Monday, August 13, 2012

Sidewalk Noir

I walk past the stately movie theater and read the marquee once again. It's there, in all Capital letters, SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED, Is this the name of a film, or something necessitated by the construction zone immediately next to the theater's entrance? I've been wondering this for a couple of weeks now. This aging Norma Desmond of a movie palace just might be protecting its patrons. This condo being built right next door to the theater is rife with cement blocks, nails, and all the scraps of metal and wood such a project can provide. The two are just a few feet apart. This condo will literally be backstage. (well, almost) Then again, this warning phrase could just be a film title for the 8:25 showing. Why the marquee? People don't read the marquee standing under it. Safety Not Guaranteed is the story of a disaffected WWII vet new to Los Angeles. He begins his postwar career as a private investigator whose insomnia Takes him over the hilly streets of Hollywood to the fast decaying but barely detectable LAPD. Chinatown Olvera street, City Hall, Griffith Park, Hollywood Bowl, Brown Derby, Santa Claus Lane Parade, UCLA, Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica Pier, Mulholland Drive, and He stalks them all... Like the butter flavoring in the popcorn, Like the wine stained allies, the sidewalk in front of the theater, Safety Not Guaranteed.

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