Before and After Pintxo

With twelve hours to spend in Los Angeles between flights, tapas at Bar Pintxo wasn’t the only way I spent my time.  As I mentioned, Gary was kind enough to shuttle me around the west side of the city, checking a few items off the to-do list and engaging in a wild goose chase to buy a DVD for a friend in Singapore, only to discover after stopping at a few different stores that the DVD hasn’t been released yet.  Yea for iPhones…


Funniest airplane-related site: a Southwest Airlines gate that is right next to a public area between terminals 1 and 2 at LAX.  It looks like the wingtip almost hangs over the wall.  One wonders what happens if he pulls into that gate just a wee bit fast.


Gary’s magnetic personality attracts the reflection of palm trees at the Westside Pavilion.


We also stopped at the Century City shopping center, where I had my first chance to see the new AMC Theatres.  Back in the mid 1990s I actually managed the old AMC Century 14 that used to be at the front part of the mall.  Even then, plans were afoot to build a new mega-cinema but I had not been back in the five years of so since the new cinema opened.  This cinema (or, at least, the old one but I think it still holds true for the new one) is where many of the who’s-who of Hollywood, especially the power brokers, come to see their films.  On any given weekend evening there would be a full log at the Guest Services counter of passes that had been approved by AMC’s film department for studio heads, movie stars, directors, etc. 

There was also no shortage of people who were not on the list who would try to pull the “do you know who I am?” routine to try and score free tickets or, worse, free tickets and seats specially reserved for them.  Pathetic, when you think of how much money these people have.

One person who was always a charmer, though, was Faye Dunaway.  Somehow she got hold of my name and then would call and ask for me.  She never asked for free tickets and I don’t recall her asking to reserve a seat for her.  She just wanted to make sure we would save a ticket so she could get into her movie, and most of the time it was for a matinee performance when there was plenty of room anyhow.

“Hi, Chris?  It’s Faye,” she would say as if we were the best of friends.  “Look, I’m circling around downstairs looking for a parking space and I’m worried there won’t be any tickets left when I finally get upstairs.  Of course I’ll pay for it, but can you set a ticket aside for me?”

“Sure, Ms. Dunaway, it would be my pleasure.”


After dinner we strolled the few short blocks from the restaurant to the Santa Monica Pier, which was quite crowded despite it being an overcast and chilly evening.  I asked if anyone wanted to ride the roller coaster which, I might add, is only a kiddie coaster.  Nobody was brave enough!


0 thoughts on “Before and After Pintxo

  1. Hi, Mr. Chris, this is Steve.  Look, I am cricling and thinking what to write on the comment and worried that there is no space left when I get there.  Of course I am going to pay for it, can you please set aside a space for me please, hehe. Thanks! 

  2. I passed by those palm trees almost everyweek and never noticed that, haha~And I hope your friend will eventually locate that dvd, I’ll keep my eyes open for that too! Never a dull moment with Christao, it was a very productive afternoon indeed!

  3. Did you see a familiar face at the ticket drop? Dwight, who worked there in the concession stand back in 1996 when you and I worked there together, is still hanging in there (as is Teresita, who works in the box office). Funny how, even though the building has changed, some things remain the same.

  4. Great photos! Especially the magnetic Gary – it was the smile they were drawn to! Loved the Faye Dunaway story – you and Zakiah have all the luck meeting and knowing all the interesting famous people.

  5. @mike august –  Oh, really? I didn’t go any further than just inside the doors, so I didn’t check and see if any familiar faces were around. Dwight usually opened on the weekdays so I’m not sure if he would still have been around by the time I got there, which was about 5:00pm. Ah, the good old days… I’ll tell you, there’s more than once that I have thought that when I get to retirement age, I might get a part-time job working at the cinema.@portiajules – Oh, which place?@murisopsis –  Well, I’m not sure I would claim to have met Ms. Dunaway or not. More like a control tower at an airport saying it had met the pilots of the Blue Angels because they did a high-speed fly-by!@amygwen –  @Dezinerdreams –  Okay, I know who to count on next time it comes to roller coasters. @stevew918 –  Thank goodness comment space is unlimited, eh?@CurryPuffy –  We did accomplish a lot, didn’t we?

  6. Gary has a wonderfully captivating expression in that picture! Faye seems to be quite a classy person, did you feel very special that she would contact you directly? It must’ve been cool to work at that AMC!

  7. @yang1815 –  Come on, it’s a kiddie coaster! Riding on the 405 is much worse. LOL@AzureRecollections –  That picture captures Gary’s outgoing personality very well. He’s sometimes very quiet and reserved, but I think this picture shows what’s on the inside. As for Ms. Dunaway, I didn’t feel especially flattered as one of the recurring themes there was people trying to get freebies from you. If it wasn’t through anger or lying, it might be through charm, acting like your best friend. She wasn’t looking for a freebie, but it was easy to be defensive every time someone tried to be too nice to you for no reason. There were lots of adventures, though. In fact, there’s a facebook group for Century 14 survivors!

  8. I wouldn’t get on a roller coaster if my life depended on it. Neat pictures and a great story about your encounter with Faye Dunway on the phone. She is still around right? I wonder what she does now, and if she says, ” dang, why did Chris have to leave me here and move half way across the world”?

  9. Ok! My mistake, I should have read your link on Ms Dunway. She is only a few days younger than me. ( 3 ) And I read where she is still going strong.

  10. I had no idea you were on first name basis with Faye Dunaway. I’m glad though that some actors / actresses are down to earth. That’s a nice picture of Gary.

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