Mary Pickford’s "Wilshire Links"

Los Angeles in 7 Days is a firsthand account of Los Angeles as it was in 1932. Long out of print, the book is an delightful resource in reconstructing the geography of Depression-era L.A.  Written by Lanier Bartlett and his wife Virginia Stivers Bartlett at the behest of a local publisher, the book details (what […]

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Mary Pickford’s “Wilshire Links”

Los Angeles in 7 Days is a firsthand account of Los Angeles as it was in 1932. Long out of print, the book is an delightful resource in reconstructing the geography of Depression-era L.A.  Written by Lanier Bartlett and his wife Virginia Stivers Bartlett at the behest of a local publisher, the book details (what […]

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The Art Deco Society's Avalon Ball 2010

The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles held their annual Avalon Ball over the weekend. Saturday evening, Catalina island was transformed into a time machine where flappers and swells, guys and dolls, vamps, and sheiks put on the ritz and converged upon Avalon’s famous casino ballroom for an evening of old-fashioned fun.  The ballroom once […]

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The Art Deco Society’s Avalon Ball 2010

The Art Deco Society of Los Angeles held their annual Avalon Ball over the weekend. Saturday evening, Catalina island was transformed into a time machine where flappers and swells, guys and dolls, vamps, and sheiks put on the ritz and converged upon Avalon’s famous casino ballroom for an evening of old-fashioned fun.  The ballroom once […]

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Movie Magazines and the (Not So) Fine Art of Serialization

In the days before Hulu and YouTube and Netflix streaming and iPhone apps, waaaay back in a time where communication wasn’t instant and deferred gratification was still a cultural commodity—the movie magazine serial thrived. Think about it. Let’s say it’s 1940. A film comes out in the cinema, you pay your quarter, watched it,  went […]

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Los Angeles: Portrait of a City

So I finally got my hands on a copy of Taschen’s new Los Angeles, Portrait of a City and have been thoroughly giddy with delight at this truly epic retrospective. Kevin Starr of USC is my personal favorite California historian and his insightful essays give this ever-so-beautiful pictorial history the sort of depth and complexity […]

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Walk of Fame 101

One of the most depressing things about living in Hollywood is definitely the boulevard of broken dreams’ “Walk of Fame.” While I smile at the names of long lost silent stars and radio personalities, I am endlessly saddened by the teeming masses of tourists that trample daily right on over John Gilbert, Bebe Daniels, Pola […]

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Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and a Double Brandy …

A double brandy for me, please, bartender! Now this is classic. A prime Frank Sinatra serenading the luminous Rita Hayworth in George Stevens’ 1957 melo-musical Pal Joey.  The film itself is light on plot, and even lighter on acting, but … oh, come on. Who are we kiddin’? We’re only here to hear Frankie croon, […]

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Luise Rainer – 100 Years And Counting…

Luise Rainer’s last Academy Award nod was for her role in The Good Earth … in 1938. The beautiful German actress’ first had come the year before opposite William Powell in The Great Ziegfeld. A win that brought about considerable controversy, as she was a rather unknown at the film opened. (The award is justified […]

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Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo & Sam Goldwyn

When I was growing up, some of my absolute favorite movies were Sam Goldwyn’s Danny Kaye/Virginia Mayo musicals made during the ‘40s. For a twelve year old, the films were bright, breezy, funny and chock-a-block with snappy tunes and zippy one-liners. I thought it would be fun to revisit them to see if they’re still […]

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