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  Comments (2)  

Last Remaining Seats: Orpheum Theater — Los Angeles

I went to a Last Remaining Seats that was held at the oldest surviving Orpheum Theater in the United States. It’s the one in Los Angeles.

Here it is on a postcard that I bought.

The movie being show for this event was La Muerte de un Burocrata. It’s a Cuban film from 1965.

Here’s the program for the event.

Some background information on the Orpheum.

I really liked the host Betto Arcos. He was very cool and LATINO! He had a manly style about him that made me envious. Linda Dishman, who did the welcome, is hugely responsible for saving St. Vibiana’s (along with Kathryn Welch Howe) so she’s high up on my list of people to admire. Philip Graulty was a nice performer.

Here are some pictures I took that night.

I’m amazed this stenciling wasn’t whitewashed over years ago.

If you look at the archival photos (way down below) this is where the boxes were. This theater was originally a vaudeville house.

Roundels on the ceiling.

The newel post on the north staircase. She needs to be re-bronzed.

If you look at the archival photos you’ll see that this is where the ladies parlor was. The area was being used to sell beverages at the event.

I went back a couple of days later and took these pictures.

The word Orpheum has been cemented over. Why? What was the point?

The Los Angeles Times announced that a new Orpheum building would be erected on Broadway, between 6th street and 7th, on January 2, 1910. The article contained three headlines. The first said: One of the Finest. The second headline, which was the biggest, said: To Begin New Orpheum Soon and the third said: Circuit to Build Handsome Theater on Broadway. The article mentions that work would commence immediately and the building would be finished and occupied within the year.

That didn’t happen because the grand opening of the Orpheum didn’t occur until June 26, 1911, which translates into approximately eighteen months. The article also states that the building would employ all the latest techniques in theater building.

The Orpheum management took out a fifty year lease on the property. The owners of the building were: N. Bonfilio, L. J. Christopher, John R. Hayes and Harry Chandler. The original cost was estimated to be $250,000 but that amount would increase to $350,000 by the time the building opened. In this article it states the building, “has been designed by and will be put up under the supervision of R. B. Young & Sons, architects.” That’s a mistake because G. Albert Lansburgh is the architect of record on the building. Either Lansburgh replaced Young & Sons after the article was published or Young & Sons were the supervising “day to day” architects on the job. Lansburgh was based in San Francisco so it’s possible.

The theater would have 1,956 seats and the article stressed there would be an “unusual number of safe and comfortable exits…” This Orpheum Theater was built seven years after the Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago, which claimed hundreds of lives, so being able to quickly exit a theater was an important feature to mention and herald to the public. When this theater was completed it would be the thirty-sixth theater the Orpheum organization owned. It sounds like the Orpheum organization owned the theater but leased the space from the owners of the building that surrounded the theater.

My question regarding R. B. Young & Sons was answered in a Times article from August 6, 1910. The first paragraph of that article which was titled, Orpheum Contracts said, “Contracts were signed yesterday for the interior design and decoration of the new Orpheum Theater building on South Broadway, now under construction. G. Albert Lansburgh, San Francisco architect of the structure was here, and made the arrangements, together with R. B. Young, the local supervising architect.” The firm that received the contract for interior design and decoration of the auditorium was Mitchell & Halback of Chicago. They beat out a local bid from a company called McKay & Co.

At this point two-thirds of the steel frame had been erected and riveting was to begin the following week. Once again it was noted that the Orpheum would have features not found in any other theater. Three in particular were mentioned: 1) “showers for performers” 2) “a special animal room with tub and showers” and 3) “a thermostaic heating plant” which would cool “as well as maintain the air – which will be washed and filtered at an even temperature all the time though constantly changing it.” It sounds like a thermostat connected to a furnace with a ventilation system.

In February of 1911, an article appeared in the Times with the headline, How About the Old Orpheum? Speculation regarding the fate of the Orpheum on Spring Street was being bandied about by various individuals around the city. No one was sure what would happen to the old Orpheum but a New York paper “which has some inside ways of obtaining considerable theatrical information” reported that Oliver Morosco was going to take over the building and use it for Shubert “dollar shows.” When confronted with the scenario Morosco feigned surprise and wouldn’t confirm or deny the report.

Three months later, in May of 1911, a Music and Stage column detailed the progress of the new Orpheum. The scaffolding that was being used to apply gold leaf to the decorative domes would be removed within the week. Work on the proscenium arch was almost complete. The fronts of the boxes had their stucco applied but still needed to be painted. The chairs hadn’t been brought into the theater yet but they could be set up and secured to the floor very quickly. Miles of electrical wiring had been installed along with interior phone lines. The last sentence in the article stated due to the excitement the theater was generating, “It is expected that almost every high official of every Orpheum on the circuit will be here for the ceremony on opening day.”

On June 11, 1911, it was announced that the Orpheum’s opening would occur on a Monday evening, on June 26th. The date was decided upon by resident manager Clarence Drown and Lansburgh. They made their decision so, “that every detail of the fine building shall have been completed. There will be no smell of wet paint or varnish, no unfasted seats or incomplete stage.” According to the article the seats and drapery would be installed the next day.

At the Orpheum on Spring Street an auction was held for the Associated Charities on June 14, 1911. What was being auctioned were the parquet, box and loge seats for the opening night of the new Orpheum Theater. Admission to the auction was by invitation only and began at 10 am. The proceedings had to be finished by noon so the venue could be readied for an afternoon performance.

The way the auction would work is if an individual paid $4 for a seat that would normally cost $1 the Orpheum Theater would receive the $1 fee that they normally charge for the seat and the Associated Charites would receive the other $3. A large diagram of the theater was placed on the stage so everyone would know what was being bid upon. Once a seat or box was sold it was crossed off the diagram. The seats had to be paid for at the time the bidder won. Eddie Nagel and R. M. Kemp were the auctioneers and “young society debutantes and matrons” were the ushers and they collected bids (money) from patrons sitting in the auditorium.

According to reports the following day approximately 300 attended the event. “The sale was a great success,” related the Times, “and fancy prices were eagerly paid. There were many among the elegantly dressed ladies and smiling business men who felt a pang of regret at the passing of the time honored old Orpheum.” Some of the notable prices paid were by L. J. Christopher who paid $120 for the choicest box in the theater. R. B. Young & Sons bought a box for $105. I.F. Ihmsen bought a box for $150, paid for it, and then immediately turned it back to the auctioneer so it could be resold.

At the end of the auction the Times and Examiner newspapers oversaw a luncheon at the Alexandria Hotel for the matrons and debutantes who served as ushers.

