Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +)

Historical Photos of Early Hollywood
 
(ca. 1940s)* - Daytime view of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, located at 6925 Hollywood Blvd., as seen from across the street. It is one of Hollywood's most beautiful theaters.  

Historical Notes

Between 1933 and 1949 the Grauman's Chinese Theatre was in a "Golden Age," where the movies were the number-one entertainment in America, resulting in the studios who made them becoming very profitable. Grauman's Chinese, the glamourous flagship venue of the Fox West Coast Theatres chain (itself owned by 20th Century-Fox and the Skouras Brothers) and under the continuing management of Sid Grauman, played host to a large number of Fox films, rotating with product from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the occasional offering from United Artists. Theatres during this time tended to play pictures from the studio who owned them (or had strong business ties to).

All remained well until, after World War II, film attendance dropped off, then another blow: television. However, in the long run Hollywood found ways of making motion picture entertainment more attractive.  People would once again return to the box office and pay admissions to see motion pictures instead of remaining home before their television sets. #*^#

 

 

 

 
(1944)* – View of the Grauman's Chinese Theatre just prior to the 16th Annual Academy Awards of Merit ceremony, Thursday, March 2, 1944.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally handed out at a formal banquet at either the Ambassador Hotel in the Cocoanut Grove or Fiesta Room, or at the Biltmore Hotel downtown, in the Sala D'Oro or Biltmore Bowl, the enormity of interest in the Oscars outgrew the formal banquet idea.

When it came time to hold the ceremony in a regular theatre environment, Grauman's Chinese was the obvious choice. Widely considered Hollywood's "town hall," for the first ceremony held there on Thursday, March 2, 1944, the theatre was donated for the event by Charles Skouras, president of National Theatres, whose Fox West Coast Theatres division operated the Chinese, with Sid Grauman as the theatre's Managing Director. ++##

 

 

 

 
(1946)* - Stars arrive at Grauman's Chinese Theater for the Academy Awards presentation on March 8, 1946.  

 

Historical Notes

This was the year that “Lost Weekend” won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor in a Leading Role, and Best Screenplay. If these people were hoping to see Joan Crawford, they were disappointed. She was so freaked out at the thought of losing that she pretended to be ill—and then won the Oscar for “Mildred Pierce.” #**#

 

 

 

 
(1946)* – Thousands of movie fans crowded the front of Grauman's Chinese Theater in which the Academy Awards presentation was held. This is a section of the huge crowd as they watched the parade of stars arriving at the theater on March 8, 1946.  

 

Historical Notes

National Theatres continued to make the Chinese Theatre available to the Academy for their Awards of Merit program at no cost, in 1944, 1945 and 1946.  In short time the ceremony had outgrown even Sid's Hollywood masterwork, so it moved to the 6,000 plus-seat Shrine Auditorium near downtown for 1947 and 1948. ++##

 

 

 

 
(1953)**** - Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

While promoting their hit movie “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were invited by Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to place their hand and footprints in the theatre’s famed cement forecourt on June 26, 1953.*^

 

 
(ca. 1960)* - Name of the star-crossed beauty is emblazoned on the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,500 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street.

Locations of individual stars are not necessarily random or arbitrary. Stars of most legendary and world-famous celebrities—the so-called "show business royalty"—are found in front of TCL (formerly Grauman's) Chinese Theatre. Oscar winners' stars are usually placed near the Dolby Theatre, site of the annual Academy Awards presentations. Location decisions are made by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.*^

 

 

 
(1950s)#**# – View showing the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre where visitors are trying to find the footprints of their favorite star and marvel at how small their handprints were.  

 

 

 

 
(1962)#**# – Aerial view looking down at the foot and hand prints outside the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^##* – View showing tourists standing in the forecourt of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  A boy is seen comparing his hand to the handprint of a Hollywood star. The Roosevelt Hotel is in the background.  

 

 

Roosevelt Hotel

 
(1947)^** – Early morning postcard view of Hollywood Boulevard with no traffic showing the Roosevelt Hotel.  Signs along the street read "Moved to Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills" "Vaughn's Indian Store" "Kennedy's Lamps Shades" "Roosevelt Drug Co." "Drugs" "Western Airlines" "Outstanding Entertainment Cinegrill" and "Chinese" (in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre at right).  

 

 

 

 
(1949)*^#* – View of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on the southwest corner of Orange Drive and Hollywood Boulevard, located across the street from and a short block away from Grauman's Chinese Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

Marilyn Monroe was a resident at the Hollywood Roosevelt for two years when her modeling career took off. Her first magazine shoot was taken in the Roosevelt.

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard paid five dollars a night for their penthouse; it is now named the Gable & Lombard Penthouse. There is also a Marilyn Monroe Suite at the hotel.*^

 

 

 

 
(1949)*^#* - Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel - Day View   (1949)^*^^ – Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel – Night View

 

 

 

 

 
(1950s)#^* – “Fun Map of Playland – As you see it from the Roosevelt Hotel."  

 

 

 

 

 
(1948)^##* – View looking west on Sunset Boulevard at N. El Centro Ave.  The Earl Carroll Theatre can be seen in the distance, with Mark C. Bloome Tires on the left. The Hollywood Palladium is just out of view to the right.  

 

 

 

CBS Columbia Square

 
(ca. 1948)##^* – Close-up view showing the entrance to CBS Columbia Square located at 6121 Sunset Boulevard.  Note the early model phone company truck parked in front.  

 

Historical Notes

From 1938 to 2007, Columbia Square was home of CBS's L.A./west coast radio/tv operations. It was also home to radio stations KNX 1070 and KCBS 83FM.

The historic site is currently under redevelopment.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1951)*^^* – View of CBS Columbia Square looking north from the Gower Gulch shopping center, close to where Denny’s currently is at Sunset and Gower.  The Hollywood Sign is seen in the distance.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Vista Theatre

 
(1951)* - View showing the Vista Theatre located at 4473 Sunset Drive, East Hollywood. Note the architectural design details (Spanish Colonial Revival Style) on the face of the building. Architect: Lewis A. Smith.  

 

Historical Notes

Vista Theatre opened on October 16, 1923, as a single-screen theater. In addition to screening films, the theater also showed vaudeville acts on stage. Originally known as Lou Bard Playhouse on opening day in 1923, the cinema played the film Tips with Baby Peggy.

It is one of the remaining historic structures from the 1920s, when Hollywood was first built up and began attracting residents to its new suburban homes from areas near downtown Los Angeles and East Los Angeles, at the time middle and wealthy class sections of Los Angeles.*^

 

 

 
(1980)* - A crowd of people stand at the entranceway awaiting the grand reopening of the Egyptian revival style Vista Theatre, featuring the 1934 version of "Cleopatra." Silent-film star Mary MacLaren (1896-1985) helped re-open the Vista. Baby Peggy came back: In 1923 she opened the theater.  

 

Historical Notes

Standing at the "five corners" intersection of Hollywood Blvd, Sunset Blvd, Sunset Drive, Virgil Ave and Hillhurst Ave, the Vista is listed as being in Los Feliz, but some locals will tell you "even the Los Feliz Theatre isn't in Los Feliz!"  They say its East Hollywood, and in fact, old pictures of the theatre show the words "VISTA, EAST HOLLYWOOD" in neon on the rooftop sign and on the marquee. 

In a manner reminiscent of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the theater's forecourt features cement handprints and footprints of notable film figures. However, the handprints and footprints at the Vista Theatre tend to include more icons of independent and cult films such as Spike Jonze, John C. Reilly and Martin Landau, among many others.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1950)^##* – View looking east on Hollywood Boulevard from N. McCadden Place.  Some of the distinguishable signs include:  Pickwick Book Store, Vogue Theatre, and The Broadway-Hollywood.  Note the overhead streetcar wires running along the Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)*# – View looking southeast showing the intersection of Hollywood and Highland.  Several businesses can be seen on the south side of Hollywood Boulevard including: Bank of America, Coffee Dan’s, Hollywood Theatre, the Hotel Drake (formerly the Hotel Christie).  

 

Historical Notes

Today, Bank of America is a Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Coffee Dan’s is a McDonalds, the Hollywood Theater is the Guinness World Records Museum, and the Hotel Drake is a Scientology center.

 

 

 

 
(1950s)*^#^* - Postcard nighttime view looking east on Hollywood Boulevard at Highland Avenue showing Coffee Dan's between the Bank of America and the Hollywood Theatre. Note the Stop sign at lower right.  

 

 

 

 
(1950)*# – View showing the front entrance to Coffee Dan’s restaurant near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.  

 

Historical Notes

Alan Hess, the author of Googie: Fifties Coffeeshop Architecture, traces Googie Architecture back to three Coffee Dan's restaurants designed by John Lautner in the early forties.

"He selected the vaults and glass walls and trusses and angles of his buildings to fit the original, often unusual, concepts of space he favored," writes Hess.

 

 

 
(1953)^##* – View looking west on Hollywood Boulevard at Highland during the holidays with the Hollywood Hotel at right. Note the Stop sign on the corner.  

 

 

Pacific Electric Red Cars

 
(1952)#**# - A Red Car makes its way south along Highland Avenue and pulls up at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard. To the left, we can see the eastern edge of the Hollywood Hotel. Pretty much the only building still standing today is the Hollywood United Methodist Church seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1954)*^* – View showing a Pacific Electric streetcar westbound on Hollywood Boulevard at Highland Avenue. Pickwick Book store at 6743 Hollywood Boulevard can be seen at center-right.  

 

Historical Notes

Russian immigrant Louis Epstein started Pickwick in 1938. The store, named after Charles Dickens' classic "The Pickwick Papers," soon became a favorite haunt of movie stars and bibliophiles.^^#

 

 

 
(1952)^##* - Three uniformed soldiers board the westbound 5121 at Hollywood Boulevard and N. Orange Drive with Grauman's Chinese Theatre and First National Bank seen in the background.  The Chinese Theatre is showing Viva Zapata! starring Marlon Brando.  

 

Historical Notes

Viva Zapata! is a 1952 biographical film starring Marlon Brando and directed by Elia Kazan. The screenplay was written by John Steinbeck, using as a guide Edgcomb Pinchon's book, Zapata the Unconquerable. The cast includes Jean Peters and, in an Academy Award-winning performance, Anthony Quinn.

