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  #18741  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 2:01 AM
Martin Pal Martin Pal is offline
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Hollywood in Miniature

I know there's been some "models" of Los Angeles posted on Noirish L.A. before like one of the downtown area of over 100 years ago, some downtown buildings and Martin Turnbull's semi-recent photos he posted of "The Garden of Allah."

I don't think the Hollywood Miniatures have been mentioned before, though. I first heard about them on a segment Leonard Maltin did way back in the mid-80's on Entertainment Tonight.

The “Hollywood in Miniature” idea was the brainchild of Joe Pellkofer, owner of a Hollywood Cabinet Company. Originally the project was backed by some Hollywood business men with Leon Bayard de Volo and Dino S. Alessi as supervising directors of the construction. To keep his master craftsmen busy in 1936 slack periods (or 1940 according to a 2nd source), Joe Pellkofer had them re-create detailed street scenes of Hollywood with its landmark theaters, churches, billboards, businesses and neighborhoods. It shows 45 main blocks in Hollywood, including 450 buildings, all built to scale. Surrounding the entire city is a painted cyclorama mural of the Hollywood Hills and surrounding areas.





The miniature measures 125" x 137" in total which consists of 3 panels 125" x 40" ~ 125" x 47" ~ 125" x 50".

Below is a section of it that I can point out a couple things. The street toward the top right is Sunset Blvd. On the right is Carpenter‘s Drive In and the light blue colored building is Earl Carroll’s nightclub. Across the street (Sunset Blvd.) on the right is NBC then the Hollywood Palladium and then CBS.



From the time Pellkofer began the miniature projects in 1940, it took 25 artists and craftsmen four years to complete all of them.

Originally, there were six: Hollywood, the Malibu film colony, a composite of the film studios of the day, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Bowl and the Brown Derby, at a total cost of $250,000.

A section of The Malibu Film Colony Miniature is a very detailed composite of the Seaside Homes of the Stars, how the Colony once appeared in the late 1930's and early 1940's…


…and it also includes the one million dollar Rindge Castle with 54 Rooms which was built by the family who Founded Malibu. It alone cost $6,500 to duplicate.



After being completed in late 1945, the six miniatures made their debut in January of 1946 in Hollywood. By June, they were on a national tour, first at Macy’s in New York City before travelling across the country.
When in Oregon the entire exhibit was stolen while it was being shown for a police department. It was finally located at a police department in South Carolina.

The Brown Derby (on Wilshire) miniature was smashed during the tour and was never redone.

After sitting in Mr, Pellkofer’s barn since 1948, the miniatures were refurbished in 1986 at “Hollywood On Location” a new 40’s style soda fountain and gift shop that opened and showcased the miniatures.



For an admission fee you entered a room to first see the miniature of Hollywood. The model had fiber optic lighting installed in the buildings and the street lamps as part of the refurbishing.
An electrical cycle takes the city from dawn to dusk, when lights glow in buildings, with street lamps and automobiles of the era.

You then moved on to the others. (I frankly do not remember the Chinese theatre being there, but the articles say it was.) The Malibu Colony was also lit as the city was, complete with painted rollers that simulated the ocean waves and music to underscore the scene. (Pellkofer explained: "We had people out in Malibu with stopwatches to time the waves. There are about a dozen hand-carved rolls of wood with steel rods through them that turn to show the waves rolling. That was tricky.") It seems to me there was also a bit of narration involved. I saw the models several times when they were there.

When Disney bought the Paramount Theater and restored it to the El Capitan, at some point they took over On Location Hollywood and made it a Disney store.
I don’t recall when the models were removed, nor what happened to them after that.

Several of the above photos of the miniatures were taken from an auction site from 2010 that indicates the highest bids were not accepted.

There’s no mention of the Chinese Theatre model anywhere that I could find, but I found this old photograph:


Caption: Leon Bayard de Volo shows his miniature of Grauman's Chinese Theatre to actresses Jane Greer and Myrna Dell.

Info about the miniatures from these sources/links:
http://www.icollector.com/Miniature-...ywood_i9385255
http://articles.latimes.com/1986-03-...hollywood-bowl
http://news.google.com/newspapers?ni...g=6909,5177579
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  #18742  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 2:11 AM
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C. King C. King is offline
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One early February Morn' at Suicide Bridge



Taken from just before the west end of the Colorado Blvd Bridge.

