Seen in: Rocky, Rocky V
“You’re a bum! You know that? You’re a bum!”
The opening shot of the original Rocky – and the series – begins with a painting of Jesus overlooking the dark, dirty boxing ring where we’re introduced to club figher Rocky Balboa, battling with opponent Spider Rico.
These scenes were shot on location in East Los Angeles at the old Resurrection Gym, where boxer Oscar De La Hoya trained as a kid in the early 1980’s.
Resurrection first opened in 1924 as a church, eventually ditching its pews and morphing into a boxing gym.
In the mid-1990’s, it was purchased and renovated by De La Hoya who transformed it into the Oscar De La Hoya Youth Center whose aim is to help keep inner-city kids out of gangs.
An article at the time states: “The champion plans to refurbish the gym while keeping its quaint, “Requiem for a Heavyweight” appearance, including the old wooden beams that hold up the pitched roof. He plans to buy new equipment and install air conditioning and coed lockers and showers.”
Looks like that turned out to be true – while the portrait of Jesus was removed, the old structure and beams that you can see behind Rocky and Spider still existed, repainted in white.
In more recent times, though, it’s reported that the old Resurrection Gym was demolished to make way for De La Hoya’s Animo Charter School.