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AaronGunner

Writer Has Research Question...

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For a short story I'm writing:

 

1) Can anyone here give me some examples of classic movies/writers/directors that recent film school grads tend to be either clueless about, or completely unaware of?

 

2) Can anyone name a classic film in which the specific intersection of Hollywood and Vine played a key part?

 

3) Can anyone name a classic film in which ANY intersection in Hollywood (but NOT Hollywood & Vine) played a key part?

 

Thanks,

 

AG

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Hello AaronGunner,

I've worked with a screenwriting student from USC film school that had never seen "The Apartment"(!). And I have worked with dozens of wanna-be actors that have no background in classic film. If I named a black & white film, odds are none of them had ever heard of it let alone seen it. One who actually thought he was rather literate in classic film had never heard of "Red River". "Night of the Hunter" is another film no one has ever seen.

 

I can't come up with a film that features Hollywood/Vine prominently right now. But for current trivia about the corner, the intersection was renamed Bob Hope Square after his passing two years ago. It also has identical stars on all four corners to commemorate the Apollo 11 moon landing...the only non-entertainment stars on the Walk Of Fame.

 

As to other intersections along Hollywood Blvd., there was a recent article in the LATimes about the intersection of Hollywood/Cahuenga (pronounced Ca WENG gah) that was renamed Raymond Chandler Square years ago for the crme author. His detective Philip Marlowe's fictional offices were located on that corner. Whether any of the films based on Chandler's Philip Marlowe novels use/reference that address is something I don't know. Maybe someone else can say.

 

from the LA Times

Only in L.A.

It's Not Farewell, My Lovely Raymond Chandler Square Signs

March 16, 2006

 

The Raymond Chandler Square signage disappeared from the intersection of Hollywood and Cahuenga boulevards last year, but I'm happy to report it was just a short goodbye.

 

Alan Kroeber of Hollywood informs me that the signs are back in place, celebrating the location of the office of Chandler's fictional private eye, Philip Marlowe, in the "Cahuenga Building."

 

The corner became a cultural historical landmark several years ago at the urging of journalist Jess Bravin, an honor that would no doubt shock Marlowe. He called his office "the dog house" and spent many idle moments there transferring his mail from the door slot to the wastebasket, dueling with house flies and taking an occasional nip.

 

Incidentally, the Chandler Square signs were temporarily removed for a reason that any gumshoe could appreciate — the installation of surveillance cameras.

 

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-only16mar16,1,4036726.column

 

Hope some of this was helpful.

Kyle in Hollywood

(who walks Hollywood Blvd. everyday to get to the subway)

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Hello Kyle.....

 

In the early 80's my bus stop was at Hollywood and Vine. Memory is fading but I believe it was the 212 to Barham Blvd, which is a surface street connecting Hollywood with the Valley. I can't IMAGINE a subway being there. Talks of subways were just a gleam in the City Planner's eyes. Where does someone catch the subway on Hollywood Blvd? In the early 80's, waiting for the bus at that intersection could be an experience. I believe there was a jewelry shop on the northeast corner, and across Vine on the northwest corner there was a coffee shop. There was also a bank and a drugstore very close to the intersection on the southeast corner. We watched a guy run as fast as he could with a brick in his hand, and throw the brick through the display window of the jewelry shop, then come over and act like he was waiting for the bus. The cops had him really quick, before the bus came, because he was the one out of breath (plus the jeweler id'd him). There was another guy whom everyone called "Cowboy, or "The Sheriff" who wore Cowboy clothes complete with a kid's badge and toy six-shooters. If someone littered and "The Sheriff" saw them he pulled his toy six-shooters and yelled and screamed until the litterer picked up their trash. If the police saw anyone messing with him, they really looked out for him. As you can imagine, the Sheriff had his hands full with litterers in Hollywood. I would guess the Sheriff's age as early 30's in those days, so he could still be walking his beat. What a place.

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Hello MikeDouglas-

I moved into the neighborhood of Hollywood in '89. At that time, Hollywood Blvd still had some traditional commercial businesses such as banks and Walgreen's. But by the mid '90's, they were all gone. Some of that was due to the subway construction and the disruptions it caused but alot of it was just due to civic neglect. I moved into the area because it has always been a part of the city that felt "urban". I could walk to the movies/dry cleaners/post office/etc. And the rent was cheap.

