Pan Pacific Auditorium circa 1988
Before Los Angeles had a commerce and population requiring such indoor venues as The Staples Center, The L.A. Sports Arena, and the L.A. Convention Center, there was the venerable Pan Pacific Auditorium. The nearly endless list of events included Ice Capades, Harlem Globetrotters, Wrestling, UCLA basketball, Political rallies, and concerts of all musical genres. In fact, Elvis was seen leaving the building. His performance date, 1957.
The striking streamline moderne facade of that multi functional hall made an impression on me at an early age (1960′s) when Dad took me on his tropical fish store route. Later during my years at UCLA I liked to drive by and admire it. But the old beauty by then was neglected and left behind by the newer, larger, exhibit halls. Talk was afloat for years about restoration. But the only result was more crumbling and decay. It is a scenario all too familiar, especially in San Diego with the California Theatre and the La Jolla cottages, Red Roost and Red Rest.
While taking this photo from behind the post office, a resident of the neighborhood said “It’s a fire waiting to happen.” Sadly he was right.
Historical photographs of this and other L.A. landmarks, go here: