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The Hollywood Photographs Blog

Hollywood Sign's 90th Birthday

Birthday Party

Hollywood’s biggest star, the Hollywood Sign, celebrated its 90th birthday Thursday evening, September 19, at a packed event on the rooftop of Drai’s Hollywood, overlooking the world famous icon of the entertainment industry. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Sign Trust presented “The White Party,” named in honor of the nine most famous letters in the world, which received a complete makeover in preparation for its starring role last year.

In attendance was Bob Barker, the popular host of “The Price Is Right” and the Miss USA Pagaent. Barker also celebrated his 90th birthday

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Chris Baumgart, chairman of the Hollywood Sign Trust, noted that the Sign has experienced the ups and down of pursuing...

Poverty Row and Gower Gulch History and Photos

Early Movie Studios

Poverty Row was a slang term used in Hollywood from the late 1920s and  referred to a variety of small (and mostly short-lived movie studios. While many of them were on  Sunset Blvd., near Gower St. in Hollywood, the term did not necessarily refer to any specific physical location, but was rather a figurative catch-all for low-budget films produced by these lesser-tier studios.

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By the mid-twenties, scores of small, independent studios were operating in Hollywood, primarily on Sunset Boulevard near Gower Street.  These studios struggled to exist by making one and two reel comedies, westerns, comedies and dramas.  Because of the fierce competition, the uncertainty of having their films distributed and the difficulty of making a profit, these...

Hollywood Sign and Hollywoodland Photos

Hollywoodland Development

After having been established in Hollywood for only a decade the motion picture business was considered to have a greater number of employees than any other industry in Los Angeles. The rapid influx of people to Hollywood caused a temporary shortage of housing, especially for those seeking large single – family residences. One of the first real estate developments to satisfy this need was Hollywoodland.

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This magnificent subdivision was officially opened on March 31, 1923 by a syndicate of owners. Located at the northerly portion of Beachwood Drive, the development was located on part of the old Sherman and Clark ranch, which comprised 500 of wooded canyons and knolls. Hollywoodland offered concrete paved streets with curbs, sewers, ornamental...

Hollywood Walk of Fame and History and Photos

Concept of Walk of Fame

Without question, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is Hollywood's most popular tourist attraction. Started about 55 years ago, the Hollywood walk of fame has become Hollywood’s most popular attraction.

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce credits E.M. Stuart, it's president in 1953, with the original concept for creating a Hollywood Walk of Fame. Stuart, normally called Mac, proposed the Walk of Fame as a means to maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour and excitement in the four corners of the world.  Harry Sugarman, another Chamber member and president of the Hollywood Improvement Association, incorrectly received credit for the concept.

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In February 1956, a prototype was unveiled which included example of a blue star on a brown...

Hollywood Legion Stadium Photos

Original Stadium

The Hollywood Legion Post #43 was organized in 1919 in Hollywood. They purchased property at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and El Centro Ave. with the idea of having a boxing arena. In 1919 the American Legion first put chairs on the dirt lot on El Centro Ave. A chicken wire fence covered with tar paper to prevent passer-bys from looking in. In 1922 the Legion erected an outdoor stadium with wooden bleachers. A year or so later the stadium was roofed and heated. It was known as the Hollywood Legion Stadium

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The list of boxing and wrestling noteables who appeared at the Hollywood Legion Stadium from the mid-20s on, seemed endless. Included among the champions were heavyweights James L Braddock, and Joe Lewis; lightweights Maxie Rosenbloom and Archie Moore;...

Pan Pacific Auditorium Vintage Photos

New Auditorium

The Pan-Pacific Auditorium was a landmark structure in the Fairfax District  of Los Angeles, California, which once stood at 7600 West Beverly Boulevard near the site of Gilmore Field, an early Los Angeles baseball venue at Dodger Stadium. It was located within sight of both CBS Television City on the southeast corner of Beverly and Fairfax Avenue and the Farmers Market on the northeast corner of Third Street and Fairfax. For over 35 years it was the premiere location for indoor public events in Los Angeles. The facility was closed in 1972, beginning 17 years of steady neglect and decay. In 1978 the Pan-Pacific Auditorium was included in the National Register of Historic Places but 11 years later the sprawling wooden structure was destroyed in a spectacular fire. The hollywoodphotographs.com website has many Pan Pacific opening ceremony...

