Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"What's Love Got To Do With It"

We pay a visit to the Apollo Theatre in New York City in Brian Gibson's "What's Love Got to Do With It?" (Touchstone Pictures, 1993). This story of Tina Turner and her abusive husband Ike stars Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne. We get a quick shot of the actual Apollo exterior but when we go inside we're at the Warner Grand in San Pedro. The sequence is 48 minutes into the film.

Tina and the backup singers onstage at the Warner. 

A main floor view. Does it look like the Apollo? No.

Another look down from the Warner's balcony.

Tina gliding across the Warner stage in the Apollo Theatre sequence..

When the couple moves to Los Angeles we get this very grainy shot of Grauman's Chinese, at the time running "No Way To Treat a Lady" with Rod Steiger. The film actually played the theatre later than we're pretending it is in the film. It opened April 3, 1968 for a seven week run.

An hour into the film we get a TV performance. It could have been shot almost anywhere as there's  not enough of the venue seen in the film to make it identifiable. It's possible it was done at the Hollywood Playhouse.

A backstage shot from the TV sequence. We're offstage right with a murky glimpse into the auditorium.

Phil Spector shows up to meet Tina. And, of course, Ike pops up as well - he doesn't want to be left out of the action.

Ike and Tina are opening for the Rolling Stones at the Olympia in London. The film says it's 1968 but they actually opened for the Stones in 1969.  Thanks to Mike Hume for the screenshot. No, we're not in London. It's on the Universal Studios backlot.

The "Olympia" is the second marquee down there on the left. Mike spotted it at the top of a Universal Studios Lot web page.

The interior of the "Olympia" turns out to be the State Theatre at 7th and Broadway.  The sequence is an hour and 11 minutes into the film.

Another shot at the State, doubling as the Olympia.

A balcony view at the State Theatre during the Olympia sequence. The number is "Proud Mary" from Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Several other concert sequences could have been shot at the State but are so closely cropped we don't see anything of whatever venue they were done in. This murky shot, an hour and 15 minutes into the film, is supposed to be at a concert in Los Angeles in 1974.

When the action moves to Dallas, we get a quick drive-by of the Academy Theatre on Manchester Blvd. in Inglewood. Later, after yet another fight with Ike, Tina tells the manager of a Ramada Inn that she's supposed to be opening that night at the Academy.

For the beginning of the "What's Love Got To Do With It" sequence at the end of the film we're at a club they're calling the Ritz. This is what they've dressed up as an exterior. It's in on the west side of the 1000 block somewhere -- there's a 1027 address on the awning to the right of the Ritz.

For the Ritz's interior, we're at the Hollywood Playhouse on Vine St. a theatre also known as the Hollywood Palace and the Avalon. Before the show begins there are dressing room views and a shot of Tina coming down a spiral staircase backstage.

A look out into the house at the Hollywood Playhouse. 

Another shot of Tina (Angela Bassett) onstage at the Ritz/Hollywood Playhouse. From here we cut to some shots of the real Tina doing arena and stadium shows to finish the film.

See the Los Angeles Theatres pages about the Warner Grand, Grauman's Chinese, the State Theatre, the Academy and the Hollywood Playhouse, and for more data and many, many photos. 

On IMDb: "What's Love Got To Do With It"

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