The Odd Fellows

The Odd Fellows is a secret society formed in 1819 in the United States.

I have a book coming out on December 16, 2013. It's called The Odd Fellows.

My book was released on December 16, 2013. It’s called The Odd Fellows.

This is the cover for my book.

This is the cover of my book direct from the publisher. MY BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE. Go to http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/Author-Guillermo-Luna.html or AMAZON.COM to order it.

My books showed up. This photo was taken moments after I opened the box. I'm very happy.

My books showed up. This photo was taken moments after I opened the box. I’m very happy.

This is the All Seeing Eye. It's God's Eye.

This is the All Seeing Eye. It’s God’s Eye. When I submitted my book to my publisher I used this image with chapter 1: The Dead Body.

This is the hand with heart. The basic idea behind the hand with heart is that whenever an Odd Fellow extends his hand -- the greeting comes from his heart.

This is the hand with heart. The basic idea behind the hand with heart is that whenever an Odd Fellow extends his hand — the greeting comes from his heart; an Odd Fellow doesn’t shake your hand while thinking about how he’ll stab you in the back. I used this image with chapter 2: Mexico.

This symbol is the Bundle of Rods. It symbolizes that a group bound together is stronger than one rod alone. I used this image for Chapter 3: The Road to San Felipe.

This symbol is the Bundle of Rods. It symbolizes that a group bound together is stronger than one rod alone. I used this image for Chapter 3: The Road to San Felipe.

These are the three links. The three links symbolize Friendship, Love and Truth.

These are the three links. The three links symbolize Friendship, Love and Truth. I used this image with Chapter 4: The Three Links.

The Moon and the Seven Stars. The seven stars are to remind us of the seven pillars in the house of wisdom and warn us not to wander starless in the night of destitution.

The Moon and the Seven Stars. The seven stars remind us of the seven pillars in the house of wisdom and warn us not to wander starless in the night of destitution. I used this image for Chapter 6: The Disappearance.

This is the Skull and Crossed Bones. This symbol reminds us that we are not only part of the earthly world but that we must the remains of brothers to their graves. I used this image for Chapter 7: The Crucifixion.

This is the Skull and Crossed Bones. We are all part of the earthly world and must bury the remains of our brothers. I used this image for Chapter 7: The Crucifixion.

It's the coffin. This symbol is used to remind us that we all have a date with this last great event we just don't know when. I used this symbol for Chapter 8: Bury the Dead.

It’s the coffin. It symbolizes that we all have a date with death — we just don’t know when. I used this symbol for Chapter 8: Bury the Dead.

This is the hourglass and scythe. The scythe is a reminder that just as hay is cut down by the scythe -- also man is cut down by time. The hourglass reminds us of how time quickly goes forward. I used this symbol for Chapter 8: Bury the Dead.

This is the hourglass and scythe. The scythe reminds us that just as hay is cut down by the scythe — likewise man is cut down by time.
The hourglass reminds us that time moves quickly. I used this symbol for Chapter 9: Man’s Best Friend.

The Shaking Hands of Friendship. I used this symbol for Chapter 11: Three Days Later.

The Shaking Hands of Friendship. I used this symbol for Chapter 11: Three Days Later.

My book is NOW AVAILABLE from my publisher. It can be ordered through the link below:

http://www.boldstrokesbooks.com/Author-Guillermo-Luna.html

You can also browse by GBT author. Click on that tab and then look for GUILLERMO LUNA. Click on my picture and go from there.

It’s also available through Amazon.com.

Published in: on January 26, 2013 at 11:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

Warner Bros. Studio Tour

I’ve lived in California since 1988 but I’ve never gone on this studio tour. Finally, I broke down and shelled out the $62.00 (!) to take the tour. I made my reservation in advance and online.

After I paid $10 for parking I was told to go to the waiting area located between Daffy and Bugs.

After I paid $10 for parking I was told by the parking attendant to go to the waiting area located between Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. A little part of me began to hate the tour at this point.

We toured around the studio in these cute, little buses.

We zipped around the studio on this tram.

This was our tour guide. His name was Steven. I couldn't do this kind of work. Everyone was very nice. It was almost too nice.

This was our tour guide. His name was Steven. I couldn’t do his job. You have to have the right disposition. I’m too cranky.

We tooled around in the tram a great deal at the beginning. This location was used for Gilmore Girls.

View from the tram. This location was used for Gilmore Girls.

Evidently, on The Waltons, John-Boy had a writing shack and this is that shack. I remember the Waltons and I remember John-Boy but I don't remember any writing shack. I took a picture anyway.

Evidently, on The Waltons, John-Boy had a writing shack and this is that shack. I remember The Waltons and I remember John-Boy but I don’t remember any writing shack. I took a picture anyway.

See that building behind the ladder? Well, supposedly, that's where they filmed a scene from Casablanca.

See that building behind the ladder? Steven said they filmed a scene from Casablanca in front of it. He didn’t say which Casablanca. Was it the David Soul TV series or the Humphrey Bogart movie?

Two more studio locations.

020

018

Building used in that show Full House.

That Eastlake building at the end of the street was used in the show Full House.

We stopped at the studio archives for a rest break. I don't know who this guy is but I thought he was kinda cool.

We stopped at the studio archives for a bathroom break. I don’t know who this guy is but I thought he was kinda cool. I wouldn’t want to live next to him though. I bet he’s noisy.

They had some Kryptonite . I don't think it was radioactive though.

They had some Kryptonite with Kryptonite repelling gloves.

Just saying.

Just saying.

There were a couple of things from Harry Potter. This shroud...

There were a couple of things from Harry Potter. This shroud…

...and this big spider.

…and this big spider.

Steven said this exterior was used in the Batman TV series.

Steven said this exterior was used in the Batman TV series.

We stopped again outside of the prop house. This Mystery Time Machine was sitting out front.

After zooming by more outdoor backdrops we stopped again. This time outside the studio’s prop house. The Mystery Time Machine was sitting out front.

right inside the door was this...

Right inside the prop house door was this…

Look at all those Maltese Falcons.

Look at all those Maltese Falcons.

You could rent a complete West Wing set.

You could rent a complete West Wing set if you wanted to…

But they don't rent out this...

But they don’t rent out this Matrix stuff…

or this...

…more Matrix stuff they don’t rent out.

...or this. This is from the 1943 Casablanca.

They don’t rent out this either. It’s from the 1943 Casablanca.

There was a cool Batman section near the prop house. I'm surprised any of my photos came out it was so dark in there.

There was a cool Batman warehouse next to the prop house. I’m surprised any of these photos came out because it was rather dark in there.

039

043

045

Isn’t that what Catwoman rode in The Dark Night Rises?

My favorite item in the whole room.

My favorite item in the whole room.

Then we went to the Ellen set. We spent five minutes trying to get in because Steven couldn't remember the password. He should have asked me. I bet I could have guessed it.

Then we went to the Ellen set. We spent five minutes trying to get in because Steven couldn’t remember the password. He should have asked me. I bet I could have guessed it.

Look at all the great movies filmed on this soundstage.

Look at all the great movies that have been filmed on the Ellen soundstage.

There's a museum near the end of the tour that is devoted to different movie making crafts. That's a great Watch on the Rhine poster.

There’s a museum near the end of the tour that is devoted to different movie making crafts. That’s a great Watch on the Rhine poster.

It's a model for Gotham City.

It’s a model for the Daily Planet.

There was a section on animation.

There was a section on animation.

This went with the previous image of Scooby-Doo.

This went with the previous image of Scooby-Doo.

I like this movie.

Mars Attacks is a fun movie.

2 and a half men

I've never watched this show but my brother likes it.

I’ve never watched this show but my brother likes it. I just think Charlie Sheen = ick.

061

Costumes from Mad Max Fury Road.

Costumes from Mad Max Fury Road.

069

From Apollo 13. It reminds me of G.I. Joe's space capsule.

From Apollo 13. It reminds me of G.I. Joe’s space capsule.

064

067

My favorite thing in the museum. Zepplin was a Michael York movie from 1971.

My favorite thing in the museum. Zepplin was a Michael York movie from 1971.

117

116

083

108

114

It's the blimp model from Blade Runner.

It’s the blimp model from Blade Runner.

They had some of their Oscars in a case.

They had some of their Oscars on display. There was one for Casablanca (1943), My Fair Lady (1964) and The Life of Emile Zola (1937).

Near the end of the tour there was a place to take a picture with an Oscar. They need to get a better photographer. This picture makes me look fat.

At the end of the tour was a place to take a picture with an Oscar. They have to get a better photographer because he made me look fat.

It was a long tour. I checked my watch and it was two hours before we even got to the final stop: the museum. Is it worth $62? I'm not sure but I did enjoy large parts of it.

It was a long tour. I checked my watch and two hours had gone by before we even got to the final stop: the museum. Is it worth $62? I’m not sure but I did enjoy large parts of it and I’m glad I went. I only wish there had been more vintage items: maybe, Joan Crawford’s mink coat from Mildred Pierce or Bette Davis’ dress from Jezebel or Judy Garland’s “Born in a Trunk” outfit from A Star is Born. There’s a new Hollywood Museum opening down on Wilshire Blvd in a couple of years. Hopefully, they’ll have vintage movie memorabilia like that there.

