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Life around Hollywood in the very late 1920s

These screen-shot photos are taken from a home movie shot in the very late 1920s and gives us a rare glimpse into life going on around Hollywood before the roof fell in and the Depression kick-started the 1930s.

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The Gates of Babylon set from D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” at Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards, Los Feliz, 1916

My thanks to the good folks at Esotouric for uncovering this little gem: a rare 1916 view of the Gates of Babylon set from D.W. Griffith’s “Intolerance” – one of the great epics of silent-era cinema. The enormous set was … Continue reading

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A Pacific Electric Red Car passing the University of Southern California in 1953

I do enjoy coming across a new photo of a Pacific Electric Red Car – especially when it’s in color. What a bold splash of red they must have made against a gritty urban landscape. This was taken in 1953 … Continue reading

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Mayan Theater, 1038 South Hill St, Los Angeles, 1927

By 1927, Los Angeles had an Egyptian Theatre and a Chinese Theatre, so what came next? A Mayan Theater of course, because when you think theaters, you naturally think the Mayan aesthetic. Or at least, that’s what oil magnate Edward … Continue reading

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Matte painting from the MGM musical “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” (1949)

I was recent led to a fascinating website “Matte Shot – A Tribute to Golden Era Special FX” which displays matte paintings used in Hollywood movies. My favorite is this one which shows how the ballpark from the MGM musical … Continue reading

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Bullocks Wilshire department store, Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, circa mid 1940s

One of my favorite buildings in Los Angeles is the old Bullocks Wilshire department store on Wilshire Boulevard. Although it no longer houses a store, the building still stands in all its glory. This photo is circa WWII (the original … Continue reading

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Driving east along Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, circa mid 1930s

I love these casual across-the-hood-of-the car-while-driving shots. It gives us a palpable sense of what it was like to drive east along Wilshire Blvd back in the day. We are looking east toward downtown from about Highland; the tower in … Continue reading

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The Beverly Hills Hotel amid undeveloped Beverly Hills in the year it opened, 1912

This bucolic scene could be pretty much anywhere in the countryside…except for the newly opened Beverly Hills Hotel smack dab in the middle of it. This photo was taken in 1912, the year the hotel opened as a rural get … Continue reading

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Postcard showing fountain in Pershing Square, downtown Los Angeles, circa 1920s

I don’t have a specific date for this charming postcard showing us the fountain in Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles, but going by the fashions of the female passers-by, it looks circa 1920s. What a shame that lovely fountain … Continue reading

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A model poses on the badly damaged “H” of the Hollywood sign on Mt. Lee, 1947

Here’s a story about the Hollywood sign I never knew. Back in the early 1940s, the sign’s caretaker, Albert Kothe lost control of his car (the guy was drunk!) and drove into the sign, destroying both his 1928 Ford Model … Continue reading

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