The subway wasn't originally planned to come through Hollywood. It was to travel from downtown below Wilshire to the Fairfax district where it head North into the Valley along LaBrea (I think) and then under the Cahuenga Pass. But shortly past Wilshire & Western the digging stopped when the ground literally exploded and caught fire due to large deposits of methane gas encountered as it approached the Tar Pits region. So the subway headed north along Vermont to Hollywood Blvd and then travels West under the Blvd to Hollywood & Highland where then continues for two more stations in the Valley ending at Lankershim & Chandler (I believe). It is the most expensive 26 mile subway ever built. (about a billion dollars a mile).

There is a Subway Station at your old haunt of Hollywood & Vine - actually Argyle - directly across from the famous Pantages Theater and there is another station at Hollywood & Highland where the large retail complex and Kodak Theater are located. The Blvd is a street in transition. It was really seedy ten years ago but has seen a recent revival take place. But there are still more empty/abandoned movie theaters then operating ones. And tattoo parlors and t-shirt shops are plentiful. But the large office buildings at Hollywood & Vine are going to be converted into Condos. (Sadly, that may be the fate of the Capitol Records Building also.)

There aren't many characters as colorful as "The Sheriff" on the Blvd. anymore but there is a very nice man with one leg and crutches that spends his entire day pushing himself along the Walk Of Fame polishing the Stars with Windex and Brasso. He does it out of pride. While he used to have a jar out for "tips", he was hired by the city a while back and now is paid to keep the Stars picture perfect.

 

If you want to read more about Hollywood revitalization, check out this article in the LA Times. There's a map and some photos too.

 

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hollywood19mar19,1,4584200.story

 

Kyle in Hollywood

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Kyle,

 

I lived in Hollywood (Gower and Franklin above the monastry until 1995.

 

I now live in Sherman Oaks which is not that far from where the subway ends at Chandler and Lankershim.

 

Small world, heh?

 

Hollywood back in the 1980s was very different than what the Blvd is today. Another contributing factor besides the subway construction and the sinking of the Blvd was the LA Riots of '92. Many small businesses were looted and chose to close their doors rather than stay.

 

There used to be a drugstore across from Grauman's and near the El Capitian that had a minature of Hollywood Blvd circa the 1940s. It was great. Also there was a small replica of the Garden of Allah at La Brea (in what is now a strip mall) which Washington Mutual claims they have storage.

 

The Garden Court apartments were still standing where the Galaxy complex is today. I think the Garden burned down in one of those fires of a suspicious nature shortly after I moved to Hollywood in 1981. I remember standing in line for movies at Grauman's and looking up at the building and being reminded of Nora Desmond's old house. The GCourt was over-run with runaways and the homeless late at night.

 

Have you seen the relit neon sign atop the Broadway? It's beautiful at night. The Blue and the Yellow of the recently relit Plaza sign are a great combo.

 

Many of the movie theatres were still open back then as second run double bill houses. The Henry Fonda Theatre and the Dolittle used to be open. The Brown Derby Hollywood was across from the Dolittle on Vine just south of the Blvd.. Newberry's hung on until the riots as I recall. Security Pacific had a large bank branch which is now either going to be condos or has been taken over by the Scientologists.

 

The Los Angeles Film School has digital screenings about once a month in the old Warner Pacific Theatre Movie Theatre. It was built in the early 1930s and had plaques on the wall of the brothers Warner. It was a beautiful movie palace that they cut up and made into three theatres. Would love to see it restored.

 

The old First National Building used to be on the Blvd down near the Denny's. The Central Casting Building still stands down on Western across from Ralph's and Home Depot.

 

Boardners is still there and a great place to get a drink though it doesn't feel like you are walking into a time warp anymore. Glad to see the Frolic Room is still going strong.

 

Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane!

 

Message was edited by:

lzcutter

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I had a feeling you'd find your way over to this thread Lynn. But I thought you would be the person who could name three or four Hollywood & Vine films that AaronGunner was looking for.

