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.


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.



Thelma Todd in the 1930 Census…

Thursday, April 17th, 2008


Thelma Todd


Film Actress

Connie Bailey in Horse Feathers (1932)




Hightower Gardens


Hightower Gardens  

1922 Highland Avenue, No. 20

Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California

Rent, $150

Census recorded on April 9, 1930



  1. Alice E Todd (head), 51 / Canada (no data) / None.
  2. Thelma Todd (daughter), 22 / Massachusetts / Actress / Moving pictures.


Alice Todd

Roland West and Mrs. Alice Todd




* Information includes relationship to head of household, age / place of birth (year of arrival in this country, if applicable) / occupation / industry.


The preceeding text is taken from my recent book, Celebrities in the 1930 Census (McFarland & Co., Inc., 2008). This directory provides an extensive listing of household information collected for over 2,265 famous or notorious individuals who were alive during the 1930 United States Census. Please note: The above photographs do not appear in the book.




Hollywood Studios

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008


Hollywood Studios in 1923


What follows is a listing of film studios that existed in Hollywood and the surrounding Los Angeles area in July of 1923. Remarkably, some are still in existence or under a different name.

 Better Pictures Service, 780 Gower Street, Hollywood (later RKO, now part of Paramount)


Berwilla Studio, 5821 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood (now a warehouse).


Brentwood Studio, 4811 Fountain Avenue, Hollywood.

Buster Keaton Studio, 1025 Lillian Way, Hollywood.

Century Film Corp., 6100 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.

Charlie Chaplin Studio, 1416 La Brea Avenue, Hollywood (now Jim Henson Studios).

Christie Comedies, 6101 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.

Cosmosart, 3700 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles.

Fine Arts Studios, 4500 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.

Fox Studio, North Western Avenue, Hollywood.

Francis Ford Studios, 6040 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.

Fred Caldwell Productions, 4513 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.

Garson Studio, 1845 Glendale Blvd., Edendale.



 Goldwyn Studio, Culver City (later became Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, now Sony Pictures).


Golden West Studios, 4011 Lankersham Blvd., Studio City.

Grand Studio, 1438 Gower Street, Hollywood.

Hollywood Studios, 6642 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.

Horsley Studios, 6060 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.



Ince Studios, 9336 Washington Blvd., Culver City (later the Selznick Studios, now The Culver Studios).


Lasky Studio, 1520 Vine Street, Hollywood.

Mayer-Schulberg Studios, 3800 Mission Road, Los Angeles.

Metro Studio, Romaine and Cahuenga Avenue, Hollywood.

Pickford-Fairbanks Studio, 7100 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood (later Samuel Goldwyn Studios, The Lot).

Principal Pictures Corp., 7250 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood.

R-C Studios, Melrose and Gower Street, Hollywood.

Sennett Studio, 1712 Glendale Blvd., Edendale.

United Studios, 5341 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood (now Paramount Studios).

Universal Studio, Universal City (still there).

Vitagraph Studios, 1708 Talmadge Avenue, Hollywood.

Waldorf Studios, 6070 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood.



Warner Brothers Studio, 5842 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood (now KTLA-TV).