The Downtown L.A. Film Festival

The Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival held a gala at The Alexandria Hotel, circa 1906. While beautiful in its stained glass and crown molding glory, the owners try to hide the state of semi-dilapidation with paint jobs. The effect is very Ms. Havisham's mansion from Great Expectations. For this native East-Coaster, it brought back feelings of nostalgia. Rushing in were memories of my college days in Richmond, VA, where we all lived in once-grand homes (some dating back to the Civil War) that were broken into smaller units. It rekindled my longing for great architecture. Half-lit chandeliers, shattered mirrors and all.

The "gala" itself was boring and felt like a fundraiser. Call me a snob, but one doesn't call it a gala with paper plates and cheap Smart and Final desserts cut into 2-inch servings....at a cost. It was filled with hipsters trying to out-weird one another via hair and clothing, and a band that played...well, it wasn't music.

We escaped and wandered around darkened service hallways and opened doors into forbidden and forgotten ballrooms. The beauty of the place was intoxicating, and we had a blast exploring....until chased down and escorted out by security.

Enjoy the photos!

Above: the original Hollywood Babylon crew; Fatty Arbuckle, Rudolph Valentino, Poli Negra, etc.

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