 

Published in: on July 14, 2016 at 7:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bryson Apartments

The Bryson Apartments are legendary to Los Angeles inhabitants interested in Los Angeles History.

It's located on Wilshire Blvd down the street from Bullocks Wilshire.

The building is located at 2701 Wilshire Blvd. The cross street is Rampart.

There are these great lions guarding the entrance.

Lions guard the entrance.

A close-up on the lions.

A close-up.

The entrance gate. There seems to be a lion theme going on.

The entrance gate. I detect a theme.

The side entrance. That's a pretty spectacular side entrance.

The side entrance. That’s a pretty spectacular side entrance. That metal canopy must weight a couple hundred pounds.

This great sign on the west side of the building is visible as people drive down Wilshire Blvd. toward downtown Los Angeles.

This sign is on the west side of the building and is visible to motorists as they drive down Wilshire Blvd. toward downtown Los Angeles.

The erection of the Bryson apartments was announced in a March 1912, Los Angeles Times article with the headline Will Stand in Heart of Ultra-Fashionable District. It would be constructed of reinforced concrete and from the very beginning this building was compared to dwellings on Riverside Drive in New York City. The builder of the Bryson was Hugh W. Bryson and he stated at one point that he got the idea for the Bryson while visiting friends on Riverside Drive.

Bryson was originally going to build a six story building at the corner of Wilshire and Rampart for $400,000 but his plans changed when neighbors in the “exclusive Wilshire-Westlake district” objected. The initial plan was to build right up to the sidewalk with no easement between the sidewalk and the building but after neighborhood complaints Bryson requested revisions from his architects, Frederick Noonan and Charles Kysor. Noonan and Kysor came back with new plans for a seven story building with 75 apartments that would vary in size from two to five rooms. All apartments would include a bath, kitchen, entrance hall, dressing room and private balcony. This version of the Bryson would be set back twenty feet from the lot line.

No expense would be spared. “It is my intention,” said Bryson, “to make this apartment house in a class by itself on this coast and finer than any other west of New York City. To that end I will spare no expense. As an example of the elegance contemplated, I might note that every doorknob will be of cut glass and every door of solid mahogany.”

The top floor, at this point, would contain a large ballroom, sun room, and music room.

Bryson went on to say, “My idea in building such an apartment house is to appeal to those who find the maintenance of a large private home burdensome. I shall offer every possible convenience and luxury that could be secured in the finest mansion in the city and with a retinue of servants I am convinced that the day of fireproof apartment houses of the metropolitan type has come to stay in Los Angeles.”

A different LA Times article two months later, in May of 1912, had the headline, Large Apartment House for Exclusive Westlake District. This article stated construction had begun on a nine story apartment house that would be absolutely fireproof and would combine both luxury and comfort. This configuration would contain 88 apartments that would vary in size and the building would be set back one hundred feet from the center of Wilshire and fifty feet from the center of Rampart. In this scheme apartment dwellers and guests would enter the Bryson through a large arch “of classic design, executed in concrete. This arch will be an imposing and distinctive feature and will be supported by concrete columns of ornamental design.”

The drawing that accompanied the article had an entrance that looks similar to the first photograph in this post with two clear differences. First, the drawing showed three columns on each side of the entrance but the drawing didn’t have lions perched on the columns. (There are no lions anywhere.) Instead, a large arch was attached and rested upon the three columns (on each side). At the top of the arch, in the center, was a shield that looked similar to what the lions hold in the final arrangement.

The ballroom in this plan had a thirty feet by fifty feet stage for “theatricals” along with an amusement room, billiard room, reception hall, writing room and three lodges.

Under a sub-headline titled Service Furnished the article states, “Those living at the apartments will be provided by the proprietor with such service as may be required, servants being regularly employed to attend to the washing of dishes and the keeping in order of the various rooms.” The estimated cost of this version was $450,000.

On January 5, 1913, an article about the Bryson appeared in The Times under the heading Finest West of New York. In the article, F. C. Engstrom & Company, the contractor, announced they had put the finishing touches on the building and the Bryson would be ready for occupancy the following morning. The project was begun on June 1, 1912, so it had taken a little over six months to build the structure. This contradicts the May 1912, article that says construction had already started but whether it’s six months or seven months that’s still an incredible turnaround time.

The words “finest, splendid and magnificent” are used throughout the article and the final cost was $750,000 for 96 apartments over ten stories.

The location was again praised. “The structure occupies one of the sightliest corners in the fashionable Wilshire residential district.” West of the building was Sunset Park (now Lafayette Park) and a couple of blocks south was Westlake Park (MacArthur Park).

The top floor ended up with a ballroom, a billiard room, reading room, reception room, men’s smoking room and three loggias.

Bryson hired Mrs. N. S. Pursell “an experienced hotel woman” as the manager and Bryson moved into one of the complexes “finest suites.”

A quick note about Bryson. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee on August 31, 1868. His father’s name was Davis and his mother’s name was Katie. He graduated from a Memphis high school at seventeen, didn’t attend college but took some business courses and then went to work for a cotton broker, Sledge & Norfleet. He stayed employed there for four years and followed that up with a short stint at a real estate office before he chucked it all and moved to Los Angeles. He found a job working for the F. C. Engstrom company and in 1904, because he was so well thought of, was offered the opportunity to buy a third of the company and did. The Engstrom company had been founded twenty-five years prior and was the largest construction company west of Chicago having 2,000 full-time employees at that point.

Bryson continued to work in real estate after the Bryson’s construction but he died relatively soon afterward. He had a heart attack in January of 1922. He was 54 and in Washington, D.C. on business. He was survived by his wife, Blanche*, two daughters, Elizabeth and Frances, and his father Davis. He may have died rather young but Bryson lives on because of that ten story building he built, and named after himself, on the corner of Wilshire and Rampart.

Finally:

  • On November 29, 1913, eleven months after it opened, Bryson sold the Bryson Apartments to O.S. Weston for $950,000, making a $200,000 profit.
  • On December 12, 1915, approximately two years later, Weston sold the Bryson to local Los Angeles millionaire F.W. Braun for $1.25 million.
  • Fred MacMurray bought the Bryson Apartments in the 1940s and held onto the property till the 1960s.
Fred MacMurray from Double Indemnity.

Fred MacMurray as Walter Neff in Double Indemnity. (screen grab.)

  • The Grifters filmed extensively at the Bryson.
  • Raymond Chandler mentions the Bryson in his novel The Lady in the Lake.
  • The Bryson is referenced in James M. Cain’s book Double Indemnity. I’ve read the book and seen the movie and I don’t see the reference. Maybe, the link is: Fred MacMurray, who starred in the movie, bought the Bryson afterward?
From Double Indemnity. Walter wants to get off the trolley car but Phyllis tells him they're riding it straight down the line -- together. (screen grab.)

From Double Indemnity. Walter wants out of the murder they’ve committed but Phyllis tells him they’re going straight down the line — together –and nobody’s getting off. (screen grab.)

There was a whole article on the Bryson and .... apartment buildings in Architect and Engineer.

There was a whole article on the Bryson and Rex Arms apartment buildings in this 1913 issue of Architect and Engineer.

bryson number two

bryson number three

bryson number four

bryson number five

There were no bedrooms. Look at the floor plan. They originally used Murphy-type beds in the Bryson. In the Architecture and Engineer article it says each apartment could fit four people comfortably at night.

bryson number six

bryson number seven

bryson number eight

Did they really supply each apartment with all of this stuff? I guess it’s possible but it seems odd.

bryson number nine

bryson number ten

bryson number eleven

bryson number twelve

I bought this brochure online. It looks like it's from the 1960s.

I bought this brochure online. It looks like it’s from the 1960s.

Look how big those rooms are!

Look how big those rooms are! I could live! live! live! in this place.

It’s obviously been renovated and redecorated.

BRYSON BROCHURE BACK COVER

Sheraton West Hotel? Was that someplace at one time? Marineland? Padua Hills? Diamond Jim’s Restaurant? Diamond Jim’s probably had a gay 90s theme. That would be a plus. I could probably fit in there.

The back of the brochure.

The back of the brochure.

This old postcard has a bird's eye view of the Rex Arms.

This old postcard has a bird’s eye view of the Rex Arms.

I don’t know much about the Rex Arms and I’ve basically ignored it in this post even though it was written about in the Architect and Engineer article. I’m guessing the Rex Arms no longer exists and has been demolished because I don’t remember seeing it when I went in search of the ARCO Towers a couple of months ago.

Update: a friend supplied me with this link. It details what happened to the Rex Arms:

https://urbandiachrony.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/looking-east-on-wilshire-boulevard-from-beaudry-avenue-1954-2010/

The Bryson on an old postcard.

The Bryson on an old postcard.

Bryson is burried in Inglewood. I went out to his grave a few days after I posted this.

hugh bryson grave marker 2

He's buried with the Engstrums. I located the grave by looking for the tree behind it.

He’s buried with the Engstrums. I located the grave by looking for the tree behind it.

blanche gravemarker

Blanche is buried next to Hugh. *Branche was the daughter of Franz Engstrum. The founder of the F. C. Engstrum Company.

————————————————————————————-

Big sum buys Bryson hotel. (1913, November 29). Los Angeles Times, p. II1.

Find a grave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=97782964

Finest west of New York: new apartments combine luxury and comfort. (1912, May 19). Los Angeles Times, p. VI7.