Twelve days before the theater opened the Times ran an article titled, Some Wonders at New Orpheum. The paper claimed the theater was an architect’s dream and that Lansburgh had created a building that could best be described as being in the modern renaissance style. The lower stories which were composed of marble and granite were “severely plain to set off the more lace-like upper portion.” Polychrome terra cotta was being used for the first time on a building in the west along with “mat glazed tile and (a) tapestry brick in cream.” Each arch in the front of the building was outlined in polychrome and while color was used liberally on the façade it wasn’t overpowering. The structure was a “combination of beauty, modernity and practical utility” and “is a representative twentieth century American edifice.”

The Orpheum finally opened on June 26, 1911, and regarding the opening bill I was mistaken. For some reason I thought there would be a film presentation but it was all vaudeville. No opening night speeches were given on behalf of the new house instead the show simply began at 8:40 p.m. when English comedian Hal Forde stumbled out of the wings and sang a song called “Mr. Henpeck.” Forde not only sang songs but he also did stunts and impersonations. He was followed by “The Little Stranger” sketch which starred Joseph Hart and revolved around two race track men and how one takes a little stranger into his destitute home.

Up next was Henry Clive, the “droll josher,” a magician accompanied by his assistant Mai Sturgis Walker who was “petite and exquisitely shaped.” Evidently, Clive was a favorite and well known to regular Orpheum patrons. An all-girl singing group called The Boston Fadettes followed Clive. They sang and played instruments “sometimes noisy, sometimes tuneful.”

At this point there was an intermission which clocked in at thirty minutes and allowed everyone the opportunity to poke around the building and discover where everything was. Most of the men eventually found their way to the smoking room which was club-like in size. On hand in this room was “a slave” who “dispersed cigarettes which disappeared with a rapidity which was positively alarming.”

When the Orpheum orchestra’s conductor, Frankenstein (yes, that was his name — see below), called the audience back with the Jubel overture the second half of the evening began. Up first was Isabell d’Armond, a soubrette, who was described as tiny and talented, and she performed with George Moore. Her routine consisted of dancing and “patter talk.” According to Wikipedia a soubrette is a “type of operatic soprano voice often cast as a female stock character in opera or theater.” Patter talk according to Wikipedia is “any rapid manner of talking, and of a patter-song, in which a very large number of words have to be sung at high speed to fit the music.”

She was followed by a William H. Macart & Ethlynne Bradford sketch called “A Legitimate Hold-up” that was part comedy and part drama. Ed Wynn and P. O’Mally Jennings did some sort of act surrounding the word “daffydils.” It wasn’t clear to me what they did exactly. The review said they “exploited a line of daffydils of their own manufacture or cunning.” The final act was Bowers, Walters and Crooker who did a rural comedy sketch.  The man who reviewed the opening night, Julian Johnson, stated that Bowers, Walters and Crooker “concluded the program which was followed, as usual, by the “daylight pictures.” I wasn’t sure what daylight pictures were. The publication Montography refers to “daylight pictures” occasionally in its text so, maybe, short films were shown at the end of the program?

Those in attendance that night were included in a long list at the end of the review. Most were unknown to me but some stood out including: L. J. Christopher, Harry Chandler, R. B. Young, Mr. & Mrs. Oliver Morosco, Mr. & Mrs. Walter P. Story and Mr. & Mrs. Marco Hellman.

See, his name really was Frankenstein.

While Variety said he was let go. In a Times article dated October 11, 1928, it states that Frankenstein tendered his resignation several days ago. He worked for the Orpheum orchestra for “thirty years, six months and twenty-two days.” The first violinist, Edward Sullivan, would be promoted to conductor. “A long rest” was the only activity Frankenstein had planned for the immediate future.

I like the curtains on the railings.

I like his mustache.

Note: I have a book coming out in the latter half of 2018 from The History Press titled: The Architects Who Built Southern California. It will be 12 chapters with each chapter devoted to a different architect (or architectural firm) including: Harrison Albright, John Austin, Claude Beelman, Elmer Grey, Hudson & Munsell, A. C. Martin, Meyer & Holler, Julia Morgan, Morgan Walls & Clements, Parkinson & Parkinson, Alfred F. Rosenheim and Paul R. Williams.


Cline, W. H. (1911, September). The new Orpheum theater building, Los Angeles. Architect and Engineer, 26(2), 34-50.

Daylight pictures. (1911, October). Montography, 6(4), p. 198.

Events in local society. (1911, June 15). Los Angeles Times, p. II6.

Frankenstein, after 30 years let out by L.A. Orpheum. (1928, October 10). Variety, p. 29.

How about the old Orpheum? (1911, February 2). Los Angeles Times, p. II5.

Johnson, J. (1911, June 27). New Orpheum’s bright birth in sudden blaze of tungsten glory. Los Angeles Times, p. I2.

Music and stage. (1911, May 20). Los Angeles Times, p. II5.

New Orpheum opening date. (1911, June 11). Los Angeles Times, p. II8.

Nineteen bid, who’s twenty? (1911, June 14). Los Angeles Times, p. I7.

Orpheum contracts. (1910, August 6). Los Angeles Times, p. II5.

Some wonders at new Orpheum. (1911, June 14). Los Angeles Times, p. II3.

To begin new Orpheum soon. (1910, January 2). Los Angeles Times, p. V1.

Veteran of orchestra pit to quit. (1928, October 11). Los Angeles Times, p. A10.

Morgan Walls & Clements: Hollywood Terminal Warehouse

An article in The Los Angeles Times from September of 1925 stated that the erection of the Hollywood Terminal Warehouse was progressing at a very fast rate. Seven floors had already been constructed and the building would eventually top out at fourteen stories despite there being a twelve story height limit in Los Angeles.

The article claimed that “because of the nature of the construction” the fourteen stories would meet the city’s twelve story height limit but the article doesn’t describe specifically what is meant by that phrase. In the same paragraph it does mention that there would be a radio station, with two antennas, on top of the building which required a special permit and elsewhere states the Hollywood Terminal Warehouse (also known as the Hollywood Terminal Building) would be the tallest building in Los Angeles. I’m guessing it was the antennas that took the building up to fourteen stories. The estimated cost of the building was $500,000.

The building was developed by the C. E. Toberman Company and was built by the Hollywood Fireproof Storage Company. Charles A. Reinhart was the manager of Hollywood Fireproof and he stated the building would be a storage facility along with providing separate office and showroom space for lease.

Reinhart stated that the building would have fast freight and elevator service and railroad connectivity through a spur track.

