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Agfa Ansco Building

6424 Santa Monica Blvd., LA, CA

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Keep an eye out for the wonderful Art Deco / Streamline Modern 1937 Agfa Ansco building at 6424 Santa Monica Blvd. This jewel of a building is also known as the "Film Exchange Building" and has stood for over 80 years and is remarkably close to its original appearance. It doesn't show well in this image, but there is a ton of very cool decoration on the building. This is a poor quality screen grab from my video as I drove west on Santa Monica Blvd. in 2015.

The building was built for Agfa Ansco as a office, warehouse and film storage facility. It actually opened in 1938 and the company occupied it until 1959. At the time the company was a leader in the film making business and the location in Hollywood was ideal for them. Towards the end of 1943 the company name was changed from Agfa Ansco to just Ansco.

The building was designed by architect T. H. Pettit and constructed of brick, concrete blocks and reinforced concrete floors. All that concrete was an effort to make the building as fireproof as possible due to the film of the time being highly flammable. The walls were covered with stucco, just as you see in this photo. The design called for large windows for light and ventilation. It looks like at least four of the windows have been filled in and stuccoed over.

A side note is that after Ansco moved out in 1959 a company called Birns & Sawyer Cine Equipment Company moved in. They sold and rented cameras and equipment to the movie industry. One of the movies made with some of that equipment was Easy Rider starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. So what has that got to do with Route 66? Well other than the fact that the building is on the Mother Road itself, a bit of the film was shot at the Richfield Station and Pine Breeze Cabins in Bellemont Arizona which you might have stopped at on your trip. Birns and Sawyer used the building until the early 1970s.

Photo(s): 2015



x About Us We started traveling Historic U.S. Route 66 as a destination in 2009. It's like a 2,400 mile long drive back in time from Chicago to Santa Monica! more
xDid You Know: Many parts of the old 4 lane Route 66 were reverted to a 2 lane road after 66 was realigned to the interstate. In many places the abandoned lanes are still there.