Monday, July 9, 2012


The Las Palmas theatre today.

Standing where the stage used to be. The seats were behind me.

The gaping hole where all the seats were
When I was a little girl, my lawyer/father loved legit theatre. He held leases on the Belasco and Coronet Theatres in Los Angeles, where he produced shows. But the special place for his heart was the Las Palmas Theatre in Hollywood. He brought Carol Channing to Hollywood to star in "Lend an Ear." His theatre gophers were George Schlatter (who became one of TV's most brilliant producers) and Ross Hunter (who became the King of Universal Movies). I spent every weekend there, watching auditions, script readings, rehearsals, opening nights, etc. I hung out backstage with every actor imaginable from the time I was about eight years old. He sold the theatre as he was getting older, and I've had to see it run down, and then built back up again as it became a nightclub. They changed walls, facades, all cosmetic things, but two weeks ago I was driving by and saw it was open and construction was going on. I walked in and all the fake facades had been knocked down, and what remained were the original walls I had grown up with. I saw my father's office and I'm sure I smelled his always-burning cigar. The original box office window had reappeared. And then I walked into the theatre. Instead of a nightclub's false floor, it had been ripped out, and the sunken area where all the original seats was revealed. I jumped into the pit and took a rock from the original foundation. It is on my nightstand as we speak.

No comments: