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Hollywood Photos Website Part 1

Hollywoodphotos Website Part 1

The hollywoodphotos.com 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 Blvd., Sunset Boulevard, Edgemont Street and Vermont Avenue, Had been given its name in the 1890s by J. H. Spires, who planted the area extensively with Olive trees. She called her place Barnsdall Park.

Ms. Barnsdall,  a millionaire due to her father's oil interests, had long been interested in the arts, and from 1916 to 1919 operated the little theater at pico and figueroa streets.

Determined to make Los Angeles the cultural Center of America, Miss Barnsdall commission Frank Lloyd Wright as the architect for the project. Construction began in the fall of 1919 with Wright’s son, Lloyd, directing the building of Hollyhock House. with the help of the Lloyd, Aline Barnsdall planted pine grows on the hill behind the house and great masses of eucalyptus to enclose them. When the house was finished, some described it as Mayan in influence, however Lloyd Wright said that his father developed it to reflect a Mesa silhouette as originated by the Pueblo Indians.

In January, 1921, a director's house, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, was built on the northeast corner of the hill. Eight months later, a guesthouse was built on the Westside overlooking Edgemont Street.

For personal reasons, Aline Barnsdall decided, in 1923, to donate 10 acres, including the Hollyhock House, to the city of Los Angeles. The  city Council considered a gift, but because of too many conditions, it was refused. This marked the first of many battles between Ms. Barnsdall and the city. Three years later, she again offered to 10 acres to the city. This time, through an intermediary, the gift was accepted on January 6, 1927. Ms. Barnsdall reserved for herself, the guesthouse and the North East corner of the hill. The hollywoodphotos.com website has many rare photographs of the beautiful Barnsdall Park.

Photo of Chinese Theater

Grauman’s Chinese Theater Photos

 in 1922,  Sid Grumman opened his Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. Built for  Sid by Charles Toberman,  the theater was an immediate success. It was here that the first movie premiere was held to host the film, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks. A few years later, Sid Grumman asked Mr. Toberman to fill another theater, this time of Chinese architecture. On armistice day, November 11, 1925, the first written it in the studio girders was driven by the beautiful Chinese actress, Anna May Wong. Just prior to the completion of construction, Sid Grauman took Norma Talmadge, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to observe the progress of the theater. Shortly thereafter, Sid was walking in the theater’s forecourt when he accidentally stepped in to a patch of wet cement. It was this accident that was the genesis for what would later become one of Hollywood's greatest tourist attractions. In April 1927, Sid asked Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks to come to the theater and placed her hand, footprints, and signatures in a small block of wet cement, located in the theater’s forecourt. The two of them became the first of hundreds of celebrities to place their extremities and signatures in the theater’s forecourt.

The theater had its grand opening on May 18, 1927 when Cecil B DeMille’s “ King of Kings” was premiered. Hundreds of movie fans thronged the street outside the theater to view the magnificent structure and to see the autographs of some of the arriving stars, dripping with mink and diamonds in the best of Hollywood tradition. Attending the premiere were many of the actors and actresses who starred in the King of Kings. Among those were Ernest and Elsie Torrence and their son, Ernest Torrence Jr. The hollywoodphotos.com website has many vintage photographs of the premiere and the Chinese Theater itself.

The grandeur of the building was far beyond the public's imagination. With a magnificently carved ceiling, muraled walls, Plush carpet and ornate columns, it was by far one of the most beautiful theaters in the world.

The Chinese theater has hosted more premieres than any other theater in the country. Opening nights are intended in rich measure by stars, producers, writers and technicians. They are presence easily makes a Hollywood premiere the most glamorous and exciting spectacle in the field of entertainment.

Photo of Crossroads of the World

Crossroads Of The World Photos

Hollywood's most unique shopping center,” the "Crossroads of the World”, was opened on October 29, 1936. Located on the south side of Sunset Boulevard just east of Las Palmas Ave., the unique complex was designed by architect Robert V. Derrah for owner Ella Crawford. In order to develop the property to the fullest, so as to provide a maximum of us door footage, a private street steam, or mall, was developed with access at Sunset, Selma, and Las Palmas Ave.’s. To this, the exclusion of automobile traffic and the numerous fine old trees, led an old world atmosphere in contrast to the busy streets of Hollywood. On one side of the mall were buildings of Italian and French architecture, and on the other, Spanish and Mexican, while the center was a Marine modern structure surmounted by a 60 foot tower on which a world, 8 feet in diameter, revolved. Further up the mall were buildings of Moorish and Turkish design while the entrance from Las Palmas Ave. was a narrow crooked street reminiscent of old cape cod.

During the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, the crossroads of the world was a highly successful complex, However because of the competition of neighborhood shopping centers in the 1960s, it began to lose its appeal. In December 1974, 38 years after its dedication, the crossroads of the world was declared a historical cultural monument by the Los Angeles cultural heritage board.

Visitors to the hollywoodphotos.com website are able to view many rare and vintage photographs of the Crossroads of the World complex.

Photo of Ciro's Nightclub

Earl Carroll Theater Photos

The largest collection of Earl Carroll Theatre photographs is on the hollywoodphotos.com website. These include photos of the interior and exterior of the building, along with photos of many of the showgirls.

One of New York's most popular shows was Earl Carroll’s “ Vanities” revue.  the production, which ran from 1923 to 1936 was, in actuality, a refined burlesque show and was continuously raided by the police. Closing and reopening began to take his financial toll. With his fortune betting because of high court and production cost, Earl Carroll left New York.

After arriving in Hollywood in 1936 and fighting sufficient financial backing, he opened the Earl Carroll Theatre at Sunset Boulevard and Argyle Street on December 26, 1938. Opening night was one of the most dazzling events Hollywood had ever seen. Countless  celebrities and professional leaders attended the colorful premier, while hundreds of spectators stood outside the theater to watch their favorite stars drive up to the entrance.

The star-studded pageant included such personalities as Marlene Dietrich,  Tyrone Power, Dolores Del Rio, Carole Lombard, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Claudette Colbert  and many others. The production, which emphasize the beauty of the partially clad female form, boasted of a cast of 60 showgirls. Carroll, who meticulously selected each of the cast members, adopted the slogan “ through these doors past most beautiful girls in the world”. The show, headed by Beryl Wallace, became an immediate success and later developed such personalities as Yvonne DeCarlo, Jean Wallace, and Sheree North.

Earl Carroll's colossal theater, which could accommodate 1160 customers, was lit by 10,000 neon tubes which were suspended from a patent leather seating. With an elevated revolving stage, there was not a bad seat in the house. For $2.50, and later $3.50, the customer received a fine dinner, dance, and witness one of the most spectacular and letters revues in show business history.

Slightly less than a decade after it was started, the production came to a tragic and when  Earl Carroll and Beryl Wallace were killed in an airplane accident in Pennsylvania on June 17, 1948.

Please visit the hollywoodphotos.com website to see thousands of vintage and rare Hollywood photographs.

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