The funeral service, which was to begin at 7 p.m., started late, with the 26-vehicle Jackson motorcade arriving about 8:30 p.m.
Dozens of fans carried signs and cheered as the motorcade passed Los Feliz Road and Glendale Avenue as Jackson’s music played in the background.
Footage of family and friends, including Elizabeth Taylor, Lisa Marie Presley and the Rev. Al Sharpton, was broadcast on major TV networks for a portion of the service, but was terminated as the service began.
Earlier in the day, parents of students at adjacent Cerritos Elementary School had to cope with the surrounding street closures. Some chose not to send their children at all, administrators said.
Still others said the event was exciting, and some teachers even seized on the moment to incorporate a little pop history into their class lessons.
The Station fire brought surges in sales and activity to local businesses that far overshadowed any effect Michael Jackson’s funeral had on the region, managers said.
Hotels that had geared up in recent weeks for increased activity related to the pop star’s burial instead saw major boosts from the local wildfires, managers said. Residents who fled from their homes also brought substantial fluctuations in business to stores and restaurants on Foothill Boulevard.
While the Jackson event was a letdown for local hotels, reservations were still above average, managers said.
Occupancy rates for Embassy Suites downtown Glendale grew about 20% in recent days because many residents were looking for places to stay after being evacuated, said Grace Tanji, general manager.
La Crescenta restaurants and stores saw sudden jumps in business when residents descending from their evacuated hillside homes flooded into Foothill Boulevard shops.
Restaurants were the first to benefit from the evacuations, managers said.
At Orchard Supply Hardware, residents concerned about smoke have continued to stream into the store, asking about dust masks and furnace filters, Assistant Store Manager David Kothe said.