A window in the form of a camera


The Darkroom

One of L.A.'s last remaining examples of programmatic architecture.

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5370 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90036
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Originally a camera shop, this unique structure (now a restaurant) is one of the city's last remaining examples of programmatic architecture, in which a building physically resembles its purpose.

The façade's nine-foot-tall Argus camera announced The Darkroom's wares quite literally. Some claim that during the building's heyday, the tenant would project short films through the camera lens/window for pedestrians to watch.

Although the famed store is long gone, the black vitriolite facade remains as a protected city landmark (Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument).

Yet its Art Deco neon signage was not protected. Removed and hidden for decades in a private collection, the sign is now owned by the Museum of Neon Art.

Tim Street-Porter | The Darkroom.
Anne Laskey | The Darkroom
Hunter Kerhart