Friday, March 28, 2014

Vintage Photo Friday - Pico & Westwood

Picwood Theater, 1949

I'm revisiting an earlier Vintage Photo Friday today.  From the BibliOdyssey Blog: The Picwood was designed as a neighborhood theater by architect S. Charles Lee, built in 1948. The 

design epitomized the modern post-war aesthetic, which required simple lines, inexpensive building materials and quick construction to satisfy the post-war boom. The simple curved pylon was a landmark in the flat landscape of one- and two-story buildings. 
When I was a kid, this was a major hangout. The bowling alley and coffee shop next door to the theater was a meeting place for kids from the westside. One of the first movies I saw here was "West Side Story" (1961). One of the last was "The Jazz Singer" (1980) with Neil Diamond. 
Picwood Theater, 10872 Pico Blvd., West L.A.,
Corner of Pico and Westwood Blvds.

This was a one-screen rare in today's movie houses. The seats were big and roomy. From the 60's thru the 80's, the decor was gold, modern and glitzy. You can see, by the photo below, that the curved pylon was shortened and the decorative panels with the dingbat starburst were added for a more modern exterior.

1981, courtesy of Richard Wojcik Photo Archive

This entire complex was demolished in 1985 to make way for the extension to the Westside Pavillion Mall. This extension still houses a theater complex (Landmark Theaters) and a various other shops. Sigh.  I'll bet if the Picwood Bowling Alley were still there, it would be a huge neighborhood success!  Double sigh.

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At 4:06 PM PDT, Blogger Brenda said...

Love these pics !

At 10:05 PM PDT, Blogger Lizzy Tex Borden said...

The last movie I saw there was Apocalypse Now. Those pictures really bring back memories.

At 6:27 PM PDT, Blogger Bill T. said...

Thanks for these shots of the Picwood. I attended a lot of Saturday kiddie matinees there in the 50s, great place to dump the kids for a few hours for only a quarter! For first run movies admission for kids was $0.25, $0.90 for adults. John Wayne cowboy flics, Lucy in the "Long, Long Trailer," and countless MGM musicals made just a few blocks away. Sigh indeed! On the other side of Westwood that mega-mall killed Vons, Sees Candies, Buster Brown shoes, Rexall Drugs, a great old five & dime style store, and a lot of childhood memories.

At 8:45 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Thanks for the comment, Bill. I remember the area pre-Mall too!


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