The movie is a fictionalized account of the life of Mexican Revolutionary Emiliano Zapata from his peasant upbringing, through his rise to power in the early 1900s, to his death.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1953)#**# - View looking east on Hollywood Boulevard from the corner of La Brea Avenue.  Both Grauman's Chinese Theatre and Hollywood First National Bank can be seen in the background.  A Pacific Electric streetcar appears to be turning onto LA Brea but is actually turning into a private right-of-way heading toward Santa Monica and Fairfax.  

 

Historical Notes

To get from Hollywood and La Brea to Santa Monica and Fairfax the PE ran on a private way diagonal to the street grid (see map below).

 

 

 
(1953)^### – Map showing the routing of Pacific Electric streetcars from Hollywood and La Brea (upper-right) to Santa Monica and Fairfax (lower-left). Note that the tracks make a turn near Gardner Elementary School.  

 

 

 

 
(1930)##^* - Aerial view showing the Pacific Electric streetcar tracks running diagonally as they pass Gardner Elementary School.  

 

Historical Notes

The tracks ran southwest from La Brea crossing Sunset which was known as "Gardner Junction" and ending at Fairfax turning westbound onto Santa Monica Blvd. ##^*

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1953)^### – View looking northeast down a Pacific Electric right-of-way showing an outbound Hollywood Boulevard streetcar as it reaches Fairfax Avenue.  At this point the Hollywood Boulevard line curves into Santa Monica Boulevard, joining the tracks of the Santa Monica Boulevard streetcar line, which come in from the right in this photo.  

 

Historical Notes

PE obtained the Hollywood Boulevard Line in 1911 and operated it until it sold all its passenger business to Metropolitan Coach Lines on October 1, 1953. Metro continued the operation of this line until September 26, 1954, when the line was converted to motor coach operation. #*##

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1952)*# – View showing a Pacific Electric streetcar making a turn onto Santa Monica Boulevard heading west at Fairfax Avenue.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1972)##^* – View looking northeast from the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gardner Street showing the old PE right-of-way now a parking lot. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1950s)^^ – Panoramic roofline view looking north toward the Hollywood Hills as seen from Sunset Boulevard near Vine St.  The intersection of Hollywood and Vine is at center left surrounded by a cluster of high-rise buildings.  The ‘Hollywood Sign’ can be seen in the background. Photo by Dick Whittington  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)*^#^* – Postcard view looking south showing a congested Hollywood and Vine intersection.  Note the Stop Sign in the foreground (northwest corner).  

 

 

 

 

 
(1950s)*^#^* - View looking north toward the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The four main buildings located on the corners of the intersection can be seen (L to R): The Broadway-Hollywood, Hody's Coffee Shop, Equitable Building, and the Taft Building. The iconic Capitol Records Building stands in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)* - View at dusk, neon signs lit, looking northward on Vine Street from Selma Ave. On the left, The Broadway-Hollywood Building, Plaza Hotel, Mobilgas ; on the right, Equitable Building, Taft Building, The Brown Derby Coffee Shop  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)* - Vine Street looking northward from Selma Avenue. View of the Equitable Building, Taft Building, Brown Derby coffee shop, Western Air Lines. Atop the Taft building a very large neon sign for Miller high life beer. Architects of the Taft Building were Walker and Eisen.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1999, the Taft Building and Neon Sign were designated Historic-Cultural Monument No. 666 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1948)* - Los Angeles Mayor Fletcher Bowron and his wife Irene smile at the crowds as they travel west past the Pantages Theatre in a 1949 Buick Roadmaster convertible during the Santa Claus Lane Parade, later the Hollywood Christmas Parade. The Frolic Room bar and other businesses are seen in the background on the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  

 

Historical Notes

Fletcher Bowron was the mayor of Los Angeles from 1938 to 1953.  He was the longest-serving mayor to date in the city, and was the city's second longest serving mayor after Tom Bradley, presiding over the war boom and very heavy population growth, and building freeways to handle them.*^

 

Academy Awards - Pantages Theatre

 
(1950)* - Exterior view of the Pantages Theatre during the 20th Annual Academy Awards. Crowds of people are seated in bleachers directly outside the theater and on the south side of Hollywood Blvd. A line of cars is seen in the middle of the boulevard. Various signs identify neighboring buildings and businesses: Army Navy store, the Equitable Building, Bond Clothiers, Bank of America, Cinerama and the Guaranty Building. Street car tracks are visible on the street.   

 

Historical Notes

From 1950 to 1960, the awards were presented at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre.

The 22nd Academy Awards Ceremony awarded Oscars for the best in films in 1949. This was the last year for which all five Best Picture nominees were in black and white.*^

Best Picture: All the King's Men

Best Actor: Broderick Crawford – All the King's Men

Best Actress: Olivia de Havilland – The Heiress

 

 

 
(1951)* - The 23rd Annual Academy Awards at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The 23rd Academy Awards Ceremony awarded Oscars for the best in films in 1950. The nominations were notable this year, as All About Eve was nominated for fourteen Oscars, beating the previous record of thirteen set by Gone with the Wind.*^

23rd Annual Academy Awards (March 29, 1951):

Best Picture: All About Eve

Best Actor: José Ferrer – Cyrano de Bergerac

Best Actress: Judy Holliday – Born Yesterday

 

 

 
(1956)* - View of the crowd gathered in front of the Pantages Theater in Hollywood to watch the stars come out for the Academy Awards. More than 10,000 gathered in front of the famed theater on March 21, 1956, to cheer their favorites. More than 90 regular and reserve policemen were needed to keep the crowd in order.  

 

Historical Notes

The 28th Academy Awards, saw, Marty, a simple and low-budget film usually uncharacteristic of Best Picture awardees, became the shortest film (as well as the second Palme d'Or winner) to win the top honor.*^

28rd Annual Academy Awards (March 21, 1956):

Best Picture: Marty

Best Actor: Ernest Borgnine – Marty

Best Actress: Anna Magnani – The Rose Tattoo

 

 

 

 
(1958)* - 30th Annual Academy Awards at the Pantages Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

1957's best films were honored at the 30th Academy Awards. 

The Oscar for Writing Based on Material From Another Medium was awarded to Pierre Boulle for The Bridge on the River Kwai, despite the fact that he did not know English. The actual writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson were blacklisted at the time and did not receive screen credit for their work. Foreman and Wilson have since been acknowledged by the Academy for their contributions.

Joanne Woodward's win for Best Actress for her triple role as Eve White, Eve Black and Jane in The Three Faces of Eve marked the film as the last film to win Best Actress without being nominated for other awards. This was broken 31 years later when Jodie Foster won Best Actress for her role in The Accused, the film's only nomination.

Peyton Place tied the record for the most nominations without a single win (9) with The Little Foxes. It would not be broken until 1977 when The Turning Point received 11 nominations without a win, which has not been broken since, though The Color Purple subsequently tied the record. Peyton Place also set the record for most unsuccessful acting nominations with five; this record has been tied once, by Tom Jones at the 36th Academy Awards.

It was the first time the ceremonies were broadcast live.*^

30th Academy Awards (March 26, 1958):

Best Picture: The Bridge on the River Kwai

Best Actor: Alec Guinness – The Bridge on the River Kwai

Best Actress: Joanne Woodward – The Three Faces of Eve

 

 

 

 
(1959)* - Photograph caption dated April 7, 1959 reads, "Theater lobby packed - Here at the last moment, crowds of ticket holders make a rush for the Hollywood Pantages door in anticipation of the two-hour telecast of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 31st annual awards presentation. More than 100 famed stars were on hand to regale the packed audience.".  

 

Historical Notes

The 31st Academy Awards ceremony was held on April 6, 1959, to honor the best films of 1958. The show's producer, Jerry Wald, started cutting numbers from the show to make sure it ran on time. Unfortunately, he cut too much material and the ceremony ended 20 minutes early, leaving Jerry Lewis to attempt to fill in the time. Eventually, NBC cut to a re-run of a sports show.

The film Gigi won nine Oscars, breaking the previous record of eight (set by Gone with the Wind and tied by From Here to Eternity and On the Waterfront). It would be shortlived, however, as Ben-Hur broke the record with eleven Oscars the following year.*^

31st Annual Academy Awards (April 6, 1959):

Best Picture:Gigi

Best Actor: David Niven – Separate Tables

Best Actress: Susan Hayward – I Want to Live!

 

* * * * *

 

Hollywood Savings and Loan

 
(ca. 1956)^^ – View showing Hollywood Savings & Loan on the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Wilton Place (5901 Hollywood Blvd).  Moore Company Cleaning & Dyeing Service is to the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Beaux Art building was designed by Morgan, Walls, and Clements.  It was built in 1930 to house a branch of Security Pacific Bank, one of the first Los Angeles banks to open branches in the Hollywood suburbs.  The sign on the building today reads Escrow Center. Click HERE for contemporary view.

 

 

Hollywood Masonic Temple

 
(1955)*^^* – View looking south on Orchid Avenue toward Hollywood Boulevard.  The Hollywood Masonic Temple is seen on the other side of Hollywood Boulevard at the T-intersection with the Paramount Theatre on the left. Toff's Coffee Shop can be seen on the northwest corner.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1921, the Hollywood lodge of the Masons relocated from their existing lodge on the current site of the Kodak Theatre. The construction of the new three-story building was led by lodge master, Charles E. Toberman, who was responsible for the Hollywood Bowl, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Roosevelt Hotel and the Max Factor Building.

When the new temple opened, it was one of the most substantial structures in Hollywood. It had a billiard room, pipe organ, ladies parlor, ballroom and lodge rooms. One writer described the building as "unsurpassed for beauty, attractiveness and richness of equipment. The architect, John C. Austin also worked on the Shrine Auditorium, Griffith Observatory and Los Angeles City Hall.*^

In 1984, the Hollywood Masonic Temple was dedicated LA HIstoric-Cultural Monument No. 277 (Click HERE to see complete listing). The building, now known as the El Capitan Entertainment Centre, was also listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

 

 

 
(ca. 1976)##^* – Aerial view looking south showing the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Orchid Avenue (center-right).  Both the Paramount Theatre and Masonic Temple can be seen on the south side of the Boulevard with Toff's Coffee Shop on the NW corner (lower-right). The Hollywood High School athletic field is seen at top of photo.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Highland complex would be built in the 1990s where the parking lots and Orchid Ave are seen in the above photo (bottom of photo).

