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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Christos Anesti: Easter in Hollywood

Anyone who has driven along the 101 Hollywood Freeway in the last few years has no doubt noticed the spires of the Russian Orthodox Church visible near the intersection of Sunset Blvd. & Western Avenue. Earlier this year I was driving by and decided to stop and take a look.

The church building is located in a commercial and very urban part of Hollywood. Don't mind the barbed wire, it's pretty much everywhere in Los Angeles.

I parked and took a walk around the neighborhood.
Gas Station & Russian Church = Los Angeles, or more precisely Hollywood.

This needs a caption, but I'm not sure what.
Definitely an "experiencing L.A." moment.

I finally found the entrance. The church is located at 5436 Fernwood Avenue, a half a block east of Western Avenue in Hollywood. Apparently, the church building has been around for many years, the cupola project - the massive golden onion domes - were added afterwards.

In fact, they're still working on them. The crew (who spoke English, not a given in L.A.) was taking a break - and said they've been working on the domes for over nine years. Wow. Above is the scaffolding used on the project. Looks like they're close to being finished.

Aside from the guys working on the domes, no one else was around - and the church was locked. I saw this sign, which would be great - if I spoke Russian.

Walking around I finally found something in English: Holy Transfiguration Russian Orthodox Church.

I tried to get some information off their website - but it seems to be "stuck."

I'm not Russian and I'm not Orthodox. Then there are the obvious language and cultural differences. Add to that some significant theological differences (topic, perhaps, for another blog post) and Holy Transfiguration Church isn't really a church I'd ever consider attending.

Regardless, I can appreciate their church's building - it's very impressive, and certainly stands out. Hey, it got me to stop.

With Easter approaching, I would certainly wish them a greeting shared by believers around the world: Christos Anesti - Christ is Risen.


Directly across the street from Holy Transfiguration Church was the "Deluxe" lab. You know how at the end of every movie it says "Color by Deluxe"? Well, this is the lab where every Hollywood film is sent for final production.

A half a block away from the church, looking across Western Avenue with the Hollywood sign in the distance. Most visitors from out of town are surprised how urban and industrial parts of Hollywood are.

Another part of Hollywood: a month or so later, my wife and I were at UCLA to hear Oxford professor John Lennox. Near the corner of Melrose and La Brea, we saw a billboard for "Easter At the Bowl".

"Easter at the Bowl" is an annual event sponsored by Bel Air Presbyterian Church. The church holds a massive 11am Easter Sunday church service at the Hollywood Bowl. My wife and kids and I went with friends a couple years ago. I've been there - and, yes, it's an amazing experience - highly recommended.

Here's a photo of our time there and link to some thoughts from our visit a couple years back.

Happy Easter. Christos Anesti - Christ is Risen.

Even in Hollywood.

Especially in Hollywood.

View Hollywood in a larger map

.© 2011



Anonymous said...

love the architecture, really nice

and thanks for posting about the Hollywood Bowl. I'm looking forward to going again this year.

Anonymous said...

The architecture draws from the wooden architecture of Kizhi. See a Wikipedia page