While the building was slated for completion in February of 1926 the grand opening didn’t take place until June of that year. The final cost of the building was $750,000. For the opening there was a small orchestral concert in the afternoon from 3pm to 5pm and later that evening, from 8:30pm to 10:30pm, there was a full blown concert in the building’s lobby featuring “dramatic tenor soloist” C. Howard Paxton.

Not only was the Hollywood Terminal Warehouse the largest warehouse on the Pacific coast but because of the 150-foot radio towers it was also the tallest building in Los Angeles.

This is what the building looks like today. There used to be decorative plaster work around the middle glass arch. It’s been replaced by those glass blocks.

This is stranding in the center of the building and looking straight up.

Grill work inside one of the entrances.

Grill work above the door.

It’s a huge building with nothing of similar height anywhere around.

Photos of the building from when it was new follow.

This and the following three images are from a 1927 book called, American Architecture of the Twentieth Century.

I don’t know how anyone could think removing all the plaster work around the doorways and that large front window would be an improvement.

Note: I have a book coming out in the latter half of 2018 from The History Press titled: The Architects Who Built Southern California. It will be about 12 different architects (architectural firms) including: Harrison Albright, John Austin, Claude Beelman, Elmer Grey, Hudson & Munsell, A. C. Martin, Meyer & Holler, Julia Morgan, Morgan Walls & Clements, Parkinson & Parkinson, Alfred F. Rosenheim and Paul R. Williams.

—————————————————————————————————————–

New terminal building opened with concerts. (1926, June 19). Los Angeles Times, p. 6.

Reagan, O. (Ed.). (1927-1929). American architecture of the twentieth century. New York: Architectural Book Publishing Co., Inc.

Rush terminal building. (1925, September 27). Los Angeles Times, p. E11.

Birth of Motion Pictures

There was a wonderful exhibit down in Brea, California regarding the birth of motion pictures. I had never been to this space before but not only did I discover that it was a nice venue but the show was well done, they had great posters and admission was only $3. My brother, who lives in Iowa, saw a story about the exhibit in his local newspaper (The Quad-City Times) and alerted me to it.

The collection belongs to Dwight Manley who first made money in rare coins and then moved into other areas, including real estate, to amass a fortune. Manley’s goal is to acquire a poster from every silent film made in the United States. It’s generous of him to allow the public to see his fantastic collection.

This is a postcard that was handed out at the show. The woman in the image is the greatest star of them all Gloria Swanson.

This digital sign made it clear I was in the right place.

The exhibit was held in this ship-like building.

This guide was handed out at the entrance. It shows where everything was located.

This poster was right inside the front door. That looks like Jack Holt embracing Mary Pickford.

Note: The gallery was very well lit which was great for taking photographs but made it difficult to get an image without the reflection of lights on the glass.

This poster and the one of Tom Mix that follows were two of my favorites at the show.

Where are my Children? was a social responsibility picture. See description below.

Note: I took a picture of the item’s description but it was too blurry to post. This is what the description said:

———————————————————————————

Where Are My Children?, 1916

Tyrone Power Sr.

Studio: Universal

Stone Lithography on Paper, 1 sheet

Where Are My Children?, Lois Weber’s 1916 medical melodrama about a successful doctor who believes abortions are permissible for poor society bit frowns  upon the procedure for the upper class because of his belief in eugenics. However, he is unaware that his own wife has been having abortions as she prefers life without children; late in the film, he discovers her terrible secret. Starring Tyrone Power Sr., Helen Riaume, Marie Walcamp, Cora Drew, and Rena Rogers.

Far and away the two most famous films from 1916 are D.W. Griffith’s Intolerance and Thomas Ince’s Civilization, though this film deserves to be just as well remembered. Directed by Lois Weber, a giant of early cinema and the only woman to make major Hollywood movies of note in the mid-1910s, the film deals with the issues of birth control and abortion. It was loosely inspired by a real life case involving Margaret Sanger, a major birth control advocate, who was put on trial after a woman had an abortion after receiving a leaflet from Sanger. Far beyond that, however, this film explores the then popular concept of eugenics, a theory which correlated wealth and favorable genetics. This theory became completely discredited after it was advocated by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis during World War II. There were some exploitation movies dealing with abortion in the 1930s to 1950s, but there has not been another serious Hollywood movie about abortion that presents both sides of the issue evenly since this film, nearly a century ago. The film closes on a powerful scene of the doctor and his wife in their later years, childless, but surrounded by the ghostly souls of the children they never had. This is surely one of the most important early silent movies but perhaps it is because of its controversial nature that it is little talked about today; certainly a similar situation exists with 1915’s Birth of a Nation. This poster is the only known example for this film of this style.


Here’s what Who’s Who in California: A Biographical Dictionary 1928-1929 says about Lois Weber.

b stands for birth. d stands for daughter (of). m stands for married.

Lois Weber with her first husband Phillips Smalley.

In Tony Slide’s book on Lois Weber, Lois Weber the Director Who Lost Her Way in History, Slide states that Smalley often took co-director credit but there’s no evidence that Smalley ever did anything except sit around on the set and be supportive. Smalley didn’t work in motion pictures after his divorce from Weber in 1922.

Weber made a number of films with provocative titles or films that were just provocative including one called Hypocrites (1915) which dealt with religion and the naked truth. The naked truth in this instance was portrayed by Margaret Edwards who was awarded a medal as the most perfectly formed girl in the world before landing her role in Weber’s picture. Weber filmed Edwards naked and had The Naked Truth appear on the screen at various times throughout the movie. Sure the film was banned in some places due to the blatant nudity but the film was a big hit too. Weber was pretty smart and knew what audiences wanted: religion and nudity.

Weber died as a result of complications from a bleeding ulcer in 1939. She didn’t have much money at the end of her life so her funeral was paid for by Frances Marion. Weber wrote a book regarding her time in Hollywood and willed it to her sister but the sister was unable to get the book published and the book was lost or stolen sometime in the early 1970s.

Here’s another photo of Weber from Tony Slide’s book. She’s awfully dressed up to write.

Spartacus appears to be fearless though, strangely, he’s dressed very similar to Lois Weber in that typewriter photograph. I couldn’t wear what he’s wearing because it’s too girlish. I can see myself wearing what Kirk Douglas wore in the 1960s version of Spartacus. In that movie Kirk wore a leather harness, some bikini-toga-like shorts and man-ish sandals. That ensemble I could carry off.

There was a whole room devoted to Gloria Swanson.

Elinor Glynn is one of those individuals that I’m somewhat fascinated by. Evidently, she was connected to the film Beyond the Rocks.

