Early Views of Hollywood (1920 +)

Historical Photos of Early Hollywood
 
(ca. 1931)^** – Panoramic view showing the the Sunset Medical Building (aka “Crescent Heights Shopping Center”) located on the south side of Sunset at Laurel.  The Crescent Heights Market is on the right, and further to the right (out of frame) is Schwab's Pharmacy. On the left is Haverfield Drugs. West Hollywood is west of Crescent Heights.  

 

Historical Notes

The beautiful 1920s 'French Norman revival' building was located on the southeast corner of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Heights Blvd., just east of the Garden of Allah apartments. The structure faced Sunset Blvd.

 

 

 

 
(1928)#**# – View showing Haverfield Drugs at the northeast corner of Sunset and Laurel Canyon Blvd., across the street from the Crescent Heights Market and Schwab’s Pharmacy.  The building is still standing today and a UPS Store now occupies the corner store.  Click HERE for contemporary view.  

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
 
(ca. 1930)^** vs. (2016)*### - View looking southeast from the corner of Laurel Canyon and Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the 8000 Sunset Strip Shopping Center stands at the southeast corner of Sunset and Crescent Heights. The center includes Trader Joe's, CB2 (Crate & Barrel), Sundance Cinema, Crunch Fitness, Subway and several offices.

 

 

Schwab's Pharmacy

 
(1940s)*^^* – Postcard view looking at the south side of Sunset east of Crescent Heights showing “Movieland’s Drug Store” (Schwab’s Pharmacy).  

 

Historical Notes

Schwab's Pharmacy was a popular hangout for movie actors and movie industry dealmakers from the 1930s through the 1950s. Like many drug stores in the United States throughout the mid-twentieth century, Schwab's sold medicines and had a counter serving ice cream dishes and light meals.

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^x^ – Close-up view of Schwab’s Pharmacy at 8024 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

Opened in 1932 by the Schwab brothers, Schwab's Pharmacy in Hollywood became the most famous and longest operating outlet of their small retail chain.*^

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^x^ - View showing Sidney Skolsky, a gossip columnist, in front of Schwab’s Pharmacy on Sunset Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Sidney Skolsky, a syndicated Hollywood gossip columnist for the New York Daily News who was the first journalist to use the nickname "Oscar" for the Academy Award in print, made Schwab's famous in the 1930s. He used the drugstore as his office, and called his column in Photoplay, the premiere movie magazine in the U.S. at the time, "From A Stool At Schwab's".

 

 

 

(ca. 1960s) ##^* - View showing Schwab's Pharmacy after it was enlarged and given a new facelift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Notes

A persistent Hollywood legend has it that actress Lana Turner was "discovered" by director Mervyn LeRoy while at the soda counter at Schwab's. While the 16-year-old Turner was indeed discovered at a soda counter, the actual location was not Schwab's but another Sunset Boulevard establishment, the Top Hat Cafe, and the person who discovered her was not LeRoy but Hollywood Reporter publisher William Wilkerson.*^

 

 

 

 
(1980)* - Exterior of Schwab's Pharmacy at 8024 Sunset Boulevard, in West Hollywood.  

Historical Notes

Schwab's closed its doors in October 1983. Five years later, on October 6, 1988, Schwab's was demolished to make way for a shopping complex and multiplex theater.*^

 

 

Googie's Coffee Shop

 
(1950s)*# - View showing Schwab’s Pharmacy and Googie’s Coffee Shop near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights. Note the signboard on the right advertises the sport of Jai Alai at the Fronton Palace in Tijuana, Mexico.  

 

Historical Notes

The origin of the name Googie dates to 1949, when architect John Lautner designed the West Hollywood coffee shop Googies, which had distinct architectural characteristics.  The name "Googie" had been a family nickname of Lillian K. Burton, the wife of the original owner, Mortimer C. Burton.*^

 

 

 

 
(1952)##^* - View showing Schwab’s Pharmacy and its neighbor, Googie’s Coffee Shop near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights.  

The Origins of Googie Architectrure

Alan Hess, the author of Googie: Fifties Coffeeshop Architecture, traces Googie 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.

Lautner originated the style that would be refined and reinterpreted by many others. Unintentionally, he also gave the style a name when, in 1949, he designed Googie's coffee shop at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights in Los Angeles.

Professor Douglas Haskell of Yale was driving through Los Angeles when he and architectural photographer Julius Shulman came upon Googie's. "Stop the car!" Haskell yelled. "This is Googie architecture." While Haskell was dubious about the style, he made the name "Googie architecture" stick by using it in a 1952 article in House and Home magazine.***##

 

 

 
(ca. 1957)^#^^ – View looking east on Sunset at Crescent Heights in West Hollywood as seen from the passenger seat of a long nose V8 bomb sight Buick.  On the right is the original high style Googie's Coffee Shop and landmark Schwabs Drug Store.  

 

 

 

 
(1950s)##+ – Picture of James Dean in front of the Googie’s Coffee Shop at Sunset and Crescent Heights.  

 

 

 

West Hollywood

 
(2016)+++ - Map of West Hollywood (WeHo). West Hollywood is bounded on the north by the Hollywood Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, on the east by the Hollywood district of Los Angeles, on the southeast by the Fairfax district of Los Angeles, on the southwest by the district of Beverly Grove, and on the west by the city of Beverly Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

West Hollywood, colloquially referred to as WeHo, was incorporated in 1984 and is home to the famous Sunset Strip.  The irregular boundary of the town is featured in the city logo, and was largely formed from the unincorporated area that had not become part of the surrounding cities (Los Angeles and Beverly Hills).*^

West Hollywood owes its existence to one of Southern California's first interurban electric railways, the Pasadena and Pacific. Assembled by Moses H. Sherman and his brother-in-law Eli P. Clark from failed and fragmentary predecessors, the Pasadena and Pacific connected the booming city of Los Angeles with the beach town of Santa Monica. Along the way, it crossed a sprawling coastal plain dotted with marshes, tar pits, and citrus groves. Today's Santa Monica Boulevard traces the railway's route across what was then called the Cahuenga Valley.^^^#

 

 

 

Early West Hollywood (Town of "Sherman")

 
(1922)^^ – Aerial view of Sherman (later West Hollywood) looking northeast with Santa Monica Boulevard running diagonally from lower-left to center, past La Cienega Boulevard, where it turns east and heads toward Hollywood (at the time Colegrove).  The original settlement of Sherman is visible along the left edge of the photo, next to the rail yard.  

 

Historical Notes

During the final decade years of the nineteenth century, the first large land development in what would later become West Hollywood—the town of "Sherman"—was established by Moses Sherman and his partners of the Los Angeles Pacific Railroad, an interurban railroad line which later became part of the Pacific Electric Railway system. Sherman became the location of the railroad's main shops, railroad yards, and "car barns". Many working-class employees of the railroad settled in this town.  It was during this time that the city began to earn its reputation as a loosely regulated, liquor-friendly (during Prohibition) place for eccentric people wary of government interference.

