Saturday, May 20, 2017

Around Hollywood

Due to sheer indolence (too lazy to scan anything), I need to rely on some older scans for today's "Anything Goes Saturday" post. Put on your best clothes, and buy a ticket on PanAm so that you can go to Hollywood! Yes, you can smoke on the airplane.

Here's a 1961 photo looking east on Hollywood Boulevard, with Grauman's Egyptian Theater to our right (showing "Ben Hur"). I saw the Spanish horror film, "Mark of the Wolfman", (in 3-D!) at the Egyptian when I was a kid. It starred werewolf legend Paul Naschy (actually the movie was called "Frankenstein's Bloody Terror" when I saw it, and supposedly it was so scary that the theater had a nurse available at all times). And while I don't remember the movie being scary or particularly good, I think it might have been the first 3-D movie I'd ever seen - the effect was startling to me. "That skull that the mad doctor is drinking out of looks like it's so close that I could touch it!".

ANYWAY, you can see some nice landmarks, such as the Vogue Theater, Musso and Franks (still going strong!), and M'Goo's restaurant. The El Capitan and Chinese Theaters would be behind us.

Next is this 1950's shot out the back window of a moving car. The photo was taken near the corner of Hollywood Boulevard looking north on Vine Street, where the familiar Capitol Records building looms. Locals will enjoy the barely-visible Dupar's restaurant at the base of the "stack of records".

If you continue westward on Hollywood Blvd, you will eventually leave the glitzy (sleazy?) zone full of theaters, shops, banks and restaurants, and will find yourself surrounded by a slightly sleepier, more residential area. This photo is looking west from roughly the corner of Gardner Street. There are lots of apartments, and St. Thomas the Apostle's Episcopal Church (to our right) can be seen, with graceful palm trees lining the way.

Here's a screen grab from Google's street view - things look surprisingly the same.

Hooray for Hollywood!


Nanook said...


Hollywood - when it still seemed so 'glitzy' and 'classy' - as long as you didn't look too far beneath the surface.
Ben-Hur played at the Egyptian Theatre for an incredible two year engagement-! (Those were the days).

Trying to date the image of Hollywood & Vine, the green & white two-tone Oldsmobile is a 1956 model, and it appears there's a 1956 Dodge about to head eastbound on Hollywood Blvd. So it's possible this view is from late 1955, or more-likely 1956, or a little later.

Thanks, Major, for a look back at Hollywood.

TokyoMagic! said...

Now that we've arrived in Hollywood, let's go have lunch at the Brown Derby. Maybe William Holden and Eve Arden will be dining there. The Brown Derby would have been just out of view and to the left in that second pic. I never knew that there was a DuPar's across the street from it. The DuPar's on Ventura Blvd. (in Studio City) and at Farmer's Market in Hollywood are both still open.

Scott Lane said...

TM: No, I believe the Hollywood Brown Derby would be to our right in that picture, just out of frame.

I lived in LA for awhile in the 80's and worked at the Egyptian in '85. It had a very big curved screen and a beautiful brass sunburst on the ceiling. Both long gone as I understand. Shame.

Pegleg Pete said...

The gloom is so strong in that second photo that - were it not for the Capitol building - it could almost be a street secene from somewhere back east or in the Pacific Northwest.

K. Martinez said...

I lived in a motel for a month in 1987 on N. Orange Drive directly across from Hollywood High between Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. It was in walking distance of all the major action. There were many interesting characters that I ran into and not just along Hollywood Blvd. I remember seeing Roddy McDowall, Burgess Meredith and Lee Remick when one of the them was receiving a star on the Walk of Fame. They're all gone now. The actors that is.

Nice set today. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

When did they paint that giant "Hollywood Blvd" on the street surface?

Steve DeGaetano said...

Was coming home one evening from downtown LA on the Red Line. Maybe 7:00 on a fall evening.

The subway broke down at one of the Hollywood stations. I knew it would be a while before it was fixed or I could grab a bus to North Hollywood, so I walked down the block to Musso and Frank's. Took a seat at the bar, surrounded by red naugahyde booths, and asked the aged bartender to mix me the driest gin martini he could make, straight up with an olive.

It was delicious, sitting there, reading my copy of the Times and imagining I was a gumshoe in 1950s LA, trying to help some dame get the goods on her lowdown husband.

That was the only time I was really happy the subway broke down.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, It must've been some time ago, because we have our street name painted on our street surface just like that too. The only problem is it's invisible in person, so I have to go on Google's street view to be able to see it.

Chuck said...

Holy smokes, Ken - they used the same invisible paint on my street, too!

Anonymous said...

Philip Marlowe is in one of those cars on Vine Street, I'm sure of it.

@Steve DeGaetano, that is a great story.

Fun to hear everyone's memories. Thank you Major.