 

Toff's Coffee Shop

 
(ca. 1970)##^* – View of Toff’s Coffee Shop on the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Orchid Avenue, just east of the Chinese Theatre.  

 

Historical Notes

Orchid Avenue at Hollywood Boulevard "disappeared" during the construction of the Hollywood Highland complex in the late 90s. The other half of the street still exists and can be accessed off of Franklin Ave, the next street north of Hollywood Blvd.

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1939)*# - View showing a bus making a right turn onto Hollywood Boulevard from Orchid Avenue. The Hollywood Hotel is seen on the north side of Hollywood Blvd. between Orchid and Highland.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, both this section of Orchid Avenue and the Hollywood Hotel are gone. In their place stands the Hollywood and Highland Entertainment Complex.*#

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)*^* - View of the P.E. No. 707 (San Fernando Valley Line), north bound on Highland Avenue at Hollywood Boulevard. People are lined up as they get ready to board both electric cars. The Owl Drug Store is seen on the southwest corner. The Hollywood Hotel is directly across the street, northwest corner of Hollwood and Highland.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)*# – View looking north on Highland Avenue toward Hollywood Boulevard.  The image is dominated by the Hollywood First National Bank Building on the N/E corner with the Hollywood United Methodist Church further back at Franklin.  On the right is the Max Factor Building and, further north on the S/E corner, Bank of America.  

 

 

 

 
(1953)*^* - View looking east on Hollywood Boulevard toward Ivar Avenue. The Broadway-Hollywood Building can be seen on the right in the distance on the southwest corner of Hollywood and Vine. The Guaranty stands at left on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Ivar. Part of Schwabs can be seen in the far right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)* - Looking west on Hollywood Boulevard from Western Avenue. Cars dating from the early 1950's and earlier are seen sharing the road with a streetcar.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1950s)*^#^* - Postcard view looking east on Hollywood Boulevard at Wilcox Avenue.  Warner Bros. Theatre is seen on the northeast corner.  

 

Historical Notes

Warner Bros. Hollywood Theatre has also been known as Warner's, the Warner, Warner Cinerama, Warner Hollywood Cinerama, the Hollywood Pacific and the Hollywood Pacific 1-2-3. #*^#

 

 

 

 
(1953)^^ – View looking west down the center of Hollywood Boulevard.  The Warner Bros. Theatre on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Wilcox is on the right.  Three large signs are seen on the left:  Karl’s Shoes, Iris Theatre, and Coca Cola.  The First National Bank Building tower can be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1953)^^ – View looking west on Hollywood Boulevard (detail view of previous photo).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)* - View of Hollywood Boulevard looking west from the corner of Las Palmas Avenue. Various businesses, restaurants, bookstores, theaters, and banks are found on the north and south sides on the boulevard, where traffic is flowing in both directions. On the left, a sign identifies the stage production of Oklahoma! taking place at the Egyptian Theatre. First National Bank of Hollywood, located at 6381 Hollywood Boulevard, is visible in the center of the image and the Chinese Theatre is present in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1954)* - A Hollywood Boulevard Pacific Electric Railway car that goes to Subway Terminal Building. The street sign says "Sunset Boulevard."  

 

Historical Notes

On October 1, 1953, Pacific Electric sold all its passenger business to Metropolitan Coach Lines. Metro continued the operation of this line until September 26, 1954, when the line was converted to motor coach operation. #*##

 

 

 
(ca. 1954)*^* - Cruising Hollywood Boulevard heading east. Grauman's Chinese Theatre can be seen in the background.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)* - Hollywood Freeway through Cahuenga Pass. View looking north from Mulholland Drive bridge shows traffic, backed up because of a car accident on the freeway. A sign of more things to come as the City continues to grow. Click HERE to see more Early Views of Cahuenga Pass.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)* - Looking northeast over the Sunset Strip in what is now West Hollywood. Off of Sunset Boulevard (left of center running from the foreground to the middle), are several landmarks, including the Argyle Hotel, aka Sunset Tower (center), Ciro's, and the Chateau Marmont (left of center). Fountain Avenue, which runs parallel with Sunset Boulevard, is seen in the foreground, veering to the right as it continues on into the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Leland A. Bryant, an architect known for luxurious structures, the Sunset Tower (Argyle Hotel) has been a popular destination since it opened. Over the years, it has served as the residence for many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes, Elizabeth Taylor, Zasu Pitts, Bugsy Siegel, Errol Flynn and Marilyn Monroe. The hotel has also appeared in a number of films and books.*

 

 

 
(1954)^^ - Aerial view of Hollywood facing northeast with snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains in the far distance.  Hollywood Boulevard runs diagonally from lower-left corner to upper-right.  The Art Deco/Gothic style First National Bank Building is seen in the lower left on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Highland. The Hollywood Freeway is in the center-left.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)* - Aerial view looking northwest showing the Hollywood business district, with the Capitol Records Building visible middle right.  Other visible buildings include: Pantages Theatre, E.F. Hutton Building, Broadway-Hollywood, Hotel Knickerbocker, Guaranty Building, and the Taft Building. The streets are (diagonally, l to r): Selma Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard, and Yucca Street; and (bottom to top) Gower Street, Argyle Avenue, Vine Street, Ivar Avenue, and Cahuenga Boulevard, to name a few. The Hollywood (101) Freeway is visible along the right.  

 

 

Before the Hollywood Freeway

 
(ca. 1950)* - Aerial view of Hollywood, north of Sunset between Highland and Gower before the second section of the Hollywood Freeway was built (1954). The Hollywood Reservoir (middle right) is in the hills above Hollywood. There is a clear view of San Fernando Valley in the background.  

 

 

After Completion of the Hollywood Freeway

 
(ca. 1960s)* - Aerial view of Hollywood and its surrounding areas after the second segment of the Hollywood Freeway was completed (1954). The Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir are seen in the hills above Hollywood (upper center-right). Capitol Records Building is in the middle foreground of this photo.  

 

 

Click HERE to see more in Early Views of Mulholland Dam and Hollywood Reservoir

 

 

 

Before and After

 
 
(ca. 1952)##^* vs. (ca. 1970)##^* - View of the Hollywood Freeway at the Hollywood Boulevard Exit.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)++^ – View looking northwest on the Hollywood Freeway near Vine Street. The First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood can be seen in the distance (center of photo). Note the center median with planters.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1959)##^* – Night view showing heavy traffic on the northbound side of the Hollywood Freeway.  

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

Wallichs Music City (Sunset and Vine)

 
(ca. 1946)^##* – Panoramic view looking northwest across the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street showing Wallichs Music City on the corner. Capitol Records is on the 2nd floor.  

 

Historical Notes

Before the Capitol Building opened in 1956 on Vine Street north of Hollywood Boulevard, Capitol Records had, as their corporate offices, the second floor of this building above Wallichs Music City.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1947)* - View looking south on Vine Street at Sunset Blvd.  Various businesses are seen, including the Wallichs Music City (right).  Billboards and signs promote various types of products and beverages, such as locally brewed Eastside Beer.  

 

Historical Notes

Wallichs Music City was located on the northwest corner of Sunset & Vine and operated from 1940 to 1978. Owner Glenn E. Wallichs had started Capitol Records, along with Tin Pan Alley songsmith Johnny Mercer and ex-Paramount movie producer Buddy De Sylva from a small office a little further south down Vine Street in 1942 and moved to larger offices above the store in 1946. After Capitol Records moved into The Capitol Tower in 1956 the offices become the home of Dot Records.

Wallichs Music City was one of the first-known music stores to seal record albums in cellophane and put them in display racks for customers to browse. The racks were tabletop height trapezoid-shaped browser boxes (designed by Capitol Records' Frederick Rice) that allowed the covers they contained to be viewed like a card index without damaging the sleeves. The store was also the first to have demonstration booths for listening to records.*^

 

 

 
(1950s)^^## - View showing rock star Eddie Cochran shuffling through albums as one of his fans looks on, at the Wallichs Music City store.  

 

Historical Notes

Edward Raymond 'Eddie' Cochran captured teenage frustration and desire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Cochran's rockabilly songs included "C'mon Everybody", "Somethin' Else", and "Summertime Blues".  He experimented with multitrack recording and overdubbing even on his earliest singles, and was also able to play piano, bass and drums. His image as a sharply dressed and good-looking young man with a rebellious attitude epitomized the stance of the 50s rocker, and in death he achieved an iconic status.

Cochran died at the young age of 21 after a road accident, while travelling in a taxi in Chippenham, Wiltshire, during his British tour in April 1960, having just performed at Bristol's Hippodrome theatre. Though his best-known songs were released during his lifetime, more of his songs were released posthumously. In 1987, Cochran was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1949)^^^ - Postcard view of the American Broadcasting Company's Building on the west side of Vine Street north of Sunset Boulevard.  This is the same building once occuppied by Tom Breneman's Restaurant.  

 

Historical Notes

American Broadcasting Company broadcast its radio station, KECT from this building.  The 790 AM station's callsign was named after Los Angeles broadcasting pioneer Earle C. Anthony, whose initials were also present on then-sister TV Channel 7, KECA-TV (now KABC-TV).*^

In the forties four big national networks dominated the radio industry. The network affiliations were KECA (790 AM, ABC), KFI (640 AM, NBC), KNX (1070 AM, CBS) and KHJ (930 AM, Mutual-Don Lee).

 

 

 

 

(ca. 1950)##^* – Close-up view showing the storefronts and signs of the American Broadcasting Company Building located at 1541 N. Vine Street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)* - Looking north on Vine Street from Sunset Boulevard. Lots of automobile and pedestrian traffic. Signage on various buildings include American Broadcasting Company, The Broadway-Hollywood, The Brown Derby, and NBC Radio City.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950)^##* – View Looking northeast across the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street with Wallichs Music City on the NW corner and NBC Radio City on the NE corner. Three Studebakers can also be seen in this shot.  

