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The Hollywood Photographs Blog

Hollywood Movie Studios

Hollywood Movie Studios

Prior to the movie studios settled in Hollywood, movies were made primarily on the East Coast and in Chicago. Many of the East Coast movie studios were located in and around Fort Lee New Jersey. One of the pioneer film companies was the Selig Polyscope Company which had its headquarters in Chicago. Col. William Selig sent a film company to the southwest to film scenes for one of his movies. Director Francis Boggs, a cameraman, and six actors and actresses filmed in Los Angeles and on the beach at Santa Monica, then moved to Colorado. But the weather there proved no more stable than Chicago's, and, in 1909, the Selig Company moved back to Los Angeles.

First Movie Made

Boggs rented a vacant Chinese laundry at the corner of Eighth and Olive and converted the...

Chinese Theater Hand & Footprint Ceremony History and Photos

Chinese Theater Hand & Footprint Ceremony History and Photos

Chinese Theater

An estimated 2,000,000 tourist flock to the Chinese Theater from all over the world. Columnist Jack Smith likened it to being asked to leave one’s hand and footprints in the wet cement of the theater’s forecourt as “the next best thing to sainthood.” From the beginning, thousands of historic Chinese Theater photos have been taken.

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Origin of Hand & Footprint Ceremonies

The origin of the longest running publicity stunt in history of the movies, has been the subject of debate for the past eighty years. Published versions of how the idea for the ...

Florentine Gardens Photos

Hollywood Nightclub

Among Hollywood's hotspots, one of the biggest and flashiest was the Florentine Gardens, located at 5955 Hollywood Blvd.

Bruce Torrence began collecting Florentine Gardens photos in the early 1970s.  In the 2000s, He established a website called hollywoodphotographs.com,which has more than 8000 historic Hollywood photos.

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Even in a community never noted for modest standards, it was colossal. Not highly popular with most movies celebrities who preferred the exclusive intimacy of such places as Ciro’s, the Café Trocadero and the Mocambo, the noisy bar like club went in for quantity rather than quality. It managed to pack its 500 seats almost nightly. The inducement was a floor show that was...

Ernest Torrence, Actor

A Star Is Born

He was born Ernest Torrance – Thompson on June 6, 1878, in Edinburgh Scotland, and as a child was an exceptional pianist and operatic baritone and graduated from the Stuttgart Conservatory, Edinburgh Academy before earning a scholarship at London's Royal Academy of music.

Some time prior to 1900, he changed the spelling of torrents to torrents and dropped the name Thompson. Both Ernest and his brother David Torrance went to America in March 1911, directly from Scotland prior to World War I.  Shortly after arriving in the United States, he decided to change his name to Ernest Torrence.

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Making Movies

Ernest Torrance was one of the screens noted character actors. The giant Scott was...

Old Hollywood Nightclubs

Hollywood's Playground of the Stars

Some of the world's most popular and famous nightclubs, during the 1930s 40s and 50s were located in Hollywood, with many of them on Sunset Boulevard, also known as the Sunset strip.

During the 1930s, the nation saw the repeal of prohibition and a sharp rise in the number of nightclubs. By 1935 the country was beginning to recover from the Great Depression and the public was flocking to both the movies and nightclubs to forget its worries. Hollywood was certainly no exception. Aside from a phenomenal increase in number, some of Hollywood's nightclubs were considered by many to be the finest in the world several of these famed nightclubs were located on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, between Hollywood and Beverly Hills. It was also commonly known as the Sunset strip because this area was in the County of Los Angeles territory, not the city of Los Angeles. However, because of its proximity to the entertainment capital of the world,...

Chaplin Studios

Photographs of Chaplin Studios

Charles Spencer Chaplin began his illustrious American movie career in 1914 with the Keystone Film Company in Edendale, California.  After making several films there, he left in 1914 to accept an offer with G.M. Anderson of the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company.  He made his first three films at the Chicago Essanay studio but didn’t like it there.  He moved to Essanay’s studio in Niles, California and stayed for almost three months.  Here he made “A Night Out”, “The Champion”, “In The Park”, “A Jitney Elopement” and “The Tramp.”  He then went to Los Angeles in April to finish out his Essanay contract. The following year, in 1916, Chaplin started his own company by building the Lone Star Studio at Lillian Way and Eleanor Ave in Hollywood.  The small studio consisted of two open-air platform...