For those with edifice complexes
You can’t fight city hall -- at least, not this weekend. Greater L.A. indulges in a surfeit of civic pride as not one but two city halls celebrate their heritage on the same day.
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Conservancy will host special tours of City Hall to celebrate 100 years of location filming. Long before the plethora of street closures and whirring helicopters, City Hall was happy to stand in for any number of locales, including New York, San Francisco, Boston and even the Vatican.
“City Hall is one of L.A.'s most versatile locations. It has a certain prestigious, decorative look, yet it also looks anonymous,” says Harry Medved, co-author of “Hollywood Escapes,” a guide to Southern California movie locations. A 10-minute reel of City Hall’s many supporting roles -- including its destruction at the hands of aliens in the original “War of the Worlds” -- will be shown before the tours, which are being led by representatives from the Location Managers Guild of America.
Later that evening, Pasadena will celebrate the reopening of its City Hall after a $117-million, three-year seismic retrofitting. The festivities begin in Centennial Square with balloon artists, jugglers and the like, and conclude with a free performance by the Pasadena Pops Orchestra on the steps of City Hall. Music director Rachael Worby has selected works that run the gamut from patriotic (“Battle Hymn of the Republic”) to classical (the finale of Beethoven’s 9th) to modern (John Williams’ theme from “E.T.”). Jazz singer Valarie Pettiford will also perform “Satchmo!,” a tribute to Louis Armstrong.
* L.A. Conservancy Movie Location Tour, L.A. City Hall, 200 N. Spring St. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Sold out. www.laconservancy.org/events/events_main.php4.
* Pasadena City Hall Reopening Celebration, 100 N. Garfield Ave. 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Free. www.pasadenapops.org.