 

 

 

 
(1950)* - Looking southwest across the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street. Seen are various businesses (left) and a Foster and Kleiser billboard for Schlitz beer.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1960)*# – View looking northwest toward the intersection of Sunset and Vine showing Wallichs Music City (NW corner) and NBC Radio City (NE corner).  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)^^ - Looking north on Vine Street toward Sunset and Vine showing the neon signs on display.
 

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^##* – Night view looking north on Vine Street at Sunset Boulevard.   

 

 

 

 

 
(1957)^##* - View of Vine Street looking north, ilumminated by both streetlights and neon signs. The Hangover Nightclub featuring Johnny White can be seen at right.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)##^* – Daytime view showing the Hangover Nightclub located on the northeast corner of Vine Street and Leland Avenue. A large rooftop sign reading 'Seaboard Loans' stands tall in the background. Click HERE to see contemporary view of the same corner.  

 

 

 

Hollywood Hotel

 
(1940s)^^^ - Postcard view of the Hollywood Hotel on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland.  The hotel’s florist shop fronts Highland and can be seen in the lower right.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1956)**# - Night view of the Hollywood Hotel shortly before it would be razed to make room for a new 12-story First Federal Savings and Loan building.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)^#^* – View showing the demolition of the Hollywood Hotel, N/W corner of Highland and Hollywood, with only its florist shop left standing. Both the Chinese Theatre and the Roosevelt Hotel are seen in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

Though the Hollywood Hotel housed many of the great stars in its day, it was razed in August 1956 to make way for a $10 million development, with a twelve story office building for the First Federal Savings & Loan Association of Hollywood, a shopping center and parking lots.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1959)##^* - View looking west on Hollywood Boulevard showing what appears to be a 1957 Thunderbird convertible heading towards the camera. In the background can be seen the 12-story First Federal Savings and Loan Building on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland, where the Hollywood Hotel once stood.  

 

 

First Federal Savings and Loan Building

 
(ca. 1959)#+#+ – View looking toward the old location of the Hollywood Hotel (N/W corner of Hollywood and HIghland) showing the newly constructed 12-story First Federal Savings and Loan Building.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1955, the southeast portion of the old Hollywood Hotel property was sold to First Federal Savings and Loan of Hollywood, and in August, 1956, the hotel was razed and the 12-story First Federal building was erected on the northwest corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland where it stood from 1959 until 1998.*^

 

 

 
(1959)*++– View looking west on Hollywood Boulevard at Highland Avenue showing the First Federal Savings and Loan Building at right (N/W corner) and the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the distance.  Coffee Dan's, on the left, was a familiar landmark in Hollywood for decades.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1998, the 12-story First Federal Savings and Loan Building was torn down to make way for a new entertainment center.  The Hollywood and Highland Center, the current home of the Academy Awards, was constructed on the site in 2001.

Click HERE for contemporary view.

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1953)*^* - View of Hollywood Blvd. looking east from the roof of the Roosevelt Hotel. The Hollywood Hotel and the Security First National Bank Building can be seen at the intersection of Highland Ave and Hollywood Blvd.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1957)* - Aerial nighttime view of the Hollywood skyline, with klieg light beacons for movie premieres. View is looking  east on Hollywood Boulevard from Highland Avenue. Building on left: First National Bank Building with tower. Right: Paramount Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1951)##^* – View looking west on Sunset Boulevard from near Highland Avenue. Hollywood High School is seen in the background fronted by a row of palm trees. In the foreground a construction worker stands in front of a baricade with a broom in hand.   

 

 

 

 

 
(1956)^##*– Dashboard view looking east on Sunset Boulevard toward Highland Avenue with Hollywood High School at left. It appears we’re riding in a new Oldsmobile (‘56 or ‘57).  

 

 

 

Stan's Drive-in

 
(1958)^^*** - View showing Stan’s Drive-in Coffee Shop on the SE corner of Sunset and Highland, 6760 Sunset Blvd, across from Hollywood High School and Currie’s ice cream.  

 

Historical Notes

Stan's was a chain of drive-in's with at least a dozen LA locations built in the late 1950's and 60's.

Previously, the southeast corner of Sunset and Highland was the site of Simon’s Drive-in…one of two Simon’s on Sunset for a few years (since 1938). As of December 1951, Simon’s became a Stan’s drive-in. Since Stan’s took over the Carpenter’s at Vine that same year, there were now 2 Stan’s on Sunset. Stan’s stood on the SE corner as seen above until 1971 when it was demolished. Today, a Chick-fil-A is at the corner. Click HERE to see contemporary view.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Drive-in Restaurants.

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1959)+#+# – View looking east on a plam tree-lined Sunset Boulevard at Argyle Avenue. From left to right can be seen: Hollywood Palladium, CBS Columbia Square, Mark C. Bloome, and the Earl Carroll Theatre.  

 

 

Hody's Coffee Shop

 
(1957)##^* – View looking at the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine showing Hody’s Restaurant (previously Melody Lane Cafe).  Signboard on top of building shows a 1957 Oldsmobile Rocket 88.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1940, restaurateur Sidney Hoedemaker of the Pig 'n' Whistle - Melody Lane chain, leased the northwest corner Hollywood and Vine transformed it into a Melody Lane Restaurant.

In 1949, Hoedemaker founded Hody's Restaurant Inc.  Hoedemaker's restaurants were all about service, efficiency, cheerfully and courtesy. One was always greeted with a smile. And in 1955, Hody's restaurant group signed a 20 year lease for the property on the northwest corner of Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street. Hoedemaker had it remodeled extensively.#^**

 

 

 

 
(1959)*^^* – View showing Hody's Coffee Shop located on the N/W Corner of Hollywood and Vine (previously Melody Lane Cafe).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1961)^###^ – Daytime view of Hody’s Coffee Shop, N/W Corner of Hollywood and Vine, with the Guaranty Building and Hotel Knickerbocker seen in the background. Next door to Hody's to the west was a Harris & Frank Clothiers and an Arthur Murray School of Dance studio.  

 

Historical Notes

Hody's was a family restaurant. Kid's would get a kid's clown menu that could be worn on their face. By 1969 there were 8 Hody's restaurants in Southern California.#^**

 

* * * * *

 

 

Hollywood Ranch Market (Originally Mandarin Market)

 
(1961)* - Exterior view of the Hollywood Ranch Market, located at 1234-1248 Vine Street. The market with its large neon sign and the neighboring Art Linkletter Playhouse are clearly visible. Remnants of the original Chinese influenced architecture from when the building served as the Mandarin Market are visible above the roof line in the center of the photograph.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Ranch Market started out as The Mandarin Market. Built in 1929, it was touted as being one of the first drive-in markets of its kind in Los Angeles. The architect was Henry L. Gogerty, who later designed "gliding acoustical walls" for classrooms, and assembly line buildings for Howard Hughes' Spruce Goose project.^*^#

Click HERE to see the original Mandarin Market.

 

 

 
(1961)* - Closer view of the Hollywood Ranch Market. The market's neon sign with a clock reads, "We never close" and "Shop around the clock." This side view only allows one of the market's vendors, the snack bar, to be visible.  

 

Historical Notes

It wasn’t unusual to see such personalities as Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner or Red Skelton or at the Hollywood Ranch Market’s snack bar. Steve Allen used to broadcast his shows from his studio close by. ^#^^

 

 

 

(1954)* - Herald Examiner photo showing several men toasting with a cup of coffee in front of Hollywood Ranch Market.

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

Examiner article reads: "The all-night Hollywood Ranch Market sidewalk lunch counter on Vine Street is one of many places revolting against the hike in coffee prices. This place reduced its price from 10 cents to 5 cents per cup. Celebrating with steaming mugs beneath the sign are, left to right: Richard Wilson, jazz musician-composer; night manager Roy McCully; co-owner Larry Frederick; writer Roger Fair; and newsboy Eddie Levin, on February 2, 1954." *

 

 

 
(ca. 1960s)^#^^ – View looking north showing a woman and young child standing in front of the Hollywood Ranch Market on the northeast corner of Vine Street and La Mirada Avenue.  

 

 

 

 
(1970s)##^* – View looking northeast toward the Hollywood Hills and Mt. Lee with the Hollywood Ranch Market at lower right.  The large sign reads:  We Never Close – Everyone Shops at the One and Only HOLLYWOOD RANCH MARKET.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Ranch Market (originally Mandarin Market) burned down in the early 80s and is now a strip mall that includes an Office Depot and an El Pollo Loco.#^* Click HERE to see contemporary view.

 

* * * * *

 

 

Vine Street

 
(ca. 1950)^#^^ – View looking south on Vine Street from just north of Yucca Street.  The intersection of Hollywood and Vine can be seen in the distance.  Within 5 years of this photo, the iconic Capitol Records Building would be going up on the west side of Vine just south of Yucca Street.  

 

 

 

Capitol Records Building

 
(1955)#**# - View looking southeast showing the Capitol Records Building in the early stages of construction, located near the corner of Yucca and Vine streets.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)^#^^ – View looking north on Vine Street showing the Capitol Records Building under construction. At lower right-center can be seen Du-par's Restaurant.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Louis Naidorf of Welton Becket and Associates, the tower was the world’s first circular office building, constructed of reinforced concrete and punctuated by a series of porcelain enamel sun shades stepping down each floor of the building. ^#^^

 

 

 
(1956)#**# - View showing the newly completed Capitol Records Building located at 1750 N. Vine Street. Du-par's Restaurant is seen in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

The 13-story Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower, is one of the city's landmarks. Construction was contracted by British company EMI soon after its 1955 acquisition of Capitol Records, with completion in April 1956. Located just north of the intersection of Hollywood and Vine and consolidating the West Coast operations of Capitol Records, the structure is home to the recording studios and echo chambers of Capitol Studios.*^

 

 

 
(1956)* - Aerial view looking northwest showing the Hollywood business district, with the Capitol Records Building visible middle right.  Other visible buildings include: Pantages Theatre, E.F. Hutton Building, Broadway-Hollywood, Hotel Knickerbocker, Guaranty Building, and the Taft Building. The streets are (diagonally, l to r): Selma Avenue, Hollywood Boulevard, and Yucca Street; and (bottom to top) Gower Street, Argyle Avenue, Vine Street, Ivar Avenue, and Cahuenga Boulevard, to name a few. The Hollywood (101) Freeway is visible along the right.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)* - Aerial view of the Hollywood business district, with the Capitol Records Building in the foreground; view is looking south. The cluster of tall buildings around the intersection of Hollywood and Vine can be seen at center of photo.  Visible buildings include: Pantages Theatre, E.F. Hutton Building, Broadway-Hollywood, Hotel Knickerbocker, Guaranty Building, and the Taft Building. The streets are (vertically, l to r): Argyle Avenue, Vine Street, Ivar Avenue, Cahuenga Boulevard; and (horizontally, bottom to top) Yucca Street (extreme bottom), Hollywood Boulevard, Selma Avenue, and Sunset Boulevard, to name a few.  

