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Vintage Hollywood Photographs

Vintage Hollywood Photos  

The website has more than 12,000 vintage photos of Hollywood.  There are more than 90 subject categories, on the website, from which to choose.  Some of these categories include, the Brown Derby Restaurant, Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood Theaters, Hollywood Canteen and the  Hollywood Bowl.


Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood sign is one of the most iconic symbols of Hollywood. All across the globe, the Hollywood sign is seen as a symbol of the glamour and importance of what Hollywood has meant to the entertainment industry. Erected in 1923, the sign originally read Hollywoodland, which was a advertising sign for the real estate development that lay just below the sign. The real estate development was known as Hollywoodland and the sign was erected in 1923 to promote this development. The website has hundreds of vintage photographs of, and not only, the construction of the sign, but also what it looked like at night as well as the subsequent deterioration that took place over the years. 25 years after the sign was erected, a severe windstorm knocked the letter H to the ground and severely damaged the rest of the letters. The County of Los Angeles elected to refurbish the sign by rebuilding the letter H, removing the last four letters and refurbishing the rest of the sign. From this point on sign Hollywood. For the next 20 years the sign underwent a slow but steady deterioration. In the early 1970s the campaign was undertaken to refurbish the sign which was successful for the next three or four years. By 1977 and 78, the sign increased its deterioration to the point that it could no longer be refurbished. The website has many photographs of the sign in various stages of deterioration.


The Hollywood Sign Is Rebuilt

In early 1978 the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce embarked on a campaign to have the old Hollywood sign removed and a new sign, built of modern materials, erected in the exact location of the old sign. With the assistance of Hugh Hefner, Alice Cooper, other celebrities, and thousands of Hollywood residents, enough funds were raised to build a new sign. After five months of construction the new sign was unveiled in November, 1978. Since then the sign has been repainted two times.


The Hollywood Canteen Photos

The largest group of photographs in the Hollywood collection is photos of the Hollywood Canteen. Founded by Bette Davis and John Garfield in 1942, the Hollywood Canteen was a place where servicemen could go, when in Hollywood, to dance with celebrities, be fed, obtain autographs, and be entertained by some of Hollywood's most famous stars.

One of the most popular activities at the Canteen was dancing. This is where servicemen could dance with female volunteers, many of whom were popular celebrities in the entertainment industry. It was not uncommon to see a sailor dancing with Joan Leslie or a Marine dancing with Marlene Dietrich. Of all the dance types, the jitterbug was by far the most popular. Movie star Fay McKenzie was, arguably, the best jitterbuger at the canteen. One of the popular dance segments was called the tag dance. This is where a service man could cut in one another service man who was dancing with one of the female volunteers.

All of the food that was served at the canteen was free of charge to all of the servicemen. Thousands of sandwiches, cartons of milk, cigarettes, cookies, and other food was all free to the servicemen. Each afternoon a group of volunteers which show up at the canteen to prepare the food for that evening.

Signing autographs was one of the most gratifying functions that took place at the canteen. Each night many celebrities would stand at the stack counter and sign autographs for the hundreds of servicemen visiting that night. Actresses such as Jane Powell, Jane Russell, Joan Leslie and Dorothy Lamour could be seen signing autographs for hours each night.

Unquestionably, the most popular function at the Hollywood canteen was the entertainment that was provided by some of Hollywood's most talented celebrities. Singer, Bing Crosby, comedienne Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Dinah Shore, and Frank Sinatra were but just a few of the hundreds of celebrities who volunteered their time to get up on stage and entertain the hundreds of visiting servicemen.

The collection has more than 400 vintage photographs of the activities that took place at the Hollywood canteen.


Schwab's Pharmacy

One of the most famous and popular pharmacies was the Schwab pharmacy on Sunset Boulevard. Founded in 1934 by brothers with the last name of Schwab, the pharmacy became one of the most popular hangouts for many of Hollywood's actors and actresses. In addition to filling prescriptions the pharmacy had a large magazine and newspaper section which included such trade publications as the Hollywood Reporter and Variety. In addition to selling various sundries the pharmacy had a large and long eating counter where many Hollywood celebrities would have breakfast, lunch or dinner. It was here that popular columnists, Sydney Skolsky would write his daily column which was syndicated with newspapers throughout the country. It was not uncommon to see celebrities such as James Dean, Evelyn Keyes, Angela Lansbury, William Holden, and Jess Barker having a bite to eat or making purchases at the counter. Some of the rarest photographs of Schwab's pharmacy can be found on the website. All of the photos are available for purchase.








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