The Bradbury

The Replicant Pris in Blade Runner

The Replicant Pris in Blade Runner

The Bradbury Building at 304 South Broadway has a list of Hollywood credits that would do any shooting location proud:

  • Blade Runner (1982) is the most famous, where it serves as J. F. Sebastian’s apartment where the replicant Pris catches up with him.
  • Shockproof (1949)
  • D.O.A. (1950)
  • I, the Jury (1953)
  • M (the American remake, 1951)
  • Good Neighbor Sam (1964)
  • Marlowe (1969)
  • Chinatown (1974)

That’s just to name a few of the movies shot there. There were also numerous made for TV movies and television programs set there.

Interior of the Bradbury Building

Interior of the Bradbury Building

Last Thursday, Martine and I stopped in to visit the 1893 office building, which is still filled with business tenants. Because of that, tourists are limited to the ground floor atrium and the first landing on the stairs leading to the upper floors. No matter: It took no time at all to see that the Bradbury is one of Los Angeles’s architectural treasures.

 

O Brave New World!

Downtown L.A. Financial District

Downtown L.A. Financial District

Don’t let anyone tell you he or she knows Los Angeles. Why? Because there’s too much for one person to know. There are broad swaths of the county which I have never seen, mostly to the Southwest, all those weird little communities along Interstate 5 like Hawaiian Gardens, Downey, Lynwood, Paramount, Bell Gardens, and Santa Fe Springs.

But thanks to today’s little safari, Martine and I know a little more about the area immediately to the Northeast of Pershing Square. We had three destinations and hit them all:

  • The tantalizingly named The Last Bookstore at West 5th & Spring with its grim motto: “What are you waiting for? We won’t be here forever.
  • The Grand Central Market at West 3rd & Broadway, which I’ve always wanted to visit but never got the chance to.
  • Across the street from the GCM is The Bradbury Building, built in 1893 and the location for scores of Hollywood movies, most notably Blade Runner (1982).

The big surprise was Union Station, where I arrived in Los Angeles on December 28, 1966, on the Santa Fe Railroad’s El Capitan train service. For decades, the station fell into disrepair and disuse as Amtrak hit the skids. But then the city decided to add a substantial suburban rail system called Metrolink, a growing network of subways and light rail lines, and a bus hub. Now its a busy place with new shops opening and crowds of people on the way to and from somewhere.

Tomorrow, the Expo Line will link Santa Monica to downtown L.A. with the nearest stop being a few blocks south of me at Bundy just south of Olympic.

It’s nice to know that, in this day and age, I can find something positive to write about without having to grit my teeth.