Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tours, Talks, and Sunset Boulevard

L.A.'s Third Orpheum Theatre
The Orpheum/Palace Theatre

A quick note about a couple of historically-minded events in downtown Los Angeles this weekend: Ed Kelsey's presentation at the Palace Theatre on the very eve of its centennial; and the Last Bookstore's inaugural tour of the Secret Lives of Downtown led by Brady Westwater.

If you're not among the lucky ticketholders to be a part of one of the three Sunday screenings of Sunset Boulevard at the Palace Theatre in conjunction with the L.A. Conservancy's Last Remaining Seats program, you're missing a special event indeed. Sunday will mark 100 years to the day that architect G. Albert Landsburg's vaudeville theater opened for business on Broadway as the Orpheum. You're not entirely out of luck, though. As a special treat, the League of Historic American Theatres' Ed Kelsey will provide a special presentation on the Palace this Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the theater. Hosted by the Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation, Ed's talk will be followed by your opportunity to tour the building and check out the results of the first phase of the building's restoration. Believe me, the chance to walk on the same stage on which the Marx Brothers trod is more than worth the price of admission, which for Saturday's event is free.

Also this weekend, for the low price of $15 (cheap!) you can be a part of Brady Westwater's first walking tours of "secret" downtown. You may've taken any number of tours of downtown, but what I know of Mr Westwater guarantees a point of view you will not have gotten from anyone in the past. The tours are scheduled to last about 2 1/2 hours each and begin at 11:00 a.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday. As if you needed any more incentive, the tours are presented by and begin at the Last Bookstore at 5th and Spring. Maybe it's your first chance to see the shop in its new location; the Last Bookstore held its grand re-opening on June 3. For more information on The Secret Lives of Downtown, visit the shop's blog. Thanks, Brady, for the alert.

And a nod to the Los Angeles Public Library for the photo.

Have a great history-filled weekend, everyone.

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