Totally Unauthorized

A side of the film industry most people never see.

Out, damned sandwich! Out, I say!

I’m feeling much calmer now – thanks to everyone for the kind words after my little “on-air” panic moment.

Last night I went to my last FilmIndependent screening (my membership expired the 31st and I can’t afford to renew until I start working again. Needless to say, the office has not been receptive to my request for a charity extension). The movie was In Bruges and it showed at the new(ish) Landmark movie theaters, which used to be the outdoor section of a shopping mall (no, it did – when they renovated they decided to put in a better movie theater instead of more pointless retail. The theater’s much better than the old one, but I still like the Arclight better. The seats are more comfortable and the actual theaters are bigger. Plus, you can’t beat reserved seating in a nearly child-free facility).

Since I’d spent the entire day running errands and hadn’t eaten, when I got to the theater I figured I’d sashay up to the bar (so to speak) and grab a snack – this is when sticker shock kicked in.

Seriously – four bucks for a pretzel? Seven for a slice of lukewarm pizza?

I decided to beat the system and ran into the adjacent bookstore/overpriced (but not as overpriced as the theater) coffee bar, grabbed a sandwich and then proceeded to scarf it down before entering the theater – just in case the ushers confiscated the forbidden ‘outside food item’.

Problem solved, right?

Not so much with my current run of luck.

About halfway through the movie, my stomach began to plot revenge, and by the end credits, I felt it was a good idea to exit the theater very quickly and move in the direction of the nearest ladies room, where I sat on the floor of a stall for about 20 minutes, desperately hoping that I’d throw up, feel better, and could go back into the theater for the director Q & A.


After deciding that the whole episode was a false alarm (but not feeling well enough to go back inside the theater), I went to the car and started up the ramp to get out of the parking garage, where I made it almost all the way out to the street before had to stop the car and hang my head out the opened driver’s side door for a moment (or three).

Still nothing.

On the way home, high on Salmonella (or something), I stopped and took a bunch of pictures of an abandoned diner. This place has been closed for at least 10 years, yet for some reason the sign’s still on. I worked on a movie that shot here for weeks, and all day today I’ve been trying to remember the title, but I can’t. I’m going to blame the memory lapse on the sandwich. It never did come up and I’m just now feeling better.

Sign close up


missing letter

I would also like to take this time to apologize for the hackneyed Shakespeare riff in today’s title. The sandwich made me do it.
I swear.

Filed under: Non-Work, Photos, , , , , , ,

12 Responses

  1. Dave2 says:

    Now that’s an evil sandwich! Not only does it make you sick, but it clings to your stomach so you can’t get rid of it!

  2. JCW says:

    Peggy…..honey….. I know you’ve been stressed so attention to detail might not be quite up to your usual standards, but, forgive me, what kind of sandwich was it?

    I only ask because merely reading your account has filled me with dread at the notion of eating something from a disreputable source before entering a public venue.

    It was the tuna, wasn’t it?

    All those times I’ve eaten a hot dog from that vendor in front of Home Depot – geez… you just never know, do you?

    Peggy sez: It was a sandwich of pure evil. And turkey. With mayo.

  3. nezza says:

    Those photos are fab though.

  4. Hugh says:

    Are you talking about the movie “Miracle Mile”? There was a major scene in the movie filmed at the old Johnnies over at Fairfax and Wilshire. Actually, almost all the film took place in and around that area.

  5. Charli says:

    Oh girl, don’t tell me you went to the Landmark in West L.A. and had a sandwich at the little coffee shop at Barnes? I had some chicken sandwich there and they, get this, micro-waved this pea-size slice of chicken and some funky sandwich bread (not sure what the bread was since that too was microwaved). It was the WORSE sandwich ever and we swore to never eat there again.

    Also, up at Nordstrom’s, their sandwiches are horrifible (I know this is not a word, but it should be). Last time we ate there we decided to eat at Panda Express.

  6. Gary says:

    Great pics of the sign. I noticed that place while commuting all last fall to culver studios for a SI gig. Makes no sense why that sign should be lit, but it would be cool if they reopened.

  7. Meg says:

    imdb only lists four movies with Johnie’s as a filming location. I know that -waaaay- more were done there, but only four made the imdb list: “American History X” “Big Lebowski” “Reservoir Dogs” and “Very Bad Things”
    Agreed on Arclight-very comfy seats, but holy moly, who can afford those ticket prices?

  8. Peter says:

    You think that sandwich was nauseating? Charging seven bucks for a slice of lukewarm ‘za is even more sickening! The nerve of them.

  9. JCW says:

    I feel your pain…. catering produced some chicken wings that I just KNOW were responsible for my almost losing it on the bus trip from set to parking tonight. I should have stuck with the grilled porkchops.

    Didn’t make filming protest march scenes any more comfortable either.

    And no porta potties on set…. had I given in to my inclinations I would have had to beg bathroom access from a bar or restaurant.

    I think I’m going to go train in hotel management….

  10. Russ says:

    Wow. Those photos are teriffic. I am married to an artist, so this makes me an expert. They’d look great sized up to about 6’X9′ and framed hanging on some interior industrial architecture wall.

    Have you seen the galleries at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica?

  11. Peg —

    Love those terrific neon photos — really great stuff! I don’t know about a 6’X9′ format — might suffer some serious grain issues with prints that big, thus spoiling the gorgeously crisp lines — but these are definitely gallery-quality photos.

    Nice work.

  12. kymjac says:

    Anyone know how to contact the people from Johnnies? I want to shoot a film there and am not sure who to ask for permission / keys etc…

    Peggy sez: Shouldn’t there be a contact number at the place? If there’s not, then call the city’s film permit office and they should be able to give you the info.

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