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GRAUMAN'S CHINESE THEATER
Photo date: 1937
6925 Hollywood Boulevard.
Hollywood

One of Hollywood's most recognized landmarks, Grauman's Chinese was the second of Sid Grauman's theme theaters built in Hollywood (The Egyptian was first). The Chinese opened on May 18, 1927 with the premier of Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings, setting a precedent for the many "red caret" film premieres to follow. This photo shows a typical premier extravaganza staged by Grauman.

Ever the promoter, Grauman made his Chinese Theater a tourist attraction by adding celebrity hand and footprints in the concrete of the theater's forecourt. The Chinese is still going strong today.




CAFE TROCADERO
Photo date: 1935
8610 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood

Located on the famous Sunset Strip, the Cafe Trocadero opened in 1934 under the ownership of William R. Wilkerson, also owner of the Hollywood Reporter newspaper. The "Troc," as it came to be known, was one of several Sunset Strip clubs operated by Wilkerson, including Ciro's and LaRue. The Troc, however was considered the "Jewel of the Sunset Strip. The Cafe Trocadero's building was demolished long ago, but in recent years a new restaurant was opened under a similar name at the Troc's original address.




RESIDENTIAL AREA
Photo date: 1930
Rossmore Avenue
Hollywood

This is how a middle-class residential area of Hollywood looked in the early 1930s. The location is Rossmore Avenue south of Melrose Boulevard near the Wilshire Country Club.




CAHUENGA FREEWAY UNIT
Photo date: 1940
U.S. Highway 101
Between Hollywood and Universal City

This 1.5 mile section of highway was originally known as the "Cahuenga Pass Freeway." It opened on June 15, 1940. Now known locally as the Hollywood Freeway and officially as US Highway 101 and California State Route 134, this freeway section follows the ancient Indian trail through the Cahuenga Pass to link the LA Basin and the San Fernando Valley. This photo looks south toward Hollywood. The lake in the upper-left corner is the Hollywood Reservoir. This section of the Hollywood Freeway is still in use today and is quite heavily traveled.




CARPENTER'S DRIVE-IN
Photo date: 1934
6285 W. Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood

This popular drive-in, located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Vine St., opened in the 1920s. The price of a hamburger and a Coke was thirty-cents. For fifteen cents more you got a cold beer instead of a soda. (Building no longer exists.)




COLONIAL DRIVE-IN
Photo date: 1933
6240 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood

As unique as this Hollywood drive-in restaurant was, virtually no information is available about it today. (Building no longer exists.)




SUNFAX MART
Photo date: 1931
(Intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue
Hollywood

A typical Los Angeles "super market" of the 1930s. The small windmill-shaped sign on the corner of the building indicates the market had a Van de Camp's bakery inside. Van de Camp bakery products were (and still are) sold throughout the Los Angeles area. (Building no longer exists.)




CROSSROADS OF THE WORLD
Photo date: 1936
6671 Sunset Blvd.
Hollywood

Designed by Robert V. Derrah and built in 1936, Crossroads of the World is said to be the country's first outdoor shopping mall. It consists of a central building in a Streamline ocean liner design, and two parallel sections in which individual shops are designed in unique styles from countries around the globe. The facility still exists today and, to fans of old Hollywood, is well worth a visit.




EARL CARROLL THEATRE
Photo date: 1937
6230 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood

Successful Broadway showman Earl Carroll decided to try out the dinner theater concept he pioneered in New York on west coast audiences, and so on December 26, 1938 he opened the Earl Carroll Theatre in a Moderne' style building designed by Gordon B. Kaufmann. The wisdom of this decision is proven by the fact that his Sunset Boulevard theatre remained open until Carroll died in 1948--a run of nearly ten years. The building still exists today as the west coast studio for the Nikelodean cable network.




RKO RADIO PICTURES
Photo date: 1935
860 North Gower Street
Hollywood

Built in 1921, RKO took over this building in 1929. Among the well-known projects produced here are the Ginger Rogers-Fred Astair films, many trend-setting film noir classics (including Murder, My Sweet and Notorious) and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez owned the studio lot for a while in the 1950s-1960s and produced the I Love Lucy television series here. Today the studio is part of the Paramount facility and still looks about the way you see it in this photo, minus the RKO tower atop the globe at the front corner of the building. The globe itself is still there, but is unpainted.




DON THE BEACHCOMBER'S
Photo date: 1937
1727 North McCadden Place
Hollywood

The first and most famous of the exotic theme bars found in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s, Don The Beachcomber was opened in 1937 by Donn Beach (born Ernest Gantt), a former rum-runner who spent a good deal of his life bumming around the South Pacific and Caribbean Sea areas. Extremely popular with the film community, Don's was famous for its Rum drinks (including the Maitai, which Donn Beach claimed to have invented) and for the Cantonese food served there. (The building no longer exists.)




MAX FACTOR BUILDING
Photo date: 1935
1660 North Highland Avenue
Hollywood

The four-story section of the Max Factor Building was originally constructed in 1913. It was remodeled in the Regency Deco style by S. Charles Lee in 1935. Lee also designed the one-story section of the building (on the right in this photo), which was added when the original building was remodeled. The Max Factor cosmetics company was headquartered in the building until it recently. The building is now shared by the Hollywood History Museum and Mel's Drive-In.




NBC RADIO CITY - WEST
Photo date: 1939
Intersection of Hollywood Boulevard & Vine Street
Hollywood

When the National Broadcasting Company relocated its west coast headquarters from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 1938, they moved into this Streamline/Moderne' building designed by John C. Austin. For many years national broadcasts of NBC's Red and Blue network radio programs originated here. With the advent of television, NBC relocated again in 1949, this time to their current TV production facility in Burbank. The distinctive Radio City - West building was demolished in 1964.




CBS COLUMBIA SQUARE
Photo date: 1938
6121 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood

In 1938, about the same time NBC moved into Radio City - West at Hollywood & Vine, the Columbia Broadcasting System created Columbia Square down on Sunset to serve as their west coast headquarters. CBS's version of a Streamline/Moderne' studio building was created by William Lescaze and Earl Heitschmidt. Unlike NBC, however, CBS continued using their Hollywood facility when TV came along. In fact, CBS occupied Columbia Square up until 2007. Now owned by a development company, the property's future is in question.




HOLLYWOOD HIGH SCHOOL
Photo date: 1935
1521 North Highland Avenue
Hollywood

Built in 1910, Hollywood High School is remarkable for it's numerous building sculptures like those shown in this photo of the Science Building. It isn't the sculptures, but the alumni who make this high school famous. The list of motion picture luminaries who graduated from Hollywood High reads like a film and television Who's Who of the past hundred years!

The campus is still in use today and looks very much like it did in the 1930s. The school mascot is "The Sheik" based on Rudolph Valentino's famous character.


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All of the photographs on this page are Copyright 1975 by David Gebhard & Harriette Von Breton