“Tales of the American” — a new documentary about the Downtown Los Angeles arts scene from the makers of “Young Turks” and Executive Producer Michael Connelly — will open Friday, March 30, 2018, for a one-week run at the Downtown Independent.
“Tales of the American” tells the story of the American Hotel, located at the heart of what has come to be called the Arts District.
Built in 1905 as the city’s first hotel for African-Americans, the modest brick building at the corner of Traction and Hewitt has always been a haven for society’s outcasts, a magnet for colorful characters and a hotbed of creative energy.
From 1980-2001, it was the home of Al's Bar, a legendary dive where punk bands like Black Flag, X and Nirvana played before finding fame and fortune.
Narrated by KPCC’s John Rabe, “Tales of the American” features archival photos and footage, and interviews with artists, musicians and others who lived, worked or played at the American Hotel.
Filmmakers Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson have captured the history of a landmark, and the free spirit of a creative community now facing the challenges of gentrification.