For years, farms and open fields separated the town of Sherman from the neighboring communities of Colegrove and Hollywood (an independent city from 1903 to 1910). Though connected by the tracks of the Pasadena and Pacific—later bounded on each side by paved roadways for motor cars and named Santa Monica Boulevard—it was not until the early 1920s that the growing Los Angeles metropolis met the street grid of Sherman. ^^^#

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)*^* - View of the Pacific Electric's Sherman rail yard, current location of the Pacific Design Center.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1896, Sherman and Clark built a rail yard and power plant at roughly the midpoint between Los Angeles and Santa Monica, where today's Santa Monica and San Vicente boulevards intersect.

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1928)^^ – Aerial view looking north showing West Hollywood (Sherman until 1925) with the Hollywood Hills seen in the background.  What would become Beverly Boulevard runs horizontally at center of photo and Third Street is at bottom.  Robertson Boulevard runs away from camera at left and dog legs up toward Santa Monica Boulevard.  The Sherman train yard (upper center-left) sits near the intersection of San Vicente and Santa Monica boulevards.  In the foreground is a large dirt arena and a stable housing the Los Angeles Riding Academy which is on property now occupied by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.  

 

Historical Notes

For many years, the area that is now the city of West Hollywood was an unincorporated area in the midst of Los Angeles. Because gambling was illegal in the city of Los Angeles, but still legal in Los Angeles County, the 1920s saw the proliferation of many casinos, night clubs, etc., along Sunset Boulevard (which starts in downtown Los Angeles and runs westward). These businesses were immune from the sometimes heavy-handed law-enforcement of the L.A. Police Department.

In 1925, in a controversial decision, Sherman adopted "West Hollywood", "...a moniker pioneered earlier in the decade by the West Hollywood Realty Board" as its informal name, though it remained under the governance of Los Angeles County.*^

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1931)^^ - Aerial view of West Hollywood looking northeast. The wide street running from lower-left to upper-right is Santa Monica Boulevard. In the right-center is the Sherman train yard where the Pacific Design Center stands today.  

 

Historical Notes

Beginning in 1922, Sherman's population boomed. As the town's development began to merge with that of Hollywood, by then a part of the City of Los Angeles, some in both Sherman and the metropolis began speaking of annexation.

Los Angeles promptly annexed several large but mostly vacant tracts surrounding Sherman; the 1,203-acre Fairfax district became part of Los Angeles with the unanimous approval of its 16 residents, and a 7-0 vote joined the 430-acre Melrose district with L.A.

L.A. easily incorporated these vast tracts into its city limits without contention, but Sherman was an established community with an independent identity, and the issue of annexation divided Sherman's population and business interests. Realtors supported it, arguing that future development depended on access to Los Angeles' sewer and fire protection services. Sherman's Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce opposed joining the city, however, fearful of increased property taxes.

Ultimately the anti-annexationist forces prevailed. Instead of relying on L.A.'s utility connections and public services, Sherman financed construction of its own sewer system and relied upon the county for police and fire protection services. ^^^#

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1933)^^ -  View looking southwest on the 8500 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, between San Vicente and La Cienega boulevards, in West Hollywood. Railroad tracks run down the center of the street.  

 

Historical Notes

The tracks running down the center of Santa Monica Boulevard became part of the Pacific Electric Railway in 1911 and carried red cars until 1941. They then remained largely unused for decades, serving the occasional Southern Pacific freight train through the 1970s. It was not until 1999 that the West Hollywood segment of the tracks were dug up and replaced by a landscaped median.^^^#

Click HERE to see same view in 2016.

 

 

 
(1933)^^ - Blow-up view of previous photo showing the Art Deco building at 8572 Santa Monica Boulevard with large sign reading: Molins & Son Draperies. Tenant also includes Fearless Camera Co. & Cinema Sound Co.  

 

 

Then

 
(1933)^.^ – View looking west on Santa Monica Boulevard toward Westbourne Drive.  The building seen on the NW corner (center-right) is still there.  This was taken at around 8612 Santa Monica, which puts it approximately where LA Fitness now stands.  

 

 

Now

 
(2018)*### – Google street view looking west on Santa Monica toward Westbourne Drive.  Note that the building on the NW corner is still there (compare to previous photo).  

 

 

 

 
(1929)^^ – Richfield Service Station at 7786 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood (2 blocks East of Fairfax). Note the pedestal-mounted racecar on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

Gas Stations used to be called service stations ... they would rush to your car, check the water and oil, put air in your tires, wash your windows, and pump your gas.

Click HERE to see more Early Views of LA Gas Stations.

 

 

 

 
(1929)^^ - Closer view showing the pumps at the Richfield Service Station located on the southeast corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Ogden Avenue in West Hollywood. Today, a parking lot occupies this space.  

 

 

Sunset Boulevard

 
(ca. 1935)^^ – View of the Venetian Studio Furniture Store located at 8811 Sunset Boulevard (north side of Sunset between Larrabee Street and Horn Ave). The clapboard store at center is a rundown structure with light-colored walls and a flat roof. Large rectangular windows can be seen along the front side of the building. Several tables and chairs are in front of the building. An early automobile can be seen parked at right near a service station. Legible signs include, from left to right: "Repairing Refinishing Upholstering", "Venetian Studio", "Hand Made Period Furniture", "Lubrication", "Batteries, Tires and Ignitions". Click HERE to see contemporary view of 8811 Sunset Blvd.  

 

 

 

 
(1936)#**# – View looking east along the 8800 block of Sunset Boulevard (San Vicente Blvd to Horn Ave).  

 

 

 

 

 
(1941)^.^ – Same view looking east along the 8800 block of Sunset Boulevard 5 years later, after the street was widened. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  

 

 

 

Sunset Tower

 
(1930s)^*^# – View looking through a Eucalyptus Tree down toward the Sunset Tower. The Art Deco apartment building is located at 8358 Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed in 1929 by architect Leland A. Bryant, opened in 1931, the Sunset Tower  is considered one of the finest examples of Art Deco architecture in the Los Angeles area..*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1930s)*^^* - View, looking northwest, of the Sunset Tower Apartment Building in the Hollywood Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

The Art Deco Sunset Tower Hotel has served as the residence for many celebrities, including Frank Sinatra, Howard Hughes, Elizabeth Taylor, Zasu Pitts, Bugsy Siegel, Errol Flynn and Marilyn Monroe. Additionally, it has appeared in a number of films and books.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1930)***^ - View of the Sunset Strip in the early 1930s. The Sunset Tower Apartment Building is the tallest building in the area. Click HERE to see contemporary view.  