Finest west of New York: splendid Bryson apartments ready for opening. (1913, January 5). Los Angeles Times, p. V1.

Guinn, J. M. (1915). A history of California and an extended history of Los Angeles and environs : also containing biographies of well-known citizens of the past and present. Los Angeles : Historic Record Co.

Jennings, F. (1913, September). Los Angeles the home of many high class apartment houses. Architecture and Engineer, 34(2), 65-75.

Los Angeles finest apartment-house sold. (1915, December 12). Los Angeles Times, p. V1.

To follow New York models. (1912, March 3). Los Angeles Times, p. V1.

 

 

Hollywood Heritage Museum

The Hollywood Heritage Museum is located in the old Lasky-De Mille barn.

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This building was originally located near Vine and Selma Streets in Hollywood but it was moved to this location across from the Hollywood Bowl. Note: the building is not sinking. It's just the angle I took the picture at.

This building was originally located near Vine and Selma Streets but moved to this location years ago. Note: the building is not sinking. It’s just the angle I took the picture at.

The plaque next to the front door.

C. B. DeMille used this location and the land surrounding it to film The Squaw Man. It was the first feature motion picture filmed in Hollywood.

C. B. DeMille used this location (Selma & Vine) and the land surrounding it to film The Squaw Man. The Squaw Man was the first feature length motion picture filmed in Hollywood. I’ve never seen it but I’m going to look for it.

This is C. B.'s office.

This is C. B.’s office. There’s a better picture at the end of this post.

I like this sign on his desk.

I like this sign on his desk.

They had these great nickelodeon machines. The yellow one worked.

They had these old nickelodeon machines. The yellow one worked.

One of the movies being shown.

One of the movies being shown.

And here's the other one.

And here’s the other movie.

They had lots of great posters too.

They had lots of great posters too.

There was a whole corner devoted to Rudolph Valentino.

There was a whole corner devoted to Rudolph Valentino and a short film about him played nearby in a loop.

They had an array of souvenir programs.

The museum had an array of souvenir programs from movie premiers.

They had a display on the first tourist attraction in Hollywood.

There was a display on the first tourist attraction in Hollywood.

This is what DeLongpre's house looked like.

This is what DeLongpre’s house looked like.

The odd motion picture camera.

There was an assortment of old-timey movie cameras. This one is a 1916 Powers Cameragraph Projector.

A place to take a selfie though I didn't.

A place to take a selfie.

A case devoted to long ago Hollywood restaurants.

A case devoted to bygone Hollywood restaurants.

Some Mary Pickford artifacts.

Some Mary Pickford artifacts.

One or two old film props. This is from The Cheat.

Some old film props were on display. This is from The Cheat.

IMG_3047

This image of John Barrymore was painted for a scene in ALL ABOUT EVE. It's in the background in the scene that delt with the presentation of the Sara Siddons award

This image of John Barrymore was painted for a scene in All About Eve. It’s in the background during the banquet that deals with the presentation of the Sara Siddons award.

This was a slave costume used in The Ten Commandments. I can't see myself wearing it because I'm too modest but I can envision Chris Hemsworth (THOR) wearing it.

A costume used in The Ten Commandments. I can’t see myself wearing it because I’m too modest but I can envision Chris Hemsworth (THOR) wearing it.

I like this simple poster the best. It must be the color that I'm drawn to.

I like this simple poster. It must be the color that I’m drawn to.

They have artifacts from demolished structures. This one is from the Hollywood Hotel.

They have artifacts from demolished structures. This one is from the Hollywood Hotel.

The Hotel Hollywood was torn down years ago.

The Hotel Hollywood was torn down in August of 1956.

You can see C.B.'s office in this brochure. They had better lighting and a better angle.

You can see C.B.’s office in this brochure. They had better lighting and a better angle.

It's right across the street from the Hollywood Bowl.

It’s right across the street from the Hollywood Bowl.

Richfield Oil Building

One of the greatest art deco buildings ever to grace Los Angeles was torn down over a two year period from 1968-1969. It was the Richfield Oil Building. It was built in 1928-29 by the firm Morgan, Walls & Clements. They’re a Los Angeles firm that surprisingly have yet to have a book written about them. The Richfield Oil Building was torn down and replaced by ARCO plaza which contains two international style skyscrapers that pale in comparison. I’ve been able to locate four articles on the Richfield building and included information from three.

One of the articles was in The Architect and Engineer.

This article in the May 1930 issue was the second mention of the Richfield Building in Architect and Engineer.

Here's the table of contents.

Here’s the table of contents.

Some information, from this issue, on the architects.

Some detailed information about the architects.

I created this chart to make the column more understandable.

I created this chart to make the preceeding column more understandable.

Morgan and Walls from the book Our Architecture.

Morgan and Walls from the book Our Architecture.

Here's a great image of the building.

Here’s a great image of the building’s entrance. Walking through that portal must have made men feel like kings and ladies like queens.

This is on the back of the color photo.

This is on the back of the color photo.

richfield no 1

richfield no 2

richfield no 3

It's not a long article but there is some background on the firm.

The June 1930 issue of Architectural Record had an article on the Richfield Building. It’s not a long article but there is some information regarding the building.

An establishing shot but from a different angle.

A nice establishing shot.

AR Richfield page 3

ARCHITECTURAL RECORD RICHFIELD OIL BUILDING SECOND ATTEMPT

I find these statues to be odd for some reason.

I find these statues to be odd for some reason.

ARCHITECTURAL RECORD RICHFIELD OIL BUILD SECOND ATTEMPT FLOOR PLAN

There is a book that was written about this building and it is the final say on it. It's called The Richfield Building, 1928-1968 by David Gebhard. This is the cover. It was produced and published by Atlantic Richfield right before they demolished the building.

There is a book that was written about this building and it is the final say on it. It’s called The Richfield Building, 1928-1968 by David Gebhard. This is the cover.

The Richfield Building was produced and published by Atlantic Richfield right after they demolished the building. It’s only 28 pages but it has lots of photos and floor plans! I have a copy of it but I searched online to see if it was readily available. I wasn’t able to find a copy on Amazon but I did find one on Abebooks for $73.00.

Gebhard is a prolific writer and has more than 40 books to his credit. He states that the Richfield Building is zigzag in style yet that’s not how I would assess it. Gebhard claims that Los Angeles City Hall (John C. Austin, Albert C. Martin and John Parkinson, 1928), Bullock’s Wilshire (Parkinson & Parkinson, 1929), and the Richfield Oil Building (Morgan, Walls & Clements, 1930) are all zigzag. I disagree. Bullock’s Wilshire is certainly zigzag if the definition of zigzag is “a line or course having abrupt alternate right and left turns.” Los Angeles City Hall is more of an elongated version of art moderne. The Richfield has a modern, art deco, vertical exterior that is complimented by sculpture and a zigzag interior. It’s a square office building that goes straight up and is topped off by a slender, upward protrusion that uses an antenna as a beacon. Sure, it has those “V” up at the top (see the book’s cover and at various other places) but they’re really fourth to the black and gold color, the vertical, upward thrust and the ornamental sculpture and ornament.

Gebhard accurately compares the Richfield Building to Raymond Hood’s American Radiator Building in New York City. That seems right. He claims it’s not just because they are vertical buildings that are similarly clad in black and gold but because both face (or faced) parks so they could be seen from not only a distance but also close up via the sidewalk.

He also endorses Esther McCoy’s theory that the Richfield Building is a combination of both high art and low art. The high art being the newness of the design; art deco was only five years old in 1930. (The Paris Exposition des Arts Decoratifs took place in 1925.) The low art aspect was sticking a large, neon sign on top of the building to sell a product: Richfield Oil.

Gebhard writes that the reason Morgan, Walls and Morgan accepted Clements into their firm was because they felt their architectural style was too tied to the past and they needed someone with a new outlook on design.

Two examples of the kind of work they did before Clements joined the firm are: The I.N. Van Nuys Building (1912) and The Farmers Merchants Bank (1904). Clements who was a graduate of Drexel and M.I.T. went off to the Beaux Arts Academy in Paris for a year after graduation. The two Morgans and Walls were probably impressed with his resume. They made a good choice when they selected him.

From Gebhard's book.

From Gebhard’s book. Haig Patigian was the sculptor.

Haig Patigian seems to have been somewhat well known in his time but he wasn’t easy to find information about. He was Armenian, born in 1876, self trained and twice president of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. His sculpture was seen at the Panama Pacific exhibition and he modeled figures for that exhibition’s Palace of Machinery Hall. He also designed the figures in the pediment of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building in San Francisco and was a member of the National Sculptor Society. This is all according to a 1923 article in Overland Monthly and a book from 1929 called Sculpture of To-Day.

Haig Patigian. I found this photo online. It's from the Library of Congress.

Haig Patigian. I found this photo online. It’s from the Library of Congress.

In 2010 there was an article in the Los Angeles Times that I clipped out and put in one of my scrapbooks. The article was written by Bob Pool and it was entitled, Historian Watching Over an Old LA Angel. The article was about a guy named Eric Lynxwiler. Lynxwiler obtained one of the cement angels that crowned the Richfield Building from a man who bought it over 40 years before. Evidently, when the building was demolished the angels were removed and sold for $100. Two of the angels were decapitated during the removal process and some lost their wings. Lynxwiler does not know if any others exist. He bought his angel from a man who was using it as a lawn ornament. Here is a link to that article:

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/dec/29/local/la-me-richfield-angel-20101229

In 2005 a pair of Richfield Angels sold for $20,000.00.

http://www.icollector.com/Haig-Patigian-Pair-of-Richfield-Archangels_i5351724

What replaced the Richfield Building? ARCO Plaza which contains two international style towers. They are the work of Albert C. Martin and Associates.

