Historic Hollywood Sites that you might enjoy!
Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:54 PM
(Did someone already mention The Formosa Cafe on Santa Monica?)
There's a blog I absolutely adore called [Dear Old Hollywood|http://dearoldhollywood.blogspot.com/] you really gotta check out. The guy who runs it is simply incredible, and he re-visists old movie filming locations, movie stars homes, watering holes-- you name it, it's there.
Posted 17 April 2010 - 07:01 PM
*The Frolic Room*
6235 Hollywood Blvd.
With its colorful neon sign out front, this long-time Hollywood bar has held its own over the changing landscape of the Blvd. It makes a cameo appearance in the wonderful *LA Confidential* where Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey)stops for a drink before a fateful call with destiny.
*The Pantages Theater*
6233 Hollywood Blvd.
The splendid Art Deco theater opened in 1930 with the premiere of *The Floradora Girl* starring Marion Davies. The real star though is the theater itself which has been home to the Academy Award ceremonies for many years as well as many red carpet premieres.
The large auditorium, the lounge, the lobby, the restrooms (hint: always, always, always check out the restrooms of movie palaces, you won?t be disappointed), the tiled water fountains and the exit signs. All are a reminder of a time when comfort was more important than the bottom line.
The Pantages was bought by Howard Hughes in 1949 and became a RKO theater. For ten years, it was host to the Academy Awards (1949-1959). Pacific Theaters bought it in 1967. Ten years later they partnered with the Nederlander organization and the theater became home to roadshow versions of well known Broadway plays and musicals. In the 1990s, it was open to performing artists who liked playing in smaller venues.
Since the early 2000s, it has returned to showcasing Broadway touring companies. The roof-top neon sign is a recent addition. However, it has been restored and is still a remarkably beautiful theater.
Edited by: lzcutter for pics!
Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:42 PM
1851 N. Ivar Avenue
Home to Joe Gillis at the beginning of *Sunset Blvd.*. Not much to look at on the inside perhaps, but its California-Spanish exterior has been part of the Hollywood landscape since the early 1950s. The neon sign can be seen from the Blvd.
*Parva Sed-Apta Apartments*
1817 N. Ivar Avenue
Famed author Nathaniel West, lived in this building known for its odd mix of architectural styles. In 1935 he moved in and began writing his masterpiece, The Day of the Locust while drinking at Musso and Frank?s, hanging out with other Blvd. denizens and picking up ideas for his story. The book, perhaps surprisingly, was not a commercial success on its initial release in 1939. West and his wife, Eileen McKenney, were killed a year later in a car crash. Her sister had written the story, My Sister Eileen and her death was mourned more than his. It would take another ten years before West would finally get his kudos from the literary world. A film was made in the 1970s on his most famous book.
*Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel*
1714 N. Ivar Avenue
The 11-story HKHotel opened in 1925 and became very popular with the Hollywood crowd. Today, it is perhaps more known for its more macabre history.
In 1936, Harry Houdini?s widow hosted a well-known s?ance on the roof. Hoping to reach her husband in the great beyond, the story attracted a great deal of press.
In 1943, it was where police broke into the room of starlet Frances Farmer. Claiming she had failed to report to her parole officer, the police dragged Farmer through the lobby while she spewed obscenities every step of the way.
In July 1948, D.W. Griffith, the pioneering silent film director who had done so much to help create American film story telling techniques, died alone in the hotel. He hadn?t directed a film since 1931 and was mostly ignored by the industry he had helped to create. His funeral, however, brought out over 500 industry movers and shakers and celebrities.
In 1962, famed MGM costume designer, Irene, checked into the hotel. She tried to cut her wrists and when that failed, she leapt to her death from the roof. Two days earlier, she had displayed her latest collection at a fashion show in Beverly Hills. Newspaper accounts attribute her depression to the recent death of her husband and business problems.
Edited by: lzcutter for pics!
Posted 17 April 2010 - 06:23 PM
1755 N. Vine Street
Playing the Palace, Judy did, Bing did, Frank did, most every popular singer of the classic Hollywood era performed here at the Palace. It?s got a Spanish-Baroque exterior and beautiful Art Deco lobby. The Palace opened in 1927 as the Hollywood Playhouse. During the Depression, it was home to the WPA, who staged plays for all. In the 1940s, CBS broadcast various radio shows from the Palace, including Fanny Brice?s *Baby Snooks*.
In 1942, it was rechristened the El Capitan (not to be confused with the movie theater) and was home to Ken Murray?s Blackout Revues. When the El Capitan closed seven years later, Ken Murray?s production was the longest running show, having played 3844 performances.
The Palace was renovated for television and Bob Hope?s Chesterfield Specials, The Jerry Lewis Show and everybody?s favorite, This is Your Life all originated from the Palace. In 1964, it acquired a new name, the Hollywood Palace and ABC began broadcasting a weekly tv variety show from the place. Hosted by Bing Crosby, the show offered some of the finest entertainment of the day.
Raquel Welch was one of the card-carrying young showgirls promoting ?Hollywood Palace? for station breaks.
