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Vintage Hollywood Photos

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Vintage Hollywood photos

Some of the most popular photographs are vintage Hollywood photos that can be seen on the Hollywood photographs.com website. The public has always been fascinated with the history, and particularly photographs, of Hollywood. Prior to the beginning of the 20th century, Hollywood was a small and sleepy community just a few miles west of Los Angeles. Consisting primarily of small ranches and farms, Hollywood was also known for the fruits that were grown in the surrounding orchards. Hollywood started to grow and by the early 1900s the population was over 700 people. The area, at that time, was known as the Cahuenga Valley and one of its most influential residents was Daeida Wilcox. She and her husband, Harvey, purchased 120 acres in the center of the valley and began to develop commercial property along Prospect Avenue.

 n 1903, the residents of the Cahuenga Valley voted to incorporate their community, and they called it Hollywood. The City Hall was a small, wood frame building on the west side of Cahuenga Avenue, just south of Prospect Avenue. The community seemed to have thrived until 1910 when uncertain water supply and municipal facilities seem to be at risk. In 1910, the residents elected to be incorporated by the city of Los Angeles. The last official act of the board of trade was to change the name of Prospect Avenue to Hollywood Boulevard.

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Hollywood Boulevard

As mentioned above, Hollywood Boulevard was originally known as Prospect Avenue. This street consisted primarily of single-family residences and to commercial areas. One commercial center was at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Cahuenga Avenue, while the other was at the intersection of Prospect Avenue and Highland Avenue. It was at this intersection, on the north west corner, the Hollywood Hotel was built. Hollywood Hotel photos can be viewed on the Hollywoodphotographs.com website. The name Prospect Avenue was changed to Hollywood Boulevard in 1910, about a year before the first motion picture company established a studio in Hollywood. This company, called Nestors Film Co., rented the former Blondeau Tavern, on the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street. Very converted the building into offices, dressing rooms, and proper rooms while a corral for the horses that were used in making Western movies.

Once other film companies learned of the wonderful weather and the wide variety of scenery in California, many migrated out to Hollywood. Within three years more than 15 small independent film companies were located in Hollywood. Because of this explosive growth of the motion picture industry in Hollywood, Hollywood Boulevard started to become the shopping center for Southern California. Some of the most popular and luxurious stores and restaurants lined Hollywood Boulevard from Highland Avenue to Vine Street. In addition, some of the world's most famous and beautiful movie theaters called Hollywood Boulevard home. The first of these was Grauman's Egyptian theater which was followed by the El Capitan Theatre. The third theater, and certainly the most popular, was Grauman's Chinese theater. The other two palace type theaters were Warner Bros. and Pantages theater. By the 1960s, Hollywood Boulevard began to lose its popularity and started to fall into a state of disrepair. However by 2000, Hollywood Boulevard seem to make a resurgent comeback.

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Hollywood Sign

Unquestionably, the most iconic symbol of Hollywood is the Hollywood sign. Originally, the sign read Hollywoodland and was erected in 1923 as an advertising sign for the real estate development, known as Hollywoodland. Built with telephone poles and various size would beams, the sign was faced with perforated sheet metal that was painted white. In addition, the sign was lighted by more than 4000 incandescent light bulbs. At night, the sign could be seen for miles and miles. The man responsible for changing the light bulbs was Albert Kothe, who would climb a ladder to replace the burned out bulbs. By about 1926, it was decided that the sign no longer needed to be lit. From the time the sign was built, it was subjected to all types of weather conditions – – and by 1949 the sign had been ravished by 25 years of exposure to the elements. When the letter H blew down, in 1949, the last four letters were removed and the remaining nine letters refurbished.

New Hollywood Sign

By 1978, the Hollywood sign was in such disrepair that it could no longer be refurbished. So a campaign was begun to raise funds to build a new sign in the exact location of the old sign. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were contributed by, not only, ordinary citizens, but also, by celebrities including Alice Cooper and Hugh Hefner. The old sign was demolished and a new sign, made of modern materials, was erected in the same location. In November 1978 the new sign was unveiled to the public with a dazzling light show that could be seen from miles away. Since then the sign has undergone a couple of minor “facelifts”, which include painting the face of the sign.

Garden of Allah Hotel

The Garden of Allah Hotel, on Sunset Boulevard hfbat Crescent Heights Avenue, was one of Hollywood's most famous, and most infamous, hotels. In 1918, Alla Nazimov bought an eight room mansion on Sunset Boulevard. She had gained some notoriety as an actress and had the privilege of playing opposite Rudolph Valentino in the movie Camille. Apparently her career began to wane and her manager convinced her to convert her home in two a hotel. After months of construction to build 25 separate villas, the Garden of Allah Hotel opened on January 9, 1927. The grand opening consisted of an 18 hour party which included guest like Douglas Fairbanks, Rudolph Valentino, Charles Chaplin, and Tom Mix.

Across the street from the hotel was the famous Schwab's pharmacy. Two years after the hotel opened, the depression hit and Miss Nazimova lost the hotel – – but retained one of the villas for her home. The hotel became the place where many of Hollywood's most popular celebrities would gather for parties or rendezvous. Many of the parties were nothing more than orgies which began to give the hotel a tainted reputation. After a while many of the hotel’s loyal patrons stopped staying at the hotel because of the potential stigma that might attach to them. By the late 1950s the hotel was run down and populated by transients and prostitutes. It closed in August 1959 – but not before one last huge party. In 1960 though property was sold to a savings and loan who tore the building down to erect an office building.

Thousands of vintage Hollywood photos are part of a large collection known to as Hollywoodphotographs.com.

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