Broadway in Black & White
In conjunction with the Night on Broadway event Austere is presenting a collection of black and white photographs of the historic Broadway Theater District in downtown Los Angeles by photographer Mark Peacock.
Austere is a space for Scandinavian design and innovation along with promoting local LA artists, they have invited designers and companies that sit on the leading edge of design, fashion, beauty, technology and entertainment and created a place for them to showcase themselves to the world
"Broadway in Black & White"
As the former hub of commerce and entertainment for Los Angeles Broadway has always been one of the most historic boulevards in the city’s history, starting in the early 1900’s the first of many vaudeville and movie palace theaters were built until 1932 when the last theater (Roxie) was completed. The glory years of old Hollywood was actually in downtown Los Angeles where all major film premiers were released. After the war years of the 1940’s much of Hollywood’s film premiers moved to the city of Hollywood and in the ensuing next thirty years Broadway slowly started to decline. In the 70’s and 80’s many of these movie palaces showed Spanish language or porn films until they all eventually closed up. From there Broadway really started to go downhill and many of the theaters were gutted and turned into swap meet style retail stores while others just sat empty. A few people did not want to see the demise of these great movie and vaudeville palaces and in the early 2000’s Steve Needleman restored the Orpheum Theatre along with the Delijani family who maintain and own four of the major movie palaces along Broadway (Los Angeles, The State, Palace & Tower theaters). From this seed of restoration a slow resurgence along Broadway started to happen and various parts of downtown experienced gentrification and revitalization at a fairly rapid pace. Los Angeles City Councilmember José Huizar came up with a ten year plan to revitalize this National Register Historic District and this revitalization is now in full swing with constant changes and restoration.
Many of the photographs in this Broadway collection were taken just before and during this current revitalization along Broadway’s theater district and as a photographer I tried to capture the noir look of the past along with the beauty of the boulevards decay and restoration that can still be seen today on Broadway.