Albert C. Martin and Ascoiaties.

Albert C. Martin and Associates. From left to right: Albert C. Martin, Jr., Albert C. Martin, Sr., J. Edward Martin. (photo courtesy L.A. Architect)

I don’t know if they are still owned by Atlantic Richfield but below are some images.

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It’s hard to get a good picture from the street because you can’t back up enough to get the entire structure in the frame.

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The south tower with the north tower reflected onto it.

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View from the LA public library’s small park which is located across the street. There is a pedestrian plaza between the two ARCO buildings with tables and chairs and if I didn’t hold such a grudge against these buildings I would probably find it an inviting space.

At the very back of the plaza and behind the buildings are there two elevator doors. There is no plaque nearby to explain what they are. I wouldn't even have known they existed if a friend of mine, 20 years ago, took me to see them.

At the very back of the plaza and behind the buildings are these two elevator doors. There is no plaque nearby to explain what they are. I wouldn’t even have known they were there if my friend Mark hadn’t taken me to see them 20 years ago.

That's Zigzag.

That’s Zigzag.

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There’s a publication called California Arts and Architecture which promoted the Case Study House program in the 1940s. In that publication there’s an article from 1930 regarding the Richfield Building by Harris Allen. Unfortunately, the article is rather esoteric. It’s not didactic but it’s headed in that direction.

The writer does make one interesting point that is a result of actually seeing the building. Allen is describing the terra cotta when he states, “But they are not really black. The building in New York which first displayed a color scheme of black and gold, was faced with a dull black brick, and the gold was contained to the top of the tower. It is certainly less theatrical, more integral to weave the colors together in a more structural way and the black is more of a gun-metal shade, in some lights bluish or purplish gray.”

Allen also states when describing the color scheme that “Gold is one of our most durable materials; vanishing value of stocks to the contrary notwithstanding.” When I read that I re-examined the date of the article which was February 1930 a mere four months after the stock market crash. Now, I don’t know exactly what he meant by that sentence because it seems like a double negative but I suspect what he meant was: Gold > stocks.

Finally, he points out something that completely escaped me in regards to this building. Allen says the reason the colors are black and gold is because oil is often referred to as black gold. Oil = black gold hence the colors.

There were three photographs that I hadn’t seen before. Those three photos follow.

It is a good depiction of the size and mass of the building.

It is a good depiction of the size and mass of the building.

This is one of the few interior shots I've ever seen.

This is one of the few interior shots I’ve ever seen that wasn’t of the elevator doors or the lobby.

There just wonderful statues. There is something funerial about them.

They’re just wonderful statues. There’s something funerial about them. (Note: funerial isn’t a real word but a friend of mine uses it.)

On a postcard. The back says, "One of the outstanding architectual accomplishments on the Pacific coast" and "The building is crowned by a tall Aviation Beacon of 40 million candle power..."

On a postcard. The back says, “One of the outstanding architectural accomplishments on the Pacific coast” and “The building is crowned by a tall Aviation Beacon of 40 million candle power.”

I drove up to San Barbara a month after I posted this post because someone told me there would be something of interest, to me, on the UCSB campus.

If you go to find them. There on the grounds of the student health building. It's on the left side of the map and it's circled.

If you go in search of them. They’re on the lawn of the student health building. It’s on the left side of the map (8D) and it’s circled.

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Navigation.

Navigation.

Look how they're made.

Look how they’re made.

They've seen better days but they've survived.

She’s Aviation. They’ve seen better days but they’ve survived.

Industry. He's my favorite, of course.

Industry. He’s my favorite, of course.

This is not the best presentation. They should be displayed the way they were on the building but it the way they are placed did afford me the opportunity to see these mold numbers.

This is not the best presentation. They should be displayed the way they were on the building but this placement afforded me the opportunity to see these mold numbers. There is a fourth figure. What happened to it? I’ll have to find out.

The Richfield Building in some advertisements.

The building in an advertisement.

arts and architecture ad 3

The 1960s were a terrible time for great buildings. In that decade alone the Richfield Building was demolished along with Pennsylvania Station in New York City, The Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, the Fox movie theater in San Francisco, both the Roxy theater and Astor Hotel in New York and practically all of downtown Minneapolis. If these buildings had held on for another ten or fifteen years they would have survived that precarious decade and probably would still be with us today. I blame it all on urban renewal. Urban renewal was the scourge of the 20th century.

In Gebhard’s book he has a short paragraph near the end where he doesn’t even mourn the building’s passing. He simply states more office space was needed so the building was brought down. Since the book was published by Atlantic Richfield I suspect he couldn’t say much more but what I say is oh, how glorious it would be for today’s Angelinos, in 2016, to be able to walk through the Richfield Oil Building’s entrance portal and marvel at the architectural know-how of Morgan, Walls & Clements.

—————————————————————————————

ACMA the work of Albert C. Martin & associates. (1979, November). L.A. Architect, 5(10), 5.

Allen, H. (1930, February). Terra cotta versus terra firma. California Arts & Architecture, 37(2), inside front cover, 3, 32-39, 72, 75.

Details of Richfield oil building, Los Angeles. (1930, May). The Architect and Engineer, 101(2), 27, 33-34, 62-64.

Gebhard, D. (1970). The Richfield building, 1928-1968. Los Angeles: Atlantic Richfield Co.

LeBerthon, J. (1904). Our architecture: Morgan & Walls, John Parkinson, Hunt & Eager; Los Angeles, CA, 1904. Los Angeles: J. L. LeBerthon.

Parkes, K. (1921). Sculpture of to-day. London: Chapman and Hall Ltd.

Pratt, H. N. (1923, August). Haig Patigian: California’s noted sculptor. Overland Monthly and Out West Magazine, 81(4), 11.

Richfield building Los Angeles. (1930, June). The Architectural Record, 67(6), 505-510.

Zigzag. (2016) definition accessed on 4/16/2016 from, https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=zigzag

Me, on the beach, in Santa Barbara. My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

Me, on the beach, in Santa Barbara. My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

 

Museum of Neon Art

While listening to NPR or KPCC I heard about a neon museum over in Glendale (CA). I vaguely remember going to a neon museum with my friend Bob about twenty years ago but that museum was in downtown Los Angeles.

It's a great building and it's across the street from the Americana on Brand. The Americana is where they film the celebrity show EXTRA often.

Here’s the Glendale museum. It’s a new building across the street from the Americana on Brand. (The Americana in an outdoor mall.) They often film the celebrity related show EXTRA at the Americana. Note: There is an $8 admission fee to MONA if you aren’t a Glendale resident.

When you walk in there is definitely an emphasis on neon clocks.

When you walk into the museum there is a wall of neon clocks.

This big one is five feet across.

This big one, on an opposite wall, is five feet across. That’s what the lady at the counter said.

They sold neon clocks too. This table model had a price tag of $2,000.

They sell neon clocks too. This table model had a price tag of $2,000!

On the way to the exhibit was this on-site repair shop.

On the way to the exhibit was an on-site repair shop.

This was the exhibit that was being held when I went.

This was the exhibit being held when I went.

The cat is great. I can't tell if that's a bathtub or outdoor grill under the fish.

The cat is great. I can’t tell if that’s a bathtub or outdoor grill under the fish.

This, I really thought was beautiful.

This was beautiful.

It was called...

It was called Just another day in pair a dice. (huh?)

This face was odd.

This face was odd.

Not quite sure what this was supposed to be.

Not quite sure what this was supposed to be.

This I know.

These I’m able to relate to. It’s a camera and a race horse with a jockey.

These two items are beautiful together.

They look great together.

Called the Museum of Sex. This item was near the end of the exhibit. When patrons crank that wheel on the right side the steel rod moves up toward those metal orbs.

Called the Museum of Sex. This item was near the end of the exhibit. If a patron cranked the wheel on the right the steel rod (that’s covering the letters “S” and “E”) moved toward the two metal orbs.

It worked and moved too.

The windmills’ arms twirled too.

Outside of the windmill the frog was my favorite item.

Outside of the windmill the frog was my favorite item.

Outside the museum was this plumbing sign in an adjacent park.

In an adjacent park was this plumbing sign.

At night.

The sign at night.

Sylmar

For years Huell Howser was on the local PBS television station. Originally, he had a show called Videolog followed by a show called Visiting and finally a show called California’s Gold.

That's Huell. That's how I remember him. Everybody in the state of California must know who he is.

That’s Huell. Everybody in the state of California probably knows who he is and, I suspect, everyone in the state of California misses him. I never met him but I feel like I know him. R.I.P. Huell. (1945-2013).

Anyway, Huell would travel around California to different sites and basically ask people to show him around while he asked questions and then he acted flabbergasted or amazed at what he was seeing or hearing. He never seemed fake. He always seemed honestly interested. One of the sites Huell visited was the Nethercutt Museum in Sylmar. The only reason I know about this place is because of Huell’s show. The Nethercutt is out in Sylmar in two rather inconspicuous buildings.

