Hollywood Athletic Club


The first vision of the Hollywood Athletic Club, on Sunset Blvd. came to its founders in 1921, when there was a need for a club in which businessmen could meet and lunch as well as develop their minds and bodies through physical exercise. The idea was born when Frank K. Galloway and George Moore were lunching at Sam Kress' drugstore. Frank suggested that George start such a club. George called a meeting in the basement of the old library building which was attended by more than seventy-five Hollywood citizens. As a result, the Hollywood Athletic Club was formed. The outcome of this conclave was the proposal that memberships be sold and the funds be used to purchase a site and build a clubhouse. To accomplish this end, George Moore and Clarence Huron incorporated the Hollywood Finance Company and undertook to sell memberships, first at a nominal cost, but as the idea found favor, at a greatly increased price. Through the efforts of the club's officers, a deal was struck for the purchase of a site on the northeast corner of Sunset Boulevard at Hudson Avenue. Plans for a large clubhouse were then drawn. The construction of the building and the furnishing and equipping of the facilities required the combined efforts of the various club committees. When the nine-story building was completed in late 1923, Hollywood boasted of having the most modern and envied athletic club in the country. Some of the appointments included such features as a billiard room with six billiard tables, a twenty-five yard indoor swimming pool, a large gymnasium, spacious lounging rooms, library, mens' and womens' locker rooms, barbershop, cigar store, haberdashery, and rooms and apartments for bachelor members. The club was so popular that by 1926, it had close to one thousand members. In addition to the many activities for its own members, the Hollywood Athletic Club sponsored teams in basketball, wrestling, track, tennis, swimming, boxing, squash, handball, water polo and fencing. Even though the club was built primarily for use by men, the wives and daughters of the members were :not lost sight of for one moment. Gymnasium and swimming classes were held regularly, thus providing the women with a complete physical education program. For more than thirty years, the Hollywood Athletic Club had been the inspiration and medium for physical development of its members and the home for numerous service clubs and civic organizations responsible for the development of Hollywood. Over the years, the club made a drastic mistake by not attempting to cultivate young, new members. Consequently, by 1956, with membership waning, and operating costs rapidly increasing, the once famous club became history. The building later became the University of Judaism, and after they started building at their new location, this building gradually fell into disrepair. The building had been up for sale for eight years when Gary Berwin, a preservationist, purchased it in November 1978. He then set about the huge task of restoring the building to its former grandeur. One of the most famous members was Charles E. Toberman.  Other images similar to the Athletic Club are of the Pantages Theater and the Hollywood Guild and Canteen.

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Hollywood Athletic Club On Sunset Blvd.
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Hollywood Athletic Club
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Hollywood Athletic Club
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Hollywood Athletic Club on Sunset Blvd/
Hollywood Athletic ClubHollywood Athletic Club On Sunset Blvd.
HAC-001
1929
Hollywood Athletic ClubHollywood Athletic Club
HAC-003
1930
Hollywood Athletic ClubHollywood Athletic Club
HAC-004
1933
Hollywood Athletic ClubHollywood Athletic Club on Sunset Blvd/
HAC-005
1937
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Aerial of the Hollywood Athletic Club.
 
Hollywood Athletic ClubAerial of the Hollywood Athletic Club.
HAC-006
1931