Where the hell are the "Save the Huntridge Theater" people?


Aside from taking me into the heart of our Las Vegas Ghettos on a daily basis, my job forces me to go into neighborhoods in Vegas that I have never even entered before in my entire existence of living here. It also takes me through places that I hadn't been to in a long time, causing great stabs of nostalgic pain in my heart from certain memories and experiences. So yesterday I'm driving down Maryland Parkway and hit my old stomping grounds of Charleston and MP. Of course right on the corner is the historic Huntridge Theater. Now I knew it had been closed down and in bad shape for a while now but nothing prepared me for the state that it is in today. It is completely run down, tagged with graffiti, and apparently the sewage and power has been completely destroyed by it's now homeless inhabitants. I almost rammed right into the Toyota in front of me because I was so shocked! The Huntridge theater isn't just known for the Rock and Roll memories of my past, it is truly a Las Vegas Historical site. Opening in 1944 it was the first non-segregated theater in LV. It was originally built to accommodate the employees of the local factories who worked long shifts and then segwayed into being a theater that premiered movie's such as Sinatra's "Suddenly" where Frank himself sold tickets in it's box office......(You won't see Brat Pitt doing that these days will you?) It served as a theater for various artistic outlets and films. It eventually closed down, renovated, and reopened again. But the Huntridge I remember and now long for was completely different from it's old Hollywood hey day. The Huntridge was the place to go for dirty punk kids like me and my friends to see bands that wouldn't (or weren't allowed) to play anywhere else. Now these bands may not seem like big shit to kids now (or even then) but to us they were huge!! During my adolescence I was able to see The Vandals, NOFX, Voodoo Glow Skulls, The Misfits, Dead Kennedy's, Circle Jerks, Rancid, Suicidal Tendency's, Mike Ness etc. etc., all at the tiny little theater that always smelled like sweat, booze and week old crusted gelatin on mohawks. This was the first place that I learned the power of being a cute girl trying to get back stage at a concert. Where I learned that Jimmy Pop was willing to give an underage girl tons of shots of Jeger if you allowed him to sign your boobies and take pictures of them.....god help me where those photos eventually landed.......good jesus I was dumb. Ah, how I long for those days. For the sticky, Faygo drenched floors from the ICP concerts since The Huntridge was the only place in Vegas they were allowed to play. Also where took place the first and only time I ever danced on stage and looked out into the crowd to see what the band saw. To feel what they felt....hundreds of angry little punkers crowd surfing, throwing beer cups, punching each other in the face and making memories that will later make them ache for their youth. I even miss the little taco shop across the street that sold 59 cent tacos that gave you explosive diarrhea. But that is all gone now.Now after yesterday's little run in I decided to do some google research and find out why the fuck a historical and important theater is just sitting there rotting away in homeless piss. Turns out when it officially closed down in 2004 it was sold to the stupid mother fucker who owns the stupid annoying mattress store next door. Apparently the bastard boasted about reviving the little theater, and he (along with the supposed non-profit organization "friends of the Huntridge") even received more then a million dollars in grants to restore it. And now what has become of the idyllic theater? It's just fucking sitting there and the asshole owner refuses to do anything about it. And apparently because he received so much money in grants he cannot sell it or tear it down until 2018!!!......... 2018!!! Fuck it has to sit there for 8 more years, not only being an eye sore but a constant reminder that any reminisce left of old Las Vegas is completely obsolete. Now it's time to make way for City Centers, and more multi billion dollar theme casinos! It's like something out of a Margarate Atwood novel. Any sense of art and history will no longer be needed in Sin City. After all who gives a shit about the locals? The ones who have to actually live and work here and not just visit a resort casino for a alcohol induced weekend. So I ask, where is this "friends of the Huntridge" group now?? Last they updated anything on their site was in 08' and their other site savethehuntridge.com has vanished. I smell something bad brewing and I don't like it.....and believe me I'm not going to forget it either.

1 comments:

Beth said...

They received a government grant, and are a registered nonprofit, but did not put any of that money into renovating the theatre? I think a call to your local government office, news stations, and perhaps the IRS is in order. Cuz that's most definitely fraud.