2016

"Miss Melody Jones"


"Her tinseltown dreams dragged her into the Hollywood gutter." What, you haven't seen "Miss Melody Jones"?  Perhaps you caught the film under its alternate title "Ebony Dreams." The 1972 American Films Ltd. blaxploitation film directed by Bill Brame stars Philomena Nowlin and Peter Jacob. No idea what happens in the rest of the film but in the opening sequence we get a walk down Hollywood Blvd. and several 360 degree pans around the forecourt at Grauman's Chinese.



A look toward the theatre's entrance.



Strolling past the display of Academy Award winning films and performers.



"Matinees Daily" -- a fuzzy view out to the street.

Thanks to theatre sleuth Jonathan Raines for digging this one out of the Hollywood gutter. Sorry about the extreme lo-res images. They're from YouTube where you can see the first few minutes of the film and enjoy its theme song "Hollywood."  Why don't you get the DVD and send me some better screenshots?

See our many pages on Grauman's Chinese for lots of history and several hundred photos.

On IMDb: "Miss Melody Jones"

"Bowfinger"


Steve Martin goes to the Fox Westwood Village Theatre for the premiere of "Chubby Rain," his film-within-a-film in Frank Oz's "Bowfinger" (Universal, 1999). Martin plays Bobby Bowfinger, a broke and untalented director, trying to get a film made featuring star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) -- with out Kit knowing about it.  A bit of blackmail with some footage they've caught involving Lakers cheerleaders persuades Ramsey to finally participate.



Pulling back a bit to show us more of the theatre's entrance.



Bowfinger and his team at the entrance doors looking at the approach of Kit Ramsey. On the right is Carol (Christine Baranski), an actress in his film.  At the left is the accountant turned screenwriter for the film.



Action star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) walking down the aisle with Daisy (Heather Graham). She's slept her way up the chain of command in Bowfinger's team (and then snared Ramsey) as she learns the business and figures out who can expand her role in the film. They get to sit in the VIP section.



Sorry, no seating in the reserved section for Bowfinger and his gang -- an usher takes them down front.



Heading to the the last remaining seats -- in the front row.



A nice group of seats from which to admire the Skouras-style sidewall decor.



"These are pretty good seats, aren't they?" asks Bowfinger.



Checking out the program.



The film-within-a-film begins.



Carol in a scene filmed in a garage without Ramsey's knowledge.  She admires his skill -- "It looked like real fear."  They'd put high heels on Bowfinger's dog to produce sounds to convince Ramsey he was being stalked by an unseen assailant.



Everybody's happy -- like an ideal Christmas scene in a film where everybody got exactly what they wanted. Daisy gets the rich film star, Bowfinger gets his career launched again, the car wash guy becomes a cinematographer, the accountant sees his screenplay produced.



The house after the film concludes. See our page on the Fox Westwood Village, now known as the Regency Village Theatre, for a history of the 1931 venue along with many photos.

The website Silver Screens also has a page on "Bowfinger."

On IMDb: "Bowfinger"

"The Formula"


We're in lots of exotic places like Berlin, Switzerland and on Wilshire Blvd. in John G. Avildson's surprisingly good thriller about the oil business "The Formula" (MGM, 1980). After we get a prologue in Germany, police detective George C. Scott is seen leaving the Vagabond.



Outside the Vagabond.



Another shot from the scene at the Vagabond. The theatre, after a long run as a repertory venue, became a legit house, renamed the Hayworth. See our page on the Hayworth Theatre for more about the building.



The film also stars Marthe Keller, John Gielgud and, of all people, Marlon Brando as an oil tycoon. Here near the end of the film we get a look, at the right, of the tower of the Fox Westwood from Brando's office window. See our page on the Fox Westwood Theatre for many photos of the 1931 vintage building.

On IMDb:  "The Formula"

Sunday, December 4, 2016

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit"


A look at the El Rey during filming of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (Touchstone, 1988).  Well, actually not the real theatre -- it's a nice mockup of the facade. The set was constructed for the film on Hope St. between 11th and 12th.



A closer view of the facade during filming. The "El Rey" shooting site is now a vacant lot. Thanks to
Bill Volkmer for the photos, appearing as part of a "Roger Rabbit" set on the website Dave's Rail Pix.



Another shot taken by Bill Volkmer during the filming.  Thanks, Bill! 



The El Rey set as it actually appears in the film as we look south on Hope St. Thanks to Douglas Rudd for the screenshot, appearing on Photos of Los Angeles.  The film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, stars Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd.

For photos of the real theatre see our page on the El Rey Theatre, still around at 5515 Wilshire Blvd.

On IMDb: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"