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The Hollywood Photographs Blog

Hollywood Sign History Part 1


The following is an excerpt from Mary Mallory’s book, “Hollywoodland.”

“In the early days, the area of Beachwood Canyon was either empty land or used for farming, as seen in photographs, and did not exist on maps. The eastern half of what became Hollywoodland first appeared in records when the federal government issued a patent to the Southern Pacific Railroad on February 9, 1884.  On September 26, 1890, the Railroad sold the land to Julia E. Lord for an undetermined amount, and four days later she leased it to Quong Yuen Chung “for the right to cut wood.” Deeds for mining interest first appeared on December 12, 1893, but were terminated by court action 1896. On February 8, 1900, Lord bought the western half of the Hollywoodland site from the federal government. As noted in a Los Angeles Times article dated December 22, 1968, she...

Hollywood Photos Website #4 Website Part #4

Ken Murray’s Blackouts Photos

The website has the largest collection of photographs of the Ken Murray’s Blackouts.  Here is its history.

Almost everyone knows that Hollywood is the entertainment capital of the world. In keeping with that tradition, Hollywood had the distinction of being the home of Ken Murray's Blackouts, the longest running variety review in the history of American legitimate theater. Murray started the year goers laughing in 1942 when the blackouts first opened at the El Capitan Theatre on Vine Street. Formerly known as a Hollywood Playhouse theater, its name was changed to the El Capitan Theatre by C.E. Toberman, who had recently acquired the theater.

Photo of Ken Murray's Blackouts...

Hollywood Photos Website Part 3 Website Part 3

Hollywood Movie Studio Photos

The honor of having established the first Hollywood movie studio in Hollywood goes to the Nestors Film Company of Staten Island, New York. In October 1911, a small group from this film company arrived in Los Angeles to make movies.

The personnel of the company included David Horsley, proprietor of the concern; Al Christie, business manager and director of comedies; Tom Ricketts, dramatic and comedy director; Milton Faheney, director of Westerns; John Nicklaus, chief cameraman and laboratory expert; Thomas Briely, Carpenter, and many other support staff and actors.

The cast of players included Josephine Ditt, Dorothy Davenport, Alice Davenport, Eugene Ford, Victoria Ford, Mrs. William Farney, Jack Conway and several others.

Photo of Hollywood Movie Studio...

Hollywood Photos Website Part 2

Hollywoodphotos Website  Part 2

The website has the largest number of  vintage Hollywood photographs. There are more than 9000  rare  Hollywood photos, covering 92 subject categories.   Some of these include photos of streets, hotels, theaters, real estate developments, the Hollywood sign, and nightclubs. All of these photographs are available for purchase.

Photo of Florentine Gardens

Florentine Gardens Photos

Among Hollywood's hotspots, one of the biggest and flashiest was the Florentine Gardens, located at 5955 Hollywood Blvd. Even in a community never noted for modest standards, it was colossal. Not highly popular with most movie celebrities who preferred...

Hollywood Photos Website Part 1

Hollywoodphotos Website Part 1

The website is the largest photo and reference collection on the subject of Hollywood.  With more than 9,000 vintage Hollywood photographs, the website has 92 subject categories from which to choose.   Four of those categories include historical photographs of Barnsdall Park, Grauman’s Chinese Theater,Crossroads of the World and the Earl Carroll Nightclub.

Photo of Barnsdall Park

Barnsdall Park Photos

Long before the cultural movement was to strike Los Angeles, Aline Barnsdall purchased Olive Hill on June 3, 1919, for the purpose of establishing an art center. The property, consisting of 36 acres bounded by Hollywood...

Hollywood Pilgrimage Play Photos on website

The Pilgrimage Play Photos

Pilgrimage Play Theater

The Pilgrimage Play Theater was built in 1920 as the site of The Pilgrimage Play. The author, Christine Wetherill Stevenson, believed the rugged beauty of the Cahuenga Pass would provide a dramatic outdoor setting for the play. Together with Mrs. Chauncey D. Clark, she purchased this land along with that on which the Hollywood Bowl now sits. A wooden, outdoor amphitheatre was built on this site and the play was performed by noted actors every summer from 1920 to 1929, until the original structure was destroyed by a brush fire in October 1929.

Photo of Pilgrimage Play actors...

