The Darkroom was a real camera store on the Miracle Mile at 5370 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles. It opened in 1938 (or 1935 or 1937, depending on which book or website you want to believe). The 9-foot-tall camera was made of black vitrolite (an opaque pigmented glass), with clear glass as display windows. The round window in the position of the camera lens echoes the use of round porthole-style windows in other Streamline Moderne buildings of 1930s. It was an eye-catching way to call attention to a camera store
Significance: The facade of this camera shop is a piece of architectural sculpture which functions as a three-dimensional advertisement for the services and products it houses. Buildings of this type were built throughout the U.S. They have always been popularly associated with Southern California, and have figured prominently in the literature of Los Angeles. This is one of the best of the surviving examples.
April 25th, 2014
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