The Smell, the all-ages DIY venue in downtown Los Angeles that’s nurtured local bands like No Age, Mika Miko, and Best Coast since 1998, is going to be demolished, LAist reports. Today, owner Jim Smith shared a photo of a demolition notice that was posted on the door of every building on the block by L&R Group Of Companies, “one of the largest parking property owners in the nation.” According to the note, as long as the company’s plans comply with the city’s applicable laws and municipal codes, “public comment will have no impact on this project.” As Smith tells LAist, “I suppose the signs have been there for many years, but I’ve suspected something like this was coming when our building was sold a year ago. I plan to do whatever I can to fight or delay this.” He says that the venue will suspend all further booking while he gathers more information and assesses the situation.
UPDATE: The Smell owner Jim Smith has issued an official statement and started a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of raising enough money for the venue to relocate to a different building that would become their new permanent home. There’s also a petition which you can sign and share testimonials about The Smell. Read the statement below.
Late Friday afternoon, The Smell, along with most of our neighbors on the 200-block of Main Street, were surprised to learn that the owners of our building, L&R Group of Companies, had, without warning, posted demolition notices on all of our businesses. As of this press release, no other information has been made available by either the building owners or the city, and there has been no indication as to how imminent this demolition is, or how much time we have to continue to operate.
Since Saturday, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, from people sharing memories, lodging protests, taking personal action and initiative, to offers assistance and advice. The response has been nothing short of inspirational. Volunteers met over the weekend and decided that it is vital to the overall cultural well-being of Los Angeles, that The Smell continue to exist and to move forward. In our view, The Smell has always been a community more than a physical space, and we will do whatever is necessary to assure that this community continues to thrive – if not in its present location, then in a new location suitable to its needs.
As of today, we are launching a Gofundme campaign to raise money to take on this fight, and if necessary, to raise the capital required to purchase a new location, so that we never have to go through a crisis like this again. Details are posted on our website about how the community can help and get involved – both financial and otherwise.
We also ask that you take the time to sign a petition and share testimonials that we can present to the building owners and the city – the more signatures and testimonials, the better.
As stated earlier in this press release, we do not currently have any details beyond the demolition notice, but we plan on trying to clear that up with the building owners and the city as soon as possible. As new information becomes available, we will share it publicly.
The Smell is more alive than ever and we thank everyone in the community for being a part of it throughout our 18+ year history.
All upcoming shows, petition, and gofundme infomation is available at thesmell.org