Talks

LAVA's 41st Sunday Salon

Join LAVA for our revived free monthly Sunday Salon series. We return to South Broadway, to the mezzanine of Les Noces du Figaro, which was recently opened by the family behind Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz. This handsome space was formerly Schaber's Cafeteria (Charles F. Plummer, 1928), and the mezzanine features wonderful views of the Los Angeles Theatre.

On the last Sunday of each month, LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a structured Salon featuring formal presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another. If you're interested in joining LAVA as a creative contributor or an attendee, we recommend Salon attendance as an introduction to this growing community. We also recommend the eclairs.

Read about the original Sunday Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria.

Presentation One: Jean Harlow Part 2

The name resonates. Blonde Bombshell. Platinum Blonde. The labels applied by press agents during Jean Harlow's seven-year career still carry a charge seventy years later. Harlow created the mold: the first blonde sex symbol who captured the attention of a nation, then touched their hearts with her genuine warmth and candor. At a time when Harlow's star shone its brightest, Los Angeles and the movies gave birth to a district that exists as much in the mind as on the map. Hollywood historian Darrell Rooney is co-author of Harlow In Hollywood. He returns to the LAVA Sunday Salon to pick up where he left off at his January 2014 presentation, with Jean Harlow's story following the mysterious death of her husband Paul Bern.

Presentation Two: Preserving the Legacy of Wurdman & Beckett's Animal Hospital in West Hollywood

West Hollywood residents and area historians Kate Eggert and Krisy Gosney of Dead History Project fell into historic preservation activism when two 110-year-old bungalows on their street were threatened with demolition. Everyone said they wouldn’t win... until they did. Recently, they went to a West Hollywood Historic Preservation Commission meeting on a whim. The Commission discussed a 1938 Wurdeman & Becket streamline moderne animal hospital and a 1959 Barry Berkus mid-century modern office building, both slated for demolition and the site for redevelopment. They were told these buildings were a lost cause. But as a little research revealed the significance of the site, they knew they would fight. Their grassroots preservation campaign has garnered significant media attention and the support of the Los Angeles Conservancy, Art Deco Society, the family of architect Welton Becket and hundreds of passionate citizens. Responding to the rising community outcry, the developer has begun suggesting ways in which the Wurdeman & Beckett structure can be integrated into a modern building. This LAVA presentation is about the process through which Kate and Krisy are tackling the biggest preservation fight of their careers, the highs and lows, and the delicate dance of politics, ego, money and information that impacts any community when developers seek to build on an historic site.

Femme Fatales, Hardboiled Dames and Dragon Tattoos: Examining and Expanding the Female Archetype in Noir panel

WeHo Reads' A Day of Noir celebrates National Literacy Month with a panel "Femme Fatales, Hardboiled Dames and Dragon Tattoos: Examining and Expanding the Female Archetype in Noir" moderated by Paula Woods ("Strange Bedfellows") and featuring authors Steph Cha (“Beware Beware”), Kim Cooper (“The Kept Girl”), Christa Faust (“Money Shot”) and Rachel Howzell Hall (“Land of Shadows”). Take a fascinating look at the complexity of female characters in Noir through the eyes of a dynamic and eclectic group of women authors. Authors sign their books following the panel. Panel runs from 5:30pm-6:15pm, with other events from 1pm-7pm). Visit website for full schedule.

Ernest Batchelder & The Roebling Building

To sign up for this free event: First register as a user on this site, and then return to this page. Refresh the page and the signup tab will appear just to the left, above this paragraph. Click "signup" and reserve your spot. No plus-ones; each guest must register individually.

ABOUT THIS EVENT:

Join LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association in The Roebling Building in Downtown LA’s Arts District for an historical discussion of the custom Ernest Batchelder decorative tile — a gift from Mr. Roebling’s employees — in the building’s original corner lobby.

The figural tiles portray the history of the company and its signature product, spun metal rope cable, and its use to solve a wide variety of engineering challenges. Also on view in the lobby is the remarkable curving staircase, partially constructed of the metal rope also used in the suspension of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The talk will be conducted by LAVA Visionary and Southern California tile expert Brian Kaiser, who with LAVA has previously presented on Batchelder’s Dutch Chocolate Shop. Brian will discuss the tile commission in the larger context the development of Batchelder’s work in Los Angeles, and the possible later integration of these custom designs into his commercial catalog.

The Roebling Building is the home of the Angel City Brewery, and we invite you to allow yourself time before or after the presentation to sample their fine brewed beers and ales.

Learn more about Batchelder's work in Los Angeles, and here at the Roebling Building, in Liz Arnold's recent article.

 

Lowriting: the Photography of Arturo Meza

Art Meza was born and raised in Los Angeles. His photography infuses elements of his daily surroundings—his love for classic car and Lowrider culture, and pride of his Chicano upbringing—to produce images with “Chicano Soul.” Art will share images from his book, Lowriting: Shots, Rides and Stories from the Chicano Soul. The book also includes essays and poetry by contributors including Luis J. Rodriguez, Luis Alberto Urrea, Lalo Alcaraz, Gustavo Arellano, and Alvaro Rodriguez.

This free program is presented by Photo Friends LAPL and generously sponsored by Christy & Stephen McAvoy. Feel free to bring your lunch.

Turn Up the Radio! Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles 1956-1972

Turn Up the Radio! digs deep to uncover the studio musicians, background vocalists, songwriters, producers, and engineers who helped propel the Los Angeles rock and pop music scene to such a legendary status. Bones Howe, Barney Kessel, Hal Blaine, B. J. Baker, Merry Clayton, Jack Nitzsche, Tommy Boyce, Bobby Hart, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Jim Keltner, Bobby Womack, Kim Fowley, Bruce Botnick, Dave Gold, and Stan Ross are just a few of the names recognized for their crucial contributions to the music created and produced in the recording studios of Los Angeles. LA native Harvey Kubernik has been an active music journalist for over 40 years and the author of 5 books, including Turn Up the Radio!

Presented by Photo Friends of the LAPL and generously sponsored by Christy & Stephen McAvoy

LAVA's 40th Sunday Salon - LAVA Visionary of the Year Lecture

Join LAVA for our revived free monthly Sunday Salon series. We return to South Broadway, to the mezzanine of Les Noces du Figaro, which was recently opened by the family behind Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz. This handsome space was formerly Schaber's Cafeteria (Charles F. Plummer, 1928), and the mezzanine features wonderful views of the Los Angeles Theatre.

On the last Sunday of each month, LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a structured Salon featuring formal presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another. If you're interested in joining LAVA as a creative contributor or an attendee, we recommend Salon attendance as an introduction to this growing community. We also recommend the eclairs.

Read about the original Sunday Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria here.

LAVA Visionary of the Year Lecture: Forgotten Artists: The Master Tailors of Hollywood's Golden Age

Who made Clark Gable look the part of a superstar? Who dressed Humphrey Bogart, the Ice Follies, and an entire generation of Filipino migrant workers? Who led Liberace from traditional white tie and tails towards outfits shimmering with Swarovksi crystals? The long-forgotten master tailors of Hollywood’s golden age, that’s who! While Tinseltown’s great dress designers — Adrian, Irene — remain well-known, the tailors whose genius rendered Fred Astaire and William Powell impossibly suave have faded into obscurity… until now. Join Los Angeles retail historian, and LAVA Visionary of the Year, Marc Chevalier, as he reveals the marvelous, surprising stories of Hollywood’s top three tailors, whose extraordinary careers rose and fell with the movie industry.

Marc's presentation will be divided into two sections, each about 45 minutes in length, with a 15 minute break in between.

The Salon will be followed by a free walking tour, The Flaneur & The City: Broadway on My Mind walking tour #13. Please visit the tour series Landing Page for videos and descriptions of past tours and the goals of the series.

Wiltern Theatre All About Tour and Reception

Please join us for our first All About at the beautiful Art Deco Wiltern Theatre. Opened in 1931, the Wiltern was threatened with demolition and was only saved because of the determination of local preservationists.

