Location Info:

Skid Row History Museum and Archive
250 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA  90012
Tales of the American – directed and written by Stephen Seemayer | Runtime: 1 hr. 46 min. Los Angeles Poverty Department’s Movie Nights at the Museum

Free movie screenings, free popcorn, free coffee & free conversation. Every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month, we screen movies about issues that are important to our Skid Row and downtown community at the #skidrowmuseum.

TOTA New 11x17 poster.jpgQ&A with director Stephen Seemayer and writer/editor Pamela Wilson, and Shaun Thyne and Alberto Miyares who are featured in the movie.

“Tales of the American” tells the story of the American Hotel, located at the heart of what has come to be called the Arts District. Built in 1905 as the city’s first hotel for African-Americans, the modest brick building at the corner of Traction and Hewitt has always been a haven for society’s outcasts, a magnet for colorful characters and a hotbed of creative energy. From 1980-2001, it was the home of Al’s Bar, a legendary dive where punk bands like Black Flag, X and Nirvana played before finding fame and fortune.

Narrated by public radio personality John Rabe, “Tales of the American” features archival photos and footage, and interviews with artists, musicians and others who lived, worked or played at the American Hotel. Filmmakers Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson — along with executive producer Michael Connelly, best-selling author of the Harry Bosch novels — have captured the history of a landmark, and the free spirit of a creative community now facing the challenges of overdevelopment and gentrification.

Director: Stephen Seemayer - Writer & Editor: Pamela Wilson - Cinematographer: Raymond Y. Newton Narrator: John Rabe - Executive Producer: Michael Connelly - Producers: Pamela Wilson & Stephen Seemayer - Executive Producer: Jonathan Jerald - Associate Producer: Zach Seemayer - Sound/Music Supervisor: Justin Burrill - Music: Jesse Easter, POPDeFECT, Leather Hyman, Jake LaBotz, Ramiro Fauve, Lightnin’ Woodcock - Drone Photography: Corridor Digital (Sam Gorski & Nico Pueringer) - Animation: Alisa Ogura

Featuring interviews with musicians Joe Baiza, Bill Bateman, Ella Black, Toast Boyd, James Duck, Carlos Guitarlos, Jake LaBotz, Bruce Moreland, David Travis and Mike Watt; artists Richard Duardo, Gary Lloyd, Colette Miller, Alex Schaefer, Kent Twitchell and Marnie Weber; photographer Gary Leonard; fashion designer Oliver Manhattan; writer Kyle McCulloch; and actor Michael Shamus Wiles, among others.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories