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On Location: L.A. movie palaces still matter to film industry

[via THS Director Dennis Wilhelm]

November 22, 2011 |  4:02 pm
LA Times

 

The opulent picture palaces and vaudeville halls of Downtown Los Angeles may be monuments to a bygone era, but they are still keeping their ties to Hollywood.

Theaters in the historic Broadway District, including The Orpheum, the Palace Theatre and the Los Angeles Theatre, are featured in several current and upcoming movies, including Walt Disney Pictures’ “The Muppets,” Warner Bros.’ “J. Edgar” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” and the Weinstein Company’s “The Artist,” the silent, black-and-white period romance that opens in the U.S. this week.

The elegant structures are popular among location managers and set designers because of their rich and varied architecture, which ranges from Art Deco to French Baroque and Spanish Gothic — sometimes all in the same venue.

“These downtown L.A. theaters constitute a local treasure trove of historic and exotic show palace interiors and exteriors,” said Harry Medved, co-author of the book “Location Filming in Los Angeles.” “They can double as live theaters, nightclubs, casinos, hotel lobbies or music halls in London, New York, Detroit and Paris.” …

Most of the original 19 theaters have long since closed. A handful — including the Orpheum, the Million Dollar Theater and the Palace — remain open for special events, screenings and concerts. (Loew’s State Theatre, at 7th and Broadway, is a church.) Several rent their auditoriums, lobbies and ballrooms to film crews, which may be the reason they’re still around.

For the complete story, PICTURES and VIDEO go to: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/11/on-location-downtown-movie-palaces.html

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