 

FWIW, I am living in a 20's era building at the corner of Franklin and Whitley.

I have heard the old Valentino Estate was in the Whitley Heights area "above" me (up the steep hill). But I have never ventured up there to look around.

 

Security Pacific was my local bank and you are right...the Scientologists have it now. They have so many of the Blvd buildings. And the Pacific theater was a place I went often before it stopped showing first-run films. (It had already been divided up when I went.)

 

Back to the original subject at hand - Was the Hollywood Canteen near Hollywod & Vine or on Cahuenga? Both areas stick in my head for its location and is the only film reference to the area I have been able to come up with...and not a very good one at that.

 

Kyle in Hollywood

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Kyle,

 

I think the Canteen may have been on Ivar over near the Goldwyn Library.

 

Whitley Heights is amazing. Valentino lived up there, Francis Bushman had a mansion there with the first swimming pool. George Cukor had a manse there. Some of the houses are still there. It's a difficult drive because the streets are so windy and a difficult walk because the streets are so steep. I keep Hollywood Heritage would do a program at the Barn about WHeights and show us some of the houses using slides or dvd.

 

Hollywood and Vine films. I think there was a Bob Hope film that utizilzed that corner and I know that the old intersection with the stoplights with the blade signs for stop and go is in a number of films but as for filming on the actually location, I'm racking my brain. The older I get the more Los Angeles/Hollywood history gets fuzzier. Ten years ago I could have come up with them without batting an eye. Grr......

 

Sunset Blvd maybe because William Holden's girlfriend's apt is not far from the intersection.

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Hello Izcutter and Kyle,

 

Sure have been alot of changes, it sounds though as if GENERALLY speaking, they are trying to fix the area up. I moved into the area in 81, and lived off Barham blvd, sorta between Hollywood and the Valley. Toluca Lake is how it was unofficially called. Hollywood was really getting seedy in the early 80's. There were so many homeless people (and others) walking the streets 24/7 that one could get a sense of anarchy. I worked just south of Sunset between De Longpre and Gower. Across Gower then was an old movie studio. I want to say it was Columbia, but memory fades. I do know across Sunset from that studio was KCBS. That's when Connie Chung was there, and while working inside saw her prepare to give the news a few times. The funny thing about that building was that, if you entered it from the parking lot the main studio was RIGHT THERE. Of course they had security, but once they got used to you, it was up to YOU to watch out and make sure you didn't bumble and stumble your way right onto the set. You guys ever go to the Griffith Park Observatory and see the different light shows they had?

 

I watched Edmond O'Brien in the 1949 version of D.O.A. There were several driving sequences that LOOKED like Hollywood and Vine. But that is my early 80's memories trying to fit into 1949. I know the land starts to gently slope up from south to north, in that area, with the slope increasing as you get to the Hills. That is what some of those sequences looked like to me.

 

Regards

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Mike,

 

It's still called Toluca Lake and still a nice quiet area.

 

It was Columbia Studios- the old studio building you remembered. It's now Sunset Gower Studios and filled with Production Companies like Smith-Hemion (who do the AFI stuff) and Nash Productions (who do the majority of regular stuff on the History Channel.).

 

CBS has moved all radio operations from Hollywood and is preparing to move all its news ops to the lot on Radford in the valley. Once that happens the mighty Columbia Square-the last of the networks still left in Hollywood- will be no more. There will likely be a preservation battle to save Columbia Square from being torn down and turned in to condos and multi-use retail and dining.

 

The Observatory has been closed for the last couple of years for restoration. Leonard Nimoy is one of the big $$ donors for the restoration. I think it is scheduled to reopen next year.

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After the L.A. subway's planned path up Wilshire Boulevard to the Fairfax District was cancelled (it may yet be revived; Congressman Henry Waxman, the subway's most implacable foe, has changed his opinion of a Wilshire Blvd. line, now that the methane-gas issues seem to have been addressed; he also sees the need for a line to serve the wealthier areas on L.A.'s West Side, because traffic problems in this town has become so onerous. Would you believe that L.A. still doesn't have synchronized traffic signals?), the route was changed to run along Sunset Blvd., then up into the Valley.

