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Early Hollywood Photographs

Early Hollywood Photographs

The collection is one of the most important collections of historical photographs of early & historic Hollywood. The collection, of over 12,000 prints, was assembled by Hollywood historian, Bruce Torrence. The collection is divided into ninety subject categories. These include  Barnsdall Park, Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood hotels, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Sunset Blvd., Hollywood restaurants, Hollywood theaters, Hollywood nightclubs, Hollywood Legion Stadium, Hollywood Canteen, and many others.

C.C. Pierce, Photographer

One of the early Hollywood photographers was Charles Chester Pierce. An engineer by training, Pierce migrated to Southern California in 1886 and began his photographic career in the thriving town of Los Angeles.  For years, he would travel to Hollywood and take hundreds of photographs of subjects including, the Paul DeLongpre residence, Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood buildings, street scenes, panoramic scenes and hundreds of others.

Hollywood Blvd. Photo

Paul DeLongpre Residence Photos

Some of the earliest photographs of Hollywood are of street scenes, hotels, community events and Hollywood residences. One of the important and popular residences of Hollywood was owned by the famous floral artist, Paul DeLongpre. Born in France, DeLongpre settled in Hollywood and purchased a lot at the corner of Prospect Ave. & Cahuenga Ave. Shortly after building his lovely home, he traded some paintings for two lots next to his home. Here he grew his magnificent gardens and used it as his subjects for his floral paintings. The street cars that travelled from Los Angeles would stop at his home, where the passengers would disembark and visit DeLongpre’s gallery.  There are scores of DeLongpre photos on the website.

DeLongpre resident photo

Hollywood Street Photographs

Some of the earliest Hollywood photos are of some of the streets of Hollywood.  The main street in Hollywood was Prospect Ave. When the Hollywood residents voted to annex their community to the City of Hollywood, Prospect Ave. was renamed, Hollywood Boulevard. Until about 1915, Hollywood Blvd. was lined with beautiful Pepper trees. Cahuenga Ave and Wilcox Ave. were popular and beautiful residential streets. The website has hundreds of photographs of Hollywood streets.

All the photographs in the collection are available for purchase. Photos may be used for, both, personal and commercial use. We sell high resolution digital images and actual photographic prints of any size.

Hollywood Walk of Fame Photos

The Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the best-known landmarks in California In 1953, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce was looking for ways to upgrade the city’s image, and to give the city a facelift. And, to draw in more tourism, the Chamber’s president, EM “Mac” Stuart, proposed the idea of a “Walk of Fame”, where  celebrities would be honored.

Sunset Blvd. Photo

A design was made up by artist Oliver Weismuller. This consisted of a five-pointed star made from pink stone rimmed with bronze, set into a square of grey granite. Bronze letters are inlaid into the star to spell out the celebrity’s name, and a small bronze plaque symbolizes the area of entertainment for which the celebrity is being honored: a movie camera for film stars, a TV set for television stars, a record for music stars, a microphone for radio stars, and comedy/tragedy masks for stage actors.

The Chamber of Commerce then formed a “Walk of Fame Committee” to select the celebrities who would be honored with a star. About 1,500 markers were planned.

Hollywood Walk of Fame photo

During this time the First Federal Savings and Loan Association building was being constructed at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland, and it was decided to put in a temporary group of Walk of Fame markers into the new sidewalk, to show what the eventual display would look like and to generate publicity for the project. So eight stars were unveiled there on August 15, 1958. These stars were for Olive Borden, Ronald Coleman, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Edward Sedgwick, Ernest Torrence, and Joanne Woodward. Because of scheduling conflicts, only Woodward was able to attend the ceremony. In February 1960, the permanent stars began to be added to the existing sidewalks on Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. The first star to be installed was for movie director Stanley Kramer; Joanne Woodward had the first public ceremony when her permanent star was installed shortly after that.  By the end of 1961, a total of 1558 stars were installed, and the dedication ceremonies had become glitzy Hollywood publicity events.

Since then, new stars have been added at the rate of 25-30 a year. As of 2015 there are about 2330 markers on the Hall of Fame. About ten million people a year visit the site.

Hollywood Photo Collection

The largest collection of Hollywood Walk of Fame photos is on the website. There are more than 400 vintage photos of celebrities during their dedication ceremonies.






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