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The Fabulous Forum

June 10, 2009 | 10:00 am

Nov. 21, 1968, Forum
Los Angeles Times file photo

Nov. 21, 1968: Chick Hearn in a Forum luxury box.

Jan. 2, 1968, Forum

Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times
Dec. 31, 1967: Usherette Patricia Sanderling wears a "mini toga" at the new Forum.

The Times ran a long story by Bob Oates questioning whether Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke was planning to sell the Forum, the Lakers and the Kings.

I remember the Forum as an exotic place, far from home after a long jaunt down the 405, where the Lakers of Wilt, Jerry and Elgin played. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen--a little bit of Vegas glitz to my 12-year-old eyes.

So Oates' description of the Forum caught my interest and stirred some memories:

"The lobbies are a bit small, the concession stands few, the hallways narrow, it is said to be a costly building to operate and the ice machine hasn't always worked. The negatives, however, are overmatched by the Forum's plus factors--the touches of Cooke: the colorful carpeting, the theater environment, the short-skirted usherettes, the neat directional signs."

Cooke, of course, eventually did sell it all and the Lakers and Kings moved to Staples Center.

--Keith Thursby