 

 

 

 
(1933)^^ - Sunset Tower Apartments at 8358 Sunset Boulevard as seen from a gas station across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally operated as a luxury apartment hotel, it was one of the first high-rise reinforced concrete buildings in California. When it was completed in August 1931 at a cost of $750,000, the Los Angeles Times reported: "What is described to be the tallest apartment-house in Los Angeles County, rising 15 stories or 195 feet, was completed last week at Kings Road and Sunset Boulevard by W.I. Moffett, general contractor, for E.M. Fleming, owner." *^

 

 

 
(n.d.)* - An art deco masterpiece, the Sunset Tower Apartments, located at 8358 Sunset Boulevard.    

 

Historical Notes

In 1933, the Los Angeles Times ran an article about the trend toward luxurious penthouse apartments in the city and noted that Sunset Tower boasted the city's highest penthouse: "It is the highest in the city and due to the location of the fifteen-story structure that supports it, its tenants live on a level with the tower of the Los Angeles City Hall. Imagine the view!" John Wayne, Howard Hughes, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Buss and novelist James Wohl lived in the penthouse at different times, and Hughes reportedly also rented some of the lower apartments for his girlfriends or mistresses. Other former residents include Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Caine, Quincy Jones, Roger Moore, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Billie Burke, Joseph Schenck, Paulette Goddard, Zasu Pitts, George Stevens, Preston Sturges, and Carol Kane.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1933)^^^ - Close-up view of the Sunset Tower Apartments showing the details of the bas-relief near the top of the building.  

 

Historical Notes

The building is decorated with plaster friezes of plants, animals, zeppelins, mythological creatures and Adam and Eve.*^

 

 

 
(1940s)*# – View looking up at the Sunset Tower Apartments from the De Longpre Avenue side of the building.  

 

 

 

 
(1955)***^ - Full view of the Sunset Tower Apartments showing the Art Deco design details, especially at the top of the building.  

 

 

 

 

 
(1979)* - Looking out upon West Hollywood from a balcony at the Sunset Hyatt Hotel (later Andaz West Hollywood), showing the neighborhood and the iconic Sunset Tower; Downtown Los Angeles is partially visible through the haze on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Sunset Tower Apartment building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

After a period of decline in the early 1980s, the building was renovated and has been operated as a luxury hotel under the names The St. James's Club, The Argyle, and most recently the Sunset Tower Hotel.*^

 

 

 

 
(2005)*^ – View showing the Sunset Tower Hotel located at 8358 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The building was saved from deterioration and possible demolition when it was purchased in 1985 from architect David Lawrence Gray, FAIA by Peter de Savary who promised to "lovingly restore" the building to its former glory by spending $25 million to convert the building into the first American branch of his luxury hotel chain, the St. James's Club.

The Lancaster Group purchased the hotel from de Savary in 1992, renaming it the Argyle.

In 2004, Jeff Klein purchased the hotel.  Klein hired designer Paul Fortune to renovate the hotel, adding more modern amenities, and restored its original name. *^

 

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Club Casanova

 
(ca. 1936)* - View of Sunset Boulevard in the city of West Hollywood showing the Casanova Club located at 8383 Sunset Blvd. A large castle-like tower can be seen in the distance (center-top). This is the famous Chateau Marmont Hotel, located at 8221 Sunset Blvd.  

 

Historical Notes

Sunset Boulevard, a long winding thoroughfare that begins in downtown Los Angeles and runs westward over 20 miles, ends at the Pacific Ocean near Malibu. The best-known portion of the boulevard is the mile and a half stretch between Hollywood and Beverly Hills, known as "The Sunset Strip".*

The Chateau Marmont Hotel was a great castle on the hill inspired by the architecture of the Loire Valley in France was built in 1927, opened in 1929 as an apartment house, and was changed to a hotel in 1931, becoming the "Hotel to the Stars".*

 

 

 
(ca. 1936)**## – Close-up view showing the Club Casanova located at 8383 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip.  

 

Historical Notes

The Club Casanova opened in August 1936 and lasted only 16 months.  In 1937, it became U-Gene’s Bagdad Café, then two years later, Bow’s Inn.

Today, the Saddle Ranch Chop House stands at this location, on the N/E corner of Sunset and N. Kings Rd.

 

 

Players Nightclub

 
(ca. 1940)*#*# - View showing the Players Nightclub at 8225 Sunset Boulevard, opened by director Preston Sturges during the Summer of 1940. The Chateau Marmont is on the right.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1940 Preston Sturges, successful Hollywood writer and director, opened Players Nightclub. Stars and writers made it their home base. Humphrey Bogart, Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley, George S. Kaufman (writer of several Marx Brothers movies), and Donald Ogden Stewart (screenwriter of 1938’s Marie Antoinette and 1940’s The Philadelphia Story) all got smashed on The Players’ drinks, which were said to be the most potent in town.

Barbara Stanwyck (Sturges’ leading lady in The Lady Eve), Orson Welles (who stayed next door at the Chateau Marmont when he first came to Hollywood), Joel McCrea (who starred in three of Sturges’ pictures), Rudy Vallee, director William Wyler, and writer William Faulkner were all regulars at their friend’s establishment. Multi-millionaire Howard Hughes became a regular guest. He often dined on the top floor, frequently preferring to eat alone.**##

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^#^^ - Closer view of Players Nightclub on the Sunset Strip with homes perched on hillside in the background. Sign on front balcony reads: "Preston Sturges Presents"  

 

Historical Notes

At its peak during WWII, The Players was a three-level extravaganza with a restaurant on each floor. There was a barbershop on the mezzanine level. Sturges also built a dinner theatre/dance floor with a revolving, hydraulic stage. Later still, he added a burger stand  for the tourist trade.

The Players never broke even and, by 1953, the burger stand was the only part of The Players still open for business.**##

Over time, Player’s Club became the Imperial Gardens, the Roxbury and Miyagi's. In 2012 Harry Morton, oil-slick heir of Hard Rock Café founder Peter Morgan, chose the site for the second location of his Mexican restaurant chain The Pink Taco. During renovations his work crews discovered the revolving stage, the dance floor and the infamous secret tunnel connecting to the Chateau Marmont.^^^#

 

 

Chateau Marmont Hotel

 
(1940s)^^^ – Photo showing the Chateau Marmont Hotel located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1926 Fred Horowitz, a prominent Los Angeles attorney, chose the site at Marmont Lane and Sunset Boulevard to construct an apartment building. Horowitz had recently traveled to Europe for inspiration and returned to California with photos of a Gothic Chateau along the Loire River. In 1927 Horowitz commissioned his brother-in-law, European-trained architect Arnold A. Weitzman, to design the seven-story, L-shaped building based on his French photos. When deciding upon a name for the building, Chateau Sunset and Chateau Hollywood were rejected in favor of Chateau Marmont, a name conceived by the small street running across the front of the property.

On February 1, 1929, Chateau Marmont opened its doors to the public as the newest residence of Hollywood. Local newspapers described the Chateau as “Los Angeles’s newest, finest and most exclusive apartment house ... superbly situated, close enough to active businesses to be accessible and far enough away to insure quiet and privacy.”

