Archive for April, 2008

Hollywood & Vine Fire UPDATE…

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Fire Burns Popular Nightclub

At Hollywood & Vine



April 30, 2008




  Anita Rosenberg / Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES — A huge fire burned through the roof of a building housing a popular nightclub at the famed intersection of Hollywood and Vine in Hollywood on Wednesday morning, but no injuries were reported.


Firefighters were sent to a large single-story building in the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard about 5:30 a.m., said d’Lisa Davies of the Los Angeles Fire Department. The fire was extinguished at 7:58 a.m., she said.


But less than an hour later, firefighters were seen battling a flareup on the roof of the building at 1707 N. Vine Street.


Firefighters — concerned that the roof could collapse because of heavy air-conditioning units atop the building — moved into a “defensive” posture after about 20 minutes and worked to prevent the flames from spreading to other structures.


A large billboard atop the building shifted, causing some concern that it might collapse.


Crews using aerial ladders poured water on the flames from above, and utilities to the building were shut off.


Metro Red Line trains were unaffected, but officials re-routed bus lines 163, 217, 780, 210 and 180, said Metro spokesman Luis Inzunza.


The fire apparently began in the attic of the building, which houses the Basque Nightclub and Restaurant, a firefighter said.


Water filled the street outside the building, and traffic was routed away from the area, which appeared likely to remain closed off for much of the day.


The blaze was designated a major emergency fire, one that involves the deployment of at least 16 fire engines. This morning, 23 fire engines were sent to the scene, Davies said.


It was the second major fire at a Hollywood restaurant in a week. On Saturday afternoon, a fire apparently sparked by faulty wiring gutted “Off Vine,” 6263 W. Leland Way, near Vine Street and about two blocks south of the site of this morning’s blaze.


The weekend fire, which left two firefighters injured, caused about $450,000 in damage to the century-old two-story house that had been converted into an eatery, said Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey.


Owners vowed to rebuild the restaurant, which has served celebrities and families for more than 20 years.


Hollywood & Vine Fire…

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Crews battle building fire at Hollywood and Vine




By Francisco Vara-Orta, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
8:01 AM PDT, April 30, 2008
A large commercial building on the famed intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in the heart of rapidly renovating Hollywood is in flames this morning, authorities said, creating a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles.

Firefighters were sent to the 6200 block of Hollywood Boulevard about 5:30 a.m., said d’Lisa Davies of the Los Angeles Fire Department. About 30 minutes into the battling the flames, firefighters had to exit the building, so they are not sure if it’s a one- or two-story structure, Davies said.


Crews are using aerial ladders to pour water on the flames from above and working to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings.



“We do have firefighters on three sides of the building to protect the nearby businesses,” Davies said. Fire is on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Vine, in the center of numerous high-end redevelopment projects underway such as the new W hotel and residences. The building involved is home to Basque, a nightclub and restaurant.


The building on fire has not been declared a total loss yet but has been deemed as “under demolition,” Davies said.


In addition to trying to protect the buildings nearby, crews were dousing the area underneath a billboard on top of the building to prevent it from collapsing.


There are no initial reports of injuries 90 minutes into the firefight, Davies said.


Forty-foot flames could be seen shooting through the roof by early morning commuters nearby.


Traffic was was routed away from the area, Davies said, adding the Hollywood Freeway is slowing as some people watch the flames.


“It should be a while, we’re still trying to get to the base of the fire,” Davies said.


Photos from Los Angeles Times and KTLA


Times staff writer Nita Lelyveld contributed to this report.


Eve Arden’s Birthday…

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Happy 100th Birthday

Eve Arden!




  • BORN: April 30, 1908, Mill Valley, California
  • DIED: November 12, 1990, Los Angeles, California
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Cardiac arrest
  • BURIAL: Westwood Village Memorial Park, Section D, Lot 81



“Veda’s convinced me that alligators have the right idea: They eat their young.” — Eve Arden, as Ida Corwin, in Mildred Pierce (1945)



Carl Laemmle, Jr.’s Birthday

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Happy 100th Birthday

Carl Laemmle, Jr.!


From the Allan Ellenberger Collection



  • BORN: April 28, 1908, Chicago, Illinois
  • DIED: September 24, 1979, Beverly Hills, California
  • CAUSE OF DEATH: Stroke
  • BURIAL: Home of Peace Cemetery, Chapel Mausoleum


Garve of Carl Laemmle Jr. at Home of Peace Cemetery

  • SON of Carl Laemmle, founder of Universal Studios
  • DIED 40 years to-the-day after his father
  • PRODUCER of such horror classics as Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931),

The Mummy (1932) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)


Restaurant Fire…

Monday, April 28th, 2008

Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2008



Fire tears through a popular eatery





The popular restaurant Off Vine was badly damaged by a fire late Sunday afternoon.


The California cuisine eatery, on Leland Way near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, was in a 100-year-old house that was converted to a restaurant in 1989.


No injuries were reported in the blaze, which was reported at 5:20 p.m. and extinguished in about half an hour, fire officials said. The cause remains under investigation.


