Saturday, September 21, 2019

3 Doors Down's "Kryptonite" Video and the Rosslyn Hotel

Today I solved a mystery that has haunted me since 2000. A portion of 3 Doors Down's video to their song "Kryptonite" is set atop what is clearly a hotel. The problem is that one does not get a really good look at the signage or the surrounding buildings. There are several hotels I could rule out, such as the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, because of the sign, but until today I could not definitively identify the hotel.

Of course, here I should offer up some background to the song and video. "Kryptonite" was the debut single of 3 Doors Down, released on January 11 2000. The song clearly references Superman and draws upon his relationship with Lois Lane for inspiration. Quite naturally, the video utilises a superhero theme. It centres on an elderly man who was a superhero in the Forties or Fifties. At the start of the video in his apartment there is footage of him in his prime battling a supervillain atop a hotel. As the video progresses our elderly superhero dons his costume again to save a damsel in distress.

Watching the video on YouTube, I could pause it to get a better look at the sign. I could make out the words "million dollar" and "hotel." From there all it took was a Google search of the phrase "million dollar hotel" and "sign" to learn that the hotel is the Rosslyn Hotel in Los Angeles. The Rosslyn Hotel was built in 1914 and initially called "the New Rosslyn Hotel" because an older hotel of the same name stood beside it. It cost one million dollars to build, hence the sign that reads "Million Dollar Hotel." It was nine years later, in 1923 that an annex was built across the street.  According to Los Angels Conservancy, the Rosslyn Hotel had such amenities as ice water from the tap and ventilated phone booths. At the same time, however, its price range was within that of the average person.

Despite its reputation, the Rosslyn Hotel closed in 1959. In 1979 the two buildings would be reopened as two separate hotels, with the Rosslyn Hotel becoming the Frontier and the Annex retaining the name "Rosslyn Hotel." In this century the Rosslyn Hotel would become affordable housing and was renamed "Rosslyn Lofts."

For those of you who want to see the historic Rosslyn Hotel as the site of a superhero battle, here is the video to "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down.

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