Due to the high rents and inability to keep tenants for long-term commitments during the depression, Fred Horowitz chose to sell the apartment building to Albert E. Smith for $750,000 in cash. The following year, Chateau Marmont was converted into a hotel. The apartments became suites with kitchens and living rooms. The property was also refurbished with antiques from depression-era estate sales.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1995)* – View of the Chateau Marmont Hotel as seen from the Hollywood Hills.  

 

Historical Notes

Designed and constructed to be earthquake proof, Chateau Marmont survived major earthquakes in 1933, 1953, 1971, 1987 and 1994 without sustaining any major structural damage. Nine Spanish cottages were built next to the hotel in the 1930s and were acquired by the hotel in the 1940s. Craig Ellwood designed two of the four bungalows in 1956, after he completed Case Study Houses.*^

In 1976, Chateau Marmont was dedicated LA Historic-Cultural Monument No. 151 (Click HERE to see complete listing).

 

 

 
(2006)*^ - View showing the Chateau Marmont Hotel located on the Sunset Strip, 8225 Marmont Lane and 8221 Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

When celebrities visiting Los Angeles want to be seen, they often go to the Beverly Hills Hotel. When they wish to keep out of the limelight they often stay at the Marmont.

The fact that tourists rarely discover the hotel is one of the reasons why stars like Marilyn Monroe, Nicole Kidman, Robert DeNiro, Josh Hartnett, Scarlet Johansson, Lindsay Lohan, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Greta Garbo, Keanu Reeves, Leonardo DiCaprio, Matthew McConaughey, Sarah Jessica Parker, and the Eagles have all stayed for extended periods. ^^+

 

Club Seville

 
(ca. 1938)#**# – Life Magazine photo showing Club Seville (later Ciro's and today The Comedy Store) located at 8433 Sunset Boulevard.  To its left is the Hacienda Arms Apartments (built in 1927).  

 

Historical Notes

The Club Seville opened New Year’s Eve 1935 and featured a crystal dance floor with subsurface fish, fountains and colored lights in its Crystal Marine Room.  In 1940, the building got a face-lift and became known as Ciro’s Nightclub (1940 – 1957).  Click HERE for contemporary view.

 

Ciro's Nightclub

 
(ca. 1940)^#*#^ – Panoramic view showing Ciro’s Nightclub located at the T-intersection of Sunset Boulevard and N. Olive Drive.  

 

Historical Notes

Ciro's (later known as Ciro's Le Disc) was a nightclub in West Hollywood located at 8433 Sunset Boulevard, on the Sunset Strip. It opened in January 1940 by entrepreneur William Wilkerson. Herman Hover took over management of Ciro's in 1942 until it closed its doors in 1957.

Co-founder Wilkerson also opened Cafe Trocadero, in 1934, and the restaurant La Rue, both on the Strip, and later originated The Flamingo in Las Vegas, only to have control of the resort wrested from his control by mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel.*^

 

 

 

 
(1942)^##* – View showing the entrance to Ciro's Nightclub with a Yellow Cab Co. taxi (’42 Pontiac) in the parking lot.  

 

 

 

 
(1952)* - Celebrating the upcoming marriage of Nancy Davis (left) to Ronald Reagan, are Jeanne (Biegger) Martin and Dean Martin (right) at Ciro's Nightclub on the Sunset Strip on February 23, 1952. Ain't that a kick in the head!  

 

Historical Notes

Ciro's combined a luxe baroque interior and an unadorned exterior and became a famous hangout for movie people of the 1940s and, 1950s. It was one of "the" places to be seen and guaranteed being written about in the gossip columns of Hedda Hopper, Louella Parsons and Florabel Muir.*^

 

 

 
(1950s)#**# – Interior view of Ciro’s Nightclub showing tables, dance floor, and stage.  High caliber performers appeared here which drew in the top Hollywood celebrities.  

 

Historical Notes

Among the galaxy of celebrities who frequented Ciro's were Marilyn Monroe, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Sidney Poitier, Anita Ekberg, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Joan Crawford, Betty Grable, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Ronald Reagan, Dean Martin, Mickey Rooney, Cary Grant, George Raft, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Judy Garland, June Allyson and Dick Powell, Mamie Van Doren, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Benny, Peter Lawford, and Lana Turner (who often said Ciro's was her favorite nightspot) among many others. During his first visit to Hollywood in the late 1940s, future President John F. Kennedy dined at Ciro's.*^

 

 

 
(1950s)##^* - View showing the front of Ciro's Nighclub. Marquis reads: "Will Mastin Trio starring Sammy Davis Jr. featuring the World Famous Ciro's Girls."  

 

 

 

 

 
(1954)*^#^* - Night view showing Ciro's Nightlcub. Billboard reads: Nat King Cole  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1960s, Ciro's became a Sunset Strip rock and roll club, and was the only major venue on the Strip to make such a transition while keeping its original name. The Byrds got their start there in 1964. Accounts of the period (reproduced in the sleeve notes to The Preflyte Sessions box set) describe a "church-like" atmosphere, with interpretive dancing. The club also served as the host during the recording of the 1965 Dick Dale album "Rock Out With Dick Dale: Live At Ciro's"

The site of Ciro's became The Comedy Store in 1972.*^

 

The Comedy Store

 
(1991)* - Picture taken from across the street showing The Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip. At one time this was Ciro's Nightclub.  

 

Historical Notes

The Comedy Store was opened in April 1972 by comedians Sammy Shore and Rudy DeLuca. The building was formerly the home of Ciro's, a popular Hollywood nightclub owned by William Wilkerson, and later a rock and roll venue, where The Byrds were discovered in 1964.

When the venue reopened as The Comedy Store in 1972, it included a 99-seat theatre, where Johnny Carson was one of the first comics to perform. As a result of a divorce settlement, Sammy Shore's ex-wife Mitzi Shore began operating the club in 1973, and she was able to buy the building in 1976. She immediately renovated and expanded the club to include a 450-seat main room.*^

 

 

 
(2006)*^ - Close-up view showing The Comedy Store, 8433 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood.  Photo by Mike Dillon  

 

Historical Notes

The Comedy Store has featured performances from every important comedian. The names of its headliners are vaunted on its outside walls.

This was once the site of Ciro’s, one of Hollywood’s most popular nightclubs during the 1940s and 1950s.

The building is supposedly haunted. TV’s “Access Hollywood” once brought in a psychic, billed her as a “spiritual journalist,” and had her talk about angry mobsters still supposedly trapped in the building’s basement. ^^+

 

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The Strip

 
(n.d.)#**# - A wall decoration in Disney Hollywood Studios Florida showing a map of West Hollywood in the 1930s.  Highlighted names along "The Strip" include:  Chateau Marmont, Garden of Allah, Sunset Tower, Clovera Club, La Maze, Villa Nova, Little Hungary, The Cock and Bull, Trocadero, Ted Snyder, Phil Selznick, Ray Hallers and Eddie Cantor*.  