Hollywood Legion Post #43 Photos & History

Hollywood Legion Photos & History

Founding of the Hollywood Legion Post #43

The history of the Hollywood Legion Post # 43 is one that is keeping with Hollywood’s great and illustrious history. The Hollywood Legion in Hollywood started withthe men who had gone off to fight what they believed was ‘the war to end all wars’. The returning men rallied behind the idea of establishing an organization of, for and by veterans. In 1919, Army captain Taylor Duncan returned from WW I to work as an actor and stagehand in Hollywood’s film industry. He was one of the actors at Jesse Lasky Studios and by all accounts, was an engaging and persuasive fellow. He tirelessly campaigned for a post established in Hollywood that could serve returning doughboys who had come to Hollywood to make their...

Ciro's Nightclub Photos on the website

Ciro’s Nightclub Photos on The Website

Hollywood Restaurants & Nightclubs

Some of Hollywood's most famous restaurants and nightclubs were located on Sunset Boulevard which was also known as the Sunset strip. Hundreds of photographs of these famous nightspots are on the website, which has more than 9,000 photos of vintage Hollywood. Aoo the photos are available for purchase.

Photo of Ciro's Nightclub

Ciro's Nightclub

Businessman, Billy Wilkerson had previously opened the Café Trocadero, in the 1930s and was now ready...

Vintage Hollywood Photos on the Website

Vintage Hollywood Photos on the Website

The largest collection of Hollywood photos is on the website.  There are more than 12,000 historical photographs on the website, covering over 90 subject categories.

The collection was started in 1970 by Bruce Torrence when his grandfather gave him about thirty vintage Hollywood photos.  Over time, this fabulous collection has grown to largest of its kind.  In 2000, Bruce developed a website called, which is connected to the website.  Today, more than 100,000 people visit the website, many of whom purchase photos.

Hollywoodland Sign photo...

Paul DeLongpre Photos on website

Paul DeLongpre Photos On Website

One of Hollywood's most famous and popular residents was Paul DeLongpre.  The largest and collection of Paul DeLongpre’s home photographs is on the website. There are thousands of vintage photos of Hollywood on this popular website.

Paul DeLongpre was born in Lyon, France in 1855, reared and educated in Paris and at the age of 12, was painting flowers on fans. In 1874, he married Miss Josephine Estivenard. He had his first oil painting accepted and home in the Paris salon in 1876. Through the failure of a bank in Paris, he met financial ruin and in 1890, came to New York to begin life anew. In 1896, he staged a watercolor flower painting exhibition in New York. Three years later, he came to Los Angeles with his wife and three children, Alice, Blanche, and...

Pickford, Fairbanks Goldwyn Studio Photos


Jesse Hampton Studios

In 1918, pioneer film producer, Jesse D. Hampton moved from the studio he rented on Fleming Street and built a new facility at Santa Monica Boulevard and Formosa Avenue.  Surrounded by hundreds of vacant acres in South Hollywood, the new studio included two large glass stages, offices and a small outdoor set at the rear of the property.  Employing some of the top stars of the day including, Blanche Sweet, J. Warren Kerrigan, Lois Wilson, H.B. Warner and William Desmond, Hampton produced or directed a couple of dozen films with names such as “The Prodigal Liar” and “The Drifters.” 

Photo of Jesse Hampton Studio

Pickford – Fairbamks Studios

In 1922, after using the facility for three...

Hollywood Airfield Photos & History

Hollywood Airfield Photos & History

One of Hollywood's least known bit of history was that Hollywood had its own airfields, for a very short periods.  Airfields of the Hollywood aviators were often motion picture sets. Mostly open cropland at the time, the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles was the setting for hundreds of feature films and shorts. The largest collection of Hollywood Airfield photos is on the website.

Photo of DeMille Field

DeMille Aviation Fields

From the turn of the 20th century, oil wells and derricks peppered the landscape in the area just south of Hollywood. While while derricks were fast becoming part of the landscape around Wilshire Boulevard in the very early part...

Hollywood Stars Baseball Team Photos

The Hollywood Stars Baseball Team

The Hollywood Stars baseball team, which was a member of the Pacific Coast League from 1926 to 1935 and again from 1938 to 1957, was "a fun deal" that gave me "the best years of my life," according to Robert H. Cobb, its last president. The club was truly a civic venture which was both the pride and the pleasure of Hollywood's leading citizens.

Gilmore Field Photo

Hollywood’s First Baseball Team

Baseball first came to Hollywood, California, in 1926, when William H. Lane moved his Salt Lake City franchise to Los Angeles. Although his club played its home games in Wrigley Field, the recently-built home of the rival Los Angeles Angels, Lane called his team the Hollywood Stars.

Vintage Hollywood Stars Baseball Team Photos

The largest collection of Hollywood Stars Baseball...

Hollywood Fire Dept. Photos & History

Hollywood Fire Dept. Photos & History

As a result of the February, 1910 election, the residents of the City of Hollywood voted to annex their small community to the City of Los Angeles.