Come hear the story of the rescue and restoration, then take docent-guided tours of the entire theatre, including backstage areas not accessible to the public! We’ve been granted FULL ACCESS for this tour; don’t miss this rare opportunity!

This Tour will feature the same presentation and 4 tour loops as the day's earlier tour, and a Reception in the lobby following the tour. Special guests to be announced. Your ticket includes admission and appetizers. There will also be a cash bar. Tickets are $35 ($30 for LAHTF members, click the "Redeem Benefits" button during checkout to apply LAHTF Member Discount).

Wiltern Theatre All About Tour

 

Please join us for our first All About at the beautiful Art Deco Wiltern Theatre. Opened in 1931, it was threatened with demolition and was only saved because of the determination of local preservationists. Come hear the story of this rescue and restoration, then take docent-guided tours of the entire theatre, including backstage areas not accessible to the public! We've been granted Full Access for this tour; don't miss this rare opportunity!

The first tour is at 12:00pm. it will feature a historical slide presentation and 4 tour loops covering the entire theatre.

Tickets are $15 ($10 for LAHTF members, click the "Redeem Benefits" button during checkout to apply LAHTF Member Discount).

Of Scrap & Steel: free rooftop screening of rare 1949 color film set on Main Street, Downtown L.A.

To sign up for this free event: First register as a user on this site, and then return to this page. Refresh the page and the signup tab will appear just to the left, above this paragraph. Click "signup" and reserve your spot. No plus-ones; each guest must register individually.

LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association is pleased to announce a free roof-top screening of a newly-discovered circa 1949 short color film of Main Street and other downtown Los Angeles locations, the Union Rescue Mission-produced Of Scrap & Steel. The screening is in conjunction with a series of downtown stories on the In SRO Land time travel blog, featuring material from the Union Rescue Mission Archives.

ABOUT THE FILM: In mid-1948 the Board of Directors of the Union Rescue Mission approved the expenditure of $5,000 to make the 30-minute film Of Scrap & Steel which portrays the redemption and good works of Arthur Hawkins, an alcoholic executive who ended up on the streets of Los Angeles and whose life was saved when he turned to the URM for help. Porter Hall (Arthur Hawkins) is one of only two actors in a film otherwise populated by real Los Angeles characters. (You may recall Hall’s performance as the pesky guy on the train in Double Indemnity.)

Of Scrap & Steel was only shown in screenings organized by the URM or related organizations, and would have been completely lost if Liz Mooradian, URM historian, had not saved a deteriorating 16mm print and had it transferred to video before it was too late. Of Scrap & Steel is just one of the remarkable artifacts discovered in the Union Rescue Mission archives and explored in the In SRO Land blog.

This entertaining and powerful short film is a compelling snapshot of life on Skid Row (Main Street) circa 1949, and a fascinating document of the important work that the URM continues to do with the most needy in the community. Although downtown Los Angeles features in numerous noir films, it is extremely rare to see color images of eastern downtown, and rarer still to see full-color live-action footage of the vibrant street scene that included rescue missions, pawn shops, amusement parlors, bars, restaurants and the ever-patrolling paddy wagon in search of drunkards to haul away to jail or County work crews.

This free rooftop screening is jointly organized by LAVA – The Los Angeles Visionaries Association, the In SRO Land time travel blog and the Union Rescue Mission. Seating will be provided, and attendees are encouraged to dress warmly for the cool night air.

Gourmet box dinners: “Meals with a purpose” will be available for purchase ($5, cash only), with a choice of sandwich (vegetarian, roast beef or turkey), cookie, fruit, or chips. Soft Drinks ($1, cash only). Coffee (decaf), hot tea, cold water, and fresh popcorn compliments of the URM. 100% of proceeds from your meal donation goes to the URM, and the proceeds from each dinner will feed two other people.

This screening is held in conjunction with the Skid Row Walking Tour, a separate free event beginning two hours before the screening. Separate registration for each event is required if you wish to attend both the screening and walking tour.

Nearest Metro station is Little Tokyo.

Limited free parking is available at the URM’s underground parking lot. Just tell the attendant you are there for the film. Please carpool: if each guest arrives with one other person in their car, there should be enough parking for all. Those arriving later will have to leave their keys with the parking attendant.

