THE HISTORY OF LOS AFICIONADOS DE LOS ANGELES
Los Aficionados de Los Angeles was founded in 1949, which makes it "The Oldest Bullfight Club in the United States." This is a natural result of the proximity of Los Angeles to the Mexican border and the Mexican culture that has always been an integral part of the consciousness of the area. The club was originally a social affinity group that got together - twice a month for the first decade or two - at various restaurants in the city. Eventually, its purpose was more formally defined as "the establishment in Los Angeles of a non-political non-profit association for the advancement and understanding of the art of bullfighting."
In the early years, the bi-monthly meetings revolved around the taurine activities along the border, which featured the legendary figures of a golden epoch. More often than not, our guests would include the matadors who were currently appearing in Tijuana and other taurine luminaries. During the '60's, after the opening of the second plaza de toros in Tijuana, Plaza Monumental, our guests at one meeting were the empresarios of both plazas - Dr. Alfonso Gaona and Major Jos~ Salvador L...pez Hurtado.
Eventually we settled into our long-time meeting place, El Chiquito Restaurant in Burbank, where a separate dining room became our permanent 'clubhouse,' decorated with our photos, posters, and memorabilia. Unfortunately, in 1995, after we had been there 16 years, this restaurant was sold to a nearby movie studio and the property was made into a parking lot. The club then moved to El Paseo Inn Restaurant on Olvera Street, in the historic center of Old Los Angeles, "El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument."
Some of the achievements of which we are most proud include the Taurine Exhibition we mounted in the lobby of the Global Marine Building as part of the City of Los Angeles Bicentennial Celebration in 1981. An extensive collection of taurine paintings, drawings, carteles, trajes, and memorabilia specific to 18th and 19th century Los Angeles were displayed.
See Los Aficionados de Los Angeles Plaque enlarged in Olvera Street Park!
July 20, 1985, at a ceremony attended and addressed by elected officials
from city, county, and state government, we dedicated a bronze plaque
instigated, coordinated, and donated to the city by Los Aficionados de
Los Angeles and installed in the Old Plaza at the foot of Olvera Street
and across from the church of Nuestra Senora La Reina de Los Angeles.
The plaque commemorates the era when Los Angeles was still a part of Mexico
and the Plaza was the site of bullfights during the 1830s and 1840s, continuing
for a few years even after the city became part of the United States.
In June, 1999, there was a gala celebration of the club's 50th Anniversary. The banquet and dance were held in a beautiful location on a golf course in the Los Angeles area. Members and guests from all over the United Statesattended. Special guests for the evening were well known author/painter/taurino Barnaby Conrad with his wife Mary; and internationally famous bullfight critic, Addiel Bolio, from Mexico, D.F., Mexico. A video commemorating the history of the club was presented.
Los Aficionados de Los Angeles has been Host Club for seven Conventions of the National Association of Taurine Clubs of the United States of America "(NATC)." These were all held in Mexico: 1983 in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.; 1984 in San Luis Potosi, San Lu?s Potos?.; 1985 in Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala; 1989, 1991 and 1997 in Aguascalientes, Aguascalientes; and 2001, 2003, 2007 in Tlaxcala, Tlaxcala. Five resident members of Los Aficionados are counted among the Past Presidents of the NATC.