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The Hollywood Photographs Blog

History of the Sunset Strip


The Sunset Boulevard is one of the most popular streets in the United States. It is, also, one of the longest streets in Los Angeles – running from Figueora Ave. to the Pacific Ocean.  During the teens and 1920s, the Fine Arts Studio called Sunset Blvd. home.  Two other movie studios were located on Sunset Blvd. – Warner Bros. had its studio at the intersection of Bronson Ave. Columbia Studios built their plant at the corner of Gower St.  The first film studio, Nestors Film Co., to settle in Hollywood rented a former tavern, Blondeau Tavern, in October, 1911. It was located on the northwest corner of Sunset Blvd. & Gower St.


Hollywood High School, which was built in 1903,...

Popular Hollywood Canteen

Hollywood Canteen

World War II opened a new chapter in the lives of depression-weary Americans.  As husbands and fathers, sons and brothers shipped out to fight in Europe and the Pacific, citizens who remained at home were galvanized in support of a common goal: to actively maintain the home front. Millions of women marched into factories, offices, and military bases to work in the paying jobs formerly held by men in peacetime.

   One of the greatest contributors to the war effort was Hollywood’s entertainment industry; no other single group gave so much of its time, talent, energy, and enthusiasm. Hollywood film and radio stars, movie and studio employees, actors and actresses of varying degrees of fame, as well as screenwriters, directors, and producers, rolled up their sleeves to sell war bonds, traveled far and wide to perform for troops, and cheered up wounded servicemen on hospital tours.

But if there was one operation in which all the...

Early Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Boulevard is one of the best known streets in the world but it was originally known as Prospect Ave..  Prior to 1903, Hollywood was known as the Cahuenga Valley. In 1903, the residents of the Cahuenga Valley voted to incorporate their small community and call it Hollywood.  Six years later, in 1910, the residents voted to allow Hollywood to be annexed to the City of Los Angeles.  The last official act of the Hollywood Board of Trade was to change the name Prospect Ave. to Hollywood Blvd. In the early years, the only commercial buildings were located at two intersections. The first was at Prospect and Cahuenga Avenues and was promoted by Daeida Wilcox, who is credited with renaming the Cahuenga Valley to Hollywood.  She and her husband, Harvey, purchased 160 acres in 1887 at Prospect and Cahuenga...

The Naming of Hollywood


The naming of Hollywood is credited to Daeida Wilcox who, with her husband, Harvey, arrived in Los Angeles in 1883.  In 1886, they purchased 120 acres at what, is now, Hollywood Blvd. & Cahuenga Ave.  At that time, the area was known as the cahuenga Valley. That same year, Daeida traveled east and, while on the train, met a lady who spoke of her Chicago home, which she called “Hollywood.”  When Mrs. Wilcox returned home, she prevailed on her husband to name their small farm, Hollywood.  The following year, in 1887, Mr. Wilcox put on the first real estate subdivision in the Cahuenga Valley, which he called Hollywood.


In 1903, the residents of the Cahuenga Valley elected to incorporate their small community and call it Hollywood.  That lasted for seven years.  Because of uncertain municipal facilities and a continued water supply,...

Hollywood Canteen Rules


Before the Hollywood Canteen opened its door, on October 3, 1942, Bette Davis, John Garfield and the Canteen’s Board of Directors formulated and adopted ten rules that all volunteers had to follow. Upon acceptance, and after being fingerprinted and photographed, each volunteer was issued a list of rules. Most of the rules we re directed at the hostesses who were managed by Doris Stein.

1) Scrupulous politeness at all times of all men in uniform is demanded. If there is any difficulty with a serviceman, please report this immediately to the Officer of the Day, who will deal with him. You must not attempt to handle this yourself.

         2) Stay in your own department....

VJ Day in Hollywood

VJ Day

VJ (victory Japan) day was one of great joy, throughout the country.  From coast to coast, Americans streamed out of ther houses and offices to celebrate the end of the war with Japan. Hollywood was no exception -- whth Hollywood Blvd. being the center of all the joyous revelery. Office workers flooded the street by dancing, singing, hugging other celebrants and stopping all traffic for many hours. Streetcars couldn't move down the tracks and cars were stalled for fear of hitting the happy hollywoodians. Hundreds of photographs were taken by both ordinary citizens as well as professional photographers. Hollywood Blvd. & Vine St. seemed to be the center of most of the revelery -- with paper being thrown from the windows of the three high-rise buildings, making it look like a ticker-tape parade in New York City.


Ciro's Nightclub photos

Ciros’ Nightclub Photos

Ciro’s was one of the country’s most glamorous and popular  nightclubs.  It was founded by William “Billy” Wilkerson who was the founder of the Hollywood Reporter newspaper.  He, also, founded the Vendome Café in 1933 and the Café Trocadero on Sunset Blvd.  The Trocadero was one of the earliest nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, just west of Hollywood.  Started in September 1934, it the “Troc” played host to many of Hollywood’s elite including, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow and Robert Cummings.  After a while, Wilkerson sold his interest in Café Trocadero and went east on Sunset Blvd. where he opened the very famous Ciro’s  restaurant/nightclub, in January 1940. The inside was decorated by interior...

Hollywood Canteen Food

Hollywood Canteen Food   

The old saying, “After ecstasy, the laundry!” certainly applied to the Hollywood Canteen as the glamour of opening night gave way to the reality of daily preparations. Efforts to get everything ready for the nightly onslaughts of over 2500 servicemen had to be as well coordinated as military maneuvers.

         Each month the soldiers consumed an estimated 4000 loaves of bread, 400 pounds of butter, 1500 pounds of coffee, 50,000 half-pints of milk, 30,000 gallons of punch, 1000 pounds of three varieties of cheeses, 2500 pounds of assorted meats, 20,000 oranges, 100,000 pieces of cake, more than 150,000 sandwiches and hot dogs, 800 pounds of potato chips, 300 dozen doughnuts, 300 gallons of ice cream (for Sundays only), thousands of boxes of raisins, plus cases of jellies, relishes, pickles, mustard,...