Monday, October 8, 2007

Two Snapshots of Mid-Century Los Angeles

Sunday's L.A. Times had two history lessons that gave Angelenophiles more than enough reason to pick up the paper:

Stop me if you think you've heard this one before: Morrissey wound up as the final performer at the Palladium As We Knew It; after a renovation, LiveNation -- which now manages the facility -- promises state of the art digs. Meanwhile, the paper's Cecila Rasmussen recounts the Palladium's history and how it now reps one of the only Hollywood dance floors to survive:
In the 1940s, the Palladium's dance floor drew stars such as Rita Hayworth and Tyrone Power, and the stars drew tourists as well as working folks, who saved up for the $1 cover charge and a $3 dinner.

During nearly seven decades, the Palladium also attracted powerhouse performers whose musical styles reflected changing tastes, from Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones.

And it outlasted most of the other vast ballrooms, including Aragon at Ocean Park and La Monica on the Santa Monica Pier.

Now, as the long-closed Cocoanut Grove at the former Ambassador Hotel gives way to a school and the Earl Carroll Theatre serves as a filming site for children's television shows, the 67-year-old Streamline Moderne-style Palladium is poised to undergo a massive, yearlong renovation.

Meanwhile, the L.A. Times remembers the day 50 years ago when the City Council voted to approve the arrival of the Brooklyn Dodgers -- giving the team the rights to play in a new stadium at Chavez Ravine.

Quite a few interesting tidbits I didn't know: That as she ran for City Council, young USC grad Rosalind Wiener first put out the idea of steaing away the Dodgers. That Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley wasn't sold at first on the idea, and was ambivalent about it until arrival. Also, apparently O'Malley convinced the owner of the New York Giants to head to San Francisco as well. Read for more.

No comments: