Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Street With No Name Or The Theater With No Name?

I can't remember who alerted me, but someone on CinemaTreasures said that there was a shot of the Regent Theater in the movie from 1948 called 'The Street With No Name'. I now know this is true but I can't find the original posting. Anyway, the person was correct. I bought the DVD and created screen shots to prove the fact. It was a little sad that they used Main street in Los Angeles for 'skid row' in a fictional town called 'Center City' for an FBI propaganda film. The film is now marketed as a 'film noir' movie and I have to admit that there are a few 'noir' moments. However, from the opening credits and narration with the J. Edgar Hoover teletype confirmation, to the end with the same, this is not a 'noir' film as a whole. For our purposes, however, it does document a part of Main street that might have been forgotten. What I don't know is how much 'dolling up' the movie company did for the movie. It looks pretty gritty, strange for 1948, which mostly used studios and sets, but this is most definitely Main street in downtown Los Angeles. Finding the Regent Theater was easy but what I was interested in was across the street. The Rosslyn Theater is much more elusive. I have one and only one photo of the Rosslyn as a theater. In this movie, unless I am very confused, the Rosslyn has been converted to something called 'Joyland Penny Arcade'. I've tried to compare it with the one genuine photo of the Rosslyn and there is an establishment next door to the south with a sign that reads, 'Money To Loan'. In the movie there is an establishment with the same wording but a different design. The problem is that there is a business in between that only says Coca-Cola and a few other things. The screen shot that is below shows both but I don't know if they turned the facade of the Rosslyn into a hotel for the plot of the movie or if the 'Money To Loan' business moved down one address north. Any information would be appreciated.




Above are the screen shots from this movie of the Regent Theater and the Canadian Building which would be just south of Winston & Main on the east side of the street. The shot below is before the camera panned over which shows the 'penny arcade' that could be the Rosslyn. The other scenario that I thought of is that the sign that says 'Coast 5-10' could be the Rosslyn and that the movie company created the facade for the movie. I can't imagine that the space was actually converted to a cheap hotel. Again, if anyone knows, I would appreciate any information.




















This is an actual photo of the Rosslyn Theater courtesy of the USC Digital Archives which they claim to be c.1930-1949:

63 comments:

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Jeff, the Rosslyn has to be the diner (Coast 5-10) and hotel entrance in the movie. Note the position of the streetlight standard in both shots. They would not have moved that, and it was opposite the southern end of the theater entrance.

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