Felix In Hollywood

A Blog for the Smart Set

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Big Five O Oh....A Love Letter.

Yup, about 2 1/2 years later, I arrive at my 500th post! 

In my first post I used a photo of the Warner Bros. first Hollywood studio (not much more than a barn really) and noted that in starting the blog I had no idea where the endeavor would take me.  Well, the coincidence is, the property in that old picture is now a featured stop on my Walking Tour!

I want to thank all you guys.  From the very start you've given me companionship, support, clarity, love and courage.  Courage to follow the dream I am now living!

So without further adieu.....

You may recall a post I did in September of 2010 on the fabulous El Royale apartments, but since you have a life, chances are, you don't.  To refresh your memory it's here.

I'm bringing this up because to celebrate my 500th, I want to turn this post over to YOU!  Recently one of you, a wonderful fellow named James Pappas sent me a message offering to share some pictures of the El Royale with us if I would like.  Would I ever!

James grew up in Hollywood and his dad was a lifeguard at the Ambassador Hotel pool in the '40s and '50s!  Of that star-studded poolside he had particular memories of gangster Johnny Roselli being an almost daily fixture.

As an adult, James lived in the building for many years.

Here are the 4 beautiful shots he sent for us:

From James' email:

"I have had these from my own collection for years. I also have an Architectural Digest with pictures from when George Raft lived in the penthouse. Even Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures had the other penthouse at one time. They was a bust in the parking garage in the 40’s with some gangsters."

Thank you James.  Thank you readers.  Thank you tour guests.  Now on to the next 500.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Enough, Already. ENOUGH!!!

Money grubbing Developer Madness looks like it's about to strike again.....

It started life in 1919 as a studio built by Presenter Jesse Durham Hampton.

In 1922 Doug and Mary gave it their name.

In 1927 it becomes the United Artists Studio.  Sam Goldwyn also becomes a partner in the lot property.

In '33 Joe Schenk and Darryl Zannuck bring their fledgling 20th Century Pictures in to join the rest of the gang on the lot.  They would leave a couple of years later when they merged with Fox.  (Don't Mary and Doug look delighted?)

In 1939 Sam wrangles a name change - to his name.  It will hold that name until 1980 when.....

....Warner Bros. buys the property to be their Hollywood annex.

In 1999 Warner's sold the facility to a company called B A Studios (?) who renamed their acquisition "the lot".  the lot "is managed exclusively by Skye Partners".

B A and Skye have bided their time for over a decade now and, apparently, it's time to strike.  Like all development in Hollywood that involves historic property, there is a complete hush-hush, lack of disclosure going on about this but, from what people have been able to discern, they intend to demolish somewhere between 4 buildings and the entire lot at the end of April to redevelop the land.

Now if all the other recent development in town is a guide, this will result in more glass towers with lofts/condos/rental units upstairs (that will wind up somewhere below 50% occupied) and chain store retail on the street level.


Some lovely people have created an online petition as a gift for the developers and it would mean ever so much to me if you would go and sign it.  It's as easy as clicking here

They have a facebook page as well that you can like here

I'm so tired of crying after these place come down.  It would be wonderful to maybe head it off for a change.  At least we can try.  Thanks folks.

p.s.  wanna here something funny?  I got all of the images for this post from the Skye Partners website!  Apparently they just love the history - for marketing purposes.

Apparently the property is now in the clutches of CIM developers.  Here is an article from the LA Times....

***Major Update***

If you are in the LA area and are available this Sunday, April 1, come on out and do a little picketin' and protestin' with me!

***Final Update...Scenes from a Murder***

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Mystery Gets Revealed!!!

Well done my friends!  There were some great guesses, none of them correct of course, but great.  And, no Cookie, it is most assuredly not Jane Withers, because I saw our Janie live and in person a few months back!

About 10 years before the mystery photo was taken our enshrouded guest lived here:

It looks like a lovely home if you don't consider the big sign in the back yard:

But the years, lack of quality work, and addictions had not been kind.  Our photo was snapped waaaay down the hill inside this apartment building:

In this downstairs corner apartment:

Behind this door:

And if this 1956 photo was scary to you, well I think that might have made our mystery guest very happy:

After all, Bela Lugosi had been scaring us since our childhoods.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Say, What Goes On Here...........

Oh my, how long has it been since we've all gathered 'round to play the Mystery Photo game?

*****IF YOU ARE NEW TO THIS GAME PLEASE READ.  *****  If you've seen this picture before, or know for sure who/what this is, feel free to send me an email, but for the sake of unbridled mystery and tension, let the gang have a go at guessing in the comments section. 

 Okay, ready?

What goes on here????????