Tuesday, January 06, 2015
The Shrine Auditorium
I was first introduced to Los Angeles' Shrine Auditorium in the 1954 Judy Garland movie "A Star Is Born." The star-studded benefit seen at the beginning of the movie uses the real Shrine Auditorium and the stage is used by Garland in her first musical number, "Gotta' Have Me Go With You."
This vintage 1950s image shows the Shrine Auditorium in daylight; still impressive!
Opened in 1926, the Moorish-style building was designed by San Francisco-based theater architect G. Albert Lansburgh, along with local L.A. architects John C. Austin and A. M. Edelman. I checked it out in person on my last visit to L.A., excited to get some shots of the exterior and (possibly) the interior if the building was opened. After snapping this photo, I was promptly halted by a 20-something gent who was involved in setting up some tables for an event that was being hosted there much later in the evening.
Acting as if he'd crap his diapers if I took another shot, I decided to move on and snap shots of the other sides of the building.
The Oscars were hosted at the Shrine Auditorium from 1947-1948 and then again from 1988-2001.
Besides "A Star is Born," the original "King Kong" (1933) used the Auditorium for the final scene where Kong is displayed onstage to the world.
It is also the location of the infamous 1984 Pepsi commercial where Michael Jackson's hair (and scalp) caught on fire.
It should come as no surprise that the building was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1975.
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