 

 

 

 
(1956)* - Aerial view of Hollywood showing the Capitol Records Building in the center surrounded by other buildings near Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street; view is looking southeast. The visible streets are (diagonally, r to l): Vine Street, Argyle Avenue, Gower Street, and Bronson Avenue and (l to r): Yucca Street, Hollywood Boulevard, and Sunset Boulevard. Other visible buildings are Yucca Vine Building (corner of Yucca and Vine), Equitable Building (corner of Vine and Hollywood), Pantages Theatre (corner of Hollywood and Argyle), and Charles E. Skinner Studios (corner of Argyle and Yucca).  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)##^* – Aerial view looking northwest showing the newly completed Capitol Records Building near the S/E corner of Vine and Yucca streets.  On the N/W corner stands the Mountain States Building (built in 1928). The Charles E. Skinner Studios are seen on the S/W corner of Argyle and Yucca streets on the right and a portion of the Hollywood Tower is at the upper-right corner.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1958)*^^* - Nighttime view, looking south, of the intersection of Vine and Yucca streets. The Capitol Records Building stands tall near the southeast corner.  

 

Historical Notes

The wide curved awnings over the windows of each floor and the tall spike emerging from the top of the building combine to give it the appearance of a stack of vinyl 45s on a turntable, although it was not originally designed with that idea in mind.

 

 

 
(1960)*^^* - Cruising down Hollywood Boulevard on a Saturday night in a shining new 1959 Pontiac Coupe. Life is Good!  

 

 

 

 
(1960)^##* – View looking north on Vine Street showing the Capitol Records Building in the background with The Red Fox Restaurant in the foreground.  Du-par's Restaurant is located behind the Red Fox Restaurant out of view.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)^*#* - View looking north on Vine St. just north of Hollywood Blvd. Du-par's Restaurant is open for business. In the background stands the Capitol Records Building. Note that the streetlights have been changed-out to a new 3-bulb design.  

 

Historical Notes

The first Du-par's was founded in 1938 at the Los Angeles Farmers Market by James Dunn and Edward Parsons, who combined their surnames to create the restaurant's name. The chain was purchased in 2004 by an investor group led by W.W. "Biff" Naylor, the son of noted California restaurateur Tiny Naylor. Du-par's expanded in 2009 to include several locations from the bankrupt Bakers Square chain.*^

 

 

 
(1967)* - View looking south on Vine Street from across the Hollywood Freeway showing the Capitol Records Building and Broadway-Hollywood Building.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1961)^##* – View looking south on Vine Street from Yucca Street, Hollywood.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1965)^##* - View looking north on Vine Street at Hollywood Boulevard with the Capitol Records building in the background. A beautiful two-tone 1963 Thunderbird is seen at mid-intersection.  

 

 

 

 
(1960s)**** - Daytime holiday view of Hollywood and Vine with the Capitol Records Building in background.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1956)*^^ - Long exposure of Hollywood and Vine at night. Capitol Records Building is in the background.  

 

Historical Notes

The blinking light atop the tower spells out the word "Hollywood" in Morse code, and has done so since the building's opening in 1956. This was an idea of Capitol's then president, Alan Livingston, who wanted to subtly advertise Capitol's status as the first record label with a base on the west coast. The switch was initially activated by Leila Morse, the granddaughter of Samuel Morse.  In 1992 it was changed to read "Capitol 50" in honor of the label's fiftieth anniversary. It has since returned to spelling "Hollywood". A black and white graphic image of the building appeared on the albums of many Capitol recording artists, with the phrase, "From the Sound Capitol of the World".*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1960)* - View shows the Capitol Records Building (left) and Hotel Knickerbocker (right). Capitol Records, located on Vine Street, is a unique 13-story, 150 ft. high-rise cylindrical building that was built in 1956 by architect Welton David Becket and contractor C. L. Peck Co.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hotel Knickerbocker, a Renaissance Revival/Beaux Arts building located on Ivar Avenue, began life as a luxury apartment building that was at the heart of Hollywood back in the 1920s, before becoming a hotel later in its history. It's been linked with tragic deaths and because of this, it is considered haunted by some. Some unfortunate occurrences: D.W. Griffith died of a stroke on July 21, 1948 under the crystal chandelier of the lobby; a costume designer named Irene jumped to her death from a hotel window; William Frawley, who lived at the hotel for decades, died of a heart attack on the sidewalk in front of the Knickerbocker. Other stars that frequented the hotel with better luck were: Rudolph Valentino, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra, Lana Turner, Mae West, and Cecil B. DeMille among many, many others.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1960s)##^* – Night view looking north showing the Capitol Records Building with the Hollywood Sign in the background.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1962)*^*^# – View looking northwest from the intersection of Hollywood and Argyle showing the Capitol Records Building in the backgrond, with Christmas tree on top. The Pantages Theatre is on the left and a small hamburger stand is in the foreground.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed by Stewart Romans of Ollsen Lighting and featuring 4,373 bulbs (at 25 watts each), the Christmas tree on top of the Capitol Records Building was the first of its kind, and it has been a part of the Hollywood skyline each December since 1958, save for 1973, when L.A. experienced an energy crisis.^^*^*

 

 

 
(1962)* - The iconic Capitol Records building needle lit as a Christmas tree, 1750 Vine Street.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2006, the Capitol Records Building and Rooftop Sign were dedicated as LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 857 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(1999)* - Detail of the awnings of the Capitol Records Building in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The wide curved awnings over windows on each story and the tall spike emerging from the top of the building coincidentally resembling a stack of records on a turntable. The rectangular ground floor is a separate structure, joined to the tower after completion. The tower incorporates 13 stories, to conform to the 150-foot zoning height limit that was in place at the time of its construction. Earthquake height restrictions were later lifted in 1964.*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Sunset and Vine

 
(1965)^#^^ – View looking west on Sunset Boulevard at Vine Street.  Wallich’s Music City can be seen on the northwest corner. Behind it is the Radio Corporation of America Building built in 1963.  

 

Historical Notes

The empty parking lot across the street on the northeast corner of Sunset and Vine was the gorgeous stream line NBC Building that had just been recently torn down. It was replaced with Home Savings of America, now Washington Mutual. And the banners above the street are advertising the Teenage Fair, which was at the Hollywood Palladium.^#^^

 

 

 
(1965)^#^^ – Looking through fountain waters towards the NW corner of Sunset & Vine. Between the RCA building and Wallichs Music City is a red-white striped Norm's restaurant. The RCA building, built in 1963, is all that remains today.  

 

 

Sunset Vine Tower

 
(1963)* - Aerial view showing the recently completed 20-story Sunset Vine Tower located on the southeast corner of Sunset and Vine (seen at right). At center-left, in the early construction phase, is the future home of Pacific Cinerama Theatre (Cinerama Dome Theatre), located at 6360 Sunset Boulevard. The RCA Building is also under construction across the street. The NBC Building on the northeast corner of Sunset and Vine would be torn down in 1964.  

 

Historical Notes

The 1963-built Sunset Vine Tower was designed by architect Douglas Honnold of the firm Honnold & Rex. It was the first skyscraper built in Los Angeles after the city repealed its 14-story building height limit.*

 

 

 
(n.d.)^^*^^ – View through a telephoto lens looking southeast from the Hollywood Hills showing the Sunset Vine Tower standing tall in the foreground with the downtown skyline in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

In 2001, the skyscraper sustained damage due to an electrical transformer explosion. The owner fell into bankruptcy and the building was shut down indefinitely.

In 2003, the CIM Group, a commercial developer, acquired the padlocked skyscraper and began mapping plans to rehabilitate it. The company eventually decided to gut the building and convert it into residential units.  After long delays and a costly $70 million retrofitting job, the skyscraper would once again open but not until 2010.^^#

 

 

 
(1965)* - View of Hollywood, from Larchmont and Beverly boulevards. The Hollywood Sign can be seen in the background. The Sunset Vine Tower is at left-center. To its left stands a very large geodesic dome, The Cinerama Dome, located at 6360 Sunset Boulevard, just west of Vine.  

 

Historical Notes

Incidentally, disaster is nothing new when it comes to the Sunset Vine Tower.  The skyscraper was featured in the film "Earthquake" back in 1974. ^^*^^

 

Cinerama Dome Theatre

 
(1963)* - View shows the exterior of this domed-shaped theater and the crowds of people at the entranceway awaiting for celebrities to arrive for the premiere of "Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."  

 

Historical Notes

In February 1963, Cinerama Inc. unveiled a radically new design for theaters which would show its movies. They would be based on the geodesic dome developed by R. Buckminster Fuller, would cost half as much as conventional theaters of comparable size, and could be built in half the time. Cinerama's goal was to see at least 600 built worldwide within two years. The following April, Pacific Theatres Inc. announced plans to build the first theater based upon the design, and had begun razing existing buildings at the construction site.

Located on Sunset near Vine Street, it would be the first new major motion picture theater in Hollywood in 33 years, and would be completed in time for the scheduled November 2 press premiere of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The design was adapted by the noted architectural firm of Welton Becket and Associates.*^

 

 

 
(1980)* - In the early 1900's a mansion stood here with a large garden of string beans. Today, a long line of movie-goers await to see "The Blue Lagoon" at the Cinerama Dome Theater on Sunset Boulevard, July 8, 1980.  

 

 

 

 
(1988)* - Exterior view of the Cinerama Dome Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. This year (1988) is the 25th Anniversary of the Cinerama Dome.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1998, the Pacific Cinerama Dome Theater was designated Historic-Cultural Monument No. 659 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 
(1988)^*^# - Inside the Cinerama Dome (6360 Sunset Blvd.) in 1988. Photographer: Chris Gulker  

 

Historical Notes

With its 86 feet (26 m) wide screen, advanced acoustics and 70mm film capability, the Cinerama Dome remained a favorite for film premieres and "event" showings.

