Sunday, August 21, 2011

Pasadena's Egyptian Theatre

Looking at a catalog of historical photos is an extreme passion of mine! Especially ones that pertain to local Southern California history. There's nothing like identifying a local monument in a historical database of photographs.

The Pasadena Digital History Collaboration is an awesome resource for historical photographs that pertain to Pasadena. One can spend a lot of time going through the images and identifying which structures they recognize today. Pasadena is extremely rich in history!

The other night, while searching the database, I found this beauty:

Photo of Warner's Egyptian Theatre courtesy of Huntington Library

I had a feeling that I recognized that brick and tile pattern on the facade. But the original structure of this theatre is far too beautiful to forget so I questioned myself. I google mapped the address located on the image and sure enough it was about a 2 block distance from me.

Here is an image of her now taken via mobile phone:

A drastic change wouldn't you say? From Vaudeville and early film glory to a retail shopping center. From a creatively imagined piece of architecture with a ton of character and attention to detail to a forced vanilla box. She's passed by thousands of unassuming motorists everyday on Colorado Blvd with her pride deprived. She once was a head turner and now she's left on the curb.

There is light to this story though. The theatre is still intact behind this building. From what I understand, it's a shell of itself inside but still contains many beautiful architectural elements from her original glory. The next time you are passing the intersection of Colorado Blvd and Sierra Madre, please take a moment to see if you recognize her from the images. She's on the South/West side of the intersection.

Here's to a long and better future beautiful theatre!!

Pasadena History, Pasadena Historical Photos

1 comment: said...

Very interesting. Glad to see you started doing, "Then and now". I hope to see more of these.