Updates on URBANOLOGY

A Spiritualized Baptism for Ace Hotel

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The long-awaited birth of Downtown’s Ace Hotel will get a musical baptism with a just-announced performance by Spiritualized. The psychedelic English group will offer a grandiose performance of its album Ladies and Gentlemen, We are Floating in Space – replete with 30-piece orchestra and gospel choir. It will happen February 13, 2014 in the also grandiose United Artists Theater, part of the new Ace Hotel.

Spiritualized recently toured promoting their 2012 album Sweet Heart Sweet Light, but the Ace show marks the first Los Angeles performance of the entirety of Floating in Space. Its extended grooves and sparkly choruses recall The Rolling Stones to the 13th Floor Elevators while remaining uniquely Spiritualized.

The Ace Hotel chain has important place in urban revitalization. The hipsterish company – in the best sense of that word – is headquartered in Portland, and restores properties in urban cores, weaving its operations closely with surrounding communities and merchants. The Palm Springs version is a favorite of 20-somethings who flock to its DJ’d pool lounge all year round. Ace Hotel founder Alex Calderwood passed away last month at the age of 47.

The 1927 ornate theater and 18-story landmark descend from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The United Artists motion picture company was founded by Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith and and Douglas Fairbanks in rebellion against the studio system. In the 1990s the theater was purchased and restored by oddball televangelist Dr. Gene Scott, who used it for his services. At that time, it became the most polished of Downtown’s classic movie palaces, which together constitute one of finest collections of such gems in the country. Dr. Gene Scott was the subject of a somewhat disturbing 1981 biography, God’s Angry Man, by German filmmaker Werner Herzog.