This is the first building. It looks like a storage facility.

This is the first building. It looks like a storage facility.

The doors are rather nice though. They're bronze.

The doors are rather nice though. They’re bronze.

There are way too many to include but here are a few that I liked.

There are automobiles on the ground floor and on the first floor. This 1903 Peerless and the Orange Lincoln that follow were on the ground floor. (In the basement.)

The Peerless looks like something out of Oklahoma with that fringe on the top.

The Peerless looks like something out of OKLAHOMA! with that fringe on the top.

That is one cool car. The interior was orange too.

This orange Lincoln is really cool.

The 1979 Lincoln. The interior was orange too.

The interior was orange too. I would feel like a pimp driving it. If I owned it I would buy an orange hat with fur trim and wear it whenever I went for a ride.

It's supposed to resemble a car showroom from the 1920s.

This is the main floor. It’s supposed to resemble a car showroom from the 1920s.

Main floor. It's supposed to resemble an automobile showroom from the 1920s.

The main floor’s ceiling.

There were a number of great cars here but I often am drawn to the movie related ones.

There were so many great cars but I’m drawn to the movie related ones. C.B. (That’s what Norma Desmond called him) was in Sunset Boulevard.

Demille's car.

Demille’s car.

C.B.'s radiator cap.

Demille’s radiator cap.

Once again, in Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson says she has an

Once again, in Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson says she owns an Isotta-Fraschini.

Look at that grill. It would be near impossible to keep clean.

1928 Isotta-Fraschini. Look at that grill. It would be near impossible to keep clean.

Fatty is one of my favorites from the Silent era because of his scandal.

Fatty is one of my favorites from the silent film era because of his big sex scandal.

Fatty's car.

Fatty’s car.

Fatty's radiator cap. It looks like a chubby Atlas.

Fatty’s radiator cap. It looks like a chubby Atlas.

This is what I actually came to see. It's on the second floor of the building and it was made for the 1915 World's fair.

This is what I actually came to see. It’s the reason I drove all the way out to Sylmar. This figural group is on the second floor of the building and it was made for the P.P.I.E. in 1915.

I think it's really neat.

I think it’s really neat and it’s world’s fair related.

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This second floor was filled with items like this. It's one of those Llardo's.

This second floor was filled with a variety of items like this. It’s one of those Lladro’s.

On the 3rd floor they had a lot of big musical instruments like this organ.

On the 3rd floor they had a lot of big musical instruments like this old, movie theater, pipe organ.

Curtains that frame the room were lifted and these pipes were revealed and then the concert started. There were lots of songs that I don't remember but the finale was the theme from Star Wars.

These pipes were revealed when the curtains that circled the room parted. At which point, the concert began and the organ started churning out songs from its electronic memory. I don’t remember a lot of the songs (my memory isn’t as good as the organs) but the finale was the theme from Star Wars. That stuck in my head because, well, it’s the theme from Star Wars.

This guy, Kyle, oversaw this part of the tour. He reminded me of myself but I'm a bit more masculine.

This guy, Kyle, oversaw this part of the tour. He reminded me of myself but he may have been a bit more masculine than me if that’s possible.

There were other instruments on the 3rd floor. I think he said this was a Concertina. It's a whole orchestra in a box.

There were other big instruments on the 3rd floor. I think Kyle said this was an Orchestrion. It’s a whole orchestra in a box.

She's kind of cool but she doesn't move when the orchestra plays.

She’s cool but she doesn’t move or dance when the Orchestrion plays.

There were also watches and other gizmos on the 3rd floor.

There were also watches and other doodads on the 3rd floor…

...for example an old record player and Nipper.

…for example, an old record player and Nipper.

A big dinning room was on this floor too. The Nethercutts used it for entertaining. Their home was in Brentwood but they brought people here for dinner. This seemed odd to me but I guess this way they didn't have a bunch of people trapsing through their home and there is certainly a lot to look at here.

There was a dinning room too. The Nethercutts used it for entertaining. Their home was in Brentwood but they brought people here for dinner. That seemed odd, to me, but I guess this way they didn’t have people traipsing through their home.

This is the other building.

This is the other building.

In it, there were more cars.

In it, there were more cars.

That's real pretty.

That’s real pretty.

This is right near the entrance.

This is right near the entrance.

It looks like it is from outer space.

It looks like it is from outer space.

I

I like this car because of its compactness.

I like this car because of its compactness. I can see myself driving it.

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That's a strange looking car.

That’s a strange looking car.

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This 1937 Pierce-Arrow was pulling...

This 1937 Pierce-Arrow was pulling…

...this Pierce-Arrow Travelodge. It was super cool.

…this Pierce-Arrow Travelodge. It was super cool.

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This is the view walking through the front door.

The view if you're standing in the kitchen and looking toward the front of the travelodge.

The view if you’re standing in the kitchen and looking toward the front of the travelodge.

The view looking to the back of the Travelodge.

…looking to the back of the Travelodge.

The view if you're sitting at the kitchen table.

… if you’re sitting at the kitchen table.

The view from the other kitchen seat.

…view from the other kitchen table seat.

The view from one of the kitchen windows.

Looking out one of the kitchen windows.

Background on the Travelodge.

Background on the Travelodge.

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This is the second reason I drove out to Sylmar. I wanted to see this train car.

This is the second reason I drove out to Sylmar. I wanted to see this train car: the California.

The train car was owned by this woman. Evidently, her father made money in mining and real estate, hung on for a long time, finally died and left his daughter a large fortune. One of the things she did with the money was to purchase a private rail car for herself.

The train car was owned by this woman. Evidently, her father made money in mining and real estate, lived a very long time, finally died and left his daughter a large fortune. One of the things she did with the money was to purchase this private rail car for herself.

You enter the car through the rear door.

You enter the car through the rear door.

The sitting area was set up with a dinning table and this is what you see when you enter the car.

The parlor area was set up with a dinning table and this is what you see when you enter.

This is opposite the dinning table.

This is opposite the dinning table.

There are stained glass windows throughout the car.

There are stained glass windows throughout the car.

Like most of the items in the car the lighting fixtures are original.

Like most of the items in the car the lighting fixtures are original.

Clara's car sleeps two. This is one bed.

Clara’s bedroom slept two. This is one bed.

...and here's the other.

…and here’s the other.

This is Clara's bathroom. You can see the wood lid to the toliet at the bottom left.

This is Clara’s bathroom. You can see the toilet’s wood lid at the bottom left.

This is another sleeping compartment. Here is one side.

This is the 2nd sleeping compartment. Here is one side.

...and here is the other side.

…and here is the other side of this compartment.

Looking down the long narrow corridor.

Looking down the long narrow corridor of the car.

The 3rd sleeping compartment. This is one side of the room...

The 3rd sleeping compartment. This is one side of the room…

This is the other side of the room in the 3rd sleeping compartment.

…and this is the other side of the room.

There was a kitchen on board too with a black cast iron stove to the left of the sink.

There is a kitchen on board with a black cast iron stove to the left of the sink.

This is where the servants slept. There were three men (porters) who accompanied Clara and her guests.

This is where the servants slept. There were three men (porters) who accompanied Clara and her guests. The seats fold down to form a bed.

This is the engine and coal car that the museum possesses.

This is the engine and coal car that the museum has hitched up to the California.

You see this right before you enter the engine room.

You see this right before you enter the engine room.

I like the color.

I like the color.

The kind of engine it is.

The kind of engine it is.

Looking out the engine's windows.

Looking out the engine’s windows.

A couple of final things…

There is a large collection of radiator caps in both buildings.

There are large collections of radiator caps in both buildings.

Uh, I like Egyptian stuff but I'm not sure about this.

Uh, I like Egyptian stuff but I’m not sure about this. I don’t know if I would want that on the front of my truck.

I like this better.

I like this better.

I like him.

He’s great.

I don't know how these things didn't get broken. Nowadays, they would be stolen the first time the car was left on the street.

How did these things NOT get broken? Nowadays, they would be stolen the first time the car was left on the street. Am I too pessimistic?

Isn't there a name for lions with wings? There must be.

Isn’t there a name for lions with wings? There must be.

This is my favorite one. I've always had a thing for Felix the Cat.

This is my favorite one. I’ve always had a thing for Felix the Cat. I would want to attach him to that Orange Lincoln. I can see myself tooling around in that vehicle with Felix attached to the hood. I would be the envy of every Latino man who saw me.

 

Published in: on January 24, 2016 at 7:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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California Theaters

I’ve always liked old movie theaters and I look for stories and articles about old movie theaters in architectural journals.

[Note: if you download any of these images and use them elsewhere please acknowledge my website:

misterdangerous.wordpress.com

It took a lot of research to find all these images. Thanks!]

I found some more theater images in this. It's Architectural Digest.

I found some theater images in this publication. It’s Architectural Digest.

tower theater title page

1928

tower theater 1

tower theater interior

tower theater interior two

Here's the Tower Theater in 2015.

Here’s the Tower Theater in 2015.

From another angle.

From another angle.

It's lost its tower cap.

The tower has lost its cap.

With my shake-y arm this is the best photo I could get of this decorative urn.

With my shake-y arm this is the best photo I could get of this decorative urn.

The woman (an actress?) is looking into a mirror and the man (the director?) has a megaphone. They're both naked.

