Friday, May 9, 2008

Robert Nudelman's Legacy

With all the focus on Hollywood, how sad to read of Robert Nudelman's untimely death (untimely in the sense that he was younger than me. In his prime, iow.) He led efforts to preserve sites in Hollywood, many successful (Disney's restoration of the El Capitan Theatre, or saving the Cinerama Dome, f'rinstance) and a few unsuccessful (preserving the Hollywood Bowl's older acoustic shell).

The most interesting bit in the Los Angeles Times obituary (to me, at least) is this:

"He would uncover historical details about buildings and arm himself with
historical photographs, and then deliver the trove of information to property

"Many of Hollywood Boulevard's theater proprietors listened, including Graumann's Chinese, the Egyptian, the Pantages, and the Music Box."

It sounds so simple. But the implication is that many of those property owners were moved to take action, benefiting us all.

The LA Weekly blog "LA Daily" is less upbeat, wondering if--without Nudelman around to keep them honest--developers and the big money interests will just do what they want, with no appreciation of history or how to hold onto it.

An impressive list of his accomplishments is at Cinema Treasures.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can personally attest that during a light cosmetic restoration of the Showcase Theater (formerly Gordon) on La Brea, Robert Nudelman showed up with vintage photos of every interior and exterior angle AND press clippings from its opening night in the 1930s. His VOLUNTEER efforts were INVALUABLE. He was IRREPLACEABLE.