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The Hollywood Photographs Blog

Hollywood Canteen Photos & History - Part 5

The Hollywood Canteen Photo and History – Part 5

Operating The Canteen

Efforts to get everything ready for the nightly onslaught of over 2500 servicemen had to be as well coordinated as military maneuvers. It took about 300 volunteers each night to operate the Hollywood Canteen. There were hostesses, kitchen volunteers, snack-bar servers and entertainers that volunteered their time to make the Canteen a success. The Hollywood Canteen was located on Cahuenga Ave.


Amount of Canteen Food

Each month the soldiers consumed an estimated 4000 loaves of bread, 400 pounds...

Old Hollywood Restaurant Photos

Vintage Hollywood Restaurant Photos

The largest collection of vintage and historical photos of Hollywood restaurants is on the website. All of the photos on the website are for sale. Both digital and actual photographs are available.


Hollywood Restaurants

Hollywood "Let's do lunch," can be the beginning or the end - the promise of a deal or the brush off. In a town where it's often said it's not what you know, but who you know, it could be said that more potential entertainment business occurs from noon to 2 p.m. than any other hours of the day as relationships are formed and future opportunities are explored.


Hollywood Canteen Photos & History Part 4

The Hollywood Canteen Photos & History – Part 4

The Hollywood Canteen Opens Its Doors

Excitement kept rising as each day brought the opening closer -- not only among the Hollywood Canteen's inner circles, but also within Hollywood at large. A vigorous publicity campaign, headed by publicist, Mack Millar, had been whetting appetites; above all, the boys on the military bases were kept in the know about all things canteen. Now the word was out that several thousand servicemen might show up, along with hordes of civilians hoping to catch glimpses of their favorite movie stars. Of course private citizens could not be admitted inside the canteen. But what about the unnerving prospects of having more servicemen then there was space? These boys who would have traveled so far to be part of the opening festivities must not be disappointed.


The Hollywood Canteen Photos & History - Part 3

Building the Hollywood Canteen

Hollywood Canteen Volunteer Workers

In order to get the Hollywood Canteen opened, all of Hollywood's motion picture craftsman unanimously volunteered their services and immediate cooperation. From plumbers, electricians, carpenters, painters, laborers, prop men and teamsters to art directors, decorators, and cartoonist, everyone pitched in. In addition, thousands of feet of lumber, multiple barrels of nails, gallons of paint, miles of electrical wire, hundreds of yards of concrete, and scores of plumbing fixtures were freely given.


The old red barn, on Cahuenga Ave. was thoroughly ripped apart. Truckloads...

Schwab's Pharmacy Photos & History

Schwab’s Pharmacy Photos and History

The famous Schwab's Pharmacy wasn't just a drugstore, it was the Hollywood hopeful hangout. Known throughout the world as the meeting place for many of Hollywood's most famous celebrities, Schwab's pharmacy catered to anyone and everyone.


Founding Schwab’s Pharmacy

Schwab's Pharmacy opened at 8024 Sunset Boulevard in 1932, and was run by brothers Bernard, Leon, Jack and Martin Schwab. They purchased a failing drugstore and decided to capitalize on the local business from nearby studios, like Republic, RKO and Columbia. The first Schwab's was located in downtown Los Angeles on sixth Street. The four brothers were raised by their Polish immigrant parents in Philadelphia. All of...

Hollywood Canteen Photos & History - Part 2

The Hollywood Canteen Photos and History – Part 2

Once it was agreed that Hollywood needed its own Canteen, Bette Davis, John Garfield and Dr. Jules Stein said about the rigorous process of turning their dream into reality.


Soliciting Support

One of the first tasks was to enlist the support of every guild, union, and craft organization affiliated with Hollywood's entertainment industry. They were met with a grand show of confidence as 42 guilds and unions unanimously agreed to sponsor the endeavor; later the number would increase to 46.

In early June, Bette and John called for a meeting of several people who were committed to getting the Hollywood...

Hollywood Canteen Photos & History - Part 1

The Hollywood Canteen Photos and History - Part 1

The Hollywood Canteen was where the greatest generation danced with the most beautiful girls in the world. That was the title of the popular book, “The Hollywood Canteen.”