 

Historical Notes

*Eddie Cantor, born Edward Israel Iskowitz, was a comedian, dancer, singer, actor, and songwriter.  He is also known for being the second president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving from 1933 to 1935. He invented the title "The March of Dimes" for the donation campaigns of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which was organized to combat polio. It was a play on the The March of Time newsreels popular at the time. He began the first campaign on his radio show in January 1938, asking listeners to mail a dime to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. At that time, Roosevelt was the most notable American victim of polio. Other entertainers joined in the appeal via their own shows, and the White House mail room was deluged with 2,680,000 dimes—a large sum at the time.*^

 

 

 
(1949)*– View looking down upon the Sunset Strip from the roof of the Sunset Tower.  On the right, that's Ciro's Nightclub (now The Comedy Store) and the Hacienda Arms Apartments (later renamed the Coronet and is now the Plaza del Sol office building). Just beyond them, the building that housed the Clover Club can be seen. Note that, across the street from Ciro's, on the southeast corner of Olive and Sunset, is the home that is now the House of Blues. Closer in may be the roof of a house owned by John Barrymore in the 1930s.  

 

Historical Notes

The Hacienda Arms Apartments, also known as Coronet Apartments was built in 1927 and operated initially as a luxury apartment building catering to the entertainment business. In the 1930s, it became the "most famous brothel in California."  The building declined in prestige in the 1950s and 1960 and was acquired by rock star Rod Stewart in the 1970s. After Stewart's plans to redevelop the building as a luxury hotel ended in a legal dispute, the building was nearly destroyed in a 1983 fire that was found to be of suspicious origin. Since 1986, it has been known as the Piazza del Sol, and it now houses the offices of several production companies, including Miramax Films. The restaurant Katana, co-owned by Ryan Seacrest and Tori Spelling and described by Newsweek as "so hip it hurts," also operates at the building.*^

 

 

 
(1957)#**# - Night view looking west along 'The Strip' from the roof of the Sunset Tower.  The empty lot at the lower-right sits on the NW corner of Sunset and N. Kings Road. In 1963, the 14-story Gene Autry Hotel would be built here.  In the 70s it would evolve into the legendary Hyatt on Sunset where touring rock bands often stayed.  

 

 

 

 
(1957)^^ – Atmospheric shot looking northeast along 'The Strip' from the roof of the Sunset Tower, with the Chateau Marmont Hotel seen in the distance.  

 

 

Cafe Trocadero

 
(ca. 1936)* - Exterior view of the famous Cafe Trocadero located on the Sunset Strip. A second sign below the nightclub name reads, "Phil Ohman's Music."  

 

Historical Notes

The Cafe Trocadero was the center of jitterbug in the 1930s. A black tie French-inspired supper club, the original Trocadero, now demolished, was considered the jewel of the Strip in the 1930s and became synonymous with stars, starlets, movie producers, and fun.*^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - Night view of the Cafe Trocadero, located at 8610 Sunset Boulevard in what is now West Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

Originally known as the La Boheme from 1929 to 1933, the Café Trocadero was opened by William R. Wilkerson in 1934. Wilkerson was the successful publisher of The Hollywood Reporter who also owned other nightclubs nearby on the Sunset Strip like Ciro's and LaRue.*^

 

 

 
(1936)***^ - Patrons at the Cafe Trocadero before the nightclub was remodeled. Note how the awnings drape around the post of the ornate dual-lamp streetlight. Click HERE to see more in Early Views of LA Streetlights.  

 

Historical Notes

Among the celebrities who frequented the Trocadero were Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Jackie Gleason, Henry Fonda, Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Jean Harlow, and Norma Shearer. The Trocadero was featured in the 1937 movie A Star is Born starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March.*^

 

 

 
(1938)* - Exterior view of the Cafe Trocadero shortly after it underwent extensive remodeling. Note the art designs on the wall and above each of the doors.  

 

Historical Notes

The building was remodeled in 1938 by new owners Bugsy Siegel and Mickey Cohen.*

 

 

 
(ca. 1945)* - Exterior view of Cafe Trocadera as seen from where Sunset Plaza Drive (foreground) meets Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

After years of serving as one of Hollywood's best evening destinations, the "Troc" closed in 1946.*

Today, a "new" Trocadero stands as a nightclub at 8610 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip.*^

 

Sunset Plaza

 
(1946)^##* - View looking east of Sunset Plaza located on the 8600 block of W. Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood  

 

Historical Notes

Opened in 1924, Sunset Plaza was the first commercial development on the Sunset Strip.

Today it is an exclusive shopping complex that draws an A-list clientele to its designer boutiques and chic sidewalk cafes and restaurants. The Sunset Plaza is located on both sides of Sunset Boulevard between La Cienega and San Vicente at Sunset Plaza Drive.

 

 

Then

 
(1940s)*– View looking north on Sunset Plaza Drive from Sunset Boulevard.  A Christmas tree stands on the island in the middle of Sunset Plaza. A sign below the tree reads, "Sunset Plaza - Merry Christmas".  

 

Now

 
(2016)*### - View looking north showing the intersection of Sunset Plaza Drive and Sunset Boulevard as it appears today.  

 

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1955)^##* - View showing a car parked in front of Elizabeth Arden at Sunset Plaza.  

 

Historical Notes

Florence Nightingale Graham (1878 – 1966), who went by the business name Elizabeth Arden, was a Canadian American businesswoman who founded what is now Elizabeth Arden, Inc., and built a cosmetics empire in the United States. By 1929 she owned 150 upscale salons across the United States and Europe. Her 1000 products were found in the luxury market in 22 countries. She was the sole owner, and at the peak of her career, she was one of the wealthiest women in the world.*^

 

 

 

 
(2011)#+++ – View showing people dining at the Le Petit Four Restaurant on the Sunset Strip in the Sunset Plaza of West Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, the Sunset Plaza is a two-block cluster of hip outdoor cafes, boutiques, hair salons, and other stores whose prices rival those of Rodeo Drive’s. It is one of the best people watching places in West Hollywood. ^^+

 

 

 

 
(2016)^++ – View looking east on Sunset Boulevard at Sunset Plaza showing people dining at Le Petit Four seen in the foreground.  

 

 

 

 

 
(2010)+#+# - A landmark of a sign for the eastbound driver, The Sunset glows like its namesake with a rainbow of plastic-faced, LED lighting. Photo by Joshua Barash.  

 

 

Villa Nova Restaurant

 
(1953)*^^* - View of the Villa Nova Restaurant located at 9015 Sunset Boulevard on the Strip.  

 

Historical Notes

This restaurant was originally called the Mermaid Cafe built in the late 1920's. In 1933 it premiered as The Villa Nova and taken over by film director Vincente Minnelli and silent film actor-director Allen Dale.