Photo by Me.
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  #18743  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 2:34 AM
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Hall of Justice Door



Shot through the fencing on the Temple St. side. Early July of '11.

Photo by Me.

Last edited by C. King; Jan 9, 2014 at 4:11 AM.
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  #18744  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:24 AM
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  #18745  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:37 AM
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Jane Greer


Out of the Past, RKO Radio Pictures

"Out of the Past" with Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum - One of the great noirs
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  #18746  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 5:09 AM
ernie pearl ernie pearl is offline
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Thumbs up

So lookong forward to the restoration of the Hall of Justice. One of the last giants that loomed big over this part of downtown (old post office was also massive but was razed/Old Court House/Hall of Records).
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  #18747  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 6:38 AM
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A visit to "New" Chinatown

Back in the latter part of the 1970's, the wife (from Taiwan) and I would venture down to Chinatown, mainly to buy groceries.
She was never thrilled with the place because a lot of the people only spoke Cantonese, which she could not understand.
When the Taiwanese and others from mainland China settled in Monterey Park and other points east, we were gone from Chinatown.
However, I always liked Peter Soohoo's 1938 New Chinatown tourist attraction. I'm a sucker for bright colors and neon lights.

So, yesterday we went back. First, I wanted to see what condition the place was in. I wondered if any of the great old buildings were still there:


lapl

Second, I wanted to scout out the area where Anna May Wong planted the willow tree behind the wishing pool:


lapl


http:familyofhummers.tripod


Last, and most important (to my weird self), I wanted to see if any of the old neon "Chop Suey" signs were still around:


lapl

Well, it was disappointment on all fronts. The whole place could use a general cleaning and a new coat of paint.


My photo


My photo

Some of the stores were still kind of cute:


My photo


My photo

However, some of the places are just gone:


My photo


My photo

The wishing pool was in bad shape:


My photo

And Anna May Wong's willow tree has been ripped out and replaced
by the Chinatown Souvenir Center


My photo

Chop Suey was nowhere to be found. I had a hope that Hop Louie would come through:


My photo

But they couldn't do any better than that old Chinese delicacy
Foil Wrapped Chicken - yumm!


My photo

I think that the problem with this part of Chinatown is that there is not much there for anyone. The Chinese don't go there,
because the Chinese food is all Americanized and the shops are full of tourist trinkets. The non-Chinese don't go there because
the place is run down and the parking is bad. Its kind of like going to a museum. You look at a bunch of
artifacts, wander around, then go home. Too bad.


And on my way home, I noticed that Little Joe's was either being renovated or torn down..


My Photo

...looked like being torn down to me.

Last edited by FredH; Jan 9, 2014 at 6:54 PM.
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  #18748  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 8:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredH View Post
Chop Suey was nowhere to be found. I had a hope that Hop Louie would come through:


My photo
Great photos!
I have some matchbook covers in my personal collection from various places in Chinatown. I'm still getting to scanning all of them.



Golden Pagoda opened in 1941, just three years after “New Chinatown” arrived in Los Angeles. Today, it’s Hop Louie, still serving cocktails and food from it’s original menu! Rumor has it, Marilyn Monroe once dined here, and there’s an original photo of her taken by the owner hanging in the restaurants foyer? Anyone have a shot of that?
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The Matchbook Project - A collection of vintage matchbook covers, 1930's-present day
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  #18749  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 9:13 AM
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Thanks salpytalian

I found one more small photo that is from back in the pre-Hop Louie days:


lapl

The area with the sign for gifts in the photo above appears to be closed off now:


My photo

The place looked so much nicer on your matchbook. I wonder who decided to re-paint it such a drab color?


I guess it was still the Golden Pagoda in 1975:


http://www.charlesphoenix.com/2006/1...-angeles-1975/

Wow! Looked a lot better back then.

Last edited by FredH; Jan 9, 2014 at 9:39 AM.
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  #18750  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 9:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredH View Post

The place looked so much nicer on your matchbook. I wonder who decided to re-paint it such a drab color?
Agreed! Looks like it had more lively pops of color.
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  #18751  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 3:51 PM
Retired_in_Texas Retired_in_Texas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyingwedge View Post
That sounds like my experience in the 70s, BB. High school water polo practice was in an outdoor pool on fall afternoons. In the evenings following practice, if I tried to breathe normally, I'd start to cough and had to take very shallow breaths instead. Less smog is a good thing.
Less smog is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately smog, as we call it, can frequently occur from what is known as a "Temperature Inversion" which is a rather frequent event along many coastal areas around the world. It can also occur inland but is less common than along coastal areas where there is often an uplift in terrain a few miles back from the coastline. In simple terms air at lower levels gets trapped by a temperature inverted layer in the atmosphere. It is a bit like shutting off a ventilation system in a building.

