Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

Chicken Boy

Chicken Boy

The 22-foot-tall fiberglass Chicken Boy stands atop a restaurant on Broadway between Fourth and Fifth streets.  

The image on left was taken on Feb. 4, 1970. On right is an image published in the March 17, 1974, Los Angeles Times accompanying an article by staff writers Susan Banashek and Al Martinez reporting:

Broadway. The circus goes on. And always – for years beyond memory or notice – it has been watched through the perpetually startled eyes of the Chicken Boy statue.

He stands two stories tall atop a restaurant near 4th st., a ludicrous combination of boy’s body and rooster’s head, in blue jeans and red shirt, holding a bucket of fried chicken -– staring.

Somehow he’s Broadway. As Broadway as the discount houses and bridal shops. As Broadway as the pamphleteers and the red luminous sale signs – Venta! – in the clothing store windows.

As Broadway as the Million Dollar Theater, first of the super-palaces, and the State and Cameo and the Roxie and the Astro and the Arcade; as Broadway as they are, and as they used to be.

Nothing is constant. Downtown shifts from Anglo super center to Mexican fiesta. From carriage trade to shopping bag bus traffic.

What Broadway had been it will never be again. What is today will be different tomorrow.

And the silly effigy of the Chicken Boy will watch, through frozen eyes, the kaleidoscoping movement of people.

Following the death of the Chicken Boy restaurant owner in 1984, the fiberglass statue was rescued by Amy Inouye. After years in storage, in 2007 Chicken Boy was installed atop Inouye’s Future Studio Gallery on Figueroa Street just below Avenue 56.

The left image above, by staff photographer Bruce Cox, was published in the Feb. 5, 1970, Los Angeles Times. The right image was taken by staff photographer John Malmin.

For a lot more information on Chicken Boy and other fiberglass statues, check out these links:

2007 Chicken Boy column by Al Martinez.

Chicken Boy has his own web site: www.chickenboy.com.

Story at Roadside American website on International Fiberglass – maker of Chicken Boy.

Feb. 6, 2013: Chicken Boy now on roof of Inouye’s Future Studio Gallery on Figueroa Street just below Avenue 56 in Highland Park. Credit: Scott Harrison/Los Angeles Times

1 Comment

  1. February 8, 2013, 3:04 pm

    I can't wait to see the Boy again! The last time I saw him, his head was laying between his legs to fit into a garage sized storage facility in Temple City. He looks tall and proud in this photo, congratulations Amy Inouye for restoring some Los Angeles history.

    By: yolanda

Add a comment or a question.

If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate. Here are the full legal terms you agree to by using this comment form.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until they've been approved.

Required

Required, will not be published

Advertisement
SHOP LA TIMES PHOTOS
Browse All Photos »