I took this photo of the California Theater from the fire escape
of an old building at 8th and Main Street in Los Angeles in
1982. I used the facade in a painting called "Magazine
Stand". When I came across this photo the other day, I
visualized this theater at night, with its neon all aglow. When
I was growing up in Bellflower, California, we would go to the
Saturday matinees at the Nubel Theater on Bellflower Blvd.
Once in a while, we would go at night. I still recall the
night my friend Bobby's parents dropped us off to see "The Bride
of Frankenstein". My parents wouldn't allow us to see
"Frankenstein", even though it had been at the movies since
1931, so I was really worried about watching this film. It
was just as scary as I thought it would be, so I will use the
movie poster from that movie as my background in the painting.
Here's a late 1940's photo of the Nubel, downtown Bellflower.
Movie posters were very cool in the 1930's, and this horizontal
one is perfect for my painting.
Here's my sketch for the painting, "MOVIE NIGHT".
With the movie poster plastered on the 'wall', the theater
marquee juts out from it onto the street. The sidewalk contains
all the movie treats with popcorn, soda, Milk Duds, M&M's, Dots
and Good and Plenty's. There are two people purchasing tickets
at the ticket window and their two 'double' tickets are
positioned on top of the M&M's bag.
This setup will help me picture the lighting on all the objects.
I am working on a 46"x 44" canvas and have begun the painting by
working on the poster wall.
Boris Karloff was the original 'monster' in these films and got
I've blocked in the basic colors on 'the monster'.