Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
April 29, 2003 continued


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Route 66 in Los Angeles

7th and Broadway

State Theater After the festivities at Palisades Park in Santa Monica it was time to journey to downtown Los Angeles to honor the official end of Route 66 from the days before Santa Monica. 7th and Broadway in the heart of the "City of Angels" was once the western terminus of Route 66. We left Santa Monica followed by the Road Kings from Burbank and our caravan headed for Los Angeles.
   
One problem though, we had to get to 7th and Broadway in the gigantic Route 66 Caravan RV – a feat I certainly had my doubts about. Los Angeles traffic can be quite challenging in a compact car let alone a 36’ RV pulling a 28’ trailer! My hat is off to Jim Conkle’s driving ability; we made it through all that traffic. I must admit though, there were a couple of times I braced for impact and awaited the sound of twisting metal as we navigated those narrow downtown streets. I was so happy when we finally parked our Caravan RV in front of the State Theater. Now all we had to do was get back out!
   
Downtown Los Angeles is a busting place and 7th and Broadway is perhaps the busiest area of all. This area is home to some of the most splendid examples of 1920 – 1930s architecture to be found on Route 66. The movie palaces, cafes, and businesses speak of another time in America when buildings were not only functional but also works of art. There are some beautiful buildings from a time when Hollywood ruled and the theaters themselves were more exciting and elegant than the movies being shown. Our Roadside Attraction sign was placed in the heart of Los Angeles to honor those times and Route 66.

StateTheater Roadside Attraction Sign

     
The LA Conservancy knows that and is doing one fine job of preserving these works of art for generations to come. Trudi Sandmeir and Callie Batts from the Conservancy were there to help us dedicate the Route 66 Roadside Attraction sign.

 

Elegance of Another Era

One of the highlights of the day came when Trudi had us fetch a ladder from the Los Angeles Theater down the street to aid in the sign unveiling. As we walked into this old theater I got sidetracked. That can happen quite easily for me when I’m thrust into wonderful new situations, and this was one of them. I stood in awe of the impressive, magical world we had just entered. I’ve heard of the magnificent movie palaces of yesteryear but I have never seen anything quite like this. Los Angeles Theater

 

Los Angeles Theater Interior Elegance of Another Era
I bet Jim wondered what had happened to his co-pilot when he turned around and found I had disappeared. Yes, I was exploring the nooks and crannies of the Los Angeles Theater with my camera. These pictures can’t even start to capture the elegance and splendor of what was before me. What an era this must have been. I would like to come back sometime and spend days photographing all the fine detail and palatial splendor that was the golden age of Hollywood. But I had to help carry the massive ladder back to our sign. So much to see and do and so very little time to do it!

 

Broadway: Once Western End of Route 66

Palace Theater on Broadway If I was impressed by the Los Angeles Theater I was more impressed by the fact that there were other buildings and theaters just as impressive all up and down the street. The LA Conservancy certainly has their work cut out for them. The Roadside Attraction sign is just a small way we can recognize the efforts of these wonderful individuals.
The unveiling went quite well. Martin Milner showed up and gave us a hand too. All to soon it was time to head out of the downtown traffic and make our way to South Pasadena for another great site along Route 66.

Clifton's Brookdale Restaurant Since 1935

 


West 66
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East 66
Oaklawn Bridge
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