The woman (an actress?) is looking into a mirror and the man (the director?) has a megaphone. They’re both naked. Hmmm.

Here's the Tower Theater in an advertisement.

Here’s the Tower Theater in an advertisement.

mayan theater one

The Mayan.

mayan theater two

mayan theater three

mayan theater five

The theater is still there an largely intact.

The Mayan Theater is still standing.

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How did that original marquee survive all these years? I’m glad it did.

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This vertical sign wasn’t original to the building but I like it. It looks like its from the 1940s.

Under the marquee it's not painted. Interior photos can most likely be found online. It's a dance club now. The seats were removed an the floor was leveled. I remember going into this theater years ago when it was a XXX theater. The interior was completely intact.

Under the marquee it’s not painted. It’s a dance club now. The seats were removed and the floor was leveled. I remember going into this theater years ago when it was a XXX movie theater. The interior was completely intact. The movie was, uh, okay.

I found the Hollywood Egyptian in Architect and Engineer.

I found the Hollywood Egyptian in Architect and Engineer.

architect and engineer contents page

architect and engineer egyptian three

architect and engineer egyption four

architect and engineer egyptian five

Eygptian floor plan

architect and engineer page 80

architect and engineer page 81

architect and engineer page 82

architect and engineer page 83

architect and engineer page 84

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I saw Singing in the Rain here, on Christmas day, back in the 90s. I went with my friend Mark.

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I found this photograph online but it didn't specify where the photograph came from or who took the photo. Since Doug is my favorite I had to include it.

I found this photograph online but where I found it — didn’t specify who took the photo. It had to be a major Hollywood photographer. Since Doug is my favorite silent film star I’m including it.

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He’s the guy that’s sculpted, in stone, near the front entrance of the Million Dollar Theater.

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The American Cinematheque programs the Egyptian Theater now. They show all kinds of films: classic films, art films, documentaries.

This photo is from Charles Beardsley's book on Grauman. I'm only including because of the train tracks in front of the theater and all brick-a-brack in the courtyard.

This photo is from Charles Beardsley’s book on Grauman. I’m only including it because of the train tracks in front of the theater and all bric-a-brac in the courtyard.

I found some more images of the Egyptian in American Architect. Some of the images are the same as those in Architect and Engineer while others are completely different. I’m including them.

Egyptian theater american architect page two

Egyptian theater american architect page three

Egyptian theater american architect page five

Egyptian theater american architect page six

Egyptian theater american architect page seven

Egyptian theater american architect page nine

I found this “photo” article on Recent California Theaters in an issue of Pacific Coast Architect. It’s from July 1927. The photographs are great.

PCA Cover

PCA table of contents

recent california theaters 1

recent california theaters 2

That’s a beautiful theater. I don’t know if it still exists or not.

recent california theaters 3

recent california theaters 5

recent california theaters 6

My friend Keith sent me this web address with information about the Alhambra.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alhambra_Theatre_(San_Francisco)

recent califronia theaters 7

That’s an interior shot of the Castro in San Francisco.

Here's an exterior shot.

Here’s an exterior shot.

The only photos of the Castro I have I took when I went up to San Francisco for a book reading.

The only photos of the Castro I have I took when I went up to San Francisco for a book reading.

I'm not the best picture taker. I should have gotten the whole poster case. Alas, I didn't.

I’m not the best picture taker. I should have gotten the whole poster case but I didn’t.

My friend Bob got more of the front.

My best friend Bob got more of the facade.

a

b

c

d

e

The El Capitan. Notice the marquee.

This is a fantastic marquee and I hate to say it but it has to be an improvement on the original.

This is a fantastic marquee and I hate to say it but it has to be an improvement over the original.

Another view.

Another view.

f

From the westside of the building. Jimmy Kimmel films his show in the old Masonic Temple next door.

From the westside of the building. Jimmy Kimmel tapes his show in the old Masonic Temple next door.

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This isn’t on the building in the Pacific Coast Architect photos but it’s a nice addition to the theater.

At night.

At night.

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The El Capitan is owned by Disney now. It has a stage show along with the feature film and it's well worth the price of admission. I remember seeing The Rocketeer here years ago.

The El Capitan is owned by Disney now. It has a stage show along with the feature film and it’s well worth the price of admission. I remember seeing The Rocketeer here years ago.

The ornate ceiling.

The ornate ceiling above the ticket booth.

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The El Capitan is in the heart of Hollywood.

I found some interior photos of the El Capitan in an issue of Architect and Engineer.

el capitan from arch and engin

el capitan woman's lounge

Look at those cars! …I want my living room to look like the woman’s lounge.

el capitan theater view

el capitan theater box

el capitan procenium

This is the old asbestos curtain. The new curtain has an image of a man and a woman dancing on it. I think the image is supposed to invoke Astaire and Rodgers. It’s okay but it’s really show-y. I suspect they had to remove this curtain for obvious reasons.

PCA Belasco exterior

The Belasco is located in downtown Los Angeles on Hill Street right next to the Mayan Theater.

The Belasco Theater 2015. It looks so much more glorious in the Pacific Coast Architect photo.

The Belasco Theater 2015. It looks so much more glorious in the Pacific Coast Architect photo. Maybe, because in the Pacific Coast Architect photo the theater is actually visible? What’s missing? The vertical sign and the large marquee for starters.

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PCA Beclasco interior

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I can't add much to the PCA photos except color. This sprite is at the center of the building near the top.

I can’t add much to the PCA photos except color. These ladies are at the top of the building.

For a long time the Belasco Theater was used as a church. This sign remains form those days.

For a long time the Belasco Theater was used as a church. This sign remains from those days.

I really like that neon sign that says, "Prayer Changes Things." I want it for my bedroom.

I really like that neon sign that says, “Prayer Changes Things.” I want it for my bedroom.

Another image of the Belasco but even closer. I find this theater very attractive in its original exterior configuration.

Another image of the Belasco but even closer. I find this theater very attractive in its original exterior configuration.

The following article about the Chinese Theater is in a 1927 issue of American Architect. The text in the article is a bit too flowery, and not really informative, but the photographs are great.

american architect chinese theater page 251

american architect chinese theater page 252

See that hanging chandelier in the middle of the auditorium? It’s no longer there.

american architect chinese theater page 253

american architect chinese theater page 254

american architect chinese theater page 255

american architect chinese theater page 256

american architect chinese theater page 259

american architect chinese theater page 260

american architect chinese theater page 261

american architect chinese theater page 262

american architect chinese theater page 263

Chinese sink knobs!

american architect chinese theater page 264

american architect chinsese theater page 265

american architect chinese theater page 266

american architect chinese theater page 267

See that stage box and the pagoda on the stage? Neither are there anymore. According to Charles Beardsley’s book, Hollywood’s Master Showman, the stage pagoda was gotten rid of when sound arrived. The sound vibrated the pagoda pieces and patrons found the noise distracting.

american architect chinese theater page 268

tour ticket

The Chinese Theater offers tours for $10. I took one.

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The Chinese Theater in 2015.

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In the American Architect article it states that there were fountains in the courtyard when the theater opened. This is one of the fountains. I’ve never seen it working but you can see the spout under the triangle that sits beneath the figure.

A display case in the forecourt.

A display case in the forecourt.

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The entrance.

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A view of the lobby right inside the front door.

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Another view.

In the lobby they have a number of dresses from famous movies. This one is from Gone With the Wind.

In the lobby they have a number of dresses from famous movies. This one is from Gone With the Wind.

This one is pretty famous.

This is from The Wizard of Oz but you knew that.

It's from Thoroughly Modern Millie.

It’s from Thoroughly Modern Millie. Only the most fabulous knew that.

Also, in the lobby is a small case with brochures from premieres that have taken place at the Chinese.

Also in the lobby is a small case with brochures from premieres that have taken place at the Chinese.

More brochures from the case.

More brochures from the case.

The carpet in the lobby looks like this.

The carpet in the lobby looks like this.

In a little room adjacent to the main lobby is a small room with pretty wallpaper (see above) where patrons can get straws and butter topping for their popcorn.

Adjacent to the main lobby is a small room with pretty hand-painted wallpaper (see above) where patrons can get straws for their beverages and butter topping for their popcorn.

The light fixture for the room with the pretty wallpaper is pretty bold.

The light fixture in the room with the pretty wallpaper is very bold.

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An outer aisle runs down the entire length of the theater on both sides.

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Charles Beardsley’s Grauman book claims the original curtain was blue.

This is the light fixture that adorns the center of the theater now.

This is the light fixture that adorns the center of the theater now.

chinese theater architecural record one

I found these five photos in Architectural Record. I’m mainly including them because of the first three photos. In this image there’s a house sitting next to the auditorium. How cool. You could walk through the dirt to the movies.

chinese theater architectural record two

As for this one, there are no people in the forecourt. No people. That doesn’t happen anymore.

chinese theater architectural record three

Uh, no handprints or footprints.

chinese theater architectural record four

chinese theater architectural record five

Just a few….

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The United Artists Theater opened in 1927 but I've found nothing about it in any of the architectural journals I regularly peruse. How is that possible? It was built by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith. The first movie shown was a Mary Pickford film.

The United Artists Theater opened in 1927 but I’ve found nothing about it in any of the architectural journals I regularly peruse. How is that possible? It was built by Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith. The first movie shown was a Mary Pickford film.

