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The Hollywood Photographs Blog

History of Hollywood Television


Genesis of Television

The movie industry’s most prosperous and glamorous period spanned the Thirties and Forties, when movies were king.  But by 1948, the industry was staggering from a number of blows – some self inflicted. Theater attendance was down forty-five percent from war-time highs.  What occurred in the late 1940s was something no one in the entertainment industry had anticipated.  There was a newcomer on the block and its name was “television.

From 1946 to 1951, the number of television sets in American homes increased from 10,000 to more than 12 million, hastening the demise of the neighborhood movie houses and eliciting the wrath of movie people for wrecking such havoc on their industry. ...

Santa Claus Lane Parade Photos


First Santa Claus Float

The first Santa Claus Lane Parade was held in 1928 and consisted of only one actress, Jeanette Loff, and Santa Claus. In an effort to attract shoppers and their families to Hollywood Boulevard during the holiday season, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce came up with the idea of the parade. The Chamber started out by decorating Hollywood Boulevard with live Christmas trees and other Christmas decorations. Then to add excitement to the event, a live reindeer pulled a sleigh carrying Santa Claus and Jeanette Loff down Hollywood Boulevard. Since the main attraction was Santa Claus, the Chamber appropriately named it the " Santa Claus Lane Parade." Each year, with the help of local businesses...

Pilgrimage Play in Hollywood


Pilgrimage Play

Mrs. Christine Witherill Stevenson started the Pilgrimage Play after she withdrew from the Hollywood Bowl, in 1920.  She was intent on promoting her religious plays.  She purchased a 29-acre canyon across the Cahuenga Pass from the Hollywood Bowl.  After building a crude structure, which was later to develop into the Pilgrimage Play Theater. The first performance of the play was held on June 27, 1920, with Henry Herbert starring as Jesus of Nazareth....

Hollywood's First Theaters

Hollywood’s First Theater

The first theater to grace Hollywood was the Idyl Hour theater.  Located at 6526 Hollywood Blvd., it opened in late 1910 or early 1911. During the first year the theater was little more than a converted store with chairs, a projector and a screen.  The Idyl Hour, whose name was changed to the Iris Theater in 1913, moved to 6415 Hollywood Blvd. In 1914, and to a new 1000 seat theater at 6508 Hollywood Blvd. in 1918.




Hollywood Theater

The second theater was appropriately, the ...

Charles Chaplin and His Studio

Keystone Film Company

Charles Chaplin’s first exposure to the motion picture industry was when he accepted the  Keystone Film Company’s offer by the large salary: $150 weekly for three months raised to $175 weekly for the rest of the year; which was more than double his Karno salary of $75 a week. In September 1913 he signed his first film contract for a period of one year with the Keystone Film Company, beginning December 13, 1913. After completing over thirty-five films for Keystone of various lengths—split reels, one-reelers, and two-reelers, plus the feature film Tillie’s Punctured Romance—Chaplin emerged triumphant from his first experience in motion pictures. After the expiration of his one-year contract with...

More Hollywood Pictures on

Photograph Categories

With over ninety subject categories from which to choose, selecting which photos one wishes to view can be challenging.  Where do you start?  On page two of the web site is a list of all the categories of all the photos on he web site. 

Aerial Photos

Most of the aerial pictures are extremely rare and were taken by the famed aerial photographer, Robert Spence. Using his bi-plane, he took some of the most amazing aerial photographs in the world.  Whether it was a photo of the movie studios or an image of the Hollywoodland sign, all Spence’s aerial photos are absolutely  crystal clear. 


Hollywood Boulevard

Hollywood’s most important and historic street...

Hollywood Pictures on


Hollywood Pictures is the largest collection of Hollywood Pictures on the internet.  Begun in 1970, the collection was started by Bruce Torrence, whose grandfather, Charles E. Toberman, was an early Hollywood pioneer.  Beginning with about thirty historic photographs of Hollywood, Bruce began on a mission to establish the largest collection of Hollywood pictures, in the world.

Hollywood Sign

Pictures of the Hollywood sign is probably the most popular category of photo in the collection.  There are over 225 photos of this Hollywood icon

Today there are over 12,000 photographs in the collection, of which there are more than 8,000 pictures on his web site,


Paramount Studio

The Squaw Man

Adolph Zukor

Paramount's history dates back to 1912, when Adolph Zukor, the owner of a New York nickelodeon founded  the Famous Players Film Company. A year later, Zukor invested in a film distribution company named Paramount Pictures. The groundbreaking four-reel feature in a time when two reels was the norm propelled Zukor's Famous Players Film Company to great heights, and in the process, transformed the business of entertainment forever. This would be the beginning of Paramount Pictures. Inspired by Zukor's success, Jesse L. Lasky soon teamed with director Cecil B. DeMille to make a film version of the successful...

Grauman's Egyptian Theater

Movie Palaces

Grauman's Egyptian Theater

By the early Twenties, enormous, ornate theaters, known as movie palaces had been built in San Francisco and Los Angeles. For several years, C. E. Toberman had attempted to induce Sid Grauman and his father to locate in Hollywood. The two Graumans had come to Los Angeles and built the lavish Million Dollar Theater at Third and Broadway.

Finally, C.E. Toberman convinced Sid Grauman to open the first of the grand Hollywood movie palaces. The Grauman's Egyptian Theatre cost $800,000, was...

Pictures of Grauman’s Egyptian Theater

Pictures of Grauman’s Egyptian Theater

Over the course of the past eighty five years, there have been thousands of pictures taken of Grauman’s Egyptian Theater.  One of the largest collections is on the web site.

By the early Twenties, enormous, ornate theaters, known as “movie Palaces” had been built in San Francisco and Los Angeles.  Before the movie palaces came into existence, the theater grew from simple storefronts, with seats, a screen and a projector.  As movies caught on and became a new form of entertainment, businessmen began building theaters that were use for only that purpose. The first theater in Hollywood was the ...