That banner up top there? That's a photo by me. And each week (hopefully) I will be replacing it with a new banner based on a photo of mine, and running the complete photo here, with the story behind it. I know...this is kind of ambitious for someone who was whining the last few months about ending the blog, but what can I say? I mean besides the fact that I'm a Gemini...let's just look at it as the new version of "Friday Foto," but on Sunday. Okay?
That's the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles, on Santa Monica Blvd., just a stone's throw from the 405. This photo is of a more recent vintage, but the theater hasn't changed much, other than a paint job, some marquee repairs, and maybe the psychic is no longer there. I picked this photo in particular to start off my "new" blog and the banner feature because of the title of the film on the marquee. I really thought I'd be killing this blog on Dec. 31...all of this is very "unforeseen" for me.
The first time I photographed the Nuart was on my first-ever trip to the West Coast, in 1991. I was driving around Los Angeles on surface streets (the freeways terrified this kid from Pennsylvania, where a "big" road was 2 lanes in each direction) and stumbled across it. I came back just at dusk and snapped the photo below. I've never been inside the theater, but I love the outside neon on the marquee, the sunburst pavement below, and just the general feel and color of the place. Next door is a video store, around the corner, tucked away on a side street (Idaho Ave.) in what appears to be a little old house is a funky bookstore called Sideshow Rare Books, Art & Curiosities. In essence, this neck of the woods seems like a time portal in West L.A., able to take you back to an era when movie theaters existed in neighborhoods and had just one screen, paperbacks were fifty cents (and not collectibles) and a night at the movies was something really special. Both these photos have a certain "stardust" quality to me...something gone but not forgotten, longed for but rarely found. But maybe it's just me.