Curator Steve DeBro said he and sportswriter David Davis sifted through thousands of images these past years in the hopes of giving Ehret his due as an artist. That’s not what he considered himself, said DeBro: ”For him, it was just a job.”
Over the decades Ehret captured the greats, from Cassius Clay to Andre the Giant. He also chronicled celebrity audience members like Clint Eastwood, Ryan O’Neal, Sylvester Stallone, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion.
But while the Olympic became a hip spot in its later years, its roots were for the common man. ”The tickets to the Olympic were cheap. It was very much for everyday working Angelenos. People’d go out and have a beer, and see a fight,” said DeBro.
I remember the smell of the place. It was all cheap beer and sweat, mixed with smoke and blood. My dad took me when I was too young to appreciate the spectacle. Later in life I would sneak away with friends to catch a fight or two. It was amazing. The Olympic is a Korean church now… talk about a buzz kill.
Do you remember Fredde Blassie? I do, and I’m willing to brave the crowded streets of LA to go see a photo or two of my childhood idol.
Ehret’s photos are worth a look Theo Ehret: Grand Olympic Exhibition. The exhibition runs from November 15 to the 30th. The exhibition opens, Thursday November 15th from 7:30pm – 12:00am at the Kim Sing Theatre, 718 Figueroa St. Los Angeles, CA 90012.