Here's a straightforward view.

Here’s a straightforward view.

Above the entrance.

100_5611

These statues don't invoke the gayity like the statues at the Million Dollar Theater.

These statues don’t possess the gaiety that the statues at the Million Dollar Theater have.

The building that surrounds the theater is the Ace Hotel. The theater has almost taken a backseat to the hotel. The Hotel is very trendy and intended for hipsters. I'm very happy the theater has been saved.

The building that surrounds the theater is the Ace Hotel. The hotel is very trendy and intended for hipsters who want an urban experience. I’m happy the theater has been saved along with the building even if it was by a bunch of hipster-types.

Since I want interior photos I bought a ticket to see one of my favorite sappy shows, in advance, so I can get some interior photos.

The link is to this...

The United Artists Theater in an advertisement.

The United Artists Theater in an advertisement.

I did find this where I work.

I did find this where I work.

I was very excited.

I was very excited.

I couldn't hide my glee when I ran across this and emailed and phoned everyone I knew at the off-site, library storage facility where this was being held.

I couldn’t hide my glee when I ran across this and emailed and phoned everyone I knew at the off-site, library storage facility where this item was held.

I was eagerly awaiting receipt of this item.

I eagerly awaited receipt of the item. After I paged it — it came the next day. That’s Mary Pickford above.

Unfortunately, it wasn't what I expected it to be.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t what I expected.

I thought it was going to be a souvenir program with inside photographs of the theater.

I thought it was going to be a souvenir program with interior photographs of the theater.

Instead, it was simply a souvenir program for the Mary Pickford film.

Instead, it was a souvenir program for the Mary Pickford film.

You can see what the interior of the theater looks like in the drawings on each page but in this case I think a picture is better than a drawing.

You can see what the interior of the theater looks like in the drawings on each page but in this case I think a picture is better than a drawing. On December 13th I went to the UA to see a preview of Downton Abbey and got some interior photos.

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There was very little light. The lobby was cavernous, arched and gothic.

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These mirrors, one on both sides of the entrance, are right inside the front doors.

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How did it survive virtually unaltered?

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There is a blue theme going on in the auditorium.

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This is looking up at the ceiling in the auditorium. There is no hanging chandelier.

There are murals on both sides of the theater with silent film stars.

There are murals on both sides of the theater with depictions of silent film stars. This one has Mary Pickford. She’s in white. I’m not sure but those guys on the horses, might be, the four horseman of the apocalypse. I think I remember a docent telling me that years ago.

Here's a close up of Mary along with Douglas Fairbanks. This is a photo by Don Solosan of the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation. A foundation I use to belong to a long time ago.

Here’s a close up of the previous mural with Mary P. and Douglas Fairbanks. This photo is by Don Solosan of the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation. I belonged to that foundation a long time ago when Hillsman Wright, Rory Cunningham and John Miller were board members.

Here’s the Los Angeles Historic Theater Foundation website: http://www.lahtf.org/

The other wall -- the other mural. This one has Doug, Rudy and Chaplin.

The other wall — the other mural. This one has Doug, Rudy and Chaplin.

Another Don Solosan photograph.

Another Don Solosan photograph.

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I’m including this because: a) I like it and b) it reminds me of an image in Aliens where Ripley goes in search of Newt and finds her cocooned up against a wall with other colonists.

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There was a costume contest at the conclusion of the screening. A man who dressed up like a “dead” Matthew was one of the winners.

So I was looking for information on the Richfield building and I stumbled onto four photographs of the United Artists Theater.

So, I was looking for information on the Richfield building in April of 2016 and I stumbled upon four photographs of the United Artists Theater.

library ee grad2675-1

library ee grad2676

library ee grad2677

All of these images are from January 1929.

Me, in a very grainy selfie. I always look like a hoodlum.

Me, in a very grainy selfie. I always look like a hoodlum.

Intolerance Babylon elephant. My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

 

——————————————————————————————–

Allen, H. (1929, July). Recent California theaters. Pacific Coast Architect, 32(1), 10-29.

Beardsley, C. (1983). Hollywood’s master showman. Cranbury, NJ: Cornwell Books.

Belasco theater. (1928, January). The Architect and Engineer, 92(1), 63.

Chinese theater, at Hollywood, California. (1927, July 20). American Architect. 132(2525), 251-268.

Grauman theater, Hollywood, Cal. (1923, January 21). American Architect-The Architectural Review, 123(2412), plates.

Jennings, F. (1923, March). A theater designed in the Egyptian style. The Architect & Engineer, 72(3), 77-84.

Lansburgh, G. A. (1927, February). The El Capitan theater and department store building, Hollywood. The Architect & Engineer, 88(2), 34-43.

Mayan theater. (1928). Architectural Digest, 4(4), 8-11.

Portfolio current architecture. (1927, July). The Architectural Record, 62(1), 113-122.

Tower theater. (1928). Architectural Digest, 4(4), 31-33.

United Artists theater. (1927). Los Angeles: Fred S. Lang Company.

United Artists theater. (1929, January). Pacific Coast Architect, 35(1), 23-26.

 

Heritage Square

I went to Heritage Square recently. I had seen it from the freeway for years and always wondered about the place. It seemed odd, to me, that there would be all these Victorian buildings sitting next to the freeway and it made me wonder “why” as I sped pass on the Pasadena freeway. The land was given to the foundation to house two building from Bunker Hill back in 1969. Those two buildings were moved to the site but before any preservation work could be done to either of them both buildings were burned and completely destroyed by arsonists. That didn’t deter the founding members of Heritage Square; they simply went about the business of acquiring more buildings. All of the buildings at Heritage Square were set to be demolished but were saved by the organization. Note: Heritage Square does not allow indoor photography but I found some interior images of the Hale house in an old 1990 magazine.

heritage square brochure cover

Their brochure

The entrance to Heritage Square.

The entrance to Heritage Square.

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Their website is: http://heritagesquare.org/visit

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The train station which was moved in from the Palms area. The Palms area is between Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles. I would put it in the vicinity of Overland Ave. and National Blvd.

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The Perry House. This house had an emptiness about it that I liked. It wasn’t filled with furniture so I was able to envision what my furniture would look like in it. Much bigger than it appears. The ceilings must be 14 feet on the first floor. The docent said in the winter you have to wear a coat inside it’s so cold in the house. I’ve always liked chilly rooms. It was my second favorite house.

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The Hale House.

interior 1

When you walk in the front door this room is immediately to the left. It’s the front parlor.

interior 2

The foyer. It has a rather small, winding staircase compared to the size of the home.

interior 3

This is looking from the front parlor into the back parlor through some pocket  doors.

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Valley Knudsen house. It looks like a toy house but it’s rather big inside. The docent, Dana, said the house was used in the film, Saving Mr. Banks.

house descriptions

The brochure’s run down on the structures.

age of innocence

Dana. He’s the best dressed docent I’ve ever encountered. He looks like he walked out of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. I wish I could walk around and look like that but I don’t have that dandy gene in me. Dana was well informed and a fountain of information. He was also polite and articulate. Call, find out when he’s giving a tour, and then go to that tour.

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Longellow-Hastings House. While the house seems less than spectacular from the outside, it was by far my favorite house even though it appeared to be falling apart on the inside: peeling wallpaper, old linoleum on the floor, exposed lathe, grease and grime covering the kitchen walls, and holes in the floor.

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The John J. Ford House. The exterior has been completely renovated but the interior needs major work. When in the parlor if you squint your eyes to the point where they’re almost closed you can envision how beautiful the interior will be one day.

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There’s a church at Heritage Square. Its movement to this location had to involve a herculean effort. It’s huge.

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Cornerstone of the church.

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This is the Colonial Drugstore. It’s new and was built on site. It’s a replica of George Abraham Simmon’s Colonial Drugstore in Highland Park. Simmon’s family paid for the replica to be built and this structure opened in December of 2012 to house Simmon’s vast collection of pharmacy memorabilia.

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Pharmacy counter view.

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Pharmacy view.

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I want that Robomalt box.

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Analax? And it’s fruity! Okay, I can’t say anything that would be appropriate so I’ll refrain from saying anything.

hill house

An image of Hale House from the time it was moved to Heritage Square.

saltbox and d

The two houses on Bunker Hill (the Salt Box and Donagan’s Castle) that were moved to Heritage Square only to be destroyed by arsonists.

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My book, The Odd Fellows, was released on December 16, 2013.

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Kumor, T. W. (2003). The Hale house. Virginia Beach, VA: The Donning Company Publishers.

Samuelson, J. &  Winter, R. (1990, July). Heritage square: a Victorian preserve in the Arroyo Seco. Angeles, 60-67.

 

 

Published in: on October 4, 2015 at 5:59 pm  Comments (2)  

Metropolitan Theater – Los Angeles

The Metropolitan Theater no longer stands. It only exists in photographs. It was demolished in 1960 and was a Sid Grauman Theater located across from Pershing Square, at the corner of 6th and Hill Streets, in downtown Los Angeles. I came across some photos of the theater at work. The architect of the theater is William Lee Woollett but I haven’t been able to find a book on him which is amazing.

This is a LA Public Library photo.

This is a LA Public Library photo.

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I found some great images of The Metropolitan Theater in this book. The book is from 1927.

