On January 23, 2015 I saw the band, The Night Terrors of 1927, play at the Roxy Theatre on Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood. After digging deeper into the culture and history of Los Angeles I thought of The Roxy Theatre and how its appearance doesn’t seem to match its purpose; a nightclub. So I felt that there must be an interesting history behind the building, because from the outside it looks like an old black box that is about to fall in on itself, and there sure is.
Basically, the building originally started off as the Westside Market in the 1930s and at that time the building was white and had a nice storefront and many more windows than it has today. Oddly enough, at some time during its life the building became Club Largo started by Chuck Landis. Club Largo was a burlesque club that featured comedians and exotic show girls and their motto was “Where the Stars meet on the famed Sunset Strip.” Oddly enough, with it transformation from a market to a strip club the building was painted black, maybe symbolic of the night life in Hollywood or the fact that the building isn’t so pure anymore.
On September 23, 1973, the building officially became The Roxy Theatre that was opened by Elmer Valentine, who opened two other nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, and Lou Adler. It is very fitting that Lou Adler owns the Roxy nightclub, because he is a Grammy Award-winning American record producer. Ever since its opening in 1973, The Roxy Thetatre has been home to some of the best performances and starts of well-known bands and actors such as Neil Young and Paul Reubens who introduced his Pee-wee Herman character at the Roxy in 1981.
The Roxy Theatre definitely has an odd past, but then what doesn’t in Los Angeles, the city that keeps imagining and growing with little regard for the past is what makes Los Angeles Unique. Anyone or anything can come here to be created and it doesn’t matter what they have done before, but rather what they are doing now and in the future. I’ve started to realize that Los Angeles is a city of the future and the present, not the past, and even though many dark moments have been lost in the white man’s history of the city, it is still an amazing place where technology and people come to grow and make something better of the world.