This is from Who’s Who in California: A Biographical Dictionary 1928-1929. She looks like a drag queen to me. Joanna Lumley does a good job portraying Glynn in the movie The Cat’s Meow.

There were a lot of posters at this show that I would like to own but the one I would really want to have, to display in my humble home, would be this poster of Douglas Fairbanks. He’s my favorite silent film star.

This poster looks very art nouveau.

Never heard of this film and it’s too big to be framed. It must be a 24 sheet.

This obit is from the April 12, 1932 issue of Variety.

Below is a review of Rip Van Winkle from Variety dated November 28, 1914.

Who’s the guy behind Rudy? A Russian version of the Lone Ranger?

I’ve always liked Felix. I think it’s a Latino thing.

This is the text for the Houdini poster.

My brother likes Lon Chaney.

I took a picture of the textual information beside this image but my photo was too angled which made it difficult to read so I retyped it below.

London After Midnight, 1927

Lon Chaney Sr.

Studio: Metro-MGM

Stone Lithography on Paper, 1 sheet

London After Midnight, released in England as The Hypnotist, Tod Browning’s 1927 murder mystery thriller. In this film, Lon Chaney plays a detective and accomplished hypnotist who is trying to solve a cold case murder. With his skills, he is able to hypnotize the principals and have them reenact the crime, which reveals who the murderer was. In the most memorable scene of the film, Chaney disguises himself as a vampire in an attempt to interrogate neighbors who are accused of committing the murder because they are vampires. Starring Lon Chaney Sr. in his first and only role as a vampire, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall, Percy Williams, Conrad Nagel, Polly Moran, Edna Tichenor, and Claude King. Likely the most sought after lost film, the last copy of which burned in a studio fire in 1965, this exceptional Argentinian 1 Sheet poster displays identical artwork to the original U.S. 1 Sheet featuring “the man of a thousand faces,” Lon Chaney. Only a single U.S. 1 Sheet is known to exist and this is one of possibly two known Argentinian 1 Sheets of this title. Acquired from the collection of Metallica guitarist and legendary horror collector Kirk Hammett, this poster has an incredible image of Chaney as the vampire-like character behind Marceline Day over London Bridge.

My friend, who went with me to the exhibit, liked this poster the best.

Below is a review of the film from Variety dated April 25, 1919. I don’t think this writer knew how to write a review which tells me there have been incompetent people throughout time.

There was a special section devoted to this film, White Shadows of the South Seas, and its Oscar.

This is what it says on the bottom of the Oscar.

That Heart of California poster is just beautiful.

With the monocle it looks like Fatty’s attempting to be a sophisticate. It amazes me that these things still exist.

The guy who owns these posters frames them as if they were art.

The exhibit was nicely arranged.


Detwiler, J. B. (Ed.). (1929). Who’s who in California: a biographical directory 1928-29. San Francisco: Who’s Who Publishing Company.

Slide, A. (1996). Lois Weber: the director who lost her way in history. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Stamp, S. (2015). Lois Weber in early Hollywood. Oakland, CA: University of California Press.

Variety Film Reviews 1907-1980. (1983). (Vol. 1, November 28, 1914). New York: Garland Publishing.

Variety Film Reviews 1907-1980. (1983). (Vol. 1, April 25, 1919). New York: Garland Publishing.

Variety Obituaries 1905-1986. (1988). (Vol. 2, April 12, 1932). New York: Garland Publishing.

Vazzana, E. M. (1995). Silent film necrology. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.

 

Ventura, California

There was an Odd Fellows’ instructional session up in Ventura, California that I attended. It was held at the Ventura Odd Fellows’ lodge on Main Street. The lodge is in a nice, old building with a vertical sign out front and the three links above the doorway. The first floor of the building has shops while the lodge is on the second floor.

The Ventura Odd Fellows’ lodge building.

Ventura is an old coastal town and I found the building below to be particularly impressive.

It turned out to be a Morgan Walls & Clements building. I should have known. They’re an architectural firm that I’ve always been interested in.

Some detail on the Bank of Italy building.

More detail from the side of the building.

Down a couple of blocks from the Bank of Italy is a mission.

It’s the Mission San Buenaventura.

A wedding was happening inside the mission so I wasn’t able to take the $4 tour. I bought this postcard to soothe my disappointment.

This sculpture was on the building next to the mission. He looks like he’s from the 1930s and sculpted by Eric Gill.

So, I was walking down a side street and stumbled upon this.

I’ve always liked Perry Mason.

I turned on Perry last night just to take a photo of him and my favorite episode was on: The Case of the Nebulous Nephew. I would let Raymond Burr defend me.

There were lots of nice old Victorian style houses near the beach.

There’s a big pier too.

Me almost on the beach. I would like to live in Ventura but I was told by one of my Odd Fellow brothers that it’s a rather expensive town to live in so I remain an Angelino.

 

California Science Center

There was an exhibit at the California Science Center that I went to see.

It was an exhibit concerning Pixar animation.

It was about Pixar animation.

These banners are pretty effective.

These banners are very enticing and effective. They got me to go.

The California Science Center is housed in an old building in Exposition Park. It was built in 1912.

The California Science Center is housed in an old building in Exposition Park. It was built in 1912 as the State Exposition Building.

I have yet to uncover who the architect was.

I have yet to uncover who the architect was.

Evidently, the facade is the only thing that remains of the original building. The building behind it was demolished.

Evidently, the facade is the only thing that remains of the original building. The building attached to the facade was demolished.

img_4549

There was a short film after you went through this door that detailed how animation is now done in 2017.

After you went through this door, a short film that detailed how animation is created in 2017 was shown but I wasn’t really interested in that.

I suspect what everyone came for was to see the big characters from the movies.

I suspect everyone went to see these big movie characters.

That's what I came for.

That’s why I went.

There were clay models too.

There were models in resin…

...and robot's too.

…and robot’s too.

There was an interactive component to it also.

The exhibit contained an interactive component but I’m not somebody who wants to sit in front of a monitor and play with switches. I’m not eleven.

I fear I'm turning into this old man.

What scares me is I suspect I’m turning into this old man.

I got some surly teenager who was loud and kind of obnoxious to take this picture of me. When I asked for his help he turned into this really thoughtful person.

I asked a surly teenager who was loud and obnoxious to take this picture of me. When I requested his help he turned into a different person though; suddenly, he became kind and thoughtful. Maybe, it was because somebody asked him to help them? I just need the suspenders and my hair to go white and I’m there.

img_4538

Someone told me she was modeled on Edith Head.

In another room the exhibit continued but the real show was in the first room. Someone told me this character, from The Incredibles, was modeled after Edith Head. She looks like Edith Head.

img_4543

That’s real pretty.

img_4547

Downstairs there was an amazing part of America’s history on display.

img_4557

I had never seen it but since I was so close I decided to stop by.

You can walk under it.

You can walk under it. For some reason I felt more emotion walking under The Endeavor than I did watching the movie Moonlight. Go figure.

 

Odd Fellows’ Seminar in Reno

The California Odd Fellows held an educational seminar in Reno on January 14 & 15, 2017.

logo

The seminar was held in a city I had never been to before.

The seminar was held in a city I had never been to before: Reno. Interesting development that I noticed was the further I drove away from this sign, the grittier the city got. This other side of Reno reminded me of an old industrial town that had seen better days.

Driving up there required me to take interstate 5 all the way to Sacramento and then the 80 east to Reno. I didn't expect the snow.

I drove up the day before the conference began and the drive required me to take interstate 5 to Sacramento and then interstate 80 to Reno. I didn’t expect the snow in Donner Summit. It was a surprise.

The event was held at the El Dorado Hotel and I had a nice big room to myself.

The event was held at the El Dorado Hotel and I had a nice big room to myself.

El Dorado exterior.

An exterior view.

The El Dorado is across the street from this very garish Circus Circus sign. I'm strangely fascinated by the sign and yet repelled by it at the same time.

The El Dorado is across the street from this garish Circus Circus sign. I’m strangely fascinated by the sign and yet repelled by it’s kitschiness at the same time.

The El Dorado was filled with items like this. This was an homage to mining of silver.

My casino was filled with items like this. This was built as a tribute to Nevada silver mines. It looks very steampunk.

The event was held in this ballroom and approximately 100 people attended.

The seminar was held in this ballroom and over 100 people attended.

Dave Rosenberg was in charge of the event and he received help from his daughter Janis.

Dave Rosenberg was in charge of the event and he received help from his daughter Janis. Dave did a presentation on Parliamentary Procedures that I found extremely helpful. Dave also kept the events on schedule and running smoothly. Dave is a judge in northern California.

Rita... did a presentation on how to make your lodge hall more attractive.

Rita Cooper’s topic was Improving the appearance of your lodge.

In her presentaiton she included a number of slides.

Rita included a number of cool slides.

The California Grand Master, Peter Sellers, attended and did a couple of presentations.

The California Grand Master, Peter Sellers, attended and did a couple of presentations; one presentation was about Odd Fellows’ history while another dealt with “difficult issues and difficult people.”

California Grand Warden, Mel Astrem, did a presentation on How to be an effictive representative to the Grand Lodge.

California Grand Warden, Mel Astraham, addressed the crowd on How to be an effective representative to the Grand Lodge. Mel was also there to get some footage for IOOFtv.

Stewart Savage, who's with Davis Lodge, did a presentation on how to attract new members and he seemed like a very nice man. In this image he's dialing his daughter whose birthday he was missing due to the seminar.

Stewart Savage, who’s a member of Davis Lodge, spoke about community service and seemed like a very nice man. In this image he’s dialing his daughter whose birthday he missed due to the seminar.

He had us all sing Happy Birthday to her via his phone.

He had us all sing Happy Birthday to her via his phone.

The second day included various presentations.

The second day included various presentations.

One was by Dave Reed and regarded rental agreements. Basically, he stressed know what your signing and have other lodge members look it over.

One was by Dave Reed and regarded rental agreements. Basically, he stressed: know what your signing and have other lodge members look it over before you sign it.

The short morning session was topped off by an Odd Fellows trivia contest and answering participants questions.

The morning session was topped off by an Odd Fellows’ trivia contest followed by a Q & A.

The seminar was well worth the 8 hour drive to Reno and I'm very happy I went.

The seminar was well worth the 8 hour drive to Reno and I’m happy I went.

 

Hollyhock House

I’ve been to the Hollyhock House, at least, four times.  A couple of Saturdays ago there was a three hour symposium in Barnsdall Park and I went.

ticket-a-side

Three individuals did presentations and were later joined by two others for a panel discussion. The guy below, Timothy Totten, was up first.

img_4128

Timothy Totten. He was full of information regarding Frank Lloyd’s Wright’s life not only in relation to the Hollyhock House but beyond that too. He only spoke for forty-five minutes but it would have been easy to listen to him speak for another forty-five. He was listed on the event’s website as a “master storyteller.” That fits him. At one point, when recounting a FLW story he referred to his own “exquisite eyebrows” to make a point. I don’t know if they were exquisite but Tim Totten had lots of personality.

Also at the symposium was an author and lecturer who grew up in a Frank Lloyd Wright house. Her name is Kim Bixler and she wrote this book:

kim-bixler

Bixler was raised in an upstate New York Frank Lloyd Wright house. She had photographs that proved living in a FLW house isn’t all morris chairs and dried pussy willows. Her parents joined her, on stage, during the panel section and seemed like decent, kind people.

Aline Barnsdall is responsible for the Hollyhock House just as much as Frank Lloyd Wright. She’s the one that selected him and she’s the one that went back and forth with him over the plans. Her determination to get the house built led Wright to eventually refer to her as “his most difficult client.”

Aline Barnsdall's father has a plaque near the Hollyhock House ticket booth.

Aline Barnsdall’s father has a plaque near the Hollyhock House ticket booth.

Aline, born on April 1, 1882, received a large inheritance from her father, Theodore, who made his money in oil and gas. She originally was interested in acting and studied with Eleanor Duse for a year but Duse saw her potential not in acting but behind the scenes and told her so. Designer Norman Bel Geddes who met Barnsdall years later gave her a backhanded comment when he said his impression of her was that she was, “erratic, unpredictable, contrary, stubborn and generous.” Bel Geddes went on to say, “she had a violent passion against convention; was one hundred percent rebel; would give vast sums of money to anything revolutionary, not because she was sympathetic to the principal involved, but because it was challenging easy conformity.”

Wright in his autobiography said of Barnsdall, “Her very large, wide-open eyes gave her a disingenuous expression not connected with the theater and her extremely small hands and feet somehow seemed not connected with ambition such as hers.”

Originally, Barnsdall wanted to build a theater in Chicago but by 1915 that plan had fallen away and instead she decided to move to San Francisco with the intention of building a small theater at that location. She was in long distance contact with Wright for years through letters regarding plans for a house but two problems cropped up: 1) Wright had signed a contract to design and build the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo so a great deal of his time was wrapped up with that endeavor during this time period and 2) while Barnsdall knew she wanted Wright to design her complex of buildings she hadn’t settled upon a site and it was impossible for Wright to design what she wanted when he didn’t know where the building would be situated.