 

This is an interior image. This book is 14 inches by 20 inches so it didn't fit on my scanner. I was reduced to taking photographs of the pages with my Kodak Easyshare.

Some interior images. This book is 14 inches by 20 inches so it didn’t fit on my scanner. I was reduced to taking photographs of the pages with my Kodak Easyshare. What  is that thing* on the top of the column supposed to be?

Here are some interior details.

More interior images.

The Metropolitan's proscenium.

The Metropolitan’s proscenium.

Here's a nice elevation.

Here’s a nice elevation.

Another elevation.

Another elevation.

A longitude.

A longitude.

I'm not sure what this is.

I’m not sure what this is.

The images that follow are from an old book from 1927 title Concrete in Architecture.

The images that follow are from a 1927 book titled: Concrete in Architecture. This building cost three million dollars to construct according to the LA Times though the LA Examiner claimed it was four million. It had two entrances: one on Hill and one on Sixth. There was 155 feet of frontage on 6th while Hill had 247 feet of frontage. On Sixth St. the entrance was set back ten feet from the rest of the building to create a grander entrance. There were shops along the frontage on both streets and the building itself had Edwin Bergstrom as its architect while Woollett designed the theater. The buildings foundation could support thirteen stories but only six stories were built. The Last Remaining Seats‘ Ben Hall says the theater’s style was “Hispano-Persian” and sat 3,485 people. A reporter for the LA Times who covered the premiere, Edwin Schallert, called it “primitive massiveness” which seems more accurate to me. *Charles Beardsley, in his book Hollywood’s Master Showman, says those two columns next to the stage support “mythical griffon heads.”

The Mezzanine.

The Mezzanine.

Another view of the mezzanine underneath the balcony.

Another view of the mezzanine underneath the balcony.

This is the mural between the supports in the previous image.

This is the mural between the balcony supports in the previous image.

 

It's a lion and reptile combined.

It’s a lion and a reptile combined.

A snail deer? Okay, I think somebody was on drugs.

A snail deer? Okay, I don’t want to be disrespectful but I think somebody was on drugs.

This is the balcony entrance.

This is the balcony entrance.

A way into the theater.

A way into the theater.

Movies are a diversion.

Movies are a diversion.

Inside the theater. One of the walls.

Inside the theater. On one of the walls. The walls were deliberately left “rough” to show how the building was constructed.

A wall sconce.

A wall sconce.

This is the mezzanine from the other side. The photo is from a publication called Architect.

This is the mezzanine from the other side. The photo is from a publication called  The Architect.

Here's a Buddah nestled in a niche up in the balcony.

Here’s a Buddah nestled in a niche up in the balcony.

This is from Architectural Digest.

This is from Architectural Digest. The bottom image is why I’m including this. What’s beyond that door? My guess would be a restroom.

The following photos are from this publication.

The following photos are from this publication.

It was a long article and there are lots of pictures.

It was a long article and there are lots of pictures.

It's by the architect William Lee Woollett.

It’s by the architect William Lee Woollett.

Near the proscenium.

Near the proscenium.

What appears to be the lobby.

What appears to be the lobby?

A lantern and modern art?

A lantern and some modern art.

Pendants, pendants, pendants.

Pendants.

This is a model of what's on top of the column; the mythical griffith.

This is a model of what’s on top of the column; the mythical griffith.

A model of that deer snail.

A model of that deer snail. The more I look at it the more I like it.

It's deemed a work of art.

It’s deemed a work of art by this writer.

work of art page two

Work of art page two

Bernard Maybeck, who created one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, had this to say about the Metropolitan Theater.

Bernard Maybeck, who created one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, had this to say about the Metropolitan Theater.

Bernie "Palace of Fine Arts" Maybeck page 2

Bernie “Palace of Fine Arts” Maybeck page 2

I was looking through old journals, for something else, when I found this. California Southland was a publication that was put out in the 20s. It appears to be something from a chamber of commerce entity and it was published in Pasadena.

I was looking through old journals, for something else, when I found this article. California Southland appears to be something from a chamber of commerce-like entity and was published in Pasadena.

The article is written by William Lee Woollett. It appears rather high-minded.

The article is written by William Lee Woollett. It appears rather high-minded.

That grill-work is nice.

That grill-work is nice.

I like the image of Woollett in the bottom photo.

I like the image of Woollett in the bottom photo.

The premiere for the theater was held on January 21, 1923. The first film shown was My American Wife starring Gloria Swanson and Antonio Moreno. The host was Theodore Roberts and many of the stars who attended are depicted in the pictures that follow*. LA Times reporter, William Schallert, claimed there were twenty to thirty thousand people on the street who couldn’t get in because the venue was sold out even though tickets cost $5 per person. What he describes below sounds like a scene right out of Nathaniel West’s Day of the Locust (1937) but it couldn’t have really been that bad, could it?

  • In a section of his article titled CROWD IS UNRULY Schallert states: “The early part of the program was punctuated at intervals by shouts from the crowds outside. At one time due to the way they crowded around the door, signs of a riot appeared. The militia was forced to hold the crowd back with their rifles and several times struggles for the possession of the guns between members of the mob and the soldiers were seen. The police had to be continually on guard to keep the crowd from storming the theater so great was the spectators desire to obtain a glimpse of the stars and of the interior of the house.”

The reporter went on to describe the proceedings onstage and said the most rousing moment was when the orchestra played the Star Spangled Banner and two men, dressed as Uncle Sam, stood up in balconies that flanked the stage to great applause. According to Schallert while there were many female stars present they weren’t part of the onstage festivities. During the proceedings, the stars in the audience, were asked to stand so the audience could see them but despite being movie stars, on this particular night, the stars were for the most part shy and declined to have the spotlight turned on them.

  • As for the theater Schallert states this in a section titled THROUGH MAIN ENTRANCE: “Of course, the house is ornate beyond any one’s conception. One gets the most striking effect by coming in through the main entrance on Sixth street. Here all the  massiveness of the mezzanine floor’s decorative scheme strikes the vision. One gazes upon an elaborate blending of color on all sides and, above, finds that these assume shape in sculpture and fresco and painting at every turn. Truly the pictorial note is sounded in every part of the theater, yet without distraction to the audience. The building as a whole has a primitive massiveness and sweep. It is not quite free from draughts as yet but this slight detriment can probably be easily obviated and when it is, the theater will be a glorious and perfect example of the palatial and magnificent that harks back the medieval era and yet is filled with the spirit of the present day.”
  • Regarding the Gloria Swanson film Schallert wrote under LOCAL OF THE PICTURE: “The romantic local of “My American Wife,” will attract the theatergoer. It offers a horse race in fashionable South America, a deul and some other items of excitement. Gloria plays detective in the picture and routs the faction that is rival to that of her lover. “My American Wife” is therefore entertaining, though not altogether believable and offers a cast of rather exceptional interest. Most of all, though, the public will want to see the theater and it will flock there during the next few weeks. The mob surging around the doors last night gave ample evidence.”

*This list of attendees is from Charles Beardsley’s book on Grauman’s theaters. All of the stars that follow were at the Metropolitan’s premiere.

LIST OF ATTENDEES

theodore roberts

She was the greatest star of them all.

ANTONIO MORENO

blanche sweet

william desmond

ruth roland

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buster keaton

charles ray

norma talmadge

lois wilson

marie prevost

tom mix

hal roach 2

milton sills

mary pickford

doug fairbanks

What’s interesting is that Grauman opened the Metropolitan on January 21, 1923 but by July of 1924 he had sold all his interest in this theater, The Million Dollar and The Rialto. They were bought by the Publix group and by 1929 a Paramount marquee hung outside the theater. The building was demolished in 1960 for a parking lot. The firm hired to demolish the building lost money because they couldn’t get the building down by the deadline.

That's Rube Wolf, of Fanchon and Marco on the stage.

That’s Rube Wolf, of Fanchon and Marco, on the Metropolitan’s stage when the theater was being torn down.

——————————————————————————————————

Beardsley, C. (1983). Hollywood’s master showman: the legendary Sid Grauman. Cranbury, NJ: Cornwall Books.

Concrete in architecture. (1927). Chicago: Portland Cement Association.

Fox, C. & Silver, M. L. (Ed.) (1920). Who’s who on the screen. New York: Ross Publishing, Co.

Hall, B. (1961). The best remaining seats: the story of the golden age of the movie palace. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc.

Metropolitan Theater. (1925, March). The Architect, 3(3), 142-144.

Reagan, O. (Ed.). (1927). American architecture of the twentieth century. New York: Architectural Book Publishing Company.

Schallert, E. (1923, January 27). Crowd surges at theater; premiere of Grauman’s metropolitan is in the midst of dazzling splendor. Los Angeles Times, 3.

Woollett, W. E. (1923, April). The architect and the craftsman. California Southland, (40), 11-13.

Woollett, W. E. (1923, May). Concrete and creative architecture. The Architect and Engineer, 73(2), 51-90.

 

Published in: on September 10, 2015 at 6:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Dear Teen Me

My publisher set up an opportunity for Bold Strokes Books authors; it involved writing posts for a website called Dear Teen Me. The website is centered around writers writing letters to themselves.  Basically, “what would I say to myself now that I know what I know.” Here’s the link.

http://dearteenme.com/?p=9875#more-9875

Teen Me

Published in: on August 7, 2015 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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