Monday, June 13, 2011

AH!!! LOUIS....

Palm Street, SLO ~ 6.12.11
Cheery, yellow bike
outside the

Yesterday, JPE & I went to the PALM THEATER to see Woody Allen's movie, "Midnight in Paris" ~ unfortunately, it was sold out before we got to the ticket window. 
So, we bought tickets for "Incendies" ~ deep, dark drama ~ nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film (French). A heart-wrenching drama about a sister & brother who are given two envelopes at the reading of their mother's will. Their instructions are to hand the envelope(s) to their father (thought to be dead) & a brother they didn't know existed. Jeanne begins the journey to locate their father & brother, and decides she needs her brother, Simon, to complete the unraveling of their mother's mysterious past. Thought-provoking ending... a bit disturbing... but also believable!

AH LOUIS STORE ~ 6.12.11
The PALM THEATER is located across the street from the AH LOUIS STORE ~ the historical landmark of the Chinese community in San Luis Obispo. 

Ah Louis immigrated from China at the age of 21, landing in San Francisco, and eventually working his way down the coast to SLO. He opened a store (in 1886) that sold herbs, groceries and clothing. All eight of Ah Louis' children were born & raised in the living area above the store. 

When the youngest son, Howard Louis took over the store in the 1930's, the store shifted to selling Chinese imports. A generous man, HOWARD LOUIS was respected for keeping the Chinese presence alive in SLO, and fought to prevent the demolition of his family home. His perseverance paid off - in 1965 the AH LOUIS STORE became a California Historical Landmark.  

MEE HENG LOW ~ 6.12.11

Additional reminders of San Luis Obispo's Chinatown are the neon signs from two restaurants... 
SHANGHAI LOW ~ 6.12.11

When my girls were little, we'd walk by the AH LOUIS STORE & peek in the dusty windows... I think we ventured inside only a few times!

Much of the time the store was closed ~ Howard would leave a little sign on the front door that read, "GONE FISHING"...

Howard Louis passed away 10 days after his 100th birthday! You can read more about the family HERE in his obituary from August 20, 2008.

If you look at the small photo of the AH LOUIS STORE, you'll see the yellow bike (pictured above) parked to the right of the doorway.


  1. The movie sounds interesting. My mom and Zoe safely left New York, but I haven't heard from them yet. I hope that I'll be receiving an email from Paris soon!

  2. Oh, French dramas. The French sure can produce some pretty unusual films. Although I love to try them because they have, also, produced some of my favorites. I love foreign films. Luckily so does my husband. I dated a few men that hated subtitles. Glad I didn't end up with one of them. The SLO area looks so sweet. I hope to visit it sometime.



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