Not much we can do about it given it is a natural phenomenon. About all we can do is reduce the amount of C0 and sulfur in the air at lower levels in locations where temperature inversions commonly occur.
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  #18752  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:00 PM
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ethereal_reality ethereal_reality is offline
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Beverly Hills...not sure of the street.


My first name is Bruce so that store caught my eye.
__

Very interesting miniatures Martin Pal. I had no idea they existed, so thanks for bring them to my attention.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jan 9, 2014 at 4:22 PM.
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  #18753  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:04 PM
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ethereal_reality ethereal_reality is offline
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some fascinating ephemera.
ebay





ebay



__

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jan 9, 2014 at 9:32 PM.
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  #18754  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:04 PM
Retired_in_Texas Retired_in_Texas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
ebay


__
Lots of interesting stuff on this establishment starting with its owner being a very well known Opera Singer. The restaurant was known later as Paul Verlengia's Marquis and operated well into the 1970s in the same location. Given it's popularity among L.A.'s more affluent there is likely a great amount of not so known stories that can be dug up about this restaurant.
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  #18755  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:14 PM
Retired_in_Texas Retired_in_Texas is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
This particular place doesn't look familiar to me. I'm hoping to find out more details.
ebay

When I first viewed this photo it reminded me of the myriad of one story buildings found on WWII era military bases. It also has all the architectural charm of the buildings constructed for barracks in WWII Prisoner of War camps all across the country.
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  #18756  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salpytalian View Post
Great photos!
I have some matchbook covers in my personal collection from various places in Chinatown. I'm still getting to scanning all of them.



Golden Pagoda opened in 1941, just three years after “New Chinatown” arrived in Los Angeles. Today, it’s Hop Louie, still serving cocktails and food from it’s original menu! Rumor has it, Marilyn Monroe once dined here, and there’s an original photo of her taken by the owner hanging in the restaurants foyer? Anyone have a shot of that?
When I was a kid, (1960's) my grandmother loved the "Golden Pagoda" and we always took her there for Mothers Day. My grandmother was born in Ohio in 1880 on a farm and this was probably terribly exotic to her, even though she had been in California since 1910. I loved the "barbecued spareribs" and egg roll. As a child I loved to wander through the shops and toss pennies in the wishing fountain which seemed much bigger then.
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  #18757  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
Beverly Hills...not sure of the street.


My first name is Bruce so that store caught my eye.
Bruce's women's apparel was at 416 N Beverly Drive.


Santa Monica Public Library

The building with the stepped wall that's visible above the Bruce's sign is still there - it's now a Hannspree store.


GSV

Possibly more surprising is that Nate 'n Al's delicatessen is still at the same location.


GSV
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  #18758  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 4:34 PM
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ethereal_reality ethereal_reality is offline
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Thanks HossC. If you wonder why I don't look up the directory myself, it's because my computer takes f o r e v e r to open up the
directory pages on the LAPL site (it's a fairly recent thing). So I appreciate all your help.

1925

-notice the mild and hot sauces on the tables.


ebay



Huh! This Dinty Moore?

google_images.
__

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jan 9, 2014 at 6:44 PM.
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  #18759  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 5:12 PM
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FredH, thanks for sharing your trip to Chinatown with us via your photographs.
The melancholy feeling was already in place way back in the 1980s. I felt this was part of it's charm.
It's nice to see the old 1940s neon still in place, especially on the two souvenir shops you posted.


I'm amazed at how cheap lunch is there, $4.75 with tea...in Los Angeles!
FredH
As an example, there's a nice chinese restaurant next to where I live here in Lafayette IN and their lunch specials are
$7.50 without complimentary tea.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Jan 9, 2014 at 8:18 PM.
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  #18760  
Old Posted Jan 9, 2014, 5:33 PM
bighen bighen is offline
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Yee Mee Loo

Quote:
Originally Posted by GatoVerde View Post
Great find GatoVerde. Found this picture in my collection



Source:LA Public Library
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