Hollywood Becomes A City

Hollywood Community

The United States government recognized the existence of Hollywood in November 1987 by establishing a post office in the second hotel, with Linus Matthews as postmaster. Over the next six years the village of Hollywood was faced with three pressing problems that the Cahuenga Valley improvement Association, were recognized in 1895, seemed incapable of solving: Hollywood streets were not getting attention in proportion to the tax levied by the county on Hollywood property; a lack of school facilities; and a growing sentiment for prohibition.

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The Hollywood Board of trade was formed in June 1903 to supersede the improvement Association, and the following months meeting it was suggested that many of the communities problems could be solved by incorporating as...

The Hollywood Canteen History & Photos

Grand Opening

The Hollywood Canteen open October 3, 1942, with Eddie Cantor as master of ceremonies. The grand opening was tailored like a premier at Grauman's Chinese theater. For bands entertained including Rudy Vallee and his Coast Guard Band, Kay Kyser's band, and Duke Ellington and his band. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello and other celebrities were on hand to entertain the thousands of celebrities, civic leaders, and visiting serviceman.

Eventually, 6000 stars, players, writers, directors, and studio secretaries were registered to work as hosts, hostesses, bus persons, kitchen crew, and general helpers. It took 300 volunteers each night to operate the Canteen in two shifts between 7 PM at midnight.

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Photographers

During the course of the Hollywood...

Laurel Canyon History and Photos

Laurel Canyon 

Shortly after Hollywood was annexed to the city of Los Angeles in 1910, the Laurel Canyon area began to experience some popularity because of its natural scenic beauty. Hundreds of visitors a week traveled up the canyon on 82 mile long, braided dirt road, later named Laurel Canyon Boulevard. Built by unemployed workers in 19 seven at a cost of $10,000, the road ran up the canyon where it divided at what is now look out mountain road. The left road twisted its way up to the summit of Lookout Mountain, while the other continued to the top of the Santa Monica Mountains and down to the San Fernando valley.

In 1908, the Lookout Mountain Park and and Water company was formed to purchase 280 acres on Lookout Mountain, just west of Laurel Canyon. A large portion of the acreage was subdivided into bungalow lots, most of which had beautiful panoramic views of the city. Two years later, the company widened the winding dirt road to the top of...

Hollywood Stars Baseball Team & Gilmore Field

Hollywood Gets Its Own Baseball Team

In 1938, Robert Cobb and Victor Ford Collins engineered the acquisition of the San Francisco Mission Baseball Team, formerly the Vernon Tigers, from the Fleishhacker interest of San Francisco. Upon moving to Los Angeles, the clubs name was changed to the Hollywood Stars Baseball Team. From that point on, the club became an integral part in the success of the Pacific Coast league.

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During their first year in Los Angeles, the stars played in Wrigley Field. The next year they moved to Gilmore Field, which was next to the Gilmore Stadium at Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue. The new stadium was built for them by A. F. Gilmour Company which also owned Gilmore Oil, just south of Hollywood. Gilmore Field and Gilmore Stadium photos...

Ken Murray's Blackouts and Photos

In keeping with tradition of being the entertainment capital of the world, 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. Kim Murray started theatergoers laughing on June 24, 1942 when the lackouts first opened at the El Capitan Theatre, formerly the Hollywood Playhouse Theatre on Vine Street. As stated earlier, the original El Capitan Theatre was located on Hollywood Boulevard, just west of Highland Avenue. However, when the theater changed its name to Hollywood Paramount Theater in 1942, the owners of the Hollywood Playhouse acquired the El Capitan name.

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Murray had spent months assembling a group...