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Filmmakers Kickstarting Preservation to Resurrect a Demolished Past
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, History, Preservation, Cocoanut Grove, Los Angeles Conservancy, California, Demolition, Historic, Landmark, Film, Documentary
Contributed By: Camilo Silva
Email The Author: csilva@after68.com
Website: http://www.after68.com

Filmmakers Kickstarting Preservation to Resurrect a Demolished Past
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           
June 12, 2013

After 68: The Rise and Fall of the Ambassador Hotel
Filmmakers Kickstarting Preservation to Resurrect a Demolished Past

LOS ANGELES, California – June 12, 2013 – On June 01, 2013 a dedicated team of documentary filmmakers launched a Kickstarter campaign for their film, After68, a gripping exposé on the dynamic history and controversial demolition of the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles. Their goal is to raise $150,000 for production and post-production costs to finish the film. In 2005 the landmark Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles became one of the most historically significant and iconic U.S. buildings of the 20th century ever to be destroyed. Nearly a decade later, this group of filmmakers intend to bring the Ambassador back to life. “Though the hotel’s structure is gone we are working hard to ensure that its legacy lives on. By chronicling its rich stories and the emotional fight to save it from demolition, we hope to give the Ambassador its rightful place in history,” states director/producer, Camilo Silva. “This film goes far beyond just recapping the history of a famous site. It will challenge audiences to think about historic preservation in new ways and question how actively we value our aging structures from the past.”

Filming began during the demolition of the hotel and Silva was able to capture interviews from a range of key people involved with the Ambassador.  Now he and his team are turning to Kickstarter in order to raise the funds needed to finish the film. “After working on this film for the last several years, we are really excited to launch our Kickstarter campaign, so we can share the remarkable story of this treasured place and bring the Ambassador to life once again” says Silva. There are a still number of crucial interviews that need to be shot, and the money raised from Kickstarter will go towards production costs and travel expenses associated with filming as well as post-production on the project, including editing, sound design, and music.

Donors to the campaign will have the unique chance to get a taste of the “Ambassador Hotel experience” with Kickstarter rewards that include: classic music from the famed Cocoanut Grove, historic neighborhood walking tours, original photograph reprints, historic preservation group memberships, and even the opportunity to “do lunch” with a 17-year resident of the hotel.

Please visit the Kickstarter page at www.after68.com

About After 68:The Rise and Fall of The Ambassador Hotel
After 68 is a feature length documentary examining historic preservation through the lens of the 15-year struggle to save the illustrious Ambassador Hotel from the wrecking ball. For decades the Ambassador was the epicenter of cultural and civic life in the U.S., playing host to celebrities, international dignitaries, iconic authors, artists, scientists and every U.S. President from Hoover to Nixon. The hotel’s legendary Cocoanut Grove nightclub set the world stage for musical acts ranging from Louis Armstrong to Roy Orbison and helped launch the careers of countless stars, most notably Marilyn Monroe. Six Academy Awards presentations were held at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, including the first ceremony where the Oscar statuette was used. In 1968 the Ambassador’s fate took a dark turn when it became the site of a tragedy that forever altered the American political landscape: the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. 

Shortly thereafter the hotel began its demise, finally closing its doors in 1989. A 15-year fight over the fate of the hotel began immediately, quickly polarizing the Los Angeles community and sparking a multifaceted debate pitting education against historic preservation. The Los Angeles Unified School Board threatened to demolish the landmark site, but the Los Angeles Conservancy and a coalition of 70 organizations responded by stepping up their efforts to convince the school board to repurpose the hotel as a historic site for the thousands of students set to attend the new school. After a lengthy and costly legal battle, the board voted to demolish the hotel. At just under $600 million, the new school campus that was constructed would end up with the distinction of being the most expensive school built in U.S. history, almost double what they initially estimated it would have cost to preserve the site and turn it into a school.

Using first-hand accounts, After 68 will demonstrate how the Ambassador Hotel’s rich history ultimately placed it between opposing cultural divides: a pawn in the power struggle between those who saw the importance of preserving our past as a means to define our future, and those who were willing to destroy it. The Ambassador’s story marks the irrecoverable loss of an important relic of human and social history, and as filmmakers we want to educate the public about the value of protecting our past, and thereby ensure that the other Ambassadors of the world may be saved.

For more information visit After 68 on Facebook: www.facebook.com/after68

Contant:
Camilo Silva
Panza Productions
323-481-7611
csilva@after68.com
www.after68.com


Keywords: Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, History, Preservation, Cocoanut Grove, Los Angeles Conservancy, California, Demolition, Historic, Landmark, Film, Documentary

Posted: June 12, 2013
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