Joan Leslie

Actress, Joan Leslie, wrote the foreword to the book, which is as follows;

“There is a little spot on a side street in Hollywood where magic used to happen every night during world war two. A plain old barn like Café was turned into a glamorous star-studded nightclub -- a welcoming place for every soldier, sailor and Marine on furlough. And, along with her right hand man, John Garfield, Bette Davis made it happen. With her fabulous drive,...

Hollywood Canteen's Beginning and Photos

The Hollywood Canteen’s Beginning and Photos

This blog deals with the founding of the Hollywood Canteen and the many photographs that were taken in those early days. There are more that 300 vintage photos of the Hollywood Canteen on the website.

It was the first full year of America at war, in 1942 found the country singing to Chattanooga Choo Choo, listing to a new radio ministry called “Suspense” and watching Walt Disney's Bambi and Donald Gets Drafted in movie theaters. It brought shortages of metal and leather, and rationing of coffee sugar and gasoline.


But there was no shortage of fervor among Americans for...

The Best Hollywood Sign Photographs

Best Hollywood Sign Photographs

Hollywood Icon 

The Hollywood sign is, unquestionably, the most iconic Hollywood symbol. No other image conveys Hollywood as does the very famous Hollywood sign.

Over the course of more than ninety years, thousands of photographs have been taken of this famous icon. The largest collection of Hollywood sign photos is on the website. The collection contains more than 1000 Hollywood sign photos, of which 250 are on the website. The photos include everything from the construction of the sign, which originally read Hollywoodland, the sign’s dedication, the 1949 damage, the original Hollywood sign, the deterioration of the sign, demolition of the sign, construction of the new sign, and the many alterations that took place beginning in the 1970’s.


The Best Vintage Hollywood Photos

The Best Vintage Hollywood Photos

Unquestionably, the finest and largest collection of vintage, old and historical photos of Hollywood is on the website. With more than 90 subject categories from which to choose, there are more than 9000 vintage photographs on the website. The collection was started, by Bruce Torrence, in 1970, when his grandfather, Charles E. Toberman showed and gave him about 30 old photographs of Hollywood. It wasn't long before he had a couple hundred vintage Hollywood photos. After 40 years of collecting, the Hollywood collection is the largest collection of Hollywood photos. Some of the subject categories include the following;


Hollywood Sign Altered

Altering the Hollywood Sign

For the first 50 years, since the Hollywood sign was erected, the sign was never altered or vandalized. Probably the most shocking event that took place was when actress, Peg Entwistle, climbed a ladder to the top of the letter H and jumped off.


The Sign Is Built

By 1923 Los Angeles time publisher, Harry Chandler and other investors, decided to invest in an upscale real estate development called Hollywoodland. The development was located at the north end of Beachwood Drive, at the base of the Hollywood Hills. In order to promote the project, Chandler and his partners put up $21,000 to erect a sign that was 45 foot high, white block letters that were anchored to...

Hollywood Today

Hollywood Today

Our Hollywood is not just another neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles, it is one of the most special places in the world.  No other community anywhere gets as much attention. Throughout its history, people from all over the world and from everywhere in the U.S. have come here to build a life, start a career or re-invent themselves. There are as many Hollywood stories and here’s mine. One of this country's greatest growth towns was the community of Hollywood. has the largest collection of vintage and historical photos of Hollywood.


Today’s Hollywood Leaders

Those early months were magical for me. I was hooked on Hollywood! Although I was new here, I could see that Hollywood was a place that had seen better days and one had...

Hollywoodland Revisted

Hollywoodland Photos

Visit to view thousands of vintage Hollywoodland Photos

Hollywood… is a different place for everyone.  It’s a place where the past and the present coincide with the real and imagined, where memory and metaphor beckon abstractions and ideals, where dreams and aspirations merge with faith and resignation. It’s a living, changing continent, both physical and imagined.  — Paul Zollo.



When people around the world see the Hollywood sign on the Mt. Lee hillside, they usually think “glamour, excitement, movies”.

The real history of the sign is decidedly more grounded than this popular belief.  Ninety years ago the sign...