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Pantages Theatre / Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Times

March 28, 2011 Monday

Home Edition/ Entertainment Desk; Part D; Pg. 3

CLASSIC LOCATIONS

The grand Pantages Theatre began its storied life as an Art Deco movie palace on June 4, 1930. Originally, the theater designed by B. Marcus Priteca and built by vaudeville giant Alexander Pantages presented vaudeville acts between screenings of first-run movies. Pantages sold the theater to Fox West Coast Theaters in 1932, and 17 years later Howard Hughes — who, legend has it, haunts its offices — bought it for his RKO Theatre Circuit. The theater was also home to the Academy Awards from 1949 to 1959. Pacific Theatres bought the property in 1965. It closed its doors as a movie theater in January 1977. Over the years, countless movies and TV shows have been shot there, including the Talking Heads’ 1984 concert film "Stop Making Sense."

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  1. Gary Parks

    A tiny footnote in the Pantages’ history is when a stinkbomb was set off during the screening of a Disney short subject, c. 1941. This was during the Disney strike. My dad, Ed Parks, had worked on the short, and was attending that night, as the short was premiering. The theatre’s staff–including the manager, in white tails–were frantically hunting under the seats on the main floor for the bomb. It was eventually found.
    Another footnote–again when my dad was attending the premiere screening of the Goofy short, “How to Ride a Horse,” one audience member–a man–laughed so hard at one part, that he stumbled out of his chair and crawled on all fours up the aisle, eventually regaining his feet and going out into the lobby for water. The part that had struck him so funny was a cartoon “x-ray” view of the rider of the horse, during which the internal organs bounce all around and the narrator says “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.” When the horse comes to a stop, the organs tumble down and settle in the bottom of the rider’s abdomen–all a-jumble. It was a simpler time in the history of humor.

  2. Gary Parks

    A tiny footnote in the Pantages’ history is when a stinkbomb was set off during the screening of a Disney short subject, c. 1941. This was during the Disney strike. My dad, Ed Parks, had worked on the short, and was attending that night, as the short was premiering. The theatre’s staff–including the manager, in white tails–were frantically hunting under the seats on the main floor for the bomb. It was eventually found.
    Another footnote–again when my dad was attending the premiere screening of the Goofy short, “How to Ride a Horse,” one audience member–a man–laughed so hard at one part, that he stumbled out of his chair and crawled on all fours up the aisle, eventually regaining his feet and going out into the lobby for water. The part that had struck him so funny was a cartoon “x-ray” view of the rider of the horse, during which the internal organs bounce all around and the narrator says “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.” When the horse comes to a stop, the organs tumble down and settle in the bottom of the rider’s abdomen–all a-jumble. It was a simpler time in the history of humor.

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