Hollywood and Vine Metro Station

The Hollywood and Vine station of the Red Line subway was produced in 1999 by pioneering Chicano artist Gilbert “Magu” Lujan. He spent some of his later years in Pomona. My 2004 interview with him is in my book “Pomona A to Z.” I’m a fan of his subway station, which I’ve seen dozens of times. I took photos on a couple of recent visits.

The piece is titled “Hooray for Hollywood” and pays tribute to the fantasy of the movies in various ways. Above, the tiles form a pattern that is probably meant to evoke the Yellow Brick Road from “The Wizard of Oz.” At top, a couple of vintage movie cameras stand near pillars resembling palm trees.

Dozens of hand-painted tiles on the walls meld movie and Chicano imagery, especially cruising cars, a particular interest of Lujan’s.

Note the film strip-like molding around doors.

The ceiling is made up of film reels. The effect is kind of hypnotic, isn’t it? On the platform, walls seem to have film sprockets and stars (see below). That touch had never occurred to me until I was looking closely. Ditto with the music notes that are part of the decoration on the stair railings.

In an appreciation after Lujan’s 2011 death, L.A. Times arts writer Christopher Knight concluded: “Luj├ín’s unexpected vision of cinema as mass transit yielded one of the most engaging stations on the Metro Red Line.”

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