The English pop band the xx performed a sold-out show Wednesday at the Fox Theater in Pomona between dates at the Coachella festival. Above are bassist Oliver Sim, foreground, and guitarist Romy Madley-Croft, left, the band’s principals.
Very moody and atmospheric stuff, as the lighting hints at, and the audience ate it up. There were screams as if we were watching the Beatles. I was curious to see them because several of my friends are big fans, and critics love them too, but I haven’t connected, at least not yet. They did put on a good show and seemed genuinely touched by the rapturous response: “Again and again and again, thank you so much,” Sim said earnestly toward the end.
On the floor, it seemed like half the fans had cell phones or cameras to take photos or record videos, as the picture below indicates. In front of me, both halves of a couple viewed the show almost exclusively through tiny screens. What, can’t they share a single video later? Try to coexist (to quote the title of the band’s latest album)!
Something’s coming soon to the old Arby’s in Pomona, but it’s not a restaurant. Rather, a Boost Mobile store will occupy the Conestoga wagon-shaped building at 2250 N. Garey Ave. Arby’s opened in 1970 and closed in May 2012, taking its charming ten-gallon hat-shaped neon sign with it.
Richard Nichols, who alerted me to the sign, joked: “For $55 a month you get unlimited everything, including Horsey Sauce.”
Above are Jenny Lewis and Ben Gibbard of the pop group Postal Service, performing at the Fox Pomona on Monday night. Excellent show and my new favorite band. Is it possible to say that about a lineup that released its one and only album 10 years ago? It was reissued with bonus tracks last week, and purchased by yours truly, who had never heard of them until recently. The band has reunited for a spring tour and Coachella festival appearance, but probably not for new recordings. Well, I love them anyway.
They performed every song off their album (how could they not have?) but in arrangements that were more urgent and guitar-driven. Beautiful stuff.
Below, fans congregate outside the Fox afterward. Third Street is blocked off at Garey and Thomas streets, allowing fans to take photos of the blazing marquee without fear of traffic. A nice touch.
Pomona’s Glass House and Fox Theater music venues have hosted acts playing at Coachella for years now, but this year sees the most “Localchella” shows yet. Sunday’s column gives you the details and notes the effect on downtown Pomona of thousands of visitors, night after night.
Sunday’s “King Kong” screening in Pomona drew some 400 people, making it one of the better-attended movie screenings at the Fox since its 2009 reopening. Below is one of the lobby displays, a Kong figure made by a 1970s animator named David Allen. Heh. Above is a Daily Bulletin on Vacation-styled photo with a Kong arm that was likewise on display in the lobby. Kong had climbed with me to the top of the Fox tower, beat his chest, taken a swipe at the Pomona Police Department helicopter and then put me back down gently in the lobby, but alas, no cameras were present for the earlier feats.
As mentioned here already, the crowd in that 1933 King Kong photo presented here and in the newspaper the other day was pasted on from another scene entirely, way back when (sigh). Sunday’s column explains more and also offers the fate of that King Kong head. I also recount a dual-trip Metrolink weekend of mine and serve up a few valley vignettes.
For its engagement at the Fox Pomona Theater in May 1933, “King Kong” was accompanied by an amazing prop: a life-sized prop from the movie of Kong’s head, shoulders and chest. (Thanks to Friends of the Pomona Fox for the great photos.)
He’s really being mobbed in the scene above. Don’t people know King Kong doesn’t like to be crowded?
* Update: Evidently the crowd was superimposed or Photoshopped atop the original photo before it got to me. More information when I get it. The Kong head really was there, as the photo below makes clear.
In making the movie, Kong was mostly an 18-inch puppet, but this prop, a hand and a foot were all made at full scale for certain scenes in which closeups and human interaction were necessary.
Note in the photos that the Fox has its original marquee (the current one was installed in the 1950s) and that whoever put up the letters forgot the “i before e except after c” rule. Click on the photos for a larger view.
After the jump is an advertisement from the May 27, 1933 Prog and a story from same day’s issue, both taken from microfilm.
“King Kong” returns to the Fox at 2 p.m. Sunday for an 80th anniversary screening. They won’t have the giant head, but they will have a modern version of a giant arm and hand, in which you can have your photo taken. Details are here. Look for more in my Wednesday column.
Geico was filming a commercial in downtown Pomona this week and the photographer known as Ren sent me this image. It is, he says, a man covered in (fake) money. (Do his friends tell him, a la “Swingers,” “You’re so money”?) A second photo showed two long rows of of parked motorcycles along West Second. How does the man wearing money factor in? I’m sure it’ll all make sense on TV.
Click on the postcard for a larger view. It’s undated, but someone who knows cars could probably narrow it down. (Update: The Pomona Public Library tells me the photo, which is in its collection, was taken or perhaps developed on or about Oct. 29, 1943. That certainly narrows it down.)
The view is looking west from Garey Avenue. The BofA building on the southwestern corner is long gone, but the replacement building is also a bank, currently Chase; the building on the northwestern corner was razed to make way for the Garey underpass. Some of the others remain, notably the First National Bank building in the background, flag on the roof.
Reader John Brown mailed me the card, saying a family friend in Minnesota had found it while antiquing. The city attorney of Ontario, Brown wrote: “With rare exceptions this past year, I realize we may not have provided you with sufficient journalistic fodder. To make up for that, I could not think of anyone better situated to appreciate the enclosed postcard than yourself.”
Anyone recognize any of the businesses above?
After 63 years in business, Westmont Hardware in Pomona (1612 W. Mission Blvd.) will close early next year. Above are owners Patsy Koning and Russell Riedel. The store was founded in 1949. Riedel started there as a teenager in 1967, became manager in 1975 and bought it in 1989. Sunday’s column is about the couple and the homey store, an anomaly in this day of big-box hardware stores.