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Charles E. Toberman

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Charles Edward Toberman

One of Hollywood’s most prominent pioneers and citizens was Charles Edward Toberman.  Born in Seymour, Texas, on February 23, 1880, he was educated at Texas A & M College and Metropolitan Business College.  Five years after his marriage to Josephine Bullock, on March 15, 1902, the moved to Hollywood, where his uncle, James R. Toberman resided. James was a former mayor of Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Toberman into the real estate and insurance business with B.C. Edwards. Two months later, the partnership was desolved and Mr. Toberman formed the C.E. Toberman Company, which immediately acquired a 10 X10 foot building for $100 at the southeast corner of Prospect Avenue (now Hollywood Blvd.) and Highland Ave. Later, he built a 15 X20 foot brick building on the southwest corner of Prospect Avenue and Dakota St. (now McCadden Pl.) where he relocated his business. This marked the beginning of a long and successful career for the man who, years later, became known as “Mr. Hollywood.”

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Outpost Estates

One of Mr. Toberman’s most successful residential subdivisions was the now famous Outpost Estates.  Prior to this, Mr. Toberman established several other real estate subdivisions, such as, La Colinas Heights.  However, the Outpost Estates was, by far, the most beautiful and sophisticated real estate development Hollywood had ever seen. The streets were made of concrete, all houses had to have fireproof tile roofs, and Mr. Toberman was a one man architectural committee, that had to approve the plans before the house could be built.

During the courts of Mr. Toberman’s illustrious career, he established fifty-three real Estate subdivisions, formed more than thirty companies and organizations, built twenty nine commercial buildings in Hollywood. He, also, founded and owned the Black Foxe Military Institute. Mr. Toberman passed away in November, 1981, at the age of one hundred and one years old. 

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Grauman’s Egyptian Theater

Because of Mr. Toberman’s business acumen, showman, Sid Grauman asked him to build him a movie palace type theater with an Egyptian theme. The theater had it’s grand opening in 1922 with the premiere of Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks. The premiere was but one of many movie premieres that spannedmore than fifty years. For the first time in theater building history, the Egyptian theater had a large forecourt where movie props could be displayed.

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With the success of Grauman’s Egyptian Theater, Sid Grauman, once again, called upon Mr.Toberman to build him another theater, this time with a Chinese motif. Mr. Toberman agreed and in 1927, the theater had it’s grand opening with the premiere of the “King of Kings”, starring, among others, Ernest Torrence. Like the Egyptian Theater, the Chinese Theater had a very large forecourt where movie stars placed their hand, footprints and signatures in wet cement sections of the forecourt. Over the courts of the past eighty-five years, hundreds of Hollywood’s most famous celebrities have been immortalized in the Chinese Theater’s forecourt.

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