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The Hollywood Photographs Blog

A Place Called Hollywood

Hollywood's history can best be told in the photos on the website. 


Early Hollywood Studios

Once a small agricultural village populated with gentleman farmers, Hollywood in the Cahuenga Valley, was a trolley ride from the city of Los Angeles.  When Cecil B. DeMille, Jessie Lasky, Griffith W. Griffith, and the Warner Brothers helped generate a building boom that made the area what it is today and "fired the shot heard round the world," the fantasy was created.  It became the center of the entertainment and broadcast industries and while much has changed, a legacy remains. 

To get a sense of this place it's useful to explore Hollywood's unique...

Hollywood Photos Collection

Hollywood Photos Collection

The largest number of Hollywood photos is on hollywoodphotos website.


Collection Started

In 1970, Bruce visited his grandfather's office (C. E. Toberman) and while he was there noticed some old Hollywood photos on the walls. After inquiring about the photos, Bruce's grandfather told him to go into the hallway and look in one of the file cabinets for some more vintage photographs. In the file cabinet were about 30 old Hollywood photos, dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

Bruce's grandfather first came to Hollywood in 1904 but returned to Texas...

Hollywood Photos

Hollywood Photos on

The largest collection of Hollywood photos is on the popular website. There are more than 12,000 vintage Hollywood photos on the website.  Visitors to the site are able to choose from over 90 subject categories in order to view historic Hollywood photos.

The Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photos collection was started in 1970, with about 30 photos, which were given to him by his grandfather, Charles E. Toberman.  Within a few years, the collection had several thousand vintage Hollywood photos.  The collection was made available to the public in 1975, when clients viewed the photos at the collection’s offices in Hollywood.  In 2002, when the internet became popular, Bruce Torrence developed the website.

Today, the Hollywood photo collection is available to anyone who has a computer.


Hollywood School For Girls


Hollywood School For Girls

Sometime in 1909, the Hollywood School for Girls was founded by Sophie Shephard Hogan at Prospect Ave (now Hollywood Blvd.) and Wilcox Ave. An August, 1910 advertisement that appeared in the Los Angeles Times read:


Boarding and Day School

Primary, Intermediate, College

Preparatory and general

Courses. Music, Art Domestic


The school offers a practical

Training, seeks the highest

Individual attainment in


Vintage Photos of Hollywood Cowboys

Hollywood Cowboys

Two of the screen’s greatest cowboys – Gene Autry and most revered Western movie actor of the silent era, William S. Hart – have left behind handsome museums that remain a testament to their legacy, and their love of both the real West and its Hollywood cousin. 


Early Hollywood Cowboys

Though he wasn’t the first screen cowboy – that honor goes to “Bronco Billy” Anderson William S. Hart brought authenticity to the western movie. In his films, the landscape and environment of the country was every bit as important an element as the cast and scenario.  This would become the genre of film that a long line of actors such as Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson, William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd, Tim McCoy, Gary Cooper, John...

Vintage Photos of the Hollywood Bowl & Pilgrimage Play Theater

Vintage Hollywood Photos

Old and vintage photos of Hollywood are on the website.  Two vintage jewels in Hollywood’s cultural treasure trove are the Hollywood Bowl and the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. The world famous Hollywood Bowl is the largest natural outdoor amphitheater in the U.S. according to Carol Merrill-Mirsky, who is the Director/Curator of The Hollywood Bowl Museum.   The Bowl is built into the hillside, and is virtually identical to the ancient amphitheater of Greece and Rome.


Hollywood Bowl Photos

In 1916 a community theatre production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar took place in nearby Beachwood Canyon.  It was 1918 when the first organizational meeting...

Photos Of Hollywood Historic Places #1

Photos of Hollywood Historic Places #1


Fifth Church of Christ

The dwindling congregation recently sold this 1959 modern masterpiece of architect Howard Elwell, located at 7107 Hollywood Boulevard. Hollywood Heritage, alerted by the Modern Committee of LA Conservancy, has learned that the new owner has plans to demolish the church and build a hotel at the site. The uncertain fate of the Fifth Church of Christ also represents the wider issue of the preservation of modern architecture in Hollywood. While landmarks such as the Capital Records Building and the Cinerama Dome are widely celebrated and cared-for, other structures such as the William Lescaze early modern...

Vintage Movie Studio Photographs

Vintage Hollywood Movie Studio Photographs

For more than 100 years Hollywood has been known as the entertainment capital of the world. Movies, radio, television and legitimate theater make up the various entertainment entities that makes Hollywood so famous. The largest collection of movie studio photos is on the website. 


First Movie Studio

The first film production company to make movies in the Los Angeles area was the Selig Polyscope Company.  In 1909, William Selig opened Los Angeles’ first official movie studio in downtown Los Angeles.  Here he made several films, the first being called, Heart of a Race Tout. Shortly thereafter,...