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Old Posted Jul 18, 2019, 7:15 PM
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sopas ej sopas ej is offline
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Location: South Pasadena, California
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Phoenix 101: What killed downtown

The other night I decided to look through my collection of DVDs which I haven't touched in a long time, and saw Alfred Hitchock's 1960 film "Psycho." I've watched that film many times, but I thought to put it in the DVD player and watch it again, at least the first hour of it or so, just to kill time.

Anyway, if anyone hasn't seen the film, the story starts out in Phoenix, and I do think they use an actual establishing shot of it circa 1959-1960 (I think the film was shot in 1959 but released in 1960). But anyway, it doesn't look at all like the Phoenix I think of when I think of Phoenix. Later, there's a shot of Janet Leigh, sitting in the car, waiting at a stoplight, after she steals the money from her boss (that then puts her on the lam and she ends up in a small roadside motel somewhere in Central California where she gets murdered in the shower, and this is all in the first 20 or 30 minutes of the film). I don't know if it was rear projection (Alfred Hitchcock loved using rear projection a lot) or if it was real, but if that scene was indeed shot in Phoenix, it showed a very vibrant city with lots of pedestrians and businesses in a busy downtown setting.

I've only been to Phoenix once, back in 2005, I think... and anyway, it seemed very much to me like a sleepy overgrown business park with some tall buildings, mixed in with maybe a few older housing, and other areas with postwar-era housing that was kind of run down. I'll admit I haven't been to all parts of Phoenix proper, but watching "Psycho" made me wonder if Phoenix really at one time was that vibrant busy place portrayed in the film (albeit briefly), so looking online, I saw this series of articles from 2013, which is in three parts, called "Phoenix 101: What killed downtown", by the Rogue Columnist. I thought it was an interesting read.

It would be interesting for me to hear some opinions from people who live in Phoenix, what they think.

From the Rogue Columnist:

Phoenix 101: What killed downtown, Part 1

The links to Parts 2 and 3 are in the Part 1 article.

Downtown Phoenix in the 1930s, facing south.

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