In addition, there will be overflow parking in the San Julian parking lot located just behind the URM, on San Julian Street between 5th & 6th Streets, on the east side of the street, adjacent to URM. Registered attendees will be able to enter the URM from the Women’s entrance on San Julian. There will be ample staff to direct you from the lot to this entrance.

In the event of rain, we will screen the film in the Chapel.

Schedule

6pm - Doors open (reserved guests check in at the main entrance and are sent up to the roof)

7pm-8pm - Box dinners available for purchase, guests can watch the sunset (7:45pm)

8pm - Rev. Andy Bales, CEO of the URM, Nathan Marsak of 1947project, Richard Schave of Esotouric, and Prof. Paul Rood of BIOLA will introduce the film in the context of the neighborhood’s history, and their work on the In SRO Land time travel blog, and a brief introduction to the life and legacy of the URM‘s founder, Lyman Stewart.

8:30pm - Film screening

9pm - Q & A

9:30pm - Event ends

LAVA's 39th Sunday Salon

Join LAVA for our revived free monthly Sunday Salon series. We return to South Broadway, to the mezzanine of Les Noces du Figaro, which was recently opened by the family behind Figaro Bistro in Los Feliz. This handsome space was formerly Schaber's Cafeteria (Charles F. Plummer, 1928), and the mezzanine features wonderful views of the Los Angeles Theatre.

On the last Sunday of each month, LAVA welcomes interested individuals to gather in downtown Los Angeles (noon-2pm), for a structured Salon featuring formal presentations and opportunities to meet and connect with one another. If you're interested in joining LAVA as a creative contributor or an attendee, we recommend Salon attendance as an introduction to this growing community. We also recommend the eclairs.

Read about the original Sunday Salon at Clifton's Cafeteria here.

A Note On Arriving Downtown on Sunday

The Made In America concert will close off the Civic Center (the area around City Hall) for the whole weekend. Please do not, if you are driving, take the 101 freeway to come downtown, as you will be plagued with festival detours. The Pershing Square Metro Station is the closest transit stop to Cafe Figaro. If you are driving, it is easy to access 7th & Broadway if arriving via the 10 freeway, the 60 or the 5. We recommend taking public transportation, or allowing yourself more time than usual if you are driving.

Presentation One: Charlie Parker's Central Avenue Jazz 

Alto saxophonist Charlie Parker arrived at Los Angeles' Union Station in December of 1945 all but tied to his seat. Somewhere in the southwestern desert his heroin withdrawals had caught up with him and the rest of the band knew they were going to be in for a long trip. But none was going to be as long as Parker's.

The two titans of bebop, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, had booked a winter gig in sunny LA. Six nights a week in a Hollywood nightclub was a nice way to get out of the City and introduce a new audience to their innovative bebop sounds -- but Parker's spiraling drug problem was a liability before the band had even packed their bags.

When the residency finally ended, relationships were in shambles, box office receipts were disappointing and the band was eager to just get home. But Parker didn't show up for the flight. It took him over a year to finally get out of Los Angeles. During his extended stay, Parker had disastrous recording sessions, transcendent recording sessions, he signed over royalties to his drug dealer, lit his hotel room on fire and eventually served six months in a mental institution.

Author Sean J. O'Connell chronicles Los Angeles's unique 20th century jazz scene in his newest book, Los Angeles's Central Avenue Jazz. For his first LAVA presentation, he will chart the journey of jazz' greatest destructive genius through the nightclubs and back alleys of 1940s Los Angeles.

Presentation Two: Living a Magickal Life

What is magick and how does one live it? From kitchen witchery and crafting to ceremonial magic, join us to examine the core principles underlying magick and discover ways to enrich your life by creating change in accord with Will.

Soror Lilya is an Initiate of Ordo Templi Orientis, a Thelemite and a Crafter who has been working with Magick for over 20 years.

The Salon will be followed by a free walking tour, The Flaneur & The City: Broadway on My Mind walking tour #12. Please visit the tour series Landing Page for videos and descriptions of past tours and the goals of the series.