Friday, April 16, 2010

Cinematic Church

At 2588 East Colorado Blvd., amid antique shops, used furniture stores and a cute-looking restaurant or two, you'll find the Pasadena Christian Center which (obviously) used to be a movie theater.

A snoop around the church's website will tell you about their religious mission and practice. They've been in Pasadena in various locations since 1929, and "debuted" in the one-time Colorado Theater in 2002.

The Colorado Theater link takes you to the fantastic Cinema Treasures website. The photos of the early Colorado Theater show it looking much plainer than it does now. I wonder when the marquee got so fancy?

And if you're looking for something to do after church this weekend, check out Ben Wideman's new series about city parks at The Sky is Big in Pasadena.

20 comments:

Pascal Jim said...

I Do (Dah) believe a certain Parade will pass by this theater church soon.

Virginia said...

Whenever I see churches housed in places lilke this, I always laugh thinking about one of my favorite kid books, "Because of Winn-Dixie". Remind me to tell you about it. I love the way you captured the swirly ceiling. Very cool place.

I'm headed to Ben's place now.
V

Petrea said...

A new route this year, then, PJ? If you see me out there snapping pictures, say hi.

I've heard the title but never read the story, V.

Ben's doing a series on Pasadena's city parks and their mosaic signs. I've never taken a close look at the signs, never realized how different they are. His shots give you a chance to examine them.

J+P said...

Okay, Okay, I have it! get this—a church, see, but it’s in a movie theater. A movie theater, get it? So, like, what you have, in you have raked seating, just like in the Crystal Cathedral, but a robed character from The Robe sits in the box-office.

And inside, inside!, oh, you're gonna love this. You got your Phaoronic decorations, your dancing goyls … and your collections are taken in the aisles by ushers dressed like Egyptian slaves.

Can you see it? Can you? And so when the lights go down and the curtains part, the service is officiated not by a pastor, but by the projected image of Charlton Heston as Mo-ses. I kid not, it’s gonna be a blockbuster, buster!

And you could have Cecile De Mille show up at the right moment, as the Pope! Am I on to something here, or what? Am I? Am I? And you could have Jeffrey Hunter as … you know Whom.

(Remember William Goldman's advice: if you bring a Saviour on in Book XII, Ch. 3, he's gotta go off in Book XIVX.)

Hell, it’d suck them in by the millions! Who needs show biz when you have religion?

altadenahiker said...

This was a great theater back in the 90's. You could catch independent and foreign films. Off the beaten track, there was rarely a line. Guess that's why it closed. Think they tried to go main stream for awhile before giving up.

Petrea said...

Ted Neeley, Ted Neeley!

As to the closing, Hiker, there are a few clues in the comments on the Cinema Treasures entry.

Kat said...

I once worked at the Colorado Theatre back when is was a Laemmle. That fancy facade did not exist then... I think the church added it. Inside, however, buried by years over over building, there used to be neon surrounding the screen and big roses painted on the inside of the theatre. We once found some old pictures stored somewhere around there that showed what the place was like in it's heyday-- and it was lovely.

Margaret said...

Ah...a world where people thought about what the undersides of awnings would look like.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I’m off here, but are we talking about a chapel on screen?

My advice: use your apple or PC, or just pas.

Petrea said...

I love old theaters, Kat. Roses, no less.

Peeking out from the undersides tomorrow, Margaret.

Anon, I don't think so. The theater had over 700 seats. I haven't been inside, but the website gives the impression of a congregation meeting in the theater space.

mark said...

I wonder if you can get hot, buttered popcorn and a pack of Dots during the sermon?

Katie said...

Cool photo- I love all the swirleys. Let me know when J+P sets up the movie theater church with the costumes and Cecile De Mille and such; I'd go! Especially if there's popcorn and Dots during the sermon (great idea Mark!). Bummer I can't make Ben's talk about the mosaic signs. Where's that high speed CA train?!

Petrea said...

Hee hee, Mark.

Katie, Ben's not doing a talk, but rather a series of blog posts. Check 'em out!

Cafe Observer said...

I agree with P+J: "Who needs show business when you have religion!"

J+P said...

Actually, my rhetoric was questionable.

Petrea said...

Yes, but fun.

HearkenCreative said...

I saw "Do the Right Thing" at this theater (and many other flicks, if memory serves correctly) and then led the worship band at this church for a few years. They are great people, and did a wonderful job restoring/re-purposing a dilapidated building. Still miss the theater, though -- I have good memories from there.

Petrea, when you get a chance, go inside the old theater -- now the "sanctuary," if you can call it that. One thing that the theater didn't have is the exposed concave ceiling that you can see from outside (It was covered by insulation and false walls, I think). Now it is exposed, all natural wood, and is a beauty to behold.

Petrea said...

Oh! I hadn't realized while standing in front of it, but is this the building with the big, round "lumps" on top? I'll have to happen by someday when the doors are open and ask for a glimpse inside.

Cafe Pasadena said...

Tomorrow is Sunday, so I expect PDP will bring us fotos from inside the sanctuary!!

Petrea said...

Not this time, Cafe. But hopefully one of these Sundays.