Wednesday, July 6, 2016

"Rock and Roll High School"

In Allan Arkush's "Rock and Roll High School" (New World, 1979) we get scenes using the exterior of the Mayan Theatre where
people are lining up for a Ramones concert.  Ardent Ramones fan Riff Randell, seen here at the center of the shot, is played by P.J. Soles.

Later in the evening in the film gives us a shot  of the lit up facade of the Mayan as the "Rockatorium." Note the quite different marquee in that era compared to the current exotic treatment. The interior scenes for the concert were filmed elsewhere. A backstage pizza eating scene was filmed at the Whisky, the concert scenes at the Roxy.

The Ramones outside the Mayan. It's a Bruce Frankel photo appearing in Village Voice courtesy of the "Rock and Roll High School" director Allan Arkush. 

In the 2011 Voice article "Allan Arkush Looks Back" he comments: "These photos turned up in a box, in the basement of the photographer's mother's when he was moving her out of her suburban home. The photographer, Bruce Frankel, is the cousin of one of my oldest friends. He was probably 19 years old when he took these shots. 

These were taken outside the Mayan Theatre in December 1978, on the day we shot 'I Just Want To Have Something To Do.' It looks like we were having fun, which we were. In the shot of us in the back of the Cadillac, notice the take-out container of chicken vindaloo! 'Eating chicken vindaloo,' go the lyrics. Joey and I look like such happy geeks." 

Another shot at the Mayan by Bruce Frankel. Voice article writer Eric Davidson calls "RRHS" one of the 5 best films of all time. Or at least one of the 5 best musicals.  Thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting the story and sending it our way.

Want to see more of the theatre? Head to the Mayan Theatre pages on the Los Angeles Theatres site for many views of different areas of the building.  

On IMDb: "Rock and Roll High School"

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