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Twenty Years: I'd Still Like that Cafe

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, February 16, 2005, at 07:39PM

I pass the Los Angeles Theatre Center two days a week taking the DASH to Union Station. It's a fascinating building; the classic bank architecture is contrasted against a modern addition and a 1980's sci-fi font. But it's also a troubled building, even leaving aside the management issues. The front of the LATC has to be close to number one in terms of the number of bums hanging around out front. Supposedly "plans" are in the works, but, well, plans have been in the works forever. It's interesting to read some of the newspaper quotes from a couple decades ago...

From a September 1985 LA Times article just after the center's expansion:

The facade of the bank building has been left alone, except for the addition of a modest logo for the center and two immodest lampposts (happily, to be replaced). Also left alone, unfortunately, is the brutalistic concrete facade of the addition. Though well scaled, the facade needs the sidewalk cafe that has been designed to go there, and/or some plantings, to soften it. Also needed for some character and identity-if not tradition-is a marquee, or at least a kiosk.

Sidewalk cafe? That sounds cool. Tell me more:

"If this place works the way I think, the (the outdoor) Terrace Cafe will eventually be open to the wee hours of the dawn and people are going to sit out there and discuss what they've seen in these theaters, talk about what's hanging on the walls, or simply argue over their chess game."

(from an article four days earlier, quoting theatre director Bill Bushnell)

Who knows, maybe twenty years is the charm.

Does anyone know if the cafe was ever there, and then closed? Or did it just never happen? I've got my money on the latter, but I'd like to be told I'm wrong.


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