Sunset Blvd near its terminus with Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, 1952

Sunset Blvd. near its terminus with the Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, 1952In this 1952 photo, we get a taste of what Sunset Blvd looked like near its terminus with Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades. I’m guessing this is around about where the Self-Realization Center where Sunset makes that final turns and heads to the ocean. If Sunset Boulevard still looked like this, I probably go for more Sunday drives.

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The Sunset Strip looking east toward the Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, 1950

The Sunset Strip looking east toward the Chateau Marmont, Los Angeles, 1950Yesterday I drove down the Sunset Strip for a literary event at Book Soup. It was the first time I’d driven the Strip in a while and it struck me how super-built-up it’s become, especially with the opening of two new hotels. It was a stark contrast to how the Strip looked in 1950, when this photo was taken, with its vacant lot just down from the Chateau Marmont and all that elbow room for motorists. #1950sEnvy

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John Barrymore and Dolores Costello residence overlooking Beverly Hills at 1500 Seabright Place.

John Barrymore and Dolores Costello residence overlooking Beverly HillsLooks like John Barrymore and his wife Dolores Costello had quite the stunning view across Beverly Hills. I’d love to have been able to sit on that tower balcony and gaze across Beverly Hills as the sun started to set, perhaps sipping a gin and tonic. And if it was a Barrymore house, you know there was plenty of gin to be sipped.

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El Royale Apartments, 450 N Rossmore Ave, Los Angeles, 1931

El Royale Apartments, 450 N Rossmore Ave, Los Angeles, 1931The grandly named (and grandly designed) El Royale Apartments at 450 N Rossmore Ave, Los Angeles opened in 1927. This photo was taken in 1931 from the Rosewood Ave corner where we can see that the land around it was only just starting to be developed. So the El Royale must have really stood out when it opened. At least until the Ravenswood apartment building opened a few years later. While its surrounds may have changed dramatically, the El Royale itself remains largely how you see it here.

The El Royale apartments in 2016:

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Hollywood Blvd and Orange Drive, Hollywood, 1905

Hollywood Blvd and Orange Drive, Hollywood, 1905In this photograph, we’re treated to the view of Hollywood as seen from the Hollywood hills in 1905. Hollywood Boulevard – back then it was called Prospect Ave – runs horizontally through the middle; the street running vertically at the right is Orange Dr. The large white building at the bottom was the home of actor Conway Tearle. It now belongs to the American Society of Cinematographers who have preserved it—it’s the only structure in this photo that survives today.

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Looking north along the Ocean Front Walk on Venice Beach, November 17, 1929

Looking north along the Ocean Front Walk on Venice Beach, November 17, 1929Here we are looking north along the Ocean Front Walk on Venice Beach on November 17, 1929. In the distance, we can see the Santa Monica pier rollercoaster. Today, this same view is jam-packed with a never-ending and crazy kaleidoscope of strollers, joggers, fortunetellers, street performers, evangelicals, artists, homeless people, musicians, musclemen, cafés, marijuana clinics, and bars. I have to admit, it’s quite shocking to see it so empty and peaceful. I quite like the wild phantasmagoria of the Venice Beach scene, but it would be nice if could still be like this.

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Toonerville Trolley sandwich shop, 1635 W. Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, 1920

Toonerville Trolley sandwich shop located at 1635 W. Manchester Avenue. Sign reads- 'Sandwich Special' and 'Free Coffee' Los Angeles, 1920

 

And in 1926:

Toonerville Trolley, 1635 W. Manchester, Los Angeles, circa 1926 The Toonerville Trolley sandwich shop located at 1635 W. Manchester Ave in 1920. Did Disney get the idea for Toontown from this???

Toonerville Trolley sandwich shop, 1635 W. Manchester Ave, Los Angeles

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Original Brown Derby restaurant on Wilshire Blvd under construction, 1926

Original Brown Derby restaurant on Wilshire Blvd under construction, 1926Here’s a rare shot of the original Brown Derby restaurant on Wilshire Blvd under construction, 1926. It was later moved to 3377 Wilshire, half a block east, but was first here at 3427 Wilshire between Mariposa and Alexandria. This photo also gives us an idea of how sparsely populated Wilshire Blvd was back then. There’s lots of empty fields and elbowroom—little wonder it was dotted with billboards, like that one we can see for Frigidaire.

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Looking east along Wilshire Blvd from Fairfax at night, Los Angeles, 1949

Looking east along Wilshire Blvd from Fairfax at night, Los Angeles, 1949This dynamic night shot from Life magazine shows us glimpse of the view looking east along Wilshire Blvd from Fairfax Ave in 1949. None of the places we can see – May Co. department store, Prudential, Coulter’s department store, and Arthur Murray dance studio – are still around, but at least the May Co. building is getting a second life with the opening of the Academy museum. Does anybody reading this remember Coulter’s? I don’t know much about it. What was it like? What sort of merchandise did they sell?

Susan Milner saysCoulter’s was located downtown LA first, before it moved out to this Wilshire building toward the end of the 30s. Coulter’s was a lot like Broadway or May Co. It was mostly fashion and home soft goods that catered to middle class tastes typically, though they did have a cocktail wear/Bridal type salon. I think Broadway bought out Coulter’s by the very late 60s or early 70s, and they were the ones to close it down after 10 or so years best I can recall. I can recall they had a nice fabric and knitting dept on the 3rd floor. I can remember buying a few foundation items there in their nice foundation dept. I didn’t however regularly shop at Coulter’s.”

See also: Coulter’s Department Store (Demolished)

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Program for the first Academy Awards held at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd, May 16th , 1929

Program for the first Academy Awards held at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd, May 16th , 1929Program for the first Academy Awards held at the Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd, May 16th , 1929

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