 

 

 

 
(1987)* - Looking east from the Hollywood Hills, L.A.'s skyline appears clear and bright as does Hollywood and its distinctive Cinerama Dome.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

Highland Avenue

 
(1959)##^* - View looking north on Highland Avenue toward Hollywood Boulevard.  The First Federal Savings and Loan Building (N/W corner of Hollywood and Highland) is under construction across the street from the First National Bank Building. In the distance stands the Hollywood United Methodist Church.  

 

Historical Notes

The 12-story First Federal Savings & Loan Building was built in 1959 on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland Avenue on the site once occupied by the Hollywood Hotel.

In 2001, the Hollywood and Highland entertainment complex, which includes the Hollywood and Highland Center, the current home of the Academy Awards, was constructed on the site.*^

 

 

 

 
(1960s)^#^^ – View of Highland Ave just north of Hollywood Blvd. The “Power House” is seen on the right. On the left today would be the Loews Hollywood Hotel and the Highland & Hollywood Mall. The Hollywood United Methodist Church is seen at Highland and Franklin.  

Historical Notes

The Hollywood United Methodist Church building was designed by Thomas P. Barber, and based in part on the English Gothic style of Westminster Hall in London. The structure is steel-framed concrete, with the sanctuary roof having an open hammer beam construction.

Construction on the first building, the Recreational Hall, was started in 1927 by a group of congregants who began organizing the new church in 1909. The rest of the structure was completed on March 16, 1930.

The church's facilities, in addition to housing an active congregation, are used by the private non-religious Oaks School and have been the settings for many movies including Sister Act and Back to the Future.*^

 

 

 

 
(1960s)^##* – View looking south on Highland Avenue from Franklin toward Hollywood Boulevard. Both the First National Bank Building and the First Federal Savings and Loan Building can be seen.  

 

 

Hollywood Bowl

 
(1964)^**# - The Hollywood Bowl Marquis when the Beatles were in town performing their first of two performances. They would appear again in 1965.  

 

Historical Notes

Tickets went on sale four months before the concert and sold out in 3 1/2 hours. Hundreds of teenage girls camped out overnight on Highland Avenue and the next day the line went from the Bowl entrance nearly to Hollywood Boulevard. At the concert, the screaming of the crowd was so loud, no one could hear the music. After the concert, kids mobbed the backstage area. The producers used a limo as a decoy while putting the Beatles in a Dodge Dart and getting them out before the kids realized they were gone.^**#

Bob Eubanks booked The Beatles' for the August 23, 1964 performance at the Hollywood Bowl.  Capitol Records recorded their performance with the intent of releasing a live album, however, the sound quality of the tapes proved to be inadequate for commercial release.*^

 

 

 
(1965)^**# - The Beatles performing on stage at the Hollywood Bowl on August 29, 1964.  

 

Historical Notes

The Beatles returned the following year for two more shows: August 29th and 30th, 1965. After the previous year's pandemonium, the Bowl's management tried to avoid a panic situation by hiring a Brinks armored truck to bring the Beatles to and from their hotel.

Since then, virtually every rock star (with the possible exception of Elvis) has played the Bowl.^**#

Capitol Records again recorded the two performances by the group as they did the previous year. The sound quality of the 1965 recordings was again disappointing. Capitol did, however, utilize a 48-second excerpt of "Twist and Shout" from the 1964 Hollywood Bowl concert on the 1964 documentary album, The Beatles' Story.*^

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - View of the Hollywood Bowl as seen from the hillside looking towards the shell. Note the fountains and reflecting pool in front of the stage.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood Bowl reflecting pool was installed in 1953 and removed only 19 years later in 1972.*^

 

 

 
(1968)* - View of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performing at the Hollywood Bowl.  

 

 

 

Hollywood Boulevard

 
(1963)##^* – View looking east on Hollywood Boulevard towards Highland Avenue.  From right to left can be seen: 7 Seas Restaurant, Hollywood Masonic Temple, Paramount Theatre, Barker Bros., Coffee Dan's, Hollywood Theatre, Hollywood Inn, and the Egyptian Theatre.  

 

 

 

 
(1966)#* – View looking southwest on Hollywood Boulevard from Las Palmas Avenue during the holiday season. The Egyptian Theatre is seen on the south side of the Boulevard with the Hollywood Inn (previously Hotel Christie and Drake Hotel) in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(1966)##^* – Close-up view of the Egyptian Theatre at the premier of How to Steal a Million with Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole  

 

 

 

 
(1971)##^* – View looking at the southeast corner of Hollywood and Vine in front of the Taft Building, 3:28 p.m.  

 

 

 

 
(1974)^#^^ – View looking west on Hollywood Boulevard at Gower Street during the filming of "Earthquake".  Actress Victoria Principal is in the leather jacket standing by the curb. The Taft Building can be seen in the upper left.  

 

 

 

 
(1986)^#^ - View of Hollywood Boulevard looking west near Bronson Street. The Hollywood Hills can be seen in the distance.  

 

 

 

 

  (1979)##^* – View showing a group of people staking their place along the stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame as they wait in line to see Star Wars: The Empire Strikes.  Also seen on the billboard is Apocalypse Now and Black Stallion.

 

 

 

 

 

(1979)##^* – Looking down from the fire escape of the Broadway-Hollywood Building  with the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Ivar Avenue below.  The Security Pacific Bank (Security Trust and Savings Bank Building) stands on the northeast corner of Hollywood and Cahuenga.

 

 

 

 

 

M'Goo's Pizza

 
(1976)##^* – View looking east on Hollywood Boulevard toward Cherokee Avenue.  On the northeast corner stands Love’s BBQ Restaurant where Studio Cafe is today.  Across the street, on the northwest corner is M’Goo’s Pizza which today is a souvenir store. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  

 

Historical Notes

M'Goo's opened in 1959 at the northwest corner of Hollywood and Cherokee.  M'Goo's Food 'n Fun - was a fun old time Irish themed restaurant.  Owner Marty Bryman sold beer by the pound (6 lbs for $2.50) and champaign by the bubbles - in a glass slipper. +^+

 

 

 
(1972)##^* – View looking at the northwest corner of Hollywood Blvd and Cherokee Ave showing M’Goo’s Pizza.  

 

Historical Notes

M'Goo's was very popular with teenagers and tourists.  It was decorated like an old fashion pizza parlor. There was sawdust on the floor, little round tables and a high stage with a rinky-tink player piano.  M'Goo's offered up a variety of fare including pizza, spaghetti ravioli and the World Famous M'Goo Stew. Needless to say, it was a lively place with sing a-longs to old time music. (There was also a M'Goo's in Pasadena and Van Nuys).

M'Goo's stood here until a fire damaged the building in 1975. +^+

 

Famous Amos

 
(c.1976)##^* – View showing the Famous Amos Cookie Store located at 7181 Sunset Boulevard (N/E corner of Sunset and Formosa).  

 

Historical Notes

On March 10, 1975, Amos took the advice of some friends, and with $25,000 from singers Marvin Gaye and Helen Reddy, he opened a cookie store at 7181 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, naming it "Famous Amos".  In the first year he sold $300,000 worth of cookies, followed by more than $1,000,000 in sales in the store's second year of operation. By 1982 the company's revenues reached $12 million.

The store proved so popular that the "Famous Amos" brand eventually branched out to sell cookies in supermarkets, a move that would later be emulated by other specialty stores such as Baskin-Robbins, T.G.I. Fridays, and Starbucks.

In 1985 the meteoric rise began to slow down. That year the company lost $300,000 and had revenues of $10 million.  By 1988 the company lost $2.5 million. That year the Shansby Group purchased Famous Amos for $3 million. After one year as a paid spokesman for his sold company, Amos quit in frustration.

The Famous Amos brand has gone through a number of owners since inception. Between 1985 and 1989, the Famous Amos company went through four different owners.  In 1992 the President Baking Company purchased the brand from The Shansby Group. Then, in 1998, Keebler purchased the President Baking Company. It was then owned by Keebler until the Kellogg Company purchased Keebler in 2001. The brand is now a part of Kellogg's.*^

 

 

 
(2015)*### - Google Street View showing the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Formosa Avenue, now a Brazilian Restaurant called the Bossa Nova. Note the 'Famous Amos Square' sign in front of the restaurant.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, there is a sign commemorating the first Famous Amos store in Los Angeles, located at West Sunset Boulevard and North Formosa Avenue in Hollywood.

 

 

 

  (2011)++ - Sign at the corner of Sunset and Formosa reads: Famous Amos Square - Wally Amos Opened the Worlds First Chocolate Chip Cookie Store in 1975

 

Historical Notes

Wally Amos has created another brand of cookie called "Chip and Cookie", named after two characters he created in the 1980s. The Chip and Cookie brand is owned by Wally himself, and has a slightly different recipe than that of the Kellogg's variation.*^

 

 

Sunset Grill

 
(ca. 1970s)##^* – Night view showing the “Original” Sunset Grill located at 7439 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The original Sunset Grill was run by owner Joe Froehlich from 1957 to 1997 when he sold the business. The building was torn down, rebuilt and reopened. The burger joint neighbors the Rock Walk at the Guitar Center and gained fame from the Don Henley song "Sunset Grill". *^

 

 

 

 
(2007)*^ – View showing the new Sunset Grill Restaurant with Guitar Center next door to the east.  

 

Historical Notes

Kittykat Musik and Friends wrote several songs at The Sunset Grill, while on breaks from recording next door at the now close SUSHI KINGz basement. The now famous VEGGIE WRAP song by Kittykat, Jesus acobain, AJ King and Friends, was written there. *^

The restaurant remains popular and is known for celebrity musician spottings.

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(1989)^^^ - View of Hollywood from Mulholland Drive. The Hollywood Bowl can be seen in the foreground and the Hollywood Freeway is to the left. At top-center is the heart of Hollywood, around Hollywood and Vine. In the far distance can be seen Downtown L.A. and the Wilshire corridor.  

