Griffith Park Observatory during construction with Greek Theatre below, circa 1934

Griffith Park Observatory during construction with Greek Theatre below, circa 1934This is a pretty spectacular aerial shot of the Griffith Park Observatory while it was being built. Construction started in June 1933 so I place this photo circa early 1934. From this angle, the Greek Theater (opened September 1930) really stands out against the empty land of Mt. Hollywood and Griffith Park. It’s also interesting to see the view from the observatory looks out over largely undeveloped land that’s now carpeted with urban sprawl.

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23 Hollywood celebrities autograph Café D’Amore’s “What Our Patrons Say” card

Casa D’Amore
1644 Cahuenga Blvd
Hollywood

23 Hollywood celebrities autograph Café D'Amore's "What Our Patrons Say" card

Celebrities listed in order:

  1. Tommy Dorsey
  2. Jimmy Dorsey
  3. Lana Turner
  4. Milton Berle
  5. Pietro Constantini
  6. Jerry Colonna
  7. Jackie Cooper
  8. Ann Miller
  9. Laird Cregar
  10. Cass Daley
  11. ???
  12. Joan Davis
  13. Linda Darnell
  14. John Garfield
  15. Kay Kyser
  16. Sid Grauman
  17. Joan Blondell
  18. Dick Powell
  19. Red Skelton
  20. Ida Lupino
  21. Frank Sinatra
  22. Frank Fay
  23. Joe DiMaggio

Casa D'Amore, 1644 Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood

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Entrance to Universal Studios, the City of Wonders and Capital of the Film World, Universal City, California, circa 1917

Entrance to Universal Studios, the City of Wonders and Capital of the Film World, Universal City, California, circa 1917Universal Studios head Carl Laemmle sure knew the value of promotion. When he opened his studios in the San Fernando Valley in 1915, it wasn’t just a studio, but a city! And it wasn’t just any city, it was a “City of Wonders” AND the “Capital of the Film World.” Mind you, in 1915, that claim could well have been true, but it wouldn’t take long before Warner Brothers, Louis B. Mayer, and Adolph Zukor would have reason to challenge that claim.

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Grand Ave pedestrians get off the Grand Ave streetcar, downtown Los Angeles, circa 1900

Grand Ave pedestrians get off the Grand Ave streetcar, downtown Los Angeles, circa 1900In this circa 1900 scene is filled with all sorts of things we don’t see anymore: the Grand Ave streetcar; a guy driving a horse and buggy; a stroller that looks hard to navigate through the crowded streets of downtown Los Angeles; and women in long dresses and hats during the day and who are probably cinched into foundation garments of some description. In LA weather? Can you imagine? I know it was cooler in LA back then than it is now, but still…

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The Newsreel Theater, 744 S. Broadway, downtown Los Angeles showing “Fury In The Pacific” circa 1945

The Newsreel Theater, 744 S. Broadway, downtown Los Angeles showing “Fury In The Pacific” circa 1945In this age of instant news available wherever you go 24/7 it can be easy to forget that in years gone by, people got a lot of their information from newsreels at the movies. It was especially important during WWII. Newsreels were so popular that theaters showing only newsreels popped up. There was one on Hollywood Boulevard near the Pantages. This one was at 744 S. Broadway, downtown Los Angeles. The movie it’s showing – “Fury in the Pacific” – came out in 1945 and you can see it on YouTube: http://bit.ly/2wNU3dS

The Newsreel later became the Globe and is still around. Well, sort of…

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Looking north on Vine Street from NBC Radio City, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, circa 1948

Looking north on Vine Street from NBC Radio City, Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, circa 1948I do enjoy a night sky lit up with a buffet of neon lights. This circa 1948 shot show us Vine Street north of Sunset Boulevard where we can see the ABC television studio, Santa Fe railway booking office, Wil Wright’s ice cream store (red and white striped awning), Sy Devore’s clothing, The Broadway department store, Plaza Hotel, and Brown Derby restaurant. It just makes you want to take an evening stroll, doesn’t it?