Merv Griffin took over the studios when the *Palace* series ended but by the mid-1970s, there was talk of demolition. Luckily, two young entrepreneurs came forward and invested almost $10 million in restoration monies. Rock acts performed, the Palace was featured in *Against All Odds* , two restaurants were added and a recording studio.
1750 N. Vine Street
?The House that Frank Built? was designed by famed City of Angels architect Welton Becket. The building is 13 stories tall and stands 150 feet tall. Used to landmark Hollywood and Los Angeles in countless movies and television shows. When it was built, due to earthquake codes, it was the tallest building in Los Angeles for 1955. There are recording studios throughout the building as well as below ground.
Recently the controversy has been with a nearby condo project going in and whether or not the underground construction of a parking lot will disturb the nearby recording studios.
Other Welton Becket buildings include the Music Center, the lost and cherished Pan-Pacific Auditorium, the Cinerama Dome, the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (home to the Oscars in *The Oscar*), the Beverly Hilton Hotel and many others.
Nancy Olson's ( *Sunset Blvd* ) husband, Alan Livingston was the head of Capitol Records for most of its heyday.
South of the Blvd on North Vine:
*The Ricardo Montalban Theater*
1615 N. Vine Street
Formerly the Huntington Hartford, this theater has quite the past. It opened in 1927 as the Vine Street Theater. By the 1930s, this part of Vine Street was part of Radio Row West and CBS took over operations and it became the CBS Playhouse Theater. The famed *Lux Radio Theater* was broadcast from here. The show was hosted by a well-known director that most Americans felt they knew personally, C.B. DeMille. Many of the broadcasts were radio versions of well-known movies of that era.
In 1945, following a well publicized dispute with AFRA, the radio performers union, DeMille stepped down as host.
In 1954, the theater was renamed the Huntington Hartford, after the millionaire heir who bankrolled the renovation, and featured well known plays. Helen Hays opened the theater in What Every Woman Knows.
Until the 1990s, the theater continued to bring plays and the occasional silent film with an orchestra accompanyment, to its subscribers and the public. Following the Northridge earthquake, it sustained some damage and was closed.
In 1999, the Nosotros Foundation headed by Ricardo Montalban, bought the theater, which was then called the Dolittle. When it opened in 2004, it was renamed the Ricardo Montalban Theater to honor the man who helped change the way Latinos are portrayed on film and was the driving force behind the Nosotros Foundation.
For all you TCM fans, Robert Osborne's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located in front of the theater.
Across the street, now long gone due to a fire of suspicious nature, was the famed Brown Derby Hollywood.
Edited by: lzcutter for pics!
Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:56 PM
*The Pacific Hollywood Theater*
6433 Hollywood Blvd.
Opened in 1927 with the premiere of *Glorious Betty* starring Conrad Nagle and Dolores Costello (who lived not far from the theater back then). It was originally a Warners Brothers theater and it was, until recently, the largest theater ever built in Hollywood seating 2,700. Originally equipped with Vitaphone equipment to showcase the Warners commitment to that brand.
Atop the building is a radio transmitter. Back in the day, the Brothers Warner owned the nearby radio station, KFWB and had the tower placed on the roof of the theater where it displayed the Warner name.
The architect was G. Albert Lansburgh and the exterior design was Beaux Arts. The interior was opulent Moorish styling with a giant chandelier hanging in the lobby. Also in the lobby is a plaque to brother Sam Warner who was instrumental in moving the brothers into sound films and who died just before the opening of the *The Jazz Singer* which brought the brothers back from the brink of financial problems.
This is the theater where Carol Burnett worked as a teenager. She and her grandmother lived nearby at the Mayfair Apartments on Wilcox Avenue. At her request, her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is in front of the theater.
In the early 1950s the theater was renovated and reopened as Warners Cinerama. Seating was reduced to 1500. The experiment in Cinerama lasted a little over a year and a half. In 1961, the theater was renovated again to accommodate showing 70mm films in addition to 35mm. *2001* played there for 37 weeks.
In 1968, the theater was sold to the Pacific Theater chain. In the late 1970s, the theater was cut up to accommodate the addition of two smaller theaters upstairs. Despite the desecration, much of the interior still remains intact.
The theater was closed in 1994 due to structural damage caused by the devastating Northridge earthquake. The theater, like the Janes House and Musso and Franks is a Historic- Cultural landmark.
In the early 2000s, the Los Angeles Film School took over the theater and added digital projection. They also cleaned up the theater and restored the main theater to its 1960s size.
*Hollywood and Vine*
Perhaps one of the most famous intersections in American culture. Back in the 1930s, many of the radio stations such as NBC and CBS, were located on Vine Street. There was a Brown Derby restaurant also located on Vine just south of the Blvd. Today all of that is gone and only CBS Columbia Square remains to remind us of another era. Hollywood and Vine has always sounded much more glamorous than it really was.
The multi-floor Broadway department store was located on the south side of the Blvd near Vine. In recent years, it's roof-top neon sign has been relighted thanks to the generous support of the man who lives in Gary Cooper's wonderful mid-century modern house in Holmby Hills.
Edited by: lzcutter for pics!
Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:28 PM
*Musso and Frank?s:*
6667 Hollywood Blvd.
Featured in *TCM Hideaways* with Ben Mankiewicz and Tom Brown. The oldest eatery on the Blvd. Opened in 1919, it wasn?t long before the Hollywood crowd discovered its good food and its good alcohol. It was originally named for owners Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet.
The eatery was remodeled in 1937 and hasn?t changed much since then. The beamed ceilings, red leather banquettes, wooden booths with coat racks and a wait and bar staff who look they have been there for years are just some of the reasons to check it out. Our favorite reason, the bartender who looks and talks like ?Cuddles? Sakall. Paid parking is available behind the eatery.
*The Janes House:*
6541 Hollywood Blvd.
One of the things we often forget is that Hollywood Blvd, back in the early days of the 20th Century, was primarily a residential street. While almost all vestiges of that era are long gone, this house which is still located on the Blvd, is a visual reminder of a past long since vanished.
The house was built in 1903 in the Queen Anne/Dutch revival style and the street was then called Prospect Avenue. The home was built for the Janes family that included three sisters who ran a school on the property from 1911-1926, ?The Misses Janes School of Hollywood? The sisters were said to have taught the children of everyone from CB DeMille to Carl Laemmle.
The house was occupied until the early 1980s when the last remaining Janes sister was moved to an assisted-living facility. Saved from demolition by Hollywood Heritage, it stands today in the courtyard of a small office and shopping complex.
The big rumor surrounding the Janes sisters is that the author, Henry Farrell, got the idea for his book, ?Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? from the story of the Janes sisters. Farrell denied the rumor for years.
Edited by: lzcutter for photos!
Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:08 PM
*The Max Factor Building:*
Located on Highland just south of Hollywood Blvd. Designed by famed architect, S. Charles Lee (who designed many of the famed movie palaces around the Southwest), this Moderne jewel of a building hosts the make-up salon of one of the most important men in cosmetic history, Max Factor.
In the mid 1980s, the building housed the wonderful Max Factor Museum with many of the artifacts from the salon on display. Unfortunately, the building?s owners, Proctor and Gamble (who you would have thought would have known better), sold the building and the collection to a developer. Luckily, plans for demolition hit a snag when preservationist groups such as Hollywood Heritage, the Art Deco Society and the LA Conservancy began a campaign to save the building.
Instead of demolition, the building became the home of the Hollywood Museum (this is the Museum?s third location in recent years). Previously located further north on the Blvd in the old Christian Science Monitor Bldg and briefly at the Galaxy Theater complex, the Museum has adapted well to the Factor Building. They have even kept some of the artifacts on display including the salons, make-up props and costumes. Don?t be turned off by the more modern look of the Museum?s website, it is worth the opportunity to go inside just to see the interior of the Factor Building.
for more info on S. Charles Lee:
*The Hollywood Theater:*
Now shuttered, this is one of the oldest theaters on the Blvd. It originally saw life as a Nickelodeon that dates back to the early 1910s. In the 1930s, it was equipped for sound and the beautiful neon marquee was added. According to my buddy Alan Hess, it was one of the first theaters in Los Angeles to be designed with side panels that would capture the eye of passing motorists, not pedestrians.
Edited by: lzcutter for photos!
Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:10 AM
Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:33 AM
Posted 17 April 2010 - 01:39 AM
Here's hoping the TCM festival has a defibrillator on site.
Posted 17 April 2010 - 01:18 AM
Posted 17 April 2010 - 01:12 AM
Posted 17 April 2010 - 01:04 AM
Posted 16 April 2010 - 10:48 PM
And ... well, I hate to sound like the resident Alcoholic but ... Let's not forget Musso & Frank's (Charlie & Rudy & Hemingway) or the Pig & Whistle or, last but certainly not least, Miceli's! All within the same two block radius and all of which should CERTAINLY be hit up at some point during the festival ... a rousing toast to the good old days!
Posted 14 April 2010 - 11:45 PM
Any thoughts on it?
Posted 10 April 2010 - 11:31 AM
Posted 29 March 2010 - 09:53 PM
Thanks for bringing up Hollywood and Highland. I remember when there was a highrise mid-century modern building on the corner where the Mall sits today. All that connected that end of the Blvd was the Walk of Fame. I think there was an underground garage there back in the day.
And next to Grauman's on the west side of the building was C.C. Brown's Ice Cream Shoppe. Legend has it that the hot fudge sundae was invented there. They would serve scoops of vanilla ice cream in pewter cups with a side of hot fudge sauce.
In the '70 and 80's,. you could buy the hot fudge sauce by the jar. It was delicious.
It was decorated like you would imagine an old fashioned ice cream parlor to be with a front window that looked right out on the Blvd for all the people watching that was amazing back then.
Pictures of stars hung on the wall if I recall correctly and legend had it that everyone from Clark Gable to Lana Turner came in for hot fudge sundaes during premieres.
I was very sad when it closed as it was one of the last bastions of old Hollywood (like the drug store across the street) that had survived all the upheaval but couldn't survive the changing times.
Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:34 PM
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Posted 29 March 2010 - 02:24 AM
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