Saturday, February 6, 2010

Vestiges of Deco Glory

I took the liberty of brightening the rainy sky in this shot so you could better see the art deco glory of Angels School Supply at 606 E. Colorado Blvd. Perhaps it's better known to old-timers as United Artist's Theatre. Clifford A. Balch designed the building for the firm Walker & Eisen. It opened in 1931-32.

I love CinemaTreasures.org. I read every word of their page about this building. Even better: I clicked on every link. And most of those links are photos.

Here's the theatre in the 1940's. Cool cars.
This one's earlier. Probably closer to when the theatre opened. More cool cars.
At some point, at least as early as 1961, someone thought it would be a good idea to cover the entire facade in aluminum siding. Sexy, huh?
Here's how that looked at night. (I had to throw that in. Me and the Zep. Wait. Hey! I was actually at that concert. At least as far as I remember.)

So anyway.

I haven't been inside Angels. That will change. Someday soon my camera and I will go in pretend search of school supplies and see what vestiges of art deco glory we can find.

21 comments:

Ted Thompson said...

"Aluminum Siding"

How hideous!! I'm so glad the original facade was still under that. From the descriptions it looks like you won't find much deco in there, sadly.

Petrea said...

Hi Ted. From the comments on Cinema Treasures I understand it was the current owners (Angels) who removed the siding. Apparently there's still some deco in the entryway. I may get a chance to go this weekend.

Bellis said...

This is fascinating research! I'm off there today on the pretense of buying a few school pencils. Did Led Zeppelin really perform there? When I saw them in 1970, they were already filling the vast Albert Hall in London.
In your photo, I can see one of those little palms that recently replaced the carrotwood trees. There were palm trees there when the cinema opened, but more of them.

Petrea said...

Sometimes I stumble on something and it ends up being more research than I expected. This is one of those.

Zeppelin didn't perform there. The documentary about Zeppelin was showing at the time the photo was taken. The reference I made to the concert I saw was in relation to the youtube link, a concert at the Chicago Stadium.

One of the links at the Cinema Treasures site shows a photo of Angels School Supply with the mature ficus trees in front of it.

J+P said...

I cannot believe that your mother would have ever let you go to that concert! Boys went to those show and they drank beer. They smoked cigarettes. And those boys up on that stage were no good, young lady. That's a fact. Aluminum siding, indeed!

TheChieftess said...

Ohhhhh, J+P...you thought those boys were smoking cigarettes??? tsk tsk...

TheChieftess said...

Seriously...I've driven by there many times and have never really seen the building for what it is...thank you for pointing this out Petrea!!! It makes me so sad that so many of these old theaters were abandoned for the new multiplexes!!!! I loved going to the Alex here in Glendale while I was growing up...and I'm so greatful that the city of Glendale valued the historical significance of the theater enough to assist in the restoration and year to year expenses...yea Glendale and those who spearheaded the restoration!!!

Petrea said...

I was in college. I knew all about cigarettes and beer and what the boys on stage were smoking.

I'm all about preservation, Chieftess. I'd love to see this as a theatre, but if that can't happen I'm pleased to see adaptive reuse.

TheChieftess said...

I totally agree Petrea!!! I'm so glad that Pasadena has kept the old buildings to the degree that it has!!! It just makes me sad when old theaters that once were grand, have lost that original purpose :( But like you, I'm grateful for any preservation!
South Pasadena has been in a quandary for some time about what to do with the Rialto...with the demise of the town center project, there's no real direction now on how to preserve it, and it's in such a bad state of decay, I'm not sure it will be saved in the long run...the city certainly doesn't have the funds that Glendale had to assist...

Virginia said...

I just love those cool old theatres. We have one that's a cycle shop now. I have many a fond memory though. V

Trish said...

OMG!

They took out the theater?

I saw "The Wiz" there many, many moons ago.

ah, things do change...which is part of the reason why I read your blog...I'd have never known.

There are plenty more traumas for me to discover out there...Target moving into Robinson's was a big one for me.

Bean said...

I have been in Angels. I love school supplies.

Petrea said...

Yeah, Chieftess, we'd all like to see everything preserved but when it comes to the money, I don't suppose we have the solutions. I should speak for myself.

Virginia, from what you've shown me of Birmingham your town has a lot of preservationist souls as well.

Trish, I'm here to serve up the traumas for you. Hey, was that Target/Robinson's building considered an architectural achievement? It's got a couple of angles that aren't so bad looking.

Bean, I love school supplies, too. Especially the kind of memo books with lined paper. And pens. And I still have a backpack that I've had for ages. I used to love getting new supplies every fall. It was the one thing that made going back to school okay. (That and new clothes.)

Kat said...

Wow. What great old photos you dug up! I remember when that horrible "new" facade on the UA Theater was torn down and that beautiful old facade was revealed. why would anyone have ever covered that up! I used to work in a Laemele's movie theater on the east side of town (now, oddly, a church) and I remember poking around in it's very drab interior (I was a snoopy employee) and discovering that the screen had neon (covered up) all the way around it leftover from the 30's or 40's. Then I dug up some old photos that showed beautiful rose murals painted all the way down the walls on the inside of the theater. Int that 60's, someone had decided they had to go. So sad! I often wonder if they were all torn out during the reconstruction that happened in the 90's.

Ms M said...

that's a great building; I'm glad to see that they have saved it. And the old photos were fun to see.

Latino Heritage said...

Don Cotten and his wife are good business folks and help out members of the community when they can. They have been sponsors of local events like our Latino Heritage parade and jamaica, Latinofest, and other events in the community.

Shell Sherree said...

I'm so glad it still exists, even if it's been repurposed. Or is that 'recycled'. 'Upcycled'? It's good, anyway. Thanks for including those old photos too, Petrea ~ what beauties.

Petrea said...

Kat, please don't be secretive. Tell us where that is!

Ms. M., it's amazing what you can find on the web. I had no intention of doing all that research but when it comes up I can't stop.

Latino Heritage--Roberta! Welcome. I'm glad to see you've signed on. I've just joined your blog as a follower (do I get a prize?). I'm always glad for your input and information, not to mention your opinions.

I agree, Shell. Even if all we get to keep is its outer, uh, shell, I'm glad we have it. It's a beauty.

Thal Armathura said...

Take a look at what happened to the State Theatre, just across from Target/Robinson's. And yes, the Robinson's is a Pasadena official landmark by a noted architect, although when it was built it took out the most notable bungalow court in Pasadena, and located on Colorado Blvd. If you look at the oldest United Artist Theatre photo, you'll notice the corner of Madison and Colorado, and across the street the multi-storied Sears building, and just west of the multi-storied Sears building is the Beaux-Artes style original Pasadena I. Magnin store which was demolished for the beautiful parking lot on the SW corner of Madison and Colorado. Pasadena really hasn't done a very good job of preserving its past, it's just Pasadena had so much that even though it's lost so much there is still a lot left over.

Thal Armathura said...

I'm sorry, I meant just east of the Sears building was the Beaux-Artes style I. Magnin store. My compass starts spinning when I think about all that isn't there anymore.

Thal Armathura said...

I'm sorry, I meant just east of the Sears building was the Beaux-Artes style I. Magnin store. My compass starts spinning when I think about all that isn't there anymore.