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Kodak to Dedicate Rebuilt Film Center

June 22, 1986

Eastman Kodak Co.'s new Film and Video Marketing and Technology Center, 6700 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, will be dedicated Tuesday.

Designed by Hawkins & Lindsey Architects of Los Angeles, the $3-million project also involved the talents of Anthony T. Heinsbergen, whose father, Anthony B. Heinsbergen, completed the decorative painting and scrollwork in the lobby of Kodak's original building on the site.

"The project's goal was to restore the existing lobby and create a building to enhance the lobby," Thomas W. Lindsey, a principal of the architectural firm, said.

"Tony Heinsbergen restored the interior of the lobby with an Art Deco motif, and we followed through with the theme in the rest of the interiors, while also making the facilities more high-tech (than they were in the previous building). The finished project is about 18,000 square feet and two stories with a center atrium courtyard."

Forum for Programs

It also has offices for Kodak's Motion Picture & Audiovisual Products Division sales and technical staffs, film labs, video-tape testing facility, 44-seat motion-picture screening room, technical library, wiring for satellite communications and indoor and outdoor meeting areas.

The center is expected to provide a forum for Kodak to host educational programs for industry professionals and student film makers, and it was designed to be a staging ground for delivering and supporting implementation of new imaging technology.

The original building was constructed in 1924 to provide technical support to the entertainment film industry when sound movies were first being produced. Later, the facility served as an unofficial clubhouse for cinematographers, and its screening room was commonly used for viewing dailies.

Anthony B. Heinsbergen was hired by his friend, George Eastman, to do the lobby's decorative painting in 1927. The younger Heinsbergen wasn't even born yet but recalled, "My father took me to that Kodak building many times to show me the lobby ceilings.

Relied on Memory

"Sadly, one day I went in there 20 or 25 years ago, and (the decorative work) was painted out, but I remembered it," he said, "and when I heard that the building was going to be restored, I contacted Kodak and told them that I remembered how it was. I put together a sketch for them . . . and it is restored very close to the original."

He re-created the color scheme largely from memory and the design from black-and-white line drawings. "I remember that the beams were made to appear wood-grained and had green lines on them with ornaments in the center," he said. "The border on the ceiling was coral, and the lines were red. The side walls were painted and overglazed to give a two-tone effect."

Heinsbergen and a few employees who have worked for his and his father's firm for more than 55 years trained two crews to handle the project.

Died Five Years Ago

The elder Heinsbergen started his company in Seattle in 1918 but moved it to Los Angeles two years later. He died five years ago at the age of 86. A year before his death, he could still be found doing decorative work in theaters, though he had officially retired 10 years earlier.

"If my father were alive today, he would have wanted to have redone the Kodak building," the younger Heinsbergen said.

The project took longer than expected to construct because several tanks containing toxic solvents were found on the property, according to Lindsey. The tanks, since removed, were buried, possibly by a dry-cleaning establishment that occupied the site before the original Kodak building, he said.

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