I was recently in Los Angeles for a work-related few days, and one of those days I managed to slip away and go for a walk through parts of downtown L.A.
Let’s be frank, shall we? There are parts of downtown L.A. you don’t want to walk through, but for the most part what I saw was a time capsule. I was shocked at how many old, abandoned movie theaters still existed, just sitting there, waiting for some kind of purpose to come their way again. I have a habit of attributing feelings to inanimate objects, and I can’t help but feel sad for these beautiful old movie houses, built in the golden age of American cinema, just sitting there, rotting away.
The first dozen photos below are slices of life of downtown L.A. It really doesn’t seem to have changed much, other than adding a sense of forlornness and slow decay. Luckily there is one area that seems to be thriving … The Last Bookstore.
I first visited The Last Bookstore a few years ago, on one of my holiday season visits to the city. I stopped in on my way home on a Sunday, and I believe they had just opened in their current location. Someone had likened it to The Strand in New York City and that was good enough for me, but at that time it wasn’t true. I walked away from The Last Bookstore with a “never again” attitude.
I’m happy to say that has changed and I found The Last Bookstore to be an amazing place this visit. While I only had a brief time to look around (and I didn’t buy anything, sadly), I was excited about how much it’s changed since my first visit. The interior of the store is incredible, and if you go, visit the upstairs where there are imaginative displays of books (see some of them below) and rooms with local artists. The bookstore is like a mini-Strand, nowhere near the amount of books, but it’s an interesting and vibrant mix of new and used books, and it was bustling on the weekday afternoon that I was there.
I love bookstores and I always seek them out when I’m in a new (0r old) town. The Last Bookstore does live up to the hype and it’s a must-see store if you’re in Los Angeles.
All photos were taken with an iPhone 6. Click on the thumbnails to see the photos larger on your screen and in slideshow mode. If you like my photos please follow me on Instagram @gg92101.