Vintage Hollywood Photos

The website has many vintage and historical photos of Hollywood Fire stations and equipment.  Many show the fire station on Cahuenga Ave., just south of Hollywood Blvd.

Prior to the annexation, all fire fighting had been performed by volunteer firemen who drove and operated horse-drawn fire equipment.  Shortly after the annexation in 1910, the City of Los Angeles established a firehouse known as Hose Company No. 7 at the southeast corner of Cahuenga and Selma Avenues.  Under the command of Chief Jack...

Vintage Hollywood Movie Premiere Photos

Hollywood Movie Premiere Photos

First Movie Premiere

The quintessential symbol of Hollywood, movie premieres have been around since the dawn of the movies. The first red carpet movie premiere took place in 1922 at the Egyptian theater on Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood. Founded by Sid Grauman, the event was not only celebrating the opening of the Egyptian Theater but also the release of Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks. In 1927, Grauman opened the Chinese theatre down the street, this venue still being known as the home for red carpet events. During World War 2, premieres were suspended but came back in full force after 1945.

1935 Carthay Circle Theater

The largest collection of Hollywood movie premieres is on the ...

Hollywood Studio Club Photos & History

Hollywood Studio Club Photos & History

Unquestionably, one of Hollywood's finest and most charitable institutions was the famous Hollywood studio club. Within five years from the time the first Indio settled in Hollywood, but once sleepy little community was inundated with hundreds of young girls, from all over the country, who had high hopes of instant stardom. Early in 1916, a group of these young movie hopefuls began gathering regularly in the basement of the Hollywood public library to read plays together. Many of the girls were strangers, lonely as only a young girl in a strange city can be, and often were desperately discouraged.

1918 Hollywood Studio Club

Founding the Hollywood Studio Club


Runyon Canyon Photos & History

Runyon Canyon Photos & History

Runyon Canyon runs from just above Franklin Avenue to Mulholland Drive, the tract was originally called No Man's Canyon and is believed to have been a campsite for the Gabrielino Indians.

First Runyon Canyon Owners

In 1867, the federal government deeded the canyon to "Greek George" Caralambo for his services in the U.S. Army Camel Corps. The infamous bandit Tubircio Vasquez was captured while hiding out in Caralambo's adobe and later hanged--but not in the canyon.

In 1919, Carman Runyon, a wealthy coal merchant from the East Coast, bought the canyon, giving it his name and using it as a riding and hunting retreat.

John McCormack's home in Runyon Canyon

San Patrizio

Popular Irish tenor ...

Hollywood's earliest Rental Movie Studio


One of the lesser known, but oldest facilities in Hollywood was located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Fleming Street (now Hoover Street). During its almost one hundred year history, the studio was occupied by several small motion picture companies, many of whom were the real pioneers of the film industry.

Lubin Manufacturing Co.

The studio’s history began in 1912 when, just a few months after the Nestor Film Company settled in Hollywood, a group with the Lubin Manufacturing Company established a studio at 1425 North Fleming Street.  Aa member in good standing with the powerful Motion Picture and Patents Company, Lubin began producing films in hopes that the Trust would buy them.  However, Lubin’s days were few.  By June, the plant closed and was in the charge of a caretaker.

Photo of Lubin Manufacturing Film Company...

Yamashiro Hollywood Photos & History

Yamashiro Hollywood Photos & History

The famous Yamashiro Hollywood has been a popular fixture in Hollywood for more than one hundred years.  First as a beautiful residence and then as a popular restaurant and hotel.

Yamashiro Hollywood Sold

Just recently, the Yamashiro Hollywood property was sold by the Tom Glover family to Chinese company, the JE Group. The price was about $40 million.  The property had been in the Glover family since 1949 and managed as a restaurant, hotel and apartments. The JE Group said is plans on sprucing up the buildings, including the restaurant, hotel and apartments.

1918 Yamashiro Hollywood

Vintage Yamashiro Photos

The largest...

Great Old Hollywood Blvd. Photos

1905 Hollywood Boulevard photo

Hollywood Blvd. was known as Prospect Ave. until the Hollywood Board of Trade changed its name in 1910. Prospect Ave. was, primarily, a residential street with a couple of commercial areas.Here is a 1905 photo showing a streetcar travelling down Prospect Ave. near Highland Ave. There are hundreds of vintage Hollywood photos on the website.

1923 Photo of Hollywood Blvd & Cahuenga Ave.

By 1923, twenty three years after the motion pictury industry settled in Hollywood, Hollywood Blvd. & Cahuenga Ave. was a veery busy intersection. Here is...