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  #241  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 2:52 AM
UrbanSky UrbanSky is offline
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Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post

Cool Bunker Hill shots!

I had this pic in my East LA photo thread, but I thought I'd include it in here because of the film noir connection.

This is Whittier Blvd. in 1928, in what is now Pico Rivera. The billboard you see is advertising Gay's Lion Farm in El Monte, which was a tourist attraction featuring live lions. Reading about it on Wikipedia, it opened in 1925 and closed in 1942 because of WWII meat shortages; it never reopened. But anyway, an incident happened there which was an indirect inspiration for the classic film noir "The Postman Always Rings Twice."

From USC archive

This is what that section of road looks like today.

Photo taken by me.
It looks to me like that stretch is almost exactly the same...even the same pavement. Does concrete pavement last that long without having to re-pave? I know it's a weird question, but just wondering if that street is intact after 80 years.
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  #242  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 3:53 AM
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^^^ I think you're correct UrbanSky.

While researching the photographs of Tom Breneman's,
I came across several 'sound' clips of 'Breakfast in Hollywood'.

I listened to one...and it was Mr. Breneman roaming around the restaurant chatting up the women.


I didn't connect the women standing in line with the radio program,
so thanks for your insight UrbanSky.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Sep 1, 2009 at 9:07 PM.
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  #243  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 4:42 AM
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
Below is a great noir photo.
Looking north on Vine toward Sunset and Vine.
Notice NBC Radio City Studios on the right.


usc digital archives
That's an amazing pic, since I've never before seen a shot of hollywood from that angle, or such a complete shot of that hood at night, with all the neon lit up.

speaking of which, the old bendix sign was dark for decades & was relit only within the past 3 or 4 yrs. The bendix corp obviously no longer occupies the bldg underneath the sign, just as the bldg under the neon of the nearby eastern columbia sign----also relit within the past few yrs----no longer is the same named dept store of over 60 yrs ago.

All these real LA noir scenes, esp of crime locations, make me think of mood music like this, from a classic movie that recreated early 20th century LA noir in 1974.

Real or fictional, images of old LA always make me sort of nostalgic, but also melancholy & kind of blue, yet also sentimental about a bygone era placed against the backdrop of a mediterranean/spanish, palmtree climate.

Coincidentally enough, the movie "set during a heat wave in 1930s Los Angeles, whose residents are suffering from a water shortage" is a case of life imitating art right now, since we're going through a heatwave, with major fires in the local mountains, & a drought.

FWIW, if a filmmaker has to recreate noir, he may overlook some gaps in authenticity. I recall the first time I saw the movie chinatown I noticed one scene filmed in the alley of the biltmore hotel in DTLA, supposedly occurring during the 1930s. Only problem is the camera also caught a glimpse of a bldg in the background, the highrise at 611 west 6th St, built in the 1960s.

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  #244  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 4:49 AM
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^^^sopas_ej, that certainly looks like it could be an old Simon's.
Even if it wasn't, it's a fine example of deco.

Thanks for taking the time to photograph it.

Also it's great to see the Bendix sign in RED, despite the missing X.
I like that last pic you posted from the usc archive.
One question, is the Furniture Mart still there?
That building still exists, yes, though I don't think it houses the Furniture Mart anymore. There's another, bigger, though much plainer-looking building that houses the current LA Furniture Mart, on south Broadway:

from you-are-here.com
According to that website, this building was built in 1955. And I think now it's just called the LA Mart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
below: Vermont and 81st Street circa 1940.




usc digital archives
The above building still exists; on Google Maps, if you type in 81st and Vermont, Los Angeles, you can see what it looks like today. It looks pretty good now, I think. I think this is a precursor to the modern strip mall. You see these here and there in Los Angeles.
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  #245  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 4:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanSky View Post
Actually, that is most likely an early morning photo (around 5am). Tom Breneman's Restaurant was the home of a morning radio show called Breakfast in Hollywood which aired on the Blue Network (Blue later became ABC) from 1941 to 1948. The show originated daily from Tom Brenneman's restaurant in Hollywood and featured Brenneman walking through the restaurant, chatting up the mostly female, and frequently tourist patrons. The show aired nationally and started at 5am Pacific Time. Those are fans waiting to get in.
Ah, thanks for that information!
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  #246  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 5:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by citywatch View Post
Real or fictional, images of old LA always make me sort of nostalgic, but also melancholy & kind of blue, yet also sentimental about a bygone era placed against the backdrop of a mediterranean/spanish, palmtree climate.

