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Wednesday, June 6, 2007 Westwood and Wilshire

Westwood and Wilshire where those two boulevards meet is one of those Los Angeles non-neighborhoods. Westwood Village, the college town, is just to the north, and the big UCLA campus just to the north of that. The business district "Little Persia" with its shops and restaurants for the fabulously wealthy Iranian exiles of Beverly Hills (where the new mayor is Iranian-American) is just to the south.  In between are the odd shops, the old movie palaces that should be up in Hollywood but aren't, and in the last decade, rows of soul-crushing contemporary skyscrapers looming over the scene. That's what makes it visually interesting.

For example, from 1941 there's The Crest, still the site of many a movie premier.

Pacific Crest Theater, Westwood Boulevard
Pacific Crest Theater, Westwood Boulevard
Pacific Crest Theater, Westwood Boulevard

In case you need to know

    The Crest was first constructed in 1941 by Frances Seymour Fonda, the second wife of Henry Fonda and mother of Peter and Jane Fonda. Originally intended as a showcase for live theater, the onset of World War II brought with it the need for a venue where local residents could watch newsreels about the battles happening overseas. Soon after it adopted the 'UCLAN Theatre' moniker in reference to the nearby university, and then eventually settled on the Crest.

    In the 1970s it was temporarily renamed the Metro, and MGM made minor design changes. But when Pacific took control in 1985, it was renamed the Pacific Crest and a long-standing partnership with Disney began. "Three Men and a Baby" was the first film the studio premiered. But more renovations were needed. The auditorium was reconfigured, the screen was brought forward, new curtains were put up, a new marquee was designed, and the wall cyclorama was assembled. After all of these updates, the Bette Midler-Lily Tomlin comedy "Big Business" debuted at the Crest.

Oh, and those skyscrapers

Skyscrapers - Westwood and Wilshire
Skyscraper - Westwood and Wilshire
Skyscrapers - Westwood and Wilshire

The middle building is "The Tower" - 10940 Wilshire Boulevard, at Midvale Avenue twenty-four stories, designed by architect Helmut Jahn and constructed of Verde Antique granite and Brazilian Navy marble separated by bands of Kasota limestone.  Up close it can induce something like clinical depression.  The wall below will fix that,

Office building with palm reflection, Westwood and Wilshire

Local signage businesses and statements

Sign, Westwood Boulevard
Sign, Westwood Boulevard
Frown sticker, Westwood
"huge" sticker
Gas price mime billboard
"Nuke 'em" sticker, Westwood

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the 'fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back this site.

Technical Note:

Most of these photographs were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0.  Earlier photography was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

[Westwood at Wilshire]

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 - Alan M. Pavlik