Hollywood Studio Club


The Hollywood Studio Club was formed in 1916. It began with a group of young women trying to break into the movies who gathered in the basement of the Hollywood Public Library to read plays. A librarian, Mrs. Eleanor Jones, worried about the young women living in cheap hotels and rooming houses with no place to study or practice their craft. Mrs. Jones solicited help from the local YWCA, and a hall was established as a meeting place. Hollywood studios and businessmen donated money to rent an old house on Carlos Avenue with space for 20 women. Mrs. Cecil B. DeMille and Mary Pickford were active in the club's operations, and Pickford later recalled, "Mrs. DeMille spent every day doing something for the club. And the motion picture industry supported us." A newspaper article in 1919 described the club this way: "The club is more of a sorority, with delightful picture 'atmosphere,' than anything else, and the same happy atmosphere will pervade the new home. A dominant note is the refining touch of home life and sense of protection, with assurance of assistance, not only in material way when need arises, but in one's work, as well. Financially, many desperate cases among young women have been tided over by the Hollywood Studio Club." 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 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. Between 1923 and 1925, a widely-publicized fundraising campaign was held to build the new Hollywood Studio Club. Contributions were received from Famous Players Lasky ($10,000), Metro Goldwyn and Carl Laemmle ($5,000 each), Warner Bros. ($3,000), and Christie Comedies ($2,000). In March 1923, aviatrix and movie star Andree Peyre conducted an aerial acrobatic exhibition and airplane race over Hollywood to help raise funds for the new home. In February 1925, a final $5,000 donation from silent screen star Norma Talmadge allowed the group to begin construction. The organization hired noted architect Julia Morgan to design the new building, and a ground-breaking ceremony took place in June 1925 with Mary Pickford and Morgan in attendance. Julia Morgan designed the Studio Club in a Mediterranean style with interiors decorated in "pistache green, rose coral, and tan. The large building has three sections—a central section with connecting wings on each side. The entrance to the center section is marked by a loggia, three archways with decorative Quoins. There is also a painted frieze above the main entrance. The building includes several recurring elements from Morgan's Mediterranean style buildings, including full-length arched windows, balconies with iron ballustrades, and decorative brackets. A writer in California Graphic said "this beautiful and spacious new building is but one more jewel in the crown of Achieved Results which this progressive and cultural little city is wearing so proudly and shows its ever increasing desire to give unstinted moral and financial support to every progressive endeavor." The new Hollywood Studio Club opened in May 1926, having been built at a cost of $250,000. The building was opened at a ceremony attended by 2,500 people, "including many of the celebrities of the motion picture world," with dedication ceremonies in the afternoon and "dancing at midnight." The rooms at the Studio Club had nameplates on the doors identifying individuals who made subscriptions of at least $1000 to the building fund. There were rooms named for Douglas Fairbanks, Howard Hughes , Gloria Swanson, Jackie Coogan, and Harold Lloyd. A newspaper article in 1946 described the club this way: "The Hollywood Studio Club has been thought by the unknowing to be a house filled with glamour girls constantly receiving boxes of long-stemmed roses. On the other hand it has been classified as a rescue home for wayward girls. It is neither of these. The club is a comfortable sorority house possessing many of the freedoms and comforts of a man's club. It has grown in 24 years from the home for 22 girls and a white mouse into the home of 100 girls with another 100 servicewomen equally at home in the adjoining guest house. By the mid 1960s, times had changed, and the idea of a chaperoned dormitory had become dated. In 1964, the club expanded its membership to include studio secretaries, dancers, models and others working broadly in the talent field.  Several of he members attended the local schools. The club was losing money, and the YWCA considered using it for utive offices or selling it until a petition drive by residents persuaded the YWCA to keep the facility open. By 1971, the club was forced to open its doors as a regular hotel for transient women and stopped serving meals, but it still lost money.[4] Changes in the fire code also took a toll, as modifications needed to bring the structure up to fire code were estimated at $60,000. In 1975, the Studio Club closed its doors. The Alumni of the Hollywood Studio Club reads like a "who's who" of talented actresses. Some of the alumni included, Marilyn Monroe, Dorothy Malone, Maureen O'Sullivan, Rita Morino, Barbara Eden, Kim Novak, Marie Windsor, Donna Reed, Linda Darnell, Ayn Rand, Evelyn Keyes and many, many more.

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MOVIE 'HOPEFULS' AT HOLLYWOOD STUDIO CLUB
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Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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Hollywood Studio Club girls
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Hollywood Studio Club committee
Hollywood Studio ClubMOVIE 'HOPEFULS' AT HOLLYWOOD STUDIO CLUB
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1917
Hollywood Studio ClubHollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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Hollywood Studio ClubHollywood Studio Club girls
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1919
Hollywood Studio ClubHollywood Studio Club committee
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1918
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Sunday tea at the Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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Marjorie Williams(center), director of the Hollywood Studio Club, stands with girls at Carlos Ave. clubhouse
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Hollywood Studio Club girls
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Supporters standing in fron of the Hollywood Studio Club
Hollywood Studio ClubSunday tea at the Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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1920
Hollywood Studio ClubMarjorie Williams(center), director of the Hollywood Studio Club, stands with girls at Carlos Ave. clubhouse
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1920
Hollywood Studio ClubHollywood Studio Club girls
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Hollywood Studio ClubSupporters standing in fron of the Hollywood Studio Club
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1922
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Girls pose in the backyard of the Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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Girls pose on the steps Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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Lois Lee holds the Hollywood Studio Club's banner
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Marion Hunter says good-bye to Patsy Ann Epperson at the Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
Hollywood Studio ClubGirls pose in the backyard of the Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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1922
Hollywood Studio ClubGirls pose on the steps Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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1918
Hollywood Studio ClubLois Lee holds the Hollywood Studio Club's banner
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1922
Hollywood Studio ClubMarion Hunter says good-bye to Patsy Ann Epperson at the Hollywood Studio Club on Carlos Ave.
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1922