A curious combination of the old and the new, the Velaslavasay Panorama is one of this city's most unusual venues. Located just north of the USC campus, the West Adams space includes a performance hall, theater and garden, all of which are dedicated to reviving the vanishing art of panoramic painting. At one time, such displays, with their large, circular 360-degree landscapes and sound-art effects, were precursors to motion pictures, creating "a complete sensory phenomenon" through the illusion of movement and 3-D depth. These days, the Velaslavasay Panorama uses this venerable art form as a backdrop for live indie-music concerts and avant-garde and experimental exhibitions, as well as more traditional entertainment, such as silent-film screenings and toy-theater productions. For several years, the Panorama was based at the picturesque Tswuun-Tswuun Rotunda in Hollywood before moving in 2005 to its present location at the former Union Theatre in the West Adams district. Featuring exotic and even carnivorous plants like the Venus Flytrap, the current site's back garden is a place where artists and musicians show can how the natural and artistic worlds are blended in a state of "living garden wonder." All ages. Street parking.

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    It's a little neighborhood movie theater in Union Square, which you'd almost miss if you weren't facing it as you drive up Union Street on the way to USC.


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