Archive for July, 2018

Booksigning at Egyptian/American Cinematheque

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Allan Ellenberger Miriam Hopkins Talk

The Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

2:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Design for Living begins at approximately 3:30 PM.

This Art Deco Society program begins with an illustrated presentation by author and historian Allan Ellenberger on the life and career of actress Miriam Hopkins, followed by the Ernst Lubitsch comedy classic DESIGN FOR LIVING, in which she shares an apartment with lovestruck Fredric March and Gary Cooper.

Allan R. Ellenberger will sign copies of his new book Miriam Hopkins: Life and Films of a Hollywood Rebel, in the lobby before the film.

Larry Edmunds will be on site to sell books.

Co-presented by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles
Join us for an illustrated presentation by Hollywood historian Allan Ellenberger on the life and work of actress Miriam Hopkins, whose 40-year career began in the pre-Code era and included three films with legendary comedy director Ernst Lubitsch.

35 mm!
DESIGN FOR LIVING
1933, Universal, 91 min, USA, Dir: Ernst Lubitsch
Playwright Tom Chambers (Fredric March) and painter George Curtis (Gary Cooper) share an apartment in Paris and both fall for lovely interior designer Gilda Farrell (Miriam Hopkins). Gilda can’t make up her mind which man she loves, so she concocts a scheme for the three of them to live together platonically. Of course it’s not long before the two men are figuratively clawing at each other’s throats in this pre-Code delight from director Ernst Lubitsch and screenwriter Ben Hecht, based on Noel Coward’s play.

For details and updates: American Cinematheque

 

H. J. Whitley: Father of Hollywood

Thursday, July 5th, 2018

Hobart Johnstone Whitley was born in Toronto, Canada on October 7, 1847, of Scottish-English parentage. As a child he moved to Flint, Michigan, where he was educated in the public schools and later at Toronto Business College. 

Whitley engaged in banking and land development in Kansas City and Minneapolis, establishing banks and townsites along the Northern Pacific Railroad, and for a time managed the H. J. Whitley Land and Mortgage Company. He platted the towns and built brick and stone business buildings in Oklahoma City, El Reno, Chickasha, Enid, Medfore, and other cities on the Rock Island Railroad.

In 1887 he married Margaret Virginia Ross and had two children, Grace Virginia and Ross Emmet. Because of bad health, Whitley came to California in 1893 and the following year established the H. J. Whitley Jewelry Store, for many years the largest in the city. In 1900 he bought the Hurd property north of Hollywood Boulevard, between Wilcox and Whitley, south of Yucca Street, which he later subdivided into what became known as Whitley Home Tract. As a result of the success of this subdivision, one of the first in Hollywood, Whitley became known as the “Father of Hollywood.”

In 1905, Whitley and a group of Los Angeles investors undertook the development of 47,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley and carried through a similar project involving nearly 50,000 acres in the San Fernando Valley.

(click image to enlarge)

Whitley continued his activities in Southern California property until 1922, when he completed the development of Whitley Heights, which was one of the first hillside subdivisions in Hollywood. The opening of the tract in 1920 was the scene of a public barbeque, with city officials and business men of the city as guests. Whitley Heights would become the first celebrity neighborhood and home to such film stars as Francis X. Bushman, Eugene O’Brien, Barbara La Marr and Rudolph Valentino.

In addition to his real estate development, Whitley was one of the founders of the Home Savings Bank and was identified with the organization of the First National Bank of Hollywood, the First National Bank of Van Nuys and State banks in Canoga Park, Reseda and Corcoran.

On June 3, 1931, while staying as a guest of his son at the Whitley Park Country Club in Van Nuys, H. J. Whitley died in his sleep at the age of 83. Whitley was survived by his wife Margaret, his daughter Grace, son Ross and three grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted at the Strother Funeral Chapel at 6240 Hollywood Boulevard with interment at Hollywood Cemetery.