Saturday, March 23, 2013

Around L.A.

I am fascinated by the history of Los Angeles, with its post-war boom, Hollywood glamor, and sunshine-driven tourism. 

Here's an interesting angle looking at the famous Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. You can see stars on the sidewalk - the "walk of fame", with the names of hundreds of show-biz notables. Toff's coffee shop can just be seen as well... it is long gone. Love those old cars! I've never heard of the movie, "By Love Possessed", but imdb.com helpfully tells us that it was about a neurotic woman who "... engages in an affair with the law partner of her impotent husband". Even with the lovely Lana Turner it looks like a stinker!


One of my favorite places ever is the wonderful Griffith Observatory. It is an art deco treasure located in the heart of Los Angeles. More than a few movies were shot there - such as 1958's "The War of the Colossal Beast" or 1964's "The Spy With My Face". This picture (undated but probably from the mid-50's) shows the "Astronomer's Monument", featuring stylized sculptures of Hipparchus, Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton, and William Herschel. 


Zooming in for more fabulous automobiles...


And finally, from an old slide that has turned magenta, comes this view from downtown L.A. I am embarrassed to admit that I don't know which street this is - Alameda? Los Angeles Street? Main? - since I don't recognize any of the buildings. Probably most of them have been torn down over the years. The giant TWA ad is kind of awesome!


21 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-

Fabulous images. If I've got my bearings right, the Douglas Oil Building (TWA ad) should be on Spring St, with 3rd St running by the U-Drive Rent-A-Car.

That TWA ad is pretty swell. Makes me want to hop on a jet, post haste. In the meantime, I think I'll rent a car at "U-Drive", before I hop on that Jet, bound for - oh, who knows where-! "Stewardess, I'll think I'm ready for my martini. And make that a tiny triple-!"

D-ticket said...

We're on 5th at Figueroa heading towards the 110. Douglas Oil is the Architects’ Building at 816 West 5th (which by 1968 had been renamed the Douglas Oil building). Here's an article:

http://onbunkerhill.org/ArchitectsBuilding

Debbie V. said...

Love these pictures Major. Looks at those streetlights! in the last pic.

Melissa said...

Gorgeous. It's cold and snowy here today, and these pictures gave me a much-needed dose of sunshine.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, based on the article that D-ticket cites, it looks like it was a 5th and Fig; however, I did think about Spring Street, since I used to do work at the LA Times building years ago. To me a lot of those blocks look very similar when you're just driving around on them. As for the TWA ad, that was back in the day when air travel had some romance about it, unlike today when it is akin to an expensive bus ride!

D-ticket, you've done it again somehow. I guess my time on Google Maps looking for a familiar building was in vain - it was all torn down! If only the photographer had turned to the left to capture the beautiful Richfield building.

Debbe V., you can still see a lot of those very same streetlights in downtown LA today!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, it is very weird to hear about all of the cold weather on the east coast and in the midwest; it's sunny and beautiful here! But we will pay - the summer is sure to be hellishly hot for months on end.

Nanook said...

@D-ticket-

Thanks. That makes much more sense. Happy motoring.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Don't forget that the knife fight scene in Rebel Without A Cause was filmed at Griffith Observatory.

Nanook said...

Yes - the knife fight; the interior in the domed planetarium itself; the front steps with gun shot. It's all there.

Major Pepperidge said...

Matterhorn1959, I was kind of making a joke about "The Spy With My Face" etc, since I figured that most of you knew about "Rebel Without a Cause"! Guess the joke didn't work, oh well!

K. Martinez said...

All I can say is WOW!! Nic pics!

Nancy said...

Yes, I agree! I love the old cars and especially the bus near the the TWA ad.

I have been to the Chinese Theater, not a big deal for most people but since I am an East Coaster I feel pretty special around here!! We even have a picture of Mickey Mouse's star (well, most of it anyway, when you consider that a 12-year-old took the picture with a regular camera) ;-)

Chuck said...

Major - If it's any consolation, I got the joke immediately.

Nancy said...

I just took another look at the TWA ad there, and Pittsburgh is there!

I always enjoy finding any references to my city, especially when we ride on Carousel of Progress, and during the Disneyland Stories, Secrets and Magic program where Ronnie Reagan is talking about the riverboats and where they travel... :-)

Chiana_Chat said...

Top pic is a window into a special time, special place.

Rent a new mid 1950s car, $2 a day...

Great shots, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of L.A. which amusment park was this Emergency episode filmed? http://www.nbc.com/classic-tv/emergency/video/transition/n26691/

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, glad you liked these, I have better LA slides to come!

Nancy, I went to the Chinese Theater last year with my niece and nephew, we had fun, but MAN it was so crowded and crazy. Part of the experience I guess.

Chuck, thank you for getting my joke!

Anonymous, that is the "Nu-Pike" in Long Beach!

Anonymous said...

Hi Major. Great photos of old LA.

My family visited Hollywood and Graumans in the late '60's. I vividly remember the stars in the sidewalk.

We did not go in the theater, not sure why, or what was playing.

We did have lunch at Toff's, which I had completely forgotten until I saw your picture. I recall that the food was not good, and we regretted the decision to eat there.

Very cool to see these views. Thank you!

JG

Anonymous said...

Just did a google maps on the TWA photo, 5th & Figueroa.

The Westin Bonadventure is now on one of the parking lots to the left in the photo, or possibly just behind the photo vantage over the left shoulder, and down the block @ 9th is the Original Pantry Cafe, definitely worth a stop; in continuous 24 hour operation since 1924. Far better than Toff's.

JG

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, thanks for mentioning the Original Pantry Cafe... I think I might have a slide showing it (maybe). I'll have to check! Amazing that it is still in business

Anonymous said...

Major, I would love to see a vintage slide of OPC.

They have a very cool website (!) now, and prices have definitely gone up, even since my days. I think it's a little weird to buy t-shirts and ball caps from an all-night diner, but I treasure my coffee cup.

JG