Marilyn Monroe went on her first blind date with Joe DiMaggio here in 1953 and Vincent proposed to Judy Garland at the Villa Nova in 1945. When Elmer Valentine, Lou Adler and Mario Maglieri took it over in 1972, they originally wanted to call it "Over The Rainbow" in their honor - but the city would not allow the sign to reach a certain height, so they shortened it to, "The Rainbow".*^^*

 

Rainbow Bar and Grill

 
(2011)^^## – View showing the Rainbow Bar and Grill (previously the Villa Nova) located on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood.  

 

Historical Notes

The Rainbow Bar and Grill was founded in early 1972 by Elmer Valentine, Lou Adler, Mario Maglieri and others, opening on April 16, 1972, with a party for Elton John.  At the time, the word "rainbow" signified peace and freedom. It quickly became known as a hangout for celebrities of all types. John Belushi ate his last meal (lentil soup) at table No. 16. *^

 

 

 
(ca. 1980)##^* – View looking west on Sunset Boulevard showing the Rainbow Bar and Grill (previously the Villa Nova) at center of photo.  Bank of America and Gazzarri's Nightclub are on the left with The Roxy at lower-right.  

 

Historical Notes

The Rainbow became known as a hangout for rock musicians and their groupies. Notable regulars at the Rainbow in this period include Keith Moon, Alice Cooper, Micky Dolenz, Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and Neil Diamond. Elvis Presley was known to have occasionally visited the Rainbow. The group of musicians calling themselves the Hollywood Vampires made the Rainbow their home away from home in the mid-1970s. In the last two decades of his life, Motörhead frontman Lemmy was a daily fixture at the Rainbow whenever the band was not on tour, and often played a video poker machine at the end of the bar table.

Los Angeles songwriter Warren Zevon referenced the scene at the Rainbow in the last verse of his 1976 song "Poor Poor Pitiful Me".

The musical group Rainbow was named after this club.*^

 

Roxy Theatre

 
(1980)* - A long line of customers wait on the sidewalk outside the Roxy to get in a see a live rock show. The sign for the neighboring restaurant, Rainbow Bar & Grill, is visible on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Roxy was opened on September 23, 1973, by Elmer Valentine and Lou Adler, along with original partners David Geffen, Elliot Roberts and Peter Asher. They took over the building previously occupied by a strip club owned by Chuck Landis called the Largo. (Adler was also responsible for bringing the stage play The Rocky Horror Show to the United States, and it opened its first American run at The Roxy Theatre in 1974, before it was made into the movie The Rocky Horror Picture Show the next year. *^

 

 

 
(1975)^+++ – Front view of the Roxy Theatre at 9009 W. Sunset Boulevard.  Billboard reads:  “An Evening with Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band”  

 

Historical Notes

Neil Young and his band The Santa Monica Flyers played the Roxy for the first week it was open. Only three months later, the original Genesis lineup with Peter Gabriel played several consecutive days at the Roxy, a run that some band members and many fans consider to be amongst their finest performances (due partially to the intimate atmosphere and good acoustics of the venue, as well as the legendary reputation of "Hollywood" amongst performers around the world).

Paul Reubens, then a struggling comedian, introduced his Pee-wee Herman character in a raunchy revue here in 1981 that included other aspiring comics including Phil Hartman and Elayne Boosler. *^

 

 

 

 
(n.d.)#* – Nighttime view of the Roxy Theatre with the Rainbow Bar and Grill on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The small On the Rox bar above the club has hosted a wide variety of debauchery in its history. The bar was a regular hangout for John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper and Keith Moon during Lennon's "lost weekend" in 1973-74 and hosted parties arranged by Heidi Fleiss in the 1980s. *^

 

 

 

 
(1991)^^# - People gather outside the Roxy Theater on the Sunset Strip, 9009 Sunset Boulevard.  (Mike Meadows / Los Angeles Times)  

 

Historical Notes

The Roxy Theatre/Nightclub with a capacity of 500 is owned by Lou Adler and Nic Adler. *^

 

* * * * *

 

 

Sunset Blvd, Doheny Rd, and Corey Ave

 
(1938)##^* - View looking northeast on Sunset toward Doheny Road and Cory Avenue. Doheny Road branches off to the left at the black billboard. The white building at center is still standing. Luckman Plaza now occupies the block to the right.  

 

Historical Notes

Doheny Road and Doheny Drive, named after the early 20th Century oil tycoon – Edward L. Doheny, is a north–south thoroughfare mostly through Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.  It starts a few blocks south of Pico Boulevard in the city of Los Angeles, and travels northwards, crossing Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica Boulevard, and other east/west streets, and ends after crossing Sunset Boulevard.

 

 

 
(1940s)^##* – View looking northeast on Sunset Boulevard at Cory Avenue (runs to the right) and Doheny Road (runs to the left).  The Berman Furs Building can be seen in the distance, where Sunset turns west. Click HERE for contemporary view.  

 

 

Berman Furs Building

 
(1936)^.^ – View showing the Paul Williams designed Berman Furs Building located at 9169 Sunset Blvd  

 

Historical Notes

This streamline-moderne/classical building was designed by architect Paul Williams for the Berman Fur Company in 1936. Filmaker Hal Roach briefly had a jewelry business on the ground floor. It later housed the offices of agent Paul Kohner.

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)* - View showing the Berman Furs Building as seen from across Sunset Blvd. The building still exists today. Click HERE for contemporary view.  

 

* * * * *

 

 

Sunset and Doheny

 
(ca. 1938)* – View Looking west on Sunset Boulevard with Doheny Road running to the right and Cory Avenue running south (out of view).  

 

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
 
(1938 vs. 2015)*### - View looking west on Sunset Boulevard at Doheny Road and Cory Avenue.  

 

 

 

Bit of Sweden Smorgasbord

 
(ca. 1936)#**# – Postcard view showing the Bit of Sweden Smorgasbord Restaurant located on the N/E corner of Sunset Boulevard and Doheny Drive.  

 

Historical Notes

The word “smorgasbord” is something we take for granted these days, but back in 1936 when a Swedish restaurant called ‘Bit of Sweden’ opened at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Doheny Drive, it introduced the concept of the smorgasbord to curious Angelinos. #**#

 

 

 

 
(1940s)^** - View of the Bit of Sweden Restaurant located at 9051 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood with Quintino & Davidson Tailors, Trio Fashions, Bernard of Hollywood, and other shops next door.  

 

 

Simon's Drive-in (later Dolores Drive-in)

 
(ca. 1938)* - Cars circle this colonial style Simon's, located at 8801 Sunset Boulevard at the corner of Horn Avenue in West Hollywood. The drive-in features fried chicken, barbecue.  

 

Historical Notes

This was a Simon’s Drive-in from 1935 until 1945 when Dolores Drive-in took over.  It became Jack’s on the Strip Drive-in sometime in the 1950s.  The building stood until the mid-1960s when it was demolished to make way for a succession of music stores, Muntz Stereo and then Tower Records (1971).

