Everyday, whether it is going to class or the gym, I drive down old Vaudeville on Broadway.
The Beloved accuses me of masochism, the teeming masses of base humanity, the squalor, the general degradation, all place a dark cloud on one’s soul.
But my eyes look upward, to the movie palaces, the LosAngeles, the Million Dollar,, the imposing Tower,and the enchanting decrepit Pantages with it’s ungainly griffins.But none capture my imagination like the Palace.
Opening as a Vaudeville theatre on June 26th 1911, it was initially the Orpheum (a much lovelier name);traces of the word Orpheum are visible on the southern entrance, thievery?”renovation”? a loss. Orpheum is also pride of place over the entrance.
What is most enchanting about the Palace, built in the Renaissance Revival fashion, is it’s poly-chromed facade, most specifically the four allegorical panels.
The panels were created by Domingo Mora, apparently his son was responsible for the equally fantastic ornament of the Million Dollar down the street.
The color and detail of the facade is dazzling, I am amazed I have not rear ended another vehicle with my gawking. It is the most wonderful frosting in town.
I have been particularly enchanted with the light fixtures, they are surmounted with the most wonderful, almost cartoon-like butterflies. Why were they chosen? I do know butterflies are an emblem of the Soul, Art=Soul?
Haven’t a clue, they are a treasure, and fortunately out of reach of thugs and scrap thieves.
I so love this building, that I was inspired to put pastel to paper, I had hoped to capture some of the spirit. This modest offering is the Muse of Vaudeville.