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Goodbye For Now, Beautiful Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

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The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is dark, for now. The much-beloved concert-and-cat-show venue opened in 1958 as a state-of-the-art facility designed by Welton Becket (of Capitol Records building fame), and closed yesterday for the foreseeable future. Though it was a hot spot for decades--the Oscars were even held there for much of the 1960s--it's been in a long slow decline and has been costing the city $2 million a year to run. There were plans for a major restoration, which died when the state's redevelopment agencies were shut down, and someone's bright idea to raze the building in favor of soccer fields was met with gasps and was quickly dropped. For now, preservationists and other fans of the building are trying to figure out what comes next. Jessica Cusick, Santa Monica's cultural affairs manager, told the LA Times that a working group is coming together and could spend up to two years coming up with new plans for the building. While we wait, check out the trailer for the 1964 TAMI Show concert movie, full of go-go dancers, screaming teenagers, and the likes of the Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, and James Brown.

[Clip via LA Observed]
· Santa Monica Civic Auditorium to close after 55 years as cultural mecca [LAT]