The Sunset 5

The Sunset 5


One of the first theaters I went to when I moved to Los Angeles. Easily within walking distance, so only a ten minute drive. All shiny back in 1989, the parking was free and one could boringly flip through laserdiscs at the nearby and exciting at the time Virgin Megastore. Sadly, it was mostly art films, so I couldn’t tell you what I saw there.

The Crescent Heights/Sunset complex is probably cursed, since it occupies the spot which used to be occupied by the Schwab’s drugstore, which was the place where Lana Turner wasn’t actually discovered. Now it’s just as dead as Schwab’s, with two empty floors of exposed plywood standees from a once flourishing Virgin Megastore, the paint shadows of signs marked CDs and DVDs peeking through the floor to ceiling glass. A visit to the Sunset 5, and you are transported to a carefree time of television that you couldn’t fast forward through, cell phones that you couldn’t talk on (we called them pagers) and moments in your life where you weren’t constantly connected to all the knowledge in the universe. 1995, when people ‘bought’ ‘music’ at a ‘store’.

Movies are supposedly going the way of the Sunset 5 complex, and you immediately get that feeling when you use their loathsome parking ticket computer, which seems to hail from 1985. When you get home to your time machine tonight, would you travel back twenty years, and tell engineers that having the computer voice of a Mac SE say “Please wait” every five seconds for the baffling 60 seconds it takes to read your ticket and give it back to you having done nothing, has the opposite of the intended calming effect? And maybe you can kill Hitler or something.


The one film what I saw @ The Sunset 5