That “Daily Dread” we did on Kobe Bryant’s 61-point game at Madison Square Garden earlier this week got us to wondering how the old Forum on Manchester and Prairie in Inglewood was holding up. We hadn’t seen it since … we passed by it on the way to a funeral at the nearby bone yard?
Maybe that was appropriate. It’s seems awfully dead around the old Lakers and Kings landmark home base, bordered on the East by Kareem Court, which also leads into Inglewood Cemetary. Not that anyone could have seen that coming once Staples Center dragged everything downtown at the turn of the decade.
We know it’s still owned by The Faithful Central Bible Church (site linked here), which still lists having 10 a.m. Sunday services at the former arena. But according to the official Forum website (linked here) it looks like they also have … we’re not even sure.
Back in the day, we rode our bike over there. That wasn’t such a crazy idea back in the day, growing up in nearby Hawthorne and having a shrine like that practically in your backyard. We’d pass by it on the way to playing a high school basketball game against Inglewood or Morningside, thinking how lucky they had it. That’s when Byron Scott was playing at ‘Side and admits to sneaking in (as we did) to see all that was going on back in the place’s hey day — concerts, especially. Never forget seeing Springsteen, Tom Petty, even Rick James there. Yes, the Super Freak. For free.
First thing to note is it’s still that stupid color blue.
The original Brown Derby brown that used to be all over it, on the original building, was painted over when Jerry Buss sold title sponsorship (one of the first of its kind) to Great Western Bank. Which used blue as its primary color. Then the bank went under. The Great Western sign remained for many years afterward. Now, you can see it’s been pried off all signage around there. Finally. Pretty tacky looking, eh?
The electric marquee doesn’t advertise the Harlem Globetrotters, or the circus, or the rodeo, or even an indoor soccer game. It’s stuff like … well, take a look. It also flashed something about Foreclosure Prevention Fair in Pacoima this weekend.
== From the outside looking in, we noticed that it still had warnings of private property (with no barbed wire to keep anyone out):
== Even a sign from yesteryear still up there:
== Still easy access from off Manchester, heading into Pincay Ave., thanks to the sign still held together with pigeon poop:
== And the booths remain where all if you simply flashed a smile and your name was Nicholson or Cannon, you got into the VIP lot (wonder if anyone even recognizes Cannon any more):
== In some ways, still a regal arena, an historic landmark, a Southern California jewel:
== But on the day we cruised by, it appeared someone was having motorcycle training sessions in the parking lot … stay classy, Inglewood:
== As Nicholson used to call it, “The Giant Ashtray.” Look at it from your rear-view window … you get the idea:
Got any favorite Forum memories? Comment here or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.