Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

Tour downtown LA's historic Million Dollar Theatre this Saturday

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LA may be getting the tallest skyscraper in the West, but we also have a dozen of the nation's most historic theatres -- all packed into the Broadway corridor. Take the Million Dollar Theatre for instance. Built in 1918, the Million Dollar was Sid Grauman's first movie house, getting its name because of how pricey it was to build.

A great example of the exotically decorated movie palaces of the twenties, the Million Dollar features an elaborate, ornamental Spanish architectural style known as Churrigueresque. The entrance to the theatre is adorned with intricate depictions of longhorn steer skulls and bison heads. You might have even noticed the Million Dollar if you've ever seen Blade Runner, where it shows up more than once. 

Like many historic structures, the theatre has of course changed hands over time, suffering the occasional minor defacement and bad paint job. But like so much of historical Los Angeles, it's now benefiting from a resurgence of interest. The band Wilco even made their LA tour stop at the Million Dollar last year. 

As City Councilmembers would like you to remember, Broadway is coming back. 

The Los Angeles Historic Theatre Foundation will conduct tours of the Million Dollar  Saturday at 9am and noon ... including the basement and balcony. More info at the LAHTF website

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