From Times staff and wire reports / photos from laist

Bebe Barron Obituary

Monday, April 28th, 2008


Bebe Barron, 82; scored the science fiction film ‘Forbidden Planet’


By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer


April 27, 2008


Bebe Barron, a pioneering composer who started manipulating sounds after receiving a tape recorder as a wedding present and later scored the 1956 science-fiction film Forbidden Planet, the first full-length feature to use only electronic music, has died. She was 82.



R-K-O Studios: Then & Now…

Sunday, April 27th, 2008


R-K-O Studios

Then & Now


Original entrance to RKO Studios


Old RKO Studios entrance


(Top) THEN: R-K-O Studio entrance

(Bottom) NOW: Paramount Studios side entrance


780 Gower Street, Hollywood


NOTE: R-K-O Studios was at one time located at the northeast corner of Gower and Melrose in Hollywood. Desilu founders, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz acquired the lot in 1957 and sold it ten years later to Paramount. With that merger, the former R-K-O main entrance became a side entrance for Paramount.



Obit…Kate Phillips

Sunday, April 27th, 2008

New York Times
April 27, 2008

Kate Phillips, Actress Who Christened

‘The Blob,’ Is Dead at 94




Kate Phillips, who played mostly supporting roles on Broadway and in more than 50 films in the 1930s and ’40s and who later was a co-writer of the 1958 horror film “The Blob,” died on April 18 in Keene, N.H. She was 94.


The death was confirmed by Lawrence Benaquist, chairman of film studies at Keene State College. Mrs. Phillips, known during her acting career as Kay Linaker, taught at the college from 1980 until two years ago.


In 1956, while working with Theodore Simonson on the script for a movie that was supposed to be called “The Molten Meteor,” Mrs. Phillips referred to the giant jellylike creature from another planet that had plopped into a field outside of a small town as “the blob.” Overhearing her, the producers changed the name of what became something of a cult classic.


“The Blob” gave a fresh-faced Steve McQueen his first starring role, as one of two teenagers whose warnings about the voracious appetite of the enlarging monster are ignored until many people are engulfed.


“Both Steve McQueen and I were to receive $150 plus 10 percent of the gross,” Mrs. Phillips said in an interview for the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (she was a native of Pine Bluff, Ark.). “Neither one of us got the percentage — and the film and its remake have earned millions — but I got an important writing credit and Steve became a star.”


Although Mrs. Phillips usually played small parts during her stage and film career, in 1936 she was cast in a leading role opposite Conrad Nagel in “The Girl From Mandalay,” about a man who marries a resort entertainer after his sweetheart back in England tires of waiting for him.


Another of her more notable roles was that of a society matron who marries the former husband of Ginger Rogers in the 1940 film “Kitty Foyle.” In the movie she visits an upscale department store and is waited on by her working-class counterpart, unaware of what the two have in common. She had smaller parts in “Drums Along the Mohawk” (1939); “Blood and Sand” (1941); and five “Charlie Chan” movies.


Mary Katherine Linaker was born on July 19, 1913. She studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York during the day while taking classes at New York University at night. After graduating from N.Y.U., she got a film contract with Warner Bros., having attracted the attention of scouts with her work on Broadway.


During World War II, Mrs. Phillips joined the Red Cross, serving as a hostess at U.S.O. clubs. She also began writing for the Voice of America. About that time she met, and soon married, Howard Phillips, a singer and writer who later became an NBC television executive.


Her husband died before her. She is survived by a son, Bill, of El Cerrito, Calif.; a daughter, Regina Paquette of Keene; and four grandchildren.


In July 2003, Mrs. Phillips traveled to Phoenixville, Pa., to celebrate the town’s annual Blob Fest. As always, hundreds of B-movie fans raced out of the Colonial Theater, re-enacting the panic caused by a gelatinous creature in a scene filmed there almost five decades ago.


Obit…Patricia Ziegfeld

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Patricia Ziegfeld Stephenson, 91;

daughter of Broadway impresario


Patricia Ziegfeld Stephenson

Patricia Ziegfeld Stephenson, right, with her father, legendary
Broadway impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, and mother, actress
Billie Burke (Los Angeles Times/Pacific & Atlantic Photos)


From a Los Angeles Times staff writer
April 26, 2008


Patricia Ziegfeld Stephenson, the daughter of legendary Broadway impresario Florenz Ziegfeld, died of congestive heart failure April 11 at her home in Los Angeles. She was 91.





Shirley Temple…

Saturday, April 26th, 2008


Shirley Temple Black Breaks Arm



SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) Shirley Temple Black quietly celebrated her 80th birthday this week after breaking her arm in a fall at her suburban San Francisco home.


Rick Ross, her Los Angeles-based attorney, says the former child star is doing fine. She turned 80 on Wednesday.


Black was the top box-office draw in the U.S. from 1935 to 1938. Her best-known films include Curly Top and Little Miss Marker.


After retiring from the big screen, she held a number of diplomatic posts, including U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia.


Black lives in the San Francisco suburb of Woodside.