Category Archives: Bob Quackenbush

The Olympic Auditorium: A Look Back at a Grand Venue (Part 2 of 2)

I am delighted to bring you a feature article that was published on dmboxing.com in August 2012, and is one of my favorites.  It is about a historic venue that I remember growing up as a kid; I attended many boxing and wrestling matches there.  My friend Bob Quackenbush captures it all in his excellent piece.  This is part two, as part one was just posted last week for your viewing.

By Bob Quackenbush / dmboxing.com

olympic auditorium 1970s The Olympic Auditorium: A Look Back at a Grand Venue (Part 2 of 2)

Though boxing was the sport that put the Olympic Auditorium on the map, legions of young fans in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s remember this place as the hallowed ground of Championship Wrestling.  Throughout the 1930’s, matches were held there regularly; but with the growth of television, later wrestlers such as Gorgeous George, Lou Thesz, Count Billy Varga, Freddie Blassie, the Destroyer, Mr. Moto, Mil Mascaras, Bobo Brazil, John “the Golden Greek” Tolos, Harold Sakata (who played the role of Odd Job in the movie “Goldfinger”), and Rocky Johnson (father of Duane “the Rock” Johnson) became household names.  Presided over by an actor-turned newscaster-turned sports announcer, the great Dick “Whoa Nellie” Lane, they were incredible shows in the pre-WWF days.

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The Olympic Auditorium: A Look Back at a Grand Venue (Part 1 of 2)

757px Olympic 19304 300x237 The Olympic Auditorium: A Look Back at a Grand Venue (Part 1 of 2)

 

I am delighted to bring you a feature article that was posted/published on dmboxing.com in August 2012, and is one of my favorites.  It is about a historic venue that I remember growing up as a kid; I attended many boxing and wrestling matches there.  My friend Bob Quackenbush captures it all in his excellent piece. This is part one, with part two to come next week for your viewing.

By Bob Quackenbush /  dmboxing.com

In the world of championship boxing, the arenas which host the bouts quite often become nearly as famous as the warriors which graced their canvas stages.  Those which come to mind are legendary venues such as Madison Square Garden in New York City, Cobo Arena in Detroit, the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia, and more recently, the Las Vegas sites such as Caesar’s Palace, the MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay.

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The Olympic Auditorium: A Look Back at a Grand Venue (Part 2 of 2)

by Bob Quackenbush / dmboxing.com

 olympic auditorium 1970s The Olympic Auditorium: A Look Back at a Grand Venue  (Part 2 of 2)

Though boxing was the sport that put the Olympic Auditorium on the map, legions of young fans in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s remember this place as the hallowed ground of Championship Wrestling.  Throughout the 1930’s, matches were held there regularly; but with the growth of television, later wrestlers such as Gorgeous George, Lou Thesz, Count Billy Varga, Freddie Blassie, the Destroyer, Mr. Moto, Mil Mascaras, Bobo Brazil, John “the Golden Greek” Tolos, Harold Sakata (who played the role of Odd Job in the movie “Goldfinger”), and Rocky Johnson (father of Duane “the Rock” Johnson) became household names.  Presided over by an actor-turned newscaster-turned sports announcer, the great Dick “Whoa Nellie” Lane, they were incredible shows in the pre-WWF days.

Continue reading

The Olympic Auditorium: A Look Back at a Grand Venue (Part 1 of 2)

by Bob Quackenbush / dmboxing.com

757px Olympic 19304 The Olympic Auditorium: A Look Back at a Grand Venue   (Part 1 of 2)

In the world of championship boxing, the arenas which host the bouts quite often become nearly as famous as the warriors which graced their canvas stages.  Those which come to mind are legendary venues such as Madison Square Garden in New York City, Cobo Arena in Detroit, the Blue Horizon in Philadelphia, and more recently, the Las Vegas sites such as Caesar’s Palace, the MGM Grand, and Mandalay Bay.

For boxing fans in Southern California, though, one name stands out when it comes to the sweet science:  the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles.  The edifice was constructed in 1924 in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games of 1932 (the location at 1801 South Grand Avenue led to its later name of the Grand Olympic Auditorium). At the opening ceremonies on August 25, 1925, celebrities such as screen legend Rudolph Valentino and boxing champion Jack Dempsey were in attendance.  Dempsey had also turned over a spade of soil at the official ground breaking ceremony prior to construction.

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