This week I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse of Sacramento. A few years ago, I had to visit downtown Sacramento to complete an assignment for one of my graphic design classes. Sacramento may not be as glamorous as San Francisco or Los Angeles, but it is not completely boring either. This city has some strange claims to fame. For example, someone tried to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford here in the 1970s. Sacramento even had its own serial killer. In the 1980s, a woman named Dorothea Puente ran a boarding house on F Street in downtown Sacramento. Her tenants were elderly and disabled people, and the police found the bodies of seven of them buried in her backyard. She was also charged with murdering two other people. She was convicted for some of the murders and spent the rest of her life in jail. She died a few years ago, and someone bought her boarding house recently and turned it into a macabre tourist attraction.
On a lighter note, movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger worked in Sacramento when he was governor of California from 2003-2011. When I worked as an office assistant at one of the state government offices in downtown Sacramento, I had the opportunity to see him in person when he visited the office. He seemed tired, and, of course, he looked older than he did when he was doing action films in the 1980s and 1990s. My supervisor said that Arnold Schwarzenegger looked smaller in real life. I don’t think he had a lot of time to pump iron while he was governor of California.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos.
Downtown Sacramento is filled with colorful murals. Here is an old neglected one that I found on a closed-down store.
Even the ceiling above the doorway of the store was painted too.
I like looking at vintage and vintage-inspired signs, and Sacramento has a lot of them.
The Crest Theatre is one of the more well-known buildings in town. According to the Crest Theatre website, it was built in 1912, and it was originally a vaudeville palace called the Empress Theatre. It also operated as the Hippodrome Theatre. The art deco look it has now resulted from renovations done in 1949. The Crest Theatre website notes that “during the 1950s and 1960s, it was one of the premier first-run movie palaces in the Sacramento area.” The Crest Theatre shut down in the early 1980s, but it was successfully reopened in 1986. It still remains open today, but once again it is “currently undergoing a modernization project.”
Esquire IMAX Theatre
I could not find out a lot of information about the history of this theater except for a short description on a website called localwiki:
The Esquire is a beautifully restored Art Deco movie theater that originally opened in 1940. It was closed for many years and remodeled into an IMAX theater around 1998-1999.
This is a huge movie theater with a huge IMAX screen that is several stories high. Specifications (75.7 ft. wide by 59 ft. tall) It plays 3D movies and 2D movies. There is comfortable stadium seating and digital surround sound.
Odd Fountain Sculpture
After doing some research, I found out that this fountain sculpture is called “Time to Cast Away Stones.” It was created by a local artist named Stephen Kaltenbach. The photos above show only half of the fountain sculpture. There is actually another companion piece to this one, and there is a walkway that separates both parts.
According to a website called Pedestrian Art, Sacramento, the “sculptures evoke Greek or Roman ruins,” and “you can find many interesting images within the seeming jumble of stone.” In addition, there are some questions carved into the fountain, which are hidden by the water flowing from the fountain:
Where are we going?
What have we wrought?
How are we loving?
What have we thought?
Here is an interpretation of the meaning behind this statue:
On her blog, Jenny Arnez describes how the title of this piece reminds her of a biblical quote and the affect it had on her:
“Time to Castaway Stones” brings to mind Ecclesiastes 3:5. The New King James version says, “A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” The sculpture causes me to think and question not only our society’s actions but my own daily choices as well.
Even with some effort, I cannot see this fountain sculpture from Arnez’s perspective. This strange display of disembodied heads and body parts surrounded by a pool of flowing water seems kind of creepy to me.