 

 

 

 
(1992)* - Aerial view of Hollywood, looking south from near where the 101 Freeway (foreground) crosses Vine Street. Various landmarks, streets, office buildings, businesses, and homes are visible throughout the image.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1990s)^##* – Night view looking south in Cahuenga Pass at the Mulholland Bridge with the Highland Avenue/Hollywood Bowl exit up ahead.  Lanes of the 101 on the left, Cahuenga Pass Road on the right.  

 

 

 

Mount Lee

 
(ca. 1938)* - View of the newly installed transmitter antenna and station building for Don Lee Broadcasting System's electronic television station W6XAO, located atop of Griffith Park's 1,700 ft. high Mt. Lee.   

 

Historical Notes

Mount Lee is named after early Los Angeles car dealer and radio station owner Don Lee. Lee, a one-time bicycle shop owner who became a protégé of Los Angeles pioneer businessman Earle C. Anthony, purchased the Los Angeles radio station KHJ from Times publisher Harry Chandler in 1927.

Part of Mount Lee was then sold to Howard Hughes, who intended to erect an estate for his then current love interest, Ginger Rogers. Ultimately, the Hughes-Rogers relationship soured, and the mansion was never built.  After utilization during the war by the U. S. Army, the property remained an idle asset for decades, and eventually became part of the Hughes estate.

In 2002, the Hughes estate sold 138 acres of their Mount Lee holdings to a group of Chicago investors. This opened up the possibility of development of four residential buildings adjacent to the sign. Many Angelinos, especially those in the movie industry, felt this would be sacrilege. A successful effort was mounted in 2010 to raise funds to purchase the land and add it to the adjacent Griffith Park.

Today, the large radio tower atop Mount Lee today is owned and operated by the City of Los Angeles. Smaller tenants on the site have included some federal government and amateur radio users.*^

 

 

 
(1949)* – View of a damaged “Hollywoodland” sign after a windstorm in January, 1949. Note the swimming pool on top of Mt. Lee adjacent to the transmitter tower and station building.  

 

Historical Notes

In January 1949 the H blew down in a windstorm, and nearby residents complained that the sign was a hazard and an eyesore. On January 6, the Recreation and Parks Commission announced that the sign would be torn down. They denied a request of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to alter and repair the sign to read Hollywood.

Several days later, Councilman Lloyd G. Davies (who represented Hollywood) introduced a resolution before the City Council that the Chamber of Commerce would repair the sign, at an estimated cost of $5,000, furnish bond to guarantee its maintenance and provide the city with proper liability coverage, if the parks commission would consent. Davies said his district was sensitive about becoming known as “ollywood.”

The parks commission later reversed its decision and allowed the first nine letters to be repaired and cut down the last four, to read HOLLYWOOD, therefore transforming it from a commercial display into a community one. ##**

 

 

 
(1960)* - A Northrop helicopter flies past the Hollywood Sign in 1960. The Don Lee Television station broadcasting antenna appears behind, on the top of Mount Lee.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1970s)*^ - View of the Hollywood Sign in disrepair during the 1970s.  

 

Historical Notes

Over the course of more than half a century, the sign, designed to stand for only 18 months, continued to sustain extensive damage and deterioration.*^

 

 

 
(1970s)**^* - The Hollywood sign went from a deteriorated wooden structure to today’s metal structure in the late 1970s.  

 

Historical Notes

By the 1970s, the first O had splintered and broken, resembling a lowercase u, and the third O had fallen down completely, leaving the severely dilapidated sign reading "HuLLYWO D".*^

In 1978, in large part because of the public campaign to restore the landmark by shock rocker Alice Cooper (who donated the missing O, the Chamber set out to replace the severely deteriorated sign with a more permanent structure. Nine donors gave $27,700 each (totaling $249,300) to sponsor replacement letters made of steel, guaranteed to last for many years.*^

 

 

 
(1978)* - Dismantling of the old Hollywood sign to make way for the new sign.  

 

 

 

 
(1978)**^* - For a short time during the reconstruction period the sign was completely gone from the mountain.  

 

Historical Notes

Following the 1978 public campaign to restore the sign, the following nine donors gave $27,777 each (which totaled $250,000):*^

H – Terrence Donnelly – publisher of the Hollywood Independent Newspaper
O – Giovanni Mazza – Italian movie producer
L – Les Kelley – originator of the Kelley Blue Book
L – unknown
Y – Hugh Hefner – founder of Playboy magazine
W – Andy Williams – singer
O – Warner Bros. Records
O – Alice Cooper – singer, who donated in memory of comedian Groucho Marx
D – Thomas Pooley — donated in the name of Matthew Williams

 

 

 
(1978)##*^ – The Hollywood Sign is up again! View of the restored Hollywood Sign on a clear winter day with the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1978)**^* - View of the newly reburbished Hollywood Sign.  

 

 

 

 
(1980)* - Photograph caption dated August 19, 1980 reads, "Actor Frank Verocca atop 'Hollywood' Sign with picket sign."  

 

Historical Notes

The strike and Emmy Awards boycott, which ran from July to October 25, 1980, led to a 32.25% increase in minimum salaries and a 4.5% share of movies made for pay TV.*

 

 

 
(1984)**^* - Painters working on the Hollywood sign to spruce it up for Olympics visitors. This view gives a true perspective of the size of the letters. A painter suspended on the side of the letter 'L' can be seen  

 

Historical Notes

The sign has been painted several times since it was installed, however a recent project completed on December 4, 2012, removed all of the old paint and the sign is now painted on both sides.**^*

 

 

 
(1995)**^* - Painters often have to climb the 45-foot letters from eight to 10 times a day while working on the job.  

 

 

 

 
(1988)* - A helicopter is seen flying an oversized Oscar statue over the Hollywood Sign in preparation for the 60th Academy Awards presentation on April 11, 1988 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.
 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Aerial view of the Hollywood sign on a crystal clear day. Over the crest of the Hollywood Hills can be spotted a plume of smoke in the distant San Gabriel Mountains.  

 

 

 

 
(1976)***^ - The Hollywood sign was altered to read HOLLYWeeD in January 1976, following the passage of a state law decriminalizing marijuana.  

 

Historical Notes

Although the city has occasionally allowed it in the past for commercial purposes, current policy does not permit changes to the Hollywood sign. This is largely due to neighborhood opposition and to past accidents. However, the sign has been unofficially altered a number of times, often eliciting a great deal of attention.

Click HERE to see a list of alterations.*^

 

 

 
(1976)#* - View looking up toward the Hollywood Hills showing the "HOLLYWEED" sign.  

 

Historical Notes

The HOLLYWOOD sign was altered to read ‘HOLLYWeeD’ in January 1976, following the passage of a state law decriminalizing marijuana.

 

 

 
(1986)* - The placement by helicopter of the 45-foot-by-45-foot Roman numeral II was one of several projects sponsored by Hollywood II, a coalition of citizens and businesses promoting the revitalization of Hollywood as a major area for growth.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 
(1987)* - Movie characters and look-alikes, such as Laurel and Hardy, Woody Woodpecker, pose under the Hollywood sign on the occasion of its sale to Universal Studios for advertising purposes.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(2005)*^ - Close-up view of the Hollywood sign as seen from Hollywood Blvd with a telephoto lens.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2013)*#^^ - Panormaic view of the Hollywood Hills showing the Hollywood Sign and Mt. Lee, with the San Fernando Valley in the background. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of the San Fernando Valley.  

 

 

 

 

Before and After

 
(ca. 1905)^^ - View of Mt. Lee circa 1905. (2013)*#^^ - View of Mt. Lee as it appears today.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(2010)*### – Panoramic view looking northwest showing the iconic Hollywood Tower, appearing to be surrounded by palm trees with sign for the Hollywood Freeway on-ramp in lower-left.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2015)*### - Google Earth view looking west showing the Hollywood Tower (lower-right) and the Capitol Records Building standing tall on opposite sides of what appears to be an empty Hollywood Freeway.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1980)* – Night scene showing the Hollywood Freeway heading north toward the San Fernando Valley.  In view is the Sunset Boulevard overpass and exits for both Hollywood and Sunset boulevards.  

 

 

 

 
(2011)^##* - Hollywood and Vine - One of the most famous intersections in the world.  

 

 

 

 
(1970)##^* - Aerial view looking southwest showing a helicopter hovering over Hollywood. The intersection of Hollywood and Vine is at upper center-left and the Capitol Records Building stands tall at center-right.  

 

 

 
(1978)*- View looking north from the southwest corner of Hollywood and Vine showing Howard Johnson's across the street and the Capitol Records Building in the distance.  The northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine has a long and rich history of being occuppied by well known restaurants and nightclubs over the years.+  

 

Historical Notes

+ In 1915, at the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine Street sat the home of early Hollywood pioneer and land speculator George Hoover. Hoover was part of the L.A. Pacific Boulevard and Development Company. He was also president of Hollywood's first bank - the Bank of Hollywood and was one of the builders of the fashionable Hollywood Hotel (located at Hollywood and Highland). 

In 1925 German immigrant and movie maker Carl Laemmle purchased the property from George Hoover for $350,000. Laemmle was president of Universal Pictures Corporation and had a very successful movie studio in the San Fernando Valley. In 1932, Carl Laemmle opened the one story CoCo Tree Café on this corner.

In 1940, restaurateur Sidney Hoedemaker of the Pig 'n' Whistle - Melody Lane chain, leased the northwest corner Hollywood and Vine transformed it into a Melody Lane Restaurant. This would be followed by Hody's Restaurant in 1954, Howard Johnson's in 1971, and the Brown Derby in the 1980s. The site became a slew of struggling retail and nightclubs such as; Premiere, Jack's Sugar Shack, the Deep, and finally the Basque nightclub. In April 2008 the building went up in flames and the lot has been empty since. #^**

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)***^ - View of the Capitol Records Building during the holidays. Each year, they add the Xmas tree to help make the city a little more festive.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1950s)##^* - View looking south on Vine Street as seen from the Hollywood Freeway. Spotlights illuminate the sky wih beams of light. From left to right are the: Capitol Records Building, The Broadway-Hollywood Building, and the Hotel Knickerbocker.  

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Outline of Griffith Observatory is silhouetted against the brilliance of Hollywood lights. Night view taken from Mt. Hollywood.  

 

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Los Angeles lights from the Hollywood Hills.  

