Saturday, October 12, 2013

Vintage Los Angeles

How about some vintage L.A. for your mid-October Saturday? 

Let's start with this nice shot from 1959; we're on Hollywood Boulevard looking West, toward a glorious sunset. You can just see the pointed roof of Grauman's Chinese Theater; "Coffee Dan's" was a familiar landmark in Hollywood for decades.

This undated photo (early 1950's, perhaps? Maybe even late 1940's) shows the NBC building on the corner of Sunset and Vine. It started as a radio studio, and continued to be used for early black and white TV programs. By 1955, NBC had moved into a new studio in Burbank.

Further North on Vine Street, you can still see the wonderful Capitol Records tower. It was completed in 1956, and was called "The house that Nat built", since Nat King Cole sold so many albums for the company. A blinking light atop the spire spells out the word "Hollywood" in Morse code, or so they say. Who knows Morse code anymore?? 

Google Maps' "Street View" has its limitations.... this is about as good as I could get.


Nanook said...

Ahhh, Mid-last century Hollywood. Perhaps the last time it could truly be referred to as "Tinseltown".

Let's go shopping at Barker Bros; for as their slogan goes... ♫Barker Brothers, certainly-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

What a beautiful shot of Coffee Dan's with it's yellow, red and white neon on silhouette against the spectacular sunset.

Nice set of images today. Thanks.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Love the vintage shots of my former home. As a displaced Angelino these are always good to see.

I love the yellow cab driver in the old hat. Reminded me of Peter Falk and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson in It's a mad mad mad mad world.

The Capitol Records building is one of the icons of the west coast.

Anonymous said...

Saw the Capitol Records building from the airplane last week as we left LA - truly iconic!

Great images!!

CoxPilot said...

The NBC shot is at least 1947 or later. There is a '47
Plymouth grill just entering the shot on the left. Not sure when they got rid of the old "flag" style stop lights, but that would tell us something.

Melissa said...

Suddenly I'm hungry for a big, tall stack of pancakes.

Nanook said...

@ CoxPilot-

Good eye, as per usual. But there's another clue that completely slipped my mind... and that would be KNBH Television began broadacasting on January 16, 1949. So... we're talkin' some time after that. (And isn't that a 1949, 50 or 51 Ford obscured from view behind the two gentlemen crossing Vine Street-?

Daveland said...

That first shot is a beauty! Wow!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I have the feeling that Hollywood was in decline even in the early 1950's (compared to the late 1930's - 40's). Never knew Barker Bros. slogan!

K. Martinez, yes, that sunset really makes the pic.

Alonzo, I think the building on that corner was associated with American Air Lines, so maybe somebody was buying plane tickets and heading to LAX!

Anon, wow, I almost never recognize anything from an airplane, try as I might. It would be cool to go right over Hollywood.

CoxPilot, I didn't even notice the old-fashioned stoplight, thanks for pointing that out!

Melissa, when am I NOT in the mood for a stack o' pancakes?

Nanook, I figured the cars might be a clue to the date of the photo, but as usual I have no automobile knowledge to help me.

Daveland, thanks!

Nancy said...

I love neon...beautiful pictures! :)

Martin Pal said...

It's so hard to find many photos of the Coffee Dan's restaurants in Hollywood and other Los Angeles locations. Where did you fins this one?

Major Pepperidge said...

Martin, it was just in a random box of slides (along with a few other so-so Los Angeles slides).

Anonymous said...

Shame to ruin that pic of Coffee Dan's with a watermark.

Major Pepperidge said...

Anonymous, I'm not sure I agree that the photo is "ruined", though I resisted putting watermarks on my photos for 7 or 8 years - much to my regret. Should you ever decide to share thousands of slides from YOUR personal collection, you will eventually understand why I did it.