Coincidentally enough, the movie "set during a heat wave in 1930s Los Angeles, whose residents are suffering from a water shortage" is a case of life imitating art right now, since we're going through a heatwave, with major fires in the local mountains, & a drought.

FWIW, if a filmmaker has to recreate noir, he may overlook some gaps in authenticity. I recall the first time I saw the movie chinatown I noticed one scene filmed in the alley of the biltmore hotel in DTLA, supposedly occurring during the 1930s. Only problem is the camera also caught a glimpse of a bldg in the background, the highrise at 611 west 6th St, built in the 1960s.

"Chinatown"-- great film! But yeah, often when you see films set in an earlier era in LA, there will be anachronisms (I noticed this last year when I saw "Changeling"). In fact, I'm not sure what part of the 1930s it's supposed to be set (I've always assumed mid-1930s, judging by the fashions and cars), but Old Chinatown was already at that point being torn down for Union Station, which opened in 1939. The current Chinatown that exists is a later, planned iteration, which was actually LA's original Little Italy. Hence the old, abandoned Little Joe's restaurant building that still exists, and the Italian Center and Italian Catholic Church, both on north Broadway.
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  #247  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 5:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanSky View Post
It looks to me like that stretch is almost exactly the same...even the same pavement. Does concrete pavement last that long without having to re-pave? I know it's a weird question, but just wondering if that street is intact after 80 years.
I wouldn't doubt that that could be the original concrete from the older photo. Some months ago, I read online that the City of West Hollywood would be resurfacing the Sunset Strip, and that the concrete there was the original concrete laid out in the 1930s. Maybe roads were meant to last a long time back then?
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  #248  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 9:46 PM
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Citywatch, that's an interesting tidbit about the scene in Chinatown.
I guess Polanski thought the audience would be zeroing in on Jack Nicholson's nose and not the surrounding buildings.

Jerry Goldsmith's elegiac score for Chinatown is exquisite.
I can't think of any other score that so captured the mood of a movie (Blade Runner comes close.....for a futuristic Los Angeles).

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jan 25, 2011 at 3:11 AM.
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  #249  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 9:53 PM
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Sopas_ej, I'm glad the Deco building is still at Vermont and 81st Street.
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I never thought of using Google Maps.

Thanks for the info about L.A. Mart.
The sight of that 1955 building made me grimace.





found photo/unknown

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Sep 1, 2009 at 11:27 PM.
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  #250  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 11:32 PM
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A souvenir from New Chinatown, complete with a suckling baby.
And a 'coolie' losing his pants??




found photo/unknown




And one from Hollywood.
Looks like the guy on the right has a bottle of salad dressing.



found photo/unknown

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Sep 2, 2009 at 12:11 AM.
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  #251  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 11:39 PM
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Cowboys in Chinatown??



found photo/unknown



It's strange......but funny, in a demented sort of way.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Sep 1, 2009 at 11:52 PM.
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  #252  
Old Posted Sep 1, 2009, 11:47 PM
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OK......here are last two. I promise.
Martini anyone?




found photo/unknown





MOM!! Is that you?

found photo/unknown



OK, back to murders and suicides.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Sep 2, 2009 at 12:13 AM.
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  #253  
Old Posted Sep 2, 2009, 5:48 AM
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Interesting souvenir photos... hehe! Pretty random and racy imagery for novelty souvenir photos from New Chinatown.

----------


The Biltmore Hotel, 1943. The largest hotel west of Chicago when it opened in 1923. Plus, the site of some Academy Awards ceremonies in the 1930s and 1940s, and was the last place the Black Dahlia was seen alive. Notice the tops of the streetlights, blacked out during WWII.

USC archive

Oil well in the middle of La Cienega Boulevard near Beverly Boulevard, 1931. There are still oil wells in this area. The Beverly Center Mall, on La Cienega and Beverly, is built in a curve around an active oil well. Beverly Hills High School is also near oil wells.