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

 

Dolores Drive-in (previously Simon's Drive-in)

 
(ca. 1945)**## – View showing Dolores Drive-in Restaurant located at 8801 Sunset Boulevard, previously a Simon's Drive-in (1935 - 1945).  

 

Historical Notes

The Strip’s lone drive-in restaurant at the time, it was originally occupied by a branch of the Simon’s chain. The understated colonial-style building was markedly different that the orbit-shaped, neon-ringed Art Deco Simon’s further east at 6760 Sunset Blvd. near Hollywood High School. It opened as Dolores Drive-in here about 1945, its first Los Angeles location.

Dolores would only last until the 1950s when it became Jack’s on the Strip Drive-in. The building stood until the mid-1960s when it was demolished to make way for a succession of music stores, Muntz Stereo and then Tower Records (1971).

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

 

Café La Maze

 
(1937)^***^ – View of the Café La Maze, located at 9039 Sunset Boulevard. The popular restaurant had a lounge area called The Key Club.  

 

Historical Notes

In 1935, Marcel Lamaze, founded the original Café La Maze on Sunset Boulevard.  Marcel was a legendary and influential Restaurateur & Maître D in the Los Angeles area during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The Hollywood location was a Movie Star Hangout, where Marcel was well connected with the movie star crowd. Marcel was known to be a good friend of Jimmy Durante and loved to Play Poker with the Marx Brothers.^**^

 

 

 
(ca. 1937)##^* – View looking southeast toward the south side of Sunset Boulevard from the front entry to the Café La Maze. Across the street can be seen the Crosby Building at right, home to the Finlandia Baths.  

 

Historical Notes

In the 1940s the Café La Maze would become Sherry's Restaurant.

 

 

 
(1949)^^ - View showing Sherry's Restaurant (previously Café La Maze) located at 9039 Sunset.  A group of men surround a car in front of the restaurant that was the scene of a shooting. An arrow points to bullet holes in the rear fender of a car parked across the street.  

 

Historical Notes

During the 1940s Sherry’s was popular with L.A.’s mafia element. On July 20, 1949 gangster Mickey Cohen and 3 others were ambushed at 3:45 a.m. in front of the restaurant on the Sunset Strip. Mickey's car drove up to the curb and gunmen (hiding across the street under an advertising sign – out of view) opened fire with shotguns. The gunmen then sped away in a gray auto, tossing out the guns a block away. Mickey was the least seriously wounded.*#

Sherry’s later became the famous rock club Gazzari’s on the Strip.

 

 

 
(1950)#**# – View showing a 1949 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible Coupe heading west on Sunset Boulevard.  There is a closing out sale at Mickey Cohen men’s clothing store on the south side of Sunset.  

 

Historical Notes

Mickey Cohen was a well-known mobster with close ties to the Mafia (circa 1940s.) As a front, Cohen operated a men’s clothing store at 8804 Sunset Blvd (on the Strip). His office was in the back of the store where he took care of…ahem…“business.” Cohen always insisted he was simply a small businessman selling men’s clothes. Apparently even Cohen gave up pretending when he closed his store in January 1950.

 

Gazzarri's

 
(1970s)#^* - View of Gazzarri’s on the Strip (previously Sherry's Restaurant and the Café La Maze). Marquis reads:  Dance Contest – Real Don Steele Show  

 

Historical Notes

Gazzarri's nightclub on the Sunset Strip was most notable as the location where The Doors and Van Halen were featured house bands for long stretches before being discovered. It was also the LA club featured in Huey Lewis and the News MTV video for their hit "The Heart of Rock and Roll."

The club reached its peak of popularity in the late 1960s, featuring Jim Morrison's young new group, along with other LA talent such as The Bobby Fuller Four, Buffalo Springfield, and The Walker Brothers. It then achieved major LA relevance again in the late 70's, featuring the David Lee Roth-led Van Halen nightly for months on end, and then into the 1980s thru the early 90's as one of the top LA glam metal nightclubs. It was owned and operated by the "Godfather of Rock and Roll", Bill Gazzarri. Gazzarri himself was known for dressing up as a Chicago-style gangster and frequenting the club on performance nights. Located near the corner of Doheny and Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, and just several dozen yards from both the Rainbow Bar and Grill and The Roxy Theatre, Gazzarri's became famous as a launching pad for future rock and roll stars.*^

 

 

 
(1980)* - Exterior view of Gazzarri's nightclub on the Sunset Strip, with a sign which reads, "Every Sunday battle of the bands."   

 

Historical Notes

Bill Gazzarri died in 1991 and the club closed down in 1993. In 1994, the building suffered irreparable damage from the Northridge earthquake. It was torn down in 1995 and a new club called Billboard Live was built on the former Gazzarri's site. It opened in 1996. Billboard Live became The Key Club in 1998 (which was the lounge name of the original Café La Maze).*^

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)**## – Life Magazine photo showing Mammy Louise’s Bayou, a restaurant located at 8711 Sunset Boulevard.  

 

Historical Notes

The restaurant was run by a black woman named Louise Brooks but owned by Phil Selznick, who was David O. Selznick’s uncle. He also took over the It Café on Vine Street from Clara Bow, and Club Versailles at 8590 Sunset, which was rumored to be a front for Bugsy Siegel and later became Mocambo. Something dodgy was going on because Mammy Louise’s Bayou was raided in the fall of 1938 and subsequently went under. Its next incarnation was an upscale lesbian bar called Cafe Internationale. 

Today the building, after a major renovation, has been converted into a furniture store.  Click HERE for contemporary view.

 

 

 
(ca. 1935)^^ - View of the offices of Hoffman-Schlager, Inc. and David C. Werner, Inc. at 8776 Sunset Boulevard with early-model automobiles parked in front.  

 

 

 

 
(ca. 1939)* - View of cars parked in front of a row of shops at 8774 (left) to 8788 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood; a sign for a florist is seen on the far left. Holloway Drive runs south on the far right.  

 

Historical Notes

Today, Palm Drive runs where 8788 Sunset Boulevard is located, but the other two structures are still standing.* 

 

 

 
(ca. 1938)* - Photo taken from across the street showing a large 2-story commercial building located along Sunset Blvd. in the city of West Hollywood. Some identifiable businesses calling this colonial-looking building home are: "Siegel & Bathiel Gallery", "National Box Office Digest", and a dental office, among others.  

 

 

 

 
(1939)* - Sunset Strip looking north-west, west of La Cienega.  

 

 

 

Then and Now

 
(1936)#**# – View of the 9100 block of the Sunset Strip showing a couple of charming tudor-style office buildings.  

 

 

 

 
(2016)*### – Google Street View looking west on Sunset Boulevard showing the 9100 block of the Sunset Strip.  