 

But the recording studios along Sunset complained, claiming that the trains' vibrations would be picked up by their microphones and ruin their business.

 

So, it was changed to Hollywood Blvd. which is less useful and convenient for most people.

 

But, then, that's typically L.A.: build an expensive hole-in-the-ground that runs between places nobody wants to be, and other places nobody wants to go.

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... that's typically L.A.: build an expensive hole-in-the-ground that runs between places nobody wants to be, and other places nobody wants to go.

 

I won't take the slam personal even tho I am resident of the area served by the Red LIne. I also see the wisdom in running a subway line that mirrors the 101 Freeway from downtown to the Valley.

 

There are probably a lot of valid reasons the Red Line isn't more popular but one that isn't spoken of is a fear many folks have of being in close quarters with the working poor in this city. Los Angelenos cherish their isolation and insulation from the unknown "others" that their cars provide them. And Public Transportation is like using food stamps in many people's minds. Even when gas was over three dollars a gallon, co-workers wouldn't get on that train out of fear and, believe it or not, "Bad Lighting" in the stations. (That is a true quote.)

 

And while it may not be the most successful transit operation for residents, it sure is a boon for the tourists in Los Angeles who make trips between downtown, Hollywood & Universal Studios everyday. In a city that was literally born along with the automobile, any attempt at a mass transit solution to the traffic problem is going to be too little too late. But that isn't the same as not doing anything either.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

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Thanks Izcutter and Kyle for helping me remember, and telling me about the new stuff.

 

I think I have it out of my system now.

 

Kyle, I used the bus when I lived there, and so I have little doubt if I was still there I would be using that subway, going places I wanted to go and seeing people I wanted to see.

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A lack of seating in the subway stataions may have something to do with it. Unlike New York, where every below-ground station has fairly comfortable heavy wooden benches, L.A.'s gone in for "art." Unfortunately, this art (in the Hollywood & Western station, concrete seats that zigzag like a pattern on an Indian blanket, forcing round rear ends into a triangular space) is damnably uncomfortable.

 

L.A. has got to be the worst-run big city in America (well, maybe Number Two, after New Orleans); the people in charge have no concept of the practical considerations needed to make a community livable, but the dumb-as-geese citizens keep re-electing them, year after year, after year.

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lzcutter... man all talk, makes we want a "Tommy Burger." Haven't had one since the 70's when I lived there for a year. The earth moving scared the heck out of me. I remember a Deloris Drive-In also, I think over by the Tar-pits. If I remember right I worked at Western and Wilshire (se corner) and there was a Tommy's on the south west corner.... I miss them big green tomatoes!

jerry c

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Logical,

 

You'll be glad to know that Tommy Burgers are still available though the corner of Wilshire and Western has changed a great deal in thirty years and I don't remember there being a Tommy's there when I was doing research a few months back. But TBurgers are still available around town.

 

I think there is only one Delores Drive-In left and it's the non-drive in one in Santa Monica.

 

The Tiny Naylor's drive in at La Brea and Sunset got torn down for a strip mall and a Pollo Loco. Like we needed another fast food joint. Cassells is still there though at Crescent Heights and Wilshire.

 

The wonderful art deco of the Miracle Mile is being lost at an alarming rate and being replaced by someone's idea of fake art deco.

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Someday maybe I will tell you (and all) about how the police (mistakenly) arrested me at Sunset and Western (helicopters, squads, shotguns.) Also the time I got into an accident with Roman Polanski in front of Micheal's restaurant. Not a whole lot of good memories of my stay, other than riding my Harley up to the ??? observitory, loved that place and the "view."

 

Ps. I got dragged out that by my first wife, she wanted to be an actess. Funny the only one to get offered a part was ME in one of the Clint Eastwood movies with the "monkey."

jerry c

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TOMMY'S mmmmmmm Double-Chili Cheeseburgers That tears it, I am getting my time-machine out and start back to work.

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Room for two in that "time machine"... I don't know though, my ulcer might not handle that chili these days. I have enough problems with a big mac! LOL

 

jerry c

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