Monday, June 16, 2003

Sleeping with the Ambassador

Last night, we attended Collage Dance Theatre's performance at the Ambassador Hotel. When Mike first told me about this event, I thought he said there was a dance at the Ambassador Hotel. He said we should try to go to it since this may be the only chance we could see the interior of this historic hotel (which shut down in 1989).

We weren't expecting much from the evening save for the chance to check out the hotel and maybe take a few pictures. Turns out, the performance was entertaining. A combination of haunting music, athletic dancing and circus-like performances filled the whole night. Everything seemed nostalgic and I was constantly reminded of how grand the Ambassador was in its heyday.

Part of the performance (which took place throughout the hotel) was held at the famed Cocoanut Grove, but it looked nothing like the old glamorous place it once was. The interior is black, much like any stage you would see if you were seeing a small play. It was a little spooky thinking that RFK was shot just next door from that room, as someone from the show told us later.

The evening concluded in the great lobby where the elegance was still evident. This was where Mike turned loco.

I stood, amused, as he turned into a photo maniac trying to get all he can into our little digital camera. The same digital camera that was full of pictures, which we weren't quite sure if we downloaded them yet or not. We quickly deleted photos to make room for some cool Ambassador shots.

As we were leaving the hotel, we followed a group of people going towards the bungalows. Alas, we were quickly turned away by some guy who said that those areas are hazardous. Upon further probing, he said that whoever goes in will get something worse than SARS.

"Asbestos," I said to Mike. Sure enough, the hazard-nazi did admit that there was asbestos in those buildings -- to which we laughed over his dramatics.


Blogger SweetKali said...

I too attended the Collage Dance Theatre performance at the Ambassador, simply so I could get in there and take some pics. I was disappointed at the appearance of the old Cocanut Grove; when i went in there in 1982, it was much more glamorous looking. I had been dying to get back inside that hotel to get some photos before they did something to it and I succeeded somewhat, although I was not allowed to use a flash and it was in the evening. thank heavens as well, I got a pic of the hotel before they took down the decrepit red awning in the front emblazed with the hotel's name.
I am just sick about the Ambassador being torn down. I cannot bear that historic building being demolished. With all the money in this town, you think someone would purchase it from the school district and convert it into a theatre, artist enclave or something, while preserving the site of Sammy Davis Jr.'s comeback in the 1960's and the kitchen in which Robert Kennedy died. L.A. has no sense of history whatsoever (I still haven't gotten over the demolishment of the Pac Pacific Theatre in West Hollywood).

8:29 PM  
Blogger greece_traveller said...

Nice blog you have here. I would definitely love to come visit this historic hotel(as you say). I'm new at blogging so if you would like to check out mine you can find it here:
Santorini-One of the most gorgeous islands in Aegean.(for me atleast :)

12:44 AM  

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