Filmmakers Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson have interviewed more than 140 residents, former residents and neighbors of the American Hotel. "Tales of the American" weaves together their memories of a place that has for more than a century been at the heart of an exciting and ever-changing region in eastern Downtown L.A.

Los Angeles muralist Kent Twitchell has begun installation of his new work on the western wall of the American Hotel. It's a portrait of famed L.A. artist Edward Ruscha, which reenvisions one of Twitchell's most iconic murals from the 1970s. The music is by longtime American Hotel resident Jesse Easter.

Al's Bar Alumni Festival

The graffitied walls and beer-soaked floor are long gone, but Al’s Bar is far from forgotten. More than 12 years after the last band shook the foundations of the American Hotel, musician Lightnin’ Woodcock and Steven Sabel of Archway Theater organized the Al’s Bar Alumni Festival in the space that was once the infamous punk rock venue.


On Nov. 30, 2013, the ground-floor rooms — which at the time had become the Archway Theater and yoga studio — were again filled with music, sweat and smoke as 12 bands and a poet brought the spirit of Al’s Bar to life once more.


“Tales of the American” filmmakers were invited to record the event, which included the following performances.

Joseph Montalvo, a.k.a. Nuke One

Jett Jackson, painter

Rick Robinson, artist

Melissa Richardson Banks, photographer

John Rabe, radio host

Mat Gleason, writer and curator

Melissa Morch, actress

Dr. Mongo, poet

Sandy Cruze, former bartender at Al's

Terry Ellsworth, longtime resident

Rolo Castillo, printmaker

Toni Wells, photographer

Emmeric Konrad, painter

Anna Broome, poet

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Tales of the American

Seemayer Studios LLC


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© Pamela Wilson & Stephen Seemayer / Seemayer Studios LLC 2021