After years of looking eventually Aline found a site in Olive Hill (now Barnsdall Park) which consisted of 36 acres. Los Angeles civic leaders had considered this plot of land for a public park because of its proximity to downtown along with its views of downtown to the east and the Hollywood hills to the west. When Barnsdall purchased the land it had been on the market for an extended period of time and priced at the steep price of $10,000 per acre. Barnsdall made an offer of $300,000 for the entire lot or just over $8,000 per acre. That offer was accepted.

Aline wanted four major buildings built upon the site. She wanted a home, a theater, a small house for the director of the theater and an apartment building to house the actors of the theater. The estimated cost for all four buildings, from Wright, was approximately $375,000 which was $75,000 more than the estimate from another architectural firm that she considered for the project which was the firm of Walker and Eisen

The house that Walker and Eisen submitted to Barnsdall for the Olive Hill property was a one story house in the Spanish Colonial Revival style with a plaster exterior and a tile roof. It contained five bedrooms and three and a half baths. Barnsdall commissioned these plans mostly likely when her frustration with Frank Lloyd Wright was at its peak. For it seems, Wright kept stringing her along with promise after promise of plans, models and colored drawings that never seemed to materialize or materialized months or years after they were promised. In Kathryn Smith’s book on the Hollyhock House she recounts in letters from Barnsdall to Wright Barnsdall’s continual exasperation at the lack of progress on the plans for the house. It’s really amazing the house was ever actually built because in numerous letters Barnsdall asks Wright if they should proceed with the endeavor of if they should just call the whole thing off. Wright seemed to sense when Barnsdall was at her wits end because it was then, and only then, that he would get to work and supply her with just enough of what she wanted to keep her on the hook.

One thing of note that I found interesting was that Barnsdall was most likely the one who put forth the idea of incorporating hollyhocks into the overall design Wright later said, “…Miss Barnsdall had pre-named the house for the Hollyhock she loved for many reasons, all of the good ones, and called upon me to render her favorite flower as a feature of (the) Architecture, how I might.”

Aline also said in a letter to Wright, “I don’t want it to look green but to feel green as a background for the rich hollyhock…”

  • Wright never stated what the Hollyhock House mantel depicted but his son Lloyd Wright claimed that it depicts Aline Barnsdall as an Indian princess on the left side, upon a throne no less, and she is surveying her land which is depicted on the right.
  • Wright’s local Los Angeles office was in the Homer Laughlin building at 522 Broadway located next to the Million Dollar Theater. That location is currently occupied by the Grand Central Market.
  • Barnsdall was a supporter of both birth control advocate Margaret Singer and political activist Emma Goldman.
  • Rudolf Schindler, who worked on the project stated there were some Mayan motifs in the design though the Los Angeles Times referred to it as a “modernized Aztec style.”
  • When the house was finished in 1921, the final cost of the house, with improvements, (it leaked so badly most of the floors buckled and had to be replaced) was $990,000 including architect’s fees.
  • By 1923 Barnsdall wanted to sell the house and land for $1.8 million but decided against it because she didn’t want Olive Hill sold to a hotel syndicate “and have it turned into a jazz parlor where smokers would congregate.”
  • Barnsdall chose not to live in the house. She later stated, “Its more ornate beauty never satisfied me. My heart was not in it. I never felt well on Olive Hill…”
This is the entrance into the house on the north side. There is a long narrow entry that leads to two large wooden doors.

This is the entrance into the house on the north side. There is a long narrow loggia that leads to two large wooden doors. (Please forgive the poor quality of the picture but I was shooting into the sun.)

These three plaques are attached to one of the entrance walls.

dscn0598

dscn0599

dscn0602

This is the west side of the house that looks toward the Hollywood hills.

This is the west side of the house that looks toward the Hollywood hills.

West side house detail.

West side house detail.

This is the south side of the building.

This is the south side of the building.

Close up of a planter.

Close up of a planter.

This is still the south side of the house but a bit close up and from a different angle.

This is still the south side of the house but a bit closer up and from a different angle.

This south side view shows the mass of the building.

This south side view shows the mass of the building. The fence is necessary but it’s an unfortunate element for photographers to deal with.

I like this treatment of the windows.

I like this treatment of these windows.

This a view of the east side of the building.

This is a view of the east side of the building.

This a backside view of the guy frolicking in the water.

A view of the guy frolicking in the water.

Still the east side of the building but from another angle.

Still the east side of the building but from another angle.

This large planter is in the parking court.

This large planter is in the parking court.

One of the Hollyhock house light fixtures. I'm not sure who designed these.

One of the Hollyhock House light fixtures. I’m not sure who designed these.

Even in the 1920s the Hollyhock House was used for exhibits.

Even in the 1920s the Hollyhock House was used for exhibits.

This book is from 1928 but unfortunately I only had access to the French version. The pictures look the same though even in French book.

This book is from 1928. Unfortunately I only had access to the French version of the book yet the photographs are the same even though the book is in French.

What I like best is the emptiness of the images.

What I like best about these photographs is the emptiness in the images.

The population of Hollywood in 1925 was....

Hollywood was still a small town in 1920.

More emptiness.

Regarding the top photo: the approach to Olive Hill doesn’t look like that anymore. That view is very romantic and rual.

guardian-building027

The two following photos show the mantle in the living room. They are from a 1926 book on FLW.

guardian-building033

guardian-building037

If you want further information on the Hollyhock House the go-to-book is by Kathryn Smith. It contains everything you would want to know about the Hollyhock House and it is filled with photographs and diagrams.

It's a great book and worth buying.

It’s a great book and worth buying. All the textual information concerning the Hollyhock House, that I used in this post, was gleaned from Smith’s book.

Indoor photography isn’t allowed in the Hollyhock House but there are scores of photographs of the interior on the internet. Just google the Hollyhock House for them.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Hitchcock, H.-R. (1928). Frank Lloyd Wright. Paris: Cahiers d’art.

McClurg, V. B. (1928, March). An exhibition of architecture and the arts. California Southland, 9(99), 11.

Smith, K. (1992). Frank Lloyd Wright: hollyhock house and olive hill. New York: Rizzoli.

Wright, F. L. (1926). Frank Lloyd Wright: the life work of the American architect. Chicago: A. Kroch.

 

William S. Hart Park and Home

dscn0420

info-regarding-house

From their brochure.