USC archive

The Knickerbocker Hotel, Hollywood. Some say it's haunted. But a lot happened here over the years. According to Wikipedia, it was built in 1923. Rudolph Valentino was a regular at the bar before his death in 1926. On Halloween 1936, Harry Houdini's widow held her tenth séance to contact the magician on the roof of the hotel. Frances Farmer was arrested in her room at the hotel in 1943, after skipping a visit with her parole officer. D. W. Griffith died in the lobby of the hotel in 1948. The hotel retained its glamor through the 1950s. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio often met in the hotel bar. Elvis Presley stayed at the hotel while filming "Love Me Tender." In 1962 celebrated Hollywood costume designer Irene, despondent over Gary Cooper's death, committed suicide by jumping from her 11th floor room window. On March 3, 1966 veteran character actor William Frawley (who played "Fred Mertz" on "I Love Lucy") was strolling down Hollywood Boulevard after seeing a film when he suffered a major heart attack. His nurse dragged him to the hotel where he died in the lobby. Contrary to popular belief, Frawley did not live in the hotel at the time. Although Frawley had spent nearly 30 years living in a suite upstairs, he had moved to the nearby El Royale Apartments several months before. In the mid-1960's, the hotel played an important part in the movie, "The Graduate," as the scene of Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft's first romantic encounter. By the late 1960s, the neighborhood had deteriorated, and the hotel became a residence primarily for drug addicts and prostitutes. In 1970, a renovation project converted the hotel into housing for senior citizens; it continues in this capacity today. In 1999, a plaque honoring Griffith was placed in the lobby.

From LAPL.org
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Last edited by sopas ej; Sep 2, 2009 at 6:08 AM.
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  #254  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2009, 9:38 PM
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My god, I had no idea all that happened at the Hollywood Knickerbocker. That place just HAS to be haunted.
I can imagine the ghosts literally bumping into each other nonstop.

That's a great photograph of the Biltmore Hotel you posted sopas_ej.
Years ago I attended a function in the Biltmore Hotel ballroom.
I walked into the lobby and it was like being transported back to the 1920s.
It's such a magnificent place....so baroque and luxurious.
It's a moment in my life I will never forget.

Now for a moment I'd rather forget.
My very first job in Los Angeles was at the Beverly Center.
The building is such a behemoth. The joke back then, was that the
Beverly Center was the box the Pacific Design Center came in.
But I had NO idea it harbored a working oil well !!

(I just googled Beverly Center oil well and sure enough there it is)

Sopas_ej, you're a veritable font of information. .....or is it 'fount'?

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jun 30, 2011 at 3:01 AM.
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  #255  
Old Posted Sep 3, 2009, 9:58 PM
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Speaking of suicides (poor Irene jumping from the Knickerbocker)



Below is a shocking photograph from the USC digital archives.
The caption was:

A suicide jumper in mid-air at 6th and Hill Street.


Last edited by ethereal_reality; Sep 4, 2009 at 6:15 PM.
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  #256  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2009, 12:18 AM
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^ Do you know the story on that?
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  #257  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2009, 6:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
Speaking of suicides (poor Irene jumping from the Knickerbocker)



Below is an shocking photograph from the USC digital archives.
The caption was:

A suicide jumper in mid-air at 6th and Hill Street.

Don't wanna be morbid but I think that's a great pic.

Hehe and I don't know if it's "font" or "fount," I've actually seen it both ways. But naah, I've read a lot over the years and continue to look things up on the internet regarding old Los Angeles. I have books like "Haunted Hollywood" and "California Babylon," among others, where I get a lot of information from..
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  #258  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2009, 6:22 PM
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^^^oops... I meant A shocking photograph, not AN shocking photograph.


And to answer your question 'ThreeHundred'...
no I don't have any details about the mid-air suicide jumper.

Sorry about the missing pics. I'll try to replace them-

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Apr 29, 2017 at 1:21 AM.
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  #259  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2009, 7:51 PM
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below: 1949 Cinegrill at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
Note the cool Western Air Lines sign.




usc digital archives
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  #260  
Old Posted Sep 4, 2009, 8:50 PM
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Here's one more before I leave for the holiday weekend.

This is one of my favorites. I believe it's from the mid 1960s.


Ralph Crane for LIFE magazine
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