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Old Posted Dec 13, 2012, 7:18 PM
tovangar2 tovangar2 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: West Los Angeles
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Afton Arms aka Malaga Castle Apartment Hotel, Afton Place El Centro Ave

The Afton Arms (6141 Afton Place at El Centro, Hollywood) rivals even the Alexandria Hotel for faded glamour, murders, drug-deals-gone-wrong and a clinging rep for noir. Persistently, but implausibly, rumored to have been built at the behest of Joseph P. Kennedy for Gloria Swanson (she was said to have frequented the only two-story apartment in the building, a luxe space with a spiral staircase). Gracious, beautifully-appointed apartments with dressing rooms and luxurious Batchelder-tiled bathrooms, together with spacious, light-filled hallways (courtesy of each apartment's French front door) made the place, nicknamed the Malaga Castle, a highly desirable address for actors and directors working at nearby Columbia, RKO and Paramount. Dumbwaiters ferried meals to residents from the basement kitchens. In 1947 the Hollywood Ten used the Grand Ballroom for meetings to plan their response to HUAC. After hitting a real low in the 1970's (unfortunately the time I knew it), the Afton Arms is struggling back. Designed by Leland Bryant in 1924, five years before he did the Sunset Tower/Argyle/St James Club. Historic Cultural Monument #463.

Afton Arms (Leland Byant, 1924)

the city project/flickr

6141 Afton Place, at El Centro



the discreet side door



Gloria Swanson, 1919


7 of Ten, Samuel Ornitz, Ring Lardner, Albert Maltz, Alvah Bessie,
Lester Cole, Herbert Biberman and Edward Dmytryk:


Stars march in support of the Ten


Marilyn Monroe on Communists: "They're for the people, aren't they?"

Marilyn Monroe lived with her mother in a more modest establishment on the other end of the same block in 1933.
6012 Afton Place, at Gower. It's still there and hasn't changed.

cursum perficio

It's just across from Columbia Studios (now Sunset-Gower Studios) Stage 9. Columbia was Marilyn's mother's employer:


A starstruck, seven-year-old Norma Jeane, 1933


"I used to think as I looked at the Hollywood night, "There must be thousands of girls sitting alone like me, dreaming of becoming a movie star.
But I'm not going to worry about them. I'm dreaming the hardest."

Also, of course, Marilyn later lived a couple of blocks away in the late 40's at the Studio Club on Lodi Place, running parallel with, and between, El Centro and Gower.
Earl Moran took some nifty pix of her during those years:

Originally Posted by GaylordWilshire View Post
Actually, it's K.G. Louie...
I should have known that. I shop there. There's still a few good things amongst the dreck. Thx.

Last edited by tovangar2; Jul 3, 2015 at 3:01 PM. Reason: fix links
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