A map of the grounds. I got lost the first time I went. I took the road to the campgrounds.

A map of the grounds. I got lost the first time I went. I mistakenly took the road to the campgrounds. I walked about a mile in the heat turned around and walked a mile back. I was so sweaty when I got back to my car that I went home and came back the next day.

The guard post.

The guard house.

img_4076

Translation: The hill of the winds.

img_4064

The house cost $93,000 when it was built in 1927.

img_4066

The entrance to the home has a great staircase that my camera was only able to partially capture.

The entrance to the home has a great staircase and newel post lamp that my camera was only able to partially capture.

img_3951

The big dining room.

img_3961

This image of Hart, by James Montgomery Flagg, hangs on one of the walls in the dinning room.

This image of Hart, by James Montgomery Flagg, hangs on one of the walls in the dining room. Flagg did the famous WWI recruiting poster of Uncle Sam pointing with the text, “I Want You.”

img_3966

The tour guide said Hart used this breakfast nook more than the formal dining room.

A glimpse of the kitchen. I wish I had those cabinets in my tiny bungalow.

A glimpse of the kitchen. I wish I had those cabinets in my tiny bungalow. That’s a lot of storage. There were even more cabinets in the walk through pantry.

img_3976

This early image of Hart is in the foyer. He won the cup and all the medals for speed-walking.

This early image of Hart is in the foyer. He won the cup and all the medals for speed-walking.

At the top of the staircase looking down.

At the top of the staircase looking down into the foyer.

img_4011

The living room on the second floor.

I'm including this image because you can see another James Montgomery Flagg painting of Hart's sister. His sister is responsible for his divorce.

I’m including this image because you can see another James Montgomery Flagg painting of Hart’s sister Mary Ellen. His sister was responsible for William S. Hart’s divorce. It came down to an ultimatum. The sister won. The wife lost. Hart never married again.

Originally, when I heard the tale of Hart’s marriage to Winifred Westover, I figured it was a sham Hollywood marriage designed to hide a secret Hart was living with. Hart was 57 and Westover was 22. Married in 1921, he and Westover lived together for less than six months before Hart ordered Westover out of the house.

Westover later said, “We had our difficulties but I am sure that if it had not been for the return of his sister, Miss Mary Hart, we would have been able to adjust our troubles. But after that, nothing I ever did seemed to please him or rather, his sister.”

Westover went on to say, “It was following a long conference between my husband and his sister that I was finally ordered to leave. I could hardly believe my ears. It appeared incredible that a man with any idea of chivalry would order his wife, about to become a mother in a few months, out of her home. I thought he was joking until he sternly reiterated his order…And what added to the humiliation was the fact that guests were present at the time.”

  • Hart and Westover marry on December 7, 1921.
  • A couple of months later Westover announces she is pregnant.
  • Westover is ordered out of the house in May of 1922.
  • Bill, Jr. is born on September 6, 1922.
  • Hart gives Westover sole custody of Bill, Jr.

Their divorce was not finalized until 1927 because Hart and Westover couldn’t agree on a settlement figure. Westover eventually accepted $200,000 even though Hart was worth over $3 million at this point. Despite a world of adoring female fans Hart never married again and settled down into a comfortable existence living in this house with his sister for the last twenty-five years of his life.

When he died in 1946 William S. Hart didn’t leave the house, the land or any money from his estate to his only son, Bill, Jr.

Hart had set up a trust fund for Jr. when he was born but claimed he didn’t want to supply anymore money to Jr. because he was afraid Westover would get her hands on it. Bill, Jr. sued to gain control of the house, land and estate three times (in 1946, in 1950 and in 1955) but lost all three times. Not that it matters but I’m not convinced Bill Jr. was Hart’s biological son.

From a German Wikipedia page on the actress.

Winifred Westover. From a Norwegian Wikipedia page on the actress.

img_4008

The opposite wall in the living room.

img_4019

This statue of Hart is on the second floor landing. I think it would be weird to be surrounded by statues and photographs of yourself.

This statue of Hart is on the second floor landing. I think it would be weird to be surrounded by statues and photographs of yourself.

img_4061

The back patio.

Hart's pinto pony and co-star, Fritz, is buried on the property.

Hart’s pinto pony and co-star, Fritz, is buried on the property.

Hart, on the other hand, is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Hart, on the other hand, is buried in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York along with his parents and sister Mary Ellen.

william-s-hart-card

From the gift shop.

I found this nice photo of Bill online which I bought.

I found this nice photo of Bill online which I bought.

At the end of his life William S. Hart couldn't take care of himself so his son was made his executor.

At the end of his life William S. Hart couldn’t take care of himself so his son was made his guardian. That’s Bill Jr. on the left. This is an old wire photo.

This is what the back of the photo says.

This is what the back of the photo says.

I bought this wire service photo off of ebay. Hart, jr. does kind of look like his father there.

I bought this wire service photo off of ebay. Hart, jr. does kind of look like his father there. 1950 was the second time Hart, jr. tried to break the will. 


Davis, R. L. (2003). William S. Hart: projecting the American west. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Oliver, M. (2004, May 25). Obituaries: William S. Hart  Jr., 81; only son of famed silent film cowboy. Los Angeles Times.

Winifred Westover:

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winifred_Westover

Arcade Building Los Angeles

The Arcade Building has straddled Broadway and Spring Streets since 1924.

arcade building on postcard

On January 10, 1923, The Los Angeles Times unveiled the Arcade Building’s design. In an article in the paper’s second section titled Arcade Design Received, the Times stated the winning design had been forwarded to A.C. Blumenthal & Company of San Francisco. Mr.Blumenthal had recently purchased the parcel of land bordered by 5th and 6th streets and Broadway and Spring for the Arcade’s location.

The new arcade would consist of twin towers — twelve stories high; one on Broadway and the other fronting Spring Street. Between the towers would be a three story arcade covered in glass. The first three floors of the office buildings and arcade would be devoted to stores and shops. High speed elevators would also be installed for the convenience of patrons. While the two office towers would be identical in style, the Spring Street skyscraper would be devoted to “investment and financial banking” while the Broadway side would be for general commercial offices.

Tiled showcases were to grace the center of the Arcade for use by merchants on the second and third floors. Thirty-five shops were planned for the street level and 400 offices were planned for the two office towers. It was to be, according to Mr. Blumenthal, “the largest building erected by private enterprise in the city of Los Angeles.” Throughout the building wrought iron and decorative tiles would be used along with other elaborate ornamentation. Two-thirds of the basement would be occupied by the Leighton Cafeteria. “Making it the largest cafeteria in the world.” The cafeteria would have a seating capacity of 1,500.

