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Hollywood Studio Club photos

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The Hollywood Studio Club

Within a few years after the movie industry settled in Hollywood, the once sleepy little community was inundated with hundreds of young girls from all over the country who had high hopes of instant stardom. In 1916, some of the girls began gathering regularly in the basement of the Hollywood public library to read plays together. The girls were strangers, lonely and in and unfamiliar city, and often desperately discouraged. Eleanor Jones, the librarian, became concerned about the girls’ welfare when she learned that most of them were living in poorly supervised boarding houses and cheap hotels. She and Mrs. Charles Richmond took the problem to the Young Women's Christian Association, which backed them in locating a recreation hall on Hollywood Boulevard, where the girls could meet and dance or participate in gymnastics. It was so successful that plans were made to enlarge the facilities and provide living quarters. The only qualification needed for admittance to the Studio Club was that the applicant had to be seeking a career in the motion picture business, whether as an actress, singer, script girl, cutter, writer, designer, dancer or secretary. Some referred to it as a sorority, and the Hollywood Studio Club also offered classes in various aspects of the performing arts, as well as hosting dances, teas, dinners and occasional plays, fashion shows and stunt nights. The club also provided residents with two meals a day, sewing machines, hair driers, laundry equipment, typewriters, theater literature, practice rooms, stage and sun deck.

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First Clubhouse

The funds for the first year's rent for a clubhouse at 6129 Carlos Ave. were raised in less than an hour at a businessmen’s lunch. The building accommodated 10 girls, among them Carmel Myers, Marjorie Daw, Zasu Pitts and Ann O'Neill, all extras at the time. The building was called the Hollywood Studio Club. There are hundreds of Hollywood Studio Club photos on hollywoodphotographs.com.

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New Building

Ten years after its founding, the club moved into a beautiful three-story Mediterranean-style structure at 1215 Lodi Place. The building had a capacity of 94 girls and it was filled from nearly the first day. Often there was a long waiting list. Over the next 60 years, the Hollywood Studio Club was home to thousands of girls. Most of the potential starlets had to settle for more Monday and jobs, but many made the climb to stardom, including Marie Windsor, Dorothy Malone, Gale Storm, Linda Darnell, Kim Novak and Rita Moreno.

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By the 1960s, the complexion of the movie industry had changed greatly. The changing lifestyles made the protective atmosphere of the YWCA less attractive.

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The club closed its doors in 1975, when the city of Los Angeles informed the YWCA that the building did not meet the new fire safety standards and could no longer be used as a residence.At the time of its closing, the officials of YWCA donated all of their scrapbooks photographs and memorabilia to Bruce Torrence and his Hollywood photograph collection. Scores of Hollywood Studio Club photos can be seen on the Hollywoodphotographs.com

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