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Old Posted Dec 4, 2014, 1:19 AM
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HossC HossC is offline
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Originally Posted by Martin Pal View Post

I had to look up the word "Buvette" !
I'm glad it wasn't just me .


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post

I don't believe I've heard of this John's Café before.

"John's Café in Wilcox Hall at Hollywood and Cahuenga Boulevards, was Hollywood's
first celebrity restaurant. 1917"

'The Story of Hollywood'
by Gregory Paul Williams

Wilcox Hall? -have we discussed this building on NLA
I've already posted a picture of the building, but didn't know what it was at the time - more on that below.

Here's an advert for Wilcox Hall from the 1906 Hollywood CD. Prospect Avenue didn't become Hollywood Boulevard until about four years later.
NB. I've reduced the height of the original advert by removing white space between the lines.


I can't find John's Café in the City Directories, but by 1917, Wilcox Hall at 6380 Hollywood Boulevard had become Wilcox Auditorium. Others listed at that address in 1917 include the Woman's Club of Hollywood, and a dance teacher called Mrs E V Morand. I also failed to find the dentist named Dr Cowen and Acme Studios, both of which appear above the door on the left of e_r's picture.

As I continued my search, I began to wonder whether Gregory Paul Williams' date of 1917 was correct for John's Café. Here's the picture I mentioned above. It's a screengrab from the 1921 Max Linder silent movie 'Seven Years Bad Luck'. This is the Wilcox Auditorium Building, but there's no sign of the cafe. Charles H Mansheffer's drug store is listed in the CDs between 1915 and 1921, after which it moves a block away and is replaced by a branch of the Sun Drug Company. You can see the rest of my screengrabs from 'Seven Years Bad Luck' here.

Max Linder Productions

John's Café did exist when this picture was taken. The blade sign even says "Open All Night". The larger blade sign nearer the camera belongs to the Majestic Bowling and Billiard Academy at 6830 Hollywood Boulevard. USC date this picture as circa 1927, with 1922/1932 under "date created", but LAPL have the same picture more definitively dated at 1923. That fits with the bowling and billiards academy, which only appears in the 1923 CD.

Detail of picture in USC Digital Library

I tried to decipher the large lettering with all the light bulbs above the corner store. You can see the "Th" clearly in e_r's picture. Then I realized I'd probably answered that question already. Here's the Main Street, Alhambra branch of The Sun Drug Co in 1924.

Detail of picture in USC Digital Library

The extant Morgan, Walls and Clements designed building that replaced the Wilcox Hall/Auditorium was completed in 1934. It was orginally occupied by the Owl Drug Company.

USC Digital Library

I nearly finished the post there, but then at the last minute I spotted this picture and caption in Marc Wanamaker's 'Hollywood: 1940-2008'. It gives a bit of background on Wilcox Hall, and confirms the redevelopment date.
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