Work was to begin April 1st with day and night shifts employed to execute the work as quickly as possible. Completion of the project was set for January 1, 1924.

Many articles were written over the intervening months detailing the buildings progress and how office space and shop space were quickly being snatched up. There was a “hurry before it’s too late” aspect to some of the articles.

As the opening of the building neared newspaper coverage of the building increased. Olive Gray wrote an article titled, City Welcomes Arcade as Dream Comes True that summed up many aspects of the Arcade. Gray pointed out an element that completely escaped me when she wrote that there was a practical reason for a merchants’ attraction to the Arcade: the rent. Gray states that many large downtown retailers had made it difficult for smaller shops to be noticed but the Arcade Building placed a large number of small shops together, under one roof, and the financial cost to the shop owner was relatively modest for increased visibility.

Three of the original tenants were:

  • Crane’s Barber Shop: they offered the standard barber shop services along with a manicure service and what they touted as a time saving service for clients — phone appointments.
  • Desmond’s Men’s Shop: When the new Desmond’s store was completed the Arcade shop would remain open for those closer to the Arcade location.
  • See’s Candy, which specialized in homemade candy, would open their sixth store in the Arcade.

There were numerous articles in the Los Angeles Times about the building from various angles all dated February 15, 1924. In one titled Problem Well Solved, the Arcade Building was assessed — logistically. The author of the article (who was unnamed) saw the thoroughfare as a street beneath two skyscrapers and as a “more attractive means of communication” between Broadway and Spring streets than the crowded sidewalks of 5th and 6th streets.

An article on February 10th called To Be Opened on the Fourteenth noted that the sixty-one tenants occupying the Arcade’s first three floors were picked for their variety of services and goods; duplication of services and goods was avoided. Other facts noted:

  • It was designed to resemble the Burlington Arcade in London.
  • The Arcade’s walkway is 326 feet from one side to the other.
  • The width of the walkway is 28 feet. (A later February 15th article stated it was 45 feet wide.)
  • Each entrance is 22 feet high.
  • The total floor space for the building is 260,000 square feet.
  • There were 350 offices upon completion.
  • It had 1,200 windows and 1,100 doors.
  • There are 2 floors below the street and twelve stories above.

This “Opened on the Fourteenth” article delved into the history of the land and stated that the property was purchased for $12,500 in 1883 by the Board of Education. At the time, this purchase was considered foolish “price-wise” but the Board held onto the land until 1919 and then sold it, at auction, to Adolph Ramish for $1,550,000. On January 3, 1923, Ramish signed the property over to the Arcade Realty Company for $1,910,000.

On February 14, 1924, the night before the building was opened to the public a celebration was held to commemorate the building’s completion and the festivities were organized by theater impresario Sid Grauman. The master of ceremonies for the night’s event was Will Rogers who was selected “because of his famed wit.” Speeches by various dignitaries, including Mayor Cryer, were followed by musical numbers and “several acts from the prologue of the Ten Commandments” direct from the Egyptian Theater. The evening was topped off by three dance orchestras that included Max Fisher’s orchestra, Abe Lyman’s orchestra and Leighton’s double orchestra. Dancing commenced at 10:30 pm and ended at 1 am.

DSCN0363

The building is still there. A great deal of renovation is taking place on the ground floor.

The Broadway entrance.

The Broadway entrance.

DSCN0351

On the Broadway side looking straight up. That lattice work is all terra cotta.

DSCN0360

Dragons above the entrance.

Dragons above the entrance.

Another straight up shot.

Another straight up shot.

Some entrance detail.

Some entrance detail.

On the building next door is this advertisement.

On the roof of a building a couple of doors away (the old Cameo Theater built in 1915) is this advertisement.

There is a scale at each entrance.

There is a scale at each entrance. I weighed myself and all I can say is I want my quarter back.

When I first came to California, 28 years ago, and walked through this arcade it was filled with Latino people selling swap meet goods: cheap tube socks, clothes, radios, watches, boom boxes, toys, etc. It has been completely transformed.

Upscale restaurants are selling crepes in the arcade now.

Upscale restaurants are selling crepes in the arcade now.

Here's a nice view of the skylight.

A juice bar under the skylight. If there had been a der Wienerschnitzel I would have sat down and had a chili cheese dog with onions. Maybe, two and a large order of fries.

DSCN0348

DSCN0328

The Spring Street entrance is identical to the Broadway Street entrance.

DSCN0333

IMG_3897

IMG_3907

DSCN0330

In 2016 rents started at $1,400.00

There was an article in Architect and Engineer that had images of some of the other entrants in the competition.

arcade building page 60

The winning entry.

arcade building page 61

arcade building page 62

Winning entry interior.

arcade building page 63

arcade building page 64

arcade building page 65

arcade building page 66

arcade building page 67

arcade building page 68

arcade building page 69

I like the gothic interior above.

arcade building page 70

That clock in the center of the arcade is a nice touch in this entry.

arcade building on postcard 2

Kenneth MacDonald, Jr. also designed this train station in Glendale, California.

Kenneth MacDonald, Jr. also designed this train station in Glendale, California.

This is an advertisement for a building that never got built. The front and back covers.

This is a pamphlet for a building that was never built; the front and back covers. It’s a MacDonald designed building.

guardian building 2

MacDonald's name is on the right side under the architectural rendering of the garage location.

MacDonald’s name is on the right side under the architectural rendering of the garage location.

This blurb is from American Architect.

This blurb is from American Architect.

This announcement is from Southwest Builder and Contractor. The structure was never built.

This announcement is from Southwest Builder and Contractor. The structure was never built.

leithton co-operative cafeteria

Leighton’s Cafeteria eventually took up the entire basement of the Arcade Building.


Arcade design received. (1923, January 10). Los Angeles Times, p. II1.

Class A hotel. (1924, May 2). Southwest Builder and Contractor, 63(18), 56.

Competition for an office building and arcade. (1923, February). Architect and Engineer, 72(2), 60-70.

Facts, figures given. (1924, February 15). Los Angeles Times, p. 9.

Giant new Arcade to be opened. (1924, February 14). Los Angeles Times, p. A2.

Gray, O. (1924, February 15). City welcomes Arcade as a dream come true. Los Angeles Times, p. 9.

Personals. (1923, October 24). American Archtect – The Architectural Review, 124(2431), 18.

Problem well solved. (1924, February 15). Los Angeles Times, p. 13.

To be opened on the fourteenth. (1924, February 10). Los Angeles Times, p. D7.

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