If you are from Southern California, and frequent the downtown Los Angeles and the immediate surrounding areas, then all of the pictures below are really going to hit home. I can honestly say I have been to every one of these areas and it amazes me to see how it all began. Enjoy!!
(1922)*^ – Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks hang the entrance signs for their Pickford-Fairbanks Studios in Hollywood.
(ca. 1923)^# – About a dozen men cheering for the camera in what seems to be the completion of an early phase of the new housing development project. At the same time, construction crews appear to still be working.
(ca. 1924)* – Three cars are parked in the street in front of a sign for Hollywoodland sales. To the right is the tract office building. Behind that another building is under construction. Another at the top of the hill looks nearly finished.
(ca. 1924)* – The construction sign in back reads “You are now in Hollywoodland, Tray E. Shoults Co.”. In the street in front of the Tract Office and other buildings approx. 70 men in a line 2 to 3 rows deep stand at the gates of Beachwood Drive.
(ca. 1920s)* – Intersection of Sunset and Cahuenga boulevards with heavy traffic going in all directions. The tall tower in the center of the photo is the Hollywood Athletic Club.
When the Hollywood Athletic Club was first built in 1924, Hollywood was entering its greatest and most productive period. The building was the tallest building in Hollywood and loomed above Sunset Boulevard. Membership was originally $150 for initiation fees and $10 for monthly dues.
During its early years as a health club, its membership included Johnny Weissmuller, Errol Flynn, Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Walt Disney, John Ford, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Mary Pickford, Cecil B de Mille, Cornel Wilde, Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Frances X. Bushman, Howard Hughes, Joan Crawford and Rudolph Valentino, Mae West, Walt Disney, and Buster Crabbe.*^
(1929)* – Street view of the Hollywood Athletic Club, located at 6525 Sunset Blvd.
(1922)* – Around 50,000 people gathered for the Easter sunrise service in the Hollywood Bowl. An even larger crowd was expected there on Easter morning when the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra played for the worshipers. The Hollywood Bowl would officially be opened four months later (July 11, 1922).
(ca. 1923)* – Bird’s eye view looking west on Hollywood Blvd. at Cahuenga circa 1923.
(ca. 1923)* – A view of the courtyard of Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre with statues of an Egyptian king, Indian elephants. Billboard advertising for Douglas Fairbanks “The Thief of Bagdad.” The theatre opened in 1922 and was designed by architects Meyer & Holler.
The Egyptian Theatre was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks, on Wednesday, October 18, 1922. As the film reportedly cost over $1 million to produce, the admission price to the premiere was $5.00. One could reserve a seat up to two weeks in advance for the daily performances. Evening admission was 75¢, $1.00 or $1.50. The film was not shown in any other Los Angeles theater during that year.
(1927)* – Night view shows theater lights and throngs of fans packing the streets for blocks around Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Publicity of Hollywood premiers usually brought stars and other distinguished visitors to magnificent events such as the one seen here – possibly the opening night of a movie starring Douglas Fairbanks.
(1928)* – Marquee says to “Watch for the Grand Opening” of Warner Bros. Theatre in Hollywood.
(1928)* – A customer gets full service at the gas pumps at Muller Bros. Service Station on Sunset Blvd.
The Muller Brothers Service Station was located across Sunset Boulevard on 4 acres, where the Cinerama Dome Theater is now located. Opened in 1920 by the Muller brothers, Walter and Frank, this became the largest service station in the world (including a large automobile supply center), employing 120 people by 1937. Celebrities, from Rudolph Valentino to Clark Gable, came by regularly to get gas or just work on their cars. In 1963 the site was sold for the Cinerama Dome Theater, and, at that time, an eventual hotel.
(ca. 1928)* – Exterior view of the Gower Street entrance of the RKO Studios, located on Gower Street and Melrose Avenue in Hollywood. The studios were established by Robertson-Cole in 1921 and are now owned by CBS Paramount Television. RKO is short for Radio-Keith-Orpheum.
(ca. 1930s)^ – Carpenter’s Sandwich drive-in on Sunset and Vine. Two carhops are posing for the camera by the counter while another to the right appears to be serving food.
(1933)* – A man sits on a steel girder on the half-completed dome of the Griffith Observatory as other construction workers are on scaffolds on the building behind the dome. Construction rubble is scattered around the Observatory’s foundation.
(1934)* – The Griffith Observatory and the main building, the planetarium, are seen from below and from the back. A hiking path has been cut into the hillside below, on the south side, but brush still covers much of the area.
I found these and a million more pictures and information at the following site and all credit goes to them. I just had to share a few jewels here. Please go here for many, many, many more pictures of Old Hollywood!!