Susan says: That Vine Street studio was not set up for TV broadcasting back then. ABC never did use it for TV broadcasting. It was home of ABC radio however. There were also a number of admin. offices in there. The sign over the building was just an over all ad for ABC – including radio and TV. The building was converted to TV after it was sold, and maybe not until Merv Griffin was going to broadcast from there. ABC used all sorts of studios around Hollywood in addition to what usable space there was when they first acquired the old Warner Brothers lot on Prospect & Talmage. We used General Service studios over on Las Palmas & Romaine a lot. Danny Thomas shot over on the Desilu studio on Cahuenga, just to name a couple studios.

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Looking northwest across Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, circa 1915

Looking northwest across Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, circa 1915In this circa 1915 photo, we’re looking up Highland Avenue past the Hollywood Hotel on the right toward Franklin Avenue. With the Hollywood hills so empty, the Bernheimer brothers’ home, Yamashiro, really sticks out—it was only a year old back in 1915. But look at the streets. Not a soul to be seen anywhere!

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Interior of Southern Pacific Daylight train, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, circa 1939

Interior of Southern Pacific Daylight train, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, circa 1939Most of the train photos I come across are of the long-haul services like the Super Chief between Los Angeles and Chicago, so I was pleased to find this one. Here we see the interior of the Southern Pacific service originally called the “Daylight Limited” and later the “Coast Daylight.” It was the SP’s train between Los Angeles and San Francisco. This photo was taken circa 1939, when train travel was at its peak. (During WWII, civilian train travel was difficult and after the war, air travel expanded rapidly.) I especially love those Art Deco features in the glass in front of the bar.

southern-pacific-daylight-train-circa 1939

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Panoramic view showing the deserted Beverly Hills countryside in 1913

Panoramic view showing the deserted Beverly Hills countryside in 1913It’s hard to imagine now but when the Beverly Hills Hotel opened in 1912, it was a getaway type of resort, offering respite and sanctuary from the madness of downtown Los Angeles. But with this photo of the deserted Beverly Hills countryside in 1913, it’s not really hard to imagine at all, is it?

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Hollywood Starland – official map of the stars, where they live, where they work and where they play, 1937

Click on the image to get a larger view, and then click on that image to get an even larger view.

Scroll down for a list of the stars featured in the border.

Hollywood Starland - official map of the stars, where they live, where they work and where they play, 1937

Stars listed around the border:

  • Billy and Bobby Mauch
  • Charles Boyer
  • Janet Gaynor
  • Leslie Howard
  • Irene Dunne
  • Robert Taylor
  • Katharine Hepburn
  • Clark Gable
  • Greta Garbo
  • Lionel Barrymore
  • Barbara Stanwyck
  • Joe E. Brown
  • Norma Shearer
  • James Cagney
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Shirley Temple
  • Warner Baxter
  • Jeanette MacDonald
  • Richard Arlen
  • Constance Bennett
  • William Powell
  • Jean Arthur
  • Robert Young
  • Claudette Colbert
  • Ronald Colman
  • Carole Lombard
  • George Brent
  • Joan Blondell (spelled incorrectly!)
  • Dick Powell
  • Jane Withers
  • Maureen O’Sullivan
  • Wallace Beery
  • Grace Moore
  • Edward Arnold
  • Deanne Durbin
  • James Stewart
  • Bette Davis
  • Robert Montgomery
  • Joan Crawford
  • Bing Crosby
  • Ginger Rogers
  • Fred Astaire
  • Loretta Young
  • Frederick March
  • Clare Trevor
  • Freddie Bartholemew
  • Spencer Tracy
  • Mae West
  • Paul Muni
  • Myrna Loy
  • Nelson Eddy
  • Virginia Bruce
  • Buddy Rogers
  • Mary Pickford
  • Franchot Tone
  • Betty Furness
  • Gary Cooper
  • Marion Davies
  • Cary Grant
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