 

 

Finlandia Baths

 
(1946)^##* - Exterior view of the Crosby Building, located at 9028 Sunset Boulevard. The entrance to the famous (or infamous) Finlandia Baths can be seen on the left.  

 

Historical Notes

The Finlandia Baths were downstairs in the basement of the Crosby Building where a virtual who's who of closeted gay and straight male stars went for a bake or to rub the kinks out or have them rubbed out, as the case may be. Regulars apparently included Kirk Douglas, Cornel Wilde, Humphrey Bogart, Tony Curtis, Hugh O'Brien, Rock Hudson and the Crosby brothers and many others. The building is still there albeit somewhat folded, spindled and mutilated but the bones are still good and still visible. Finlandia Baths have predictably morphed into a tattoo parlor.^##*

 

 

 
(2015)*### – Google Street View showing the Crosby Building as it appears today.  Tenants include: Shamrock Tattoo, LA Guitar Sales, and Orphic.  

 

 

 

 

* * * * *

 

 

 

 

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References and Credits

* LA Public Library Image Archive

^^ USC Digital Archive

^* California Historic Landmark Listing (Los Angeles)

^ California Historical Society Digital Archive

** Retronaut - Hollywoodland Sign

#*Pinterest: Roxy Theatre

#^WhitleyHeights.org: Aerial of Cahuenga; Whitley Heights Aerial

#+LA Weekly: Laurel Canyon Country Store

***The Story of Hollywood by Gregory Paul Williams

^^^California State Library Image Archive

^**Huntington Digital Library Archive

**^Table Magazine: LA Observatory

++^US101 - Socalregion.com

^++Sunset Plaza

+++The WeHo Ho: An Insider's Guide to West Hollywood; La Cienega Lanes

**#Beguiling Hollywood: The Hollywood Hotel

^^#LA Times: Hollywood Citizens News Building; Marlboro Man Signboard; Mark C. Bloome

+^#Facebook.com: Hidden Los Angeles

*#*Elvis Blog

#^^Hollywood Walk of Fame Historic Buildings

#++GoCalifornia.about.com: Sunset Strip

#^*Pinterest.com: Old Hollywood; Los Angeles

#^# DWP - LA Public Library Image Archive

##*The Daily Mirror: Garden Court Apartments

##+Facebook.com: Greenblatt's Deli

*^*MTA Transportation and Research Library Archives

^*^LA Street Names - LA Times

*^^Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles - losangelespast.com

^^*Cinema Treasures: Vogue Theater; Pantages Theater; Iris Theatre; Marcal - World Theatre

^^+NRbooks.com: Sunset Strip

*^*^YMCA Hollywood - paulwilliamspoject.org

*^^*Vintage Los Angeles: Facebook.com: Lucy/Holden; Villa Nova; Sunset Tower Apartments; Earl Carroll Revolving Stage; Schwabs Sunset; Player's Club

^*^^Pomona Public Library Poscard Collection

^^^^Water and Power Associates

^*^#Facebook.com - Bizzare Los Angeles

^^^#KCET: How the Town of Sherman Became West Hollywood; The Player's on the Sunset Strip; L.A.'s First Freeways

^^++Life Magazine

++^^RockCellar Magazine: Sunset Strip

^+++Brucebase: The Roxy Theatre

+++#Go-Go Notebook.com: Flipper's Roller Derby Palace

***^Pinterest.com: Bertrand Lacheze; Vintage Los Angeles: Sunset Strip; Trocadero Nightclub

^***Griffithobservatory.org:

^**^Griffith Observatory: laparks.org

**^^Radio City Hollywood

**##MartinTurnbull.com: The Players; Hollywood-Western Building; Earl Carroll Theater; Sherry's Restaurant; Hollywood and Highland

^^##Alison Martino's Vintage Los Angeles: Wallichs Music City; The Villa Nova

#+#+Facebook.com

#+++TheSunsetStrip.com: Sunset Plaza

^#^#Hollywood: Then and Now

^##^Hollywoodphotos.com

^##*Flickr.com: Michael Ryerson; Bill Badzo

^#^^Facebook.com - Vintage LA: 1968 Sunset Strip; Yellow Submarine; 1984 Sunset Strip

^^#*Flickr.com: Elizabeth Fuller

*#*#Facebook.com - Great Photos from Los Angeles's Past:  Players Nightclub

*^#*Calisphere: University of California Image Archive

*^^#Mt. Hollywood - Small Mountain, Big Dreams

*^##OAC - Online Archive of California

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

#*^#Historic Hollywood Theatres: Grauman's Chinese Theatre

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

#^^#The Rise and Fall of Dino's Lodge by Kliph Nesteroff

#^##ShareTV.com: 77 Sunset Strip

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

*###Google Maps

###*GoLosAngeles.abouttcom: History of the Sunset Strip

###+The Guardian: Anarchy on Sunset Strip

####Neatorama.com: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Restaurant Owners

#^#*Pinterest.com: Rock'n'Roll & Boogie Woogie

#+#+Getty Research Institute

**^**Los Angeles City Historical Society

***^^Oldshowbiz.tmblr.com: Crescendo Club

***##Googie Architecture

**^^^Pinterest.com: Sunset Strip

*^^^^SeriousEats.com: Carneys Diner

*^*^*Blogspot.com: It's a wrap - USA/Mexico - Mel's Drive-In

*^#^*Vintage Everyday

*^*^^Crescendo GNP

^*^*^Go Los Angeles About.com: Sunset Strip

^***^Flickr.com: gsjansen

*^^^*RareMaps.com

^#*#^Private Los Angeles Tours: Ciro's Nightclub

^#^#^LA Curbed: Sunset's Tower Records

*#*#*wehoville.com: Tower Records

*# Skyscraperage.com. - Griffith Observatory; Elvis at Knickerbocker Hotel; Gruen Sign; Garden Court Apartments; Mt. Hollywood; Ben-Hur Coffee; Sherry's Restaurant; Griffith Observatory; Sunset Strip 1960s; Cahunega and Highland Intersection ca1937; Googie's; Selma and Argyle

*^ 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; The Hollywood Hotel; Cord Automobile: Sunset Tower; West Coast Radio City - Los Angeles; Earl Carroll Theater; Cafe Trocadero; Breakfast in Hollywood; Whitley Heights; Hollywood Christmas Parade; Garden Court Apartments; Chili Bowl Restaurant - Art Whizin; The Hillview; Paramount Studios; Hollywood Freeway; Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; J. J. Newberry; Claudette Colbert; Whisky A Go-Go; Gazzari's; The Whtie Parade; The Troubador; Starwood Club; Hollywood Post Office; Chubby Checker; Decoration Day; 77 Sunset Strip; Chateau Marmont Hotel; The Doors; The Comedy Store; Ciro's Nightclub; The Ravenswood; Googie Architecture; Charlie Chaplin; Doheny Drive; Shirley Temple

 

 

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