Music - Celluloid heroes by the Kinks
Photographed in 1986, 1991, 1994, 1995 and 1999 using film. Also shot in 2008 using digital.
Forum - Opened December 30, 1967, the Kings and Lakers both left after the 1998-1999 seasons. The building is still standing. The Forum was gutted and reopened as "the Forum." MSG in New York bought it and turned it into a concert venue.
Known as the Forum 1966 -1988, the Great Western Forum 1988 - 2003, the Forum 2003 - present.
Location - 3900 W. Manchester Blvd. Inglewood, California -- Bounded by Ave. of Champions, W. 90th St., Kareem Ct.
I actually was born at Daniel Freeman Hospital in Inglewood, about a mile from where the Forum is. The Forum came about 9 years after I was born. Another note, the Hollywood Park racetrack is just south of the Forum in the same city block.
"The worlds most beautiful sports theater." Those were the words coined by the Lakers late broadcaster Chick Hearn. When it was built, it was the showplace for LA. But in the end, it was drab and rundown. The concourses were small and crowded. You had to go downstairs to the bathrooms, with long lines and constant flooding. BUT, the sight lines were GREAT. There wasn't a bad seat in the Forum. Not even at the top row of the colonnade section, the nosebleeds. To me, the good seats were in the ends of the Forum, as you could see everything.
The two main tenants were the L.A. Kings of the NHL and some team called the Lakers. The Lakers won their first championship there during the 1971-1972 season. Greats like Jerry West, Elgin Baylor and Wilt Chamberlain ran the floor. In the ensuing years, Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson held court, followed by Shaq and Kobe Bryant. All in all, the Lakers were a tough ticket. I saw MANY Lakers games at the Fabulous Forum. Their final game was a loss in 1999 in the playoffs to the San Antonio Spurs 118-107. They came back on October 9, 2009 for an exhibition game against Golden State to celebrate the start of the Lakers 50th year in LA. The scoreboard had been demolished so they had to bring in a temporary one.
Hockey was great at the Forum too. Again, not a bad seat in the joint. I saw countless Kings games there with Rogie Vachon, Marcel Dionne, Dave Taylor, Charlie Simmer and Luc Robataille. The Kings made their only Stanley Cup final appearance during the 1992- 1993 season, losing to the Montreal Canadiens. It all came to a close for the Kings at the Forum on April 18,1999 in a 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues. I was lucky enough to be at that game.
More than anything, concerts meant the most to me at the Forum. From the Cars, to the Doobie Brothers to Van Halen to Boston, I saw them all. The only time I ever had front row tickets was for a Boston concert at the Forum in 1978. For a big arena, it had pretty decent sound.
I do miss the Forum. I can't tell you how many basketball, hockey games or concerts I saw, but it was well into the hundreds. I tried to get into the Forum as late as April of 2012, but the people I talked to were not too helpful. They were a bit rude stating NO PHOTOS would be allowed. Fortunately, I did take some over the years, so enjoy.......
Map of where the Forum is. Photo from internet.