By Paige Osburn
Once upon a time, Sid Vicious walked into a tiny café in Little Tokyo, got six orders of fried rice and started a food fight. On another occasion, David Byrne ordered an Egg Foo Yung and a glass of milk. And on different night, an all-girl band from Los Angeles picked up a plate of Gogo Chicken and decided they liked the name.
This is 422 East First Street, the corner of First and Alameda in Little Tokyo. Down the street is the Digby Hotel. Beyond that, the Los Angeles Soap Company. And inside is the Atomic Café, noodle house and one time after-hours punk hangout.
Due to a combination of obsolescence and budget cuts, the landmark venue -- located at Pico and Main -- is finished hosting concerts, though the auditorium will still have some city events.
This news has gone largely under the radar. But that's a shame, because artists like Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and Queen performed classic shows there in the '70s, and in the following decades the spot helped propel the national punk movement, hosting acts like X, The Misfits, The Cramps, Bad Religion, and Black Flag.
It opened in 1926 as the final theater included in vaudeville master Gustav Walter's chain of revue theaters, each called the Orpheum. It was the number one place to see Hollywood's biggest names, at a time when live variety shows reigned supreme. Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr. and Judy Garland -- who was discovered at the Orpheum performing under her true name Francis Gumm -- all performed there.
Known for its winding narrow streets and terrifying mudslides, Laurel Canyon became a part of the city of Los Angeles in 1923. Its close proximity to Hollywood and ample unused hillside attracted the film industry's elite "photoplayers" including Clara Bow, Errol Flynn and Harry Houdini.
See also: *Jack White at The Shrine, 8/10/12
Built in 1906 as an Al Malaikah Temple (L.A.'s headquarters for the Shriners), the original Shrine Auditorium stood 14 years before it went up in flames in 1920. The original building -- which boasted the Titantic-esque quality of being "practically fireproof" -- burned to the ground in under a half hour. (The cause is unknown.)
The Reseda Country Club, located on Sherman Way near Reseda Boulevard, has a rich history. Now a church, its notoriety lives on in the film Boogie Nights.
Its 91st season came to a close on September 30th with Wilco and Joanna Newsom. It opened on July 11, 1922 with a classical program called "Symphonies Under the Stars," conducted by Alfred Hertz. With only a simple tarp and wooden structure as a stage -- and crude movable benches for the audience -- the acoustic quality wasn't much back then. But the structure could be removed for dramatic productions like Camelot and the immensely popular Easter services, which first put the spot on the map.