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - View of Hollywood from the hills during what appears to be a movie premier. The First National Bank with tower can be seen on the right.  

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - Night view of tropical palms silhouetted against the brilliance of a Hollywood movie premiere. On left: First National Bank Building with tower. Center: Paramount Theatre. Right: Roosevelt Hotel. Photo taken from the Hollywood Hills Hotel.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2008)* - The 77th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade on Hollywood Boulevard.  

 

 

 

 

TCL Chinese Theatre

 
(2014)#**^ - Front view of the TCL Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard as it appears today.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1968, Grauman's Chinese Theatre was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 55 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

In 2013, the world famous Chinese Theatre teamed up with one of China’s biggest electronics manufacturers, TCL, aka “The Creative Life” in a 10-year naming rights partnership. 

 

 

 

Hollywood and Highland Center

 
(2006)*^ – View showing the entrance to the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, once the location of the famed Hollywood Hotel. Part of the iconic First National Bank Building can be seen on the right (N/E corner of Hollywood and Highland). Note the large elephant statue at center-left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hollywood & Highland Center is a shopping mall and entertainment complex at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The 387,000-square-foot center also includes TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and Mann's Chinese Theatre) and the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre), home to the Academy Awards. The historic site was once the home of the famed Hollywood Hotel. Located in the heart of Hollywood, along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it is among the most visited tourist destinations in Los Angeles.*^

 

 

 

 

 
(2016)^^^^ – View showing people walking up the stairs leading to the Hollywood and Highland Center courtyard.  

 

Historical Notes

The complex sits just across Hollywood Blvd. from the El Capitan Theatre and offers views of the Hollywood Hills and Hollywood Sign to the north, Santa Monica Mountains to the west and downtown Los Angeles to the east.

 

 

 

 

 
(2016)^^^^ – View showing the courtyard’s massive archway and one of two pillars with elephant sculptures on top, inspired by the Babylon scene in the epic silent movie Intolerance.  The Loews Hotel is seen on the left.  Three pedestrian bridges across the archway allow visitors to get a good view of the Hollywood Sign (barely visible) in the distance.  

 

Historical Notes

The centerpiece of the complex is a massive three-story courtyard inspired by the Babylon scene from the 1916 D.W. Griffith film Intolerance. The developer of the shopping center built part of the archway and two pillars with elephant sculptures on the capitals, just as seen in the film, to the same full scale. It gives visitors an idea of how large the original set must have been.

 

 

 

 

 
(2016)^^^^ – Closer view showing one of the two huge pillars that bookend the archway, with sitting elephant on its top.  

 

Historical Notes

Click HERE to see the Babylon scene, from the D.W. Griffith film Intolerance, that inspired the Hollywood and Highland Center courtyard.

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

 
(2015)##^# – Aerial view on a crystal clear day showing the Hollywood Hills,  Hollywood Sign, and the San Fernando Valley in the distance.  Photo by Mike Kelley  

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)#* - View looking toward the Hollywood HIlls showing the Hollywood Sign, Mt. Lee tower, and palm trees.  

 

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)++# - Telephoto view looking northwest showing Mt. Lee tower, Griffith Observatory, and the HOLLYWOOD Sign.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2011)##*# - View of Downtown Los Angeles from behind the Hollywood Sign.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2012)#* - Space Shuttle Endeavour makes its final flight to LAX on September 21, 2012 as it passes over Disney Hall and the Hollywood Sign.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2007)*^ – NASA satellite view of the Hollywood Sign.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2011)##^^ - The Hollywood Sign – A True Historical Landmark!  

 

Historical Notes

In 1977, the Hollywood Sign and the land underneath (Griffith Park perimeter) was designated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 111 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

More Historical Early Views

 

 

Newest Additions

 

 

Early LA Buildings and City Views

 

 

History of Water and Electricity in Los Angeles

 

 

* * * * *

 

References and Credits

* LA Public Library Image Archive

^^ USC Digital Library

^*California Historic Landmark Listing (Los Angeles)

^ California Historical Society Digital Archive

** Retronaut - Hollywoodland Sign

++ Glide Magazine

#* Pinterest - California and DailyBreeze.com; Mid Century Hollywood; Been There: Hollywod Sign; "HOLLYWEED" Sign

*^#LosAngelesPast.com: Cahuenga Pass

^^#LA Times: 'Swing in, pig out, drive off'; Hollywood Bond Cavalcade; Sunset Vine Tower; Taft Building; Pickwick Bookshop

^#^UCLA Digital Archives

***The Story of Hollywood by Gregory Paul Williams

**^Table Magazine: LA Observatory

**+Hollywood Renegades Archive: "The Lot"

++^US101 - Socalregion.com

**#Beguiling Hollywood: The Hollywood Hotel

^**Huntington Digital Library Archive

*^*MTA Transportation and Research Library Archives

^^*Cinema Treasures:Ricardo Montabaln Theater

^^^California State Library Image Archive

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

^+^Cool Culinaria: Restaurateur Mike Lyman

+^*Jewish Museum of the American West: Restaurateur Al Levy

+^^Don Lee Mutual Broadcasting Building

+^+GoGoNotes.blogspot.com: Hollywood and Cherokee

++#Facebook.com: Photos of Los Angeles

*++Gorillas Don’t Blog

****Wehadfacesthen.tumblr.com

**^^Radio City Hollywood

*^^*Photos of Vintage Los Angeles: Facebook.com; Palladium; Capitol Records; Cruising Hollywood Blvd; Masonic Temple; Hody's Coffee Shop

^^^^Water and Power Associates

*^#*Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

*^*#Pinterest.com: Favorite Places and Spaces

**^*LA Daily News: Hollywood Sign Celebrates its 90th Birthday

***#Art Deco Architecture: LA Radio City

**##MartinTurnbull: Cross Roads of the World; Biff's Coffee Shop

^^##Alison Martino's Vintage Los Angeles: Wallichs Music City

++##Grauman's Chinese.org: Academy Awards

#+#+Getty Research Institute

*#^^Flickr.com - Daniel Pouliot

*##*Squidoo.com: Lawrence Welk

*##^The Daily Meal: Formosa Cafe

^##*Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson; Baytram366; Melody Lane

^###Uncanny.net: Hollywood Pacific Electric Line

^#*#Bellaonline.com: Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland

+#+#Flickr,com

^#^*Flickr.com: Los Angeles - Back in the Day

^#^^Facebook.com - Vintage LA: Hollywood Palladium; Hollywood and Gower; Hollywood and Vine; Sunset & Vine; Capitol Records Building; United Methodist Church; Hollywood Ranch Market; Wallichs Music City; Tiny Naylors

^^#^History of the Samuel Goldwyn Studio

^^^#KCET's First Hollywood Home: The Historic Mutual-Don Lee Studios

#^**The Go Go's: Local Coffee Shops and Diners

^*#*Pinterest - Memories in the SFV 50's, 60's, & 70's

^**#Hollywood Bowl Philpedia

^*##Vintage Inspired California - marinachetner.com

^*^^Pomona Public Library Poscard Collection

^*^#Facebook.com - Bizarre Los Angeles

#**^Starlinetours.com: TLC Chinese Theatre

#**#Facebook.com: Garden of Allah Novels, Martin Turnbull

#*^#Historic Hollywood Theatres: Warner Bros. Hollywood Theatre

#^*#TheHollywoodMuseum.com: Max Factor Building

#^**The Go Go's: N/W Corner of Hollywood and Vine

#^^^Once Upon a Screen: Hollywood Canteen

#^#^Groceteria.com: A&P History

##**The Story of the Hollywood Sign: allanellenberger.com

##*^The Hollywood Sign: hollywoodsign.org

##*#Flickr.com: Paul Bajerczak

#*##Electric Railway Historic Association: Hollywood PE Line

##^*Facebook.com: Classic Hollywood-Los Angeles-SFV

##^^halfcoastal.com: The Hollywood Sign

***^Pinterest: Travel The World: 'HOLLYWEED'; Los Angeles and Hollywood

*^^ Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles:  Vogue Theater; Hollywood Blvd Night 1930s; Hollywood and Vine ca.56

*^*^#Facebook.com: West San Fernando Valley Then And Now

^^***Pinterest: Diners

^^*^*Los Angeles Magazine: Capitol Records Building Christmas

^^*^^sittininthehills64.blogspot.com: Hollywood Views

*^^**Blogspot.com: Hollywood HoJo

*^#^*Vintage Everyday

*#^#*Broadcast Archive: KNBH

^#^#^LA Curbed: Al Levy's Tavern

^###^Flickr.com: timetravelnow

*# Skyscraperage.com. - Griffith Observatory; CBS West Coast Headquarters; LA Fun Map; NBC Hollywood Radio City; Cross Roads of the World; Hollywood and Vine; Orchid Ave and Hollywood Blvd; Max Factor Building; Cahuenga and Yucca St.; Vine and Sunset; PE on Fairfax and Santa Monica; Sunset and Vine 1960

*^ Wikipedia: Hollywood; Hollywood Athletic Club; Hollywood Bowl; Grauman's Chinese Theatre; Grauman's Egyptian Theatre; Pantages Theatre (Hollywood); John Hanson Ford Theatre; 20th Century Fox; Samuel Goldwyn.Studio; Barnsdall Art Park; Greek Theatre; Griffith Observatory; Cinerama Dome; Ralphs; Hollywood Palladium; Hollywood and Vine; Hollywood Masonic Temple; Hollywood Pacific Theatre; Max Factor; West Hollywood; Brown Derby; Hollywood Christmas Parade; Tom Breneman; Schwab's Pharmacy; Capitol Records Building; CBS Columbia Square; West Coast Radio City - Los Angeles; Crossroads of the World; Hollywood Sign; Lawrence Welk; Du-Par's Restaurant; Formosa Cafe; Hollywood Walk of Fame; Marilyn Monroe; John C. Austin; KFWB; The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl; 2005 Hollywood Sign; Rexall - Owl Drug Store; Hollywood Canteen; KABC; Wallichs Music City; Thrifty Drug Stores; Lasky-DeMille Barn; Mt. Lee; The Wizard of Oz ; Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; Eddie Cochran; Guarantee Building; Hollywood United Methodist Church; Carolina Pines, Jr.; Vista Theatre

 

< Back