Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mystery History -- Solved!

I stumped everybody this week. The boxing photos threw many of you off.

In the photo above, a Pasadena police detective peers through the broken door of the "Assembly Room for Members Only" in the back of a Chinese Restaurant at 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave. on June 8, 1950, after a raid at that location.

Nearly 30 men and women were arrested after police broke through the door.

Some were arrested on suspicion of bookmaking, others for conducting gambling games on the premises, and the rest for being present while the city's antigambling ordinance was being violated.

Here's my favorite passage from the L.A. Times article that ran Jan. 10, 1950:
Police fired shotguns in preventing the crowd from "bolting" the raid. No one was injured.
Bookies, back-room gambling and vice raids...those were the days!

Many thanks to Pasadena Public Library and Los Angeles Public Library.


Bellis said...

Interesting times. Hope that restaurant is not still there!

Jean Spitzer said...

Wow! Very Damon Runyon and in Pasadena. Who would have guessed.

altadenahiker said...

Good one.

Mister Earl said...

I was going to say that - raid on Chinese restaurant to shut down gambling operation - but it seemed way to obvious to bother. ;-)

Petrea said...

That's pretty wild. I'd love to know the address, to picture it in a "then and now" kind of way.

Mister Earl has a point. How were we going to figure that out from the photo? (Isn't that what you meant, Mister Earl?

pasadenapio said...

Petrea, the address was 217 S. Fair Oaks Ave.

When I entered that address into our internal GIS system, the map showed the parcel at the northwest corner of Fair Oaks and Orange Place, which is where Central Park Cafe is. All the city records for CPC came up as well. It's a historic building (it was Soda Jerks before CPC came in).

CPC's address is 219 S. Fair Oaks, so perhaps there was an address change over the years.

Petrea said...

Ooh, thank you. Fascinating.