Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Quick Tour of Early Beverly Hills

Hi, everyone!
Things are starting to get back to normal here and everyone is recovering health wise and other family members and friends are working to get their homes and businesses rebuilt after the recent tornadoes.  Thank you so much for the well wishes and kind words.

I bought this wonderful set of postcards recently that gives us a peak at early Beverly Hills and I couldn't wait to share them with all of you.  (The informative captions are the descriptions of each on the back.)  If you're ready, let's take a trip down memory lane!

The cover

Located at 8556 Wilshire Boulevard, one block west of La Cienega the theater was once known as the Regina Theater which opened in the mid-1930s. The Fine Arts Theater has been a popular neighborhood theater, playing foreign and American films into the new millennium. The art deco style theater is a Beverly hills landmark, originally one of the five theaters in the city since 1925.

 Since 1920 there have been organized tours of the stars homes in Beverly Hills. Here is the Grayline-Anner Movie Tour bus at the Dr. Norman Sprague estate on Lexington Road. One of many grand mansions built in the early 1920s north of Sunset. 

 One of the more unique drive-in restaurant designs was new round Streamline Moderne Simon's Drive-In at Wilshire and Linden Drive that opened in December 1940. Over the years, Simon's was a popular hangout for Beverly Hills High School students; it was only a few blocks away.

 Motor officers and patrol officers were the backbone of policing Beverly Hills 'from the hills to the flats'. As early as the 1920s, a sign could be found at the city limits that said 'Burglars and Robbers--Stay out!"

 Warner Brother's Pictures brought the Night and Day production unit which included Cary Grant and Alexis Smith, to the George H. Lewis estate. Cary Grant played Cole Porter in the film and can be seen seated to the right of the umbrella. 

 The Flying "A" gas station was located at 400 Rexford Drive. Located at the northeast corner of Rexford Drive, across from the Beverly Hills City Hall. the station was built on a portion of the original Sun Lumber Company that once dominated the area. Today, the site is the south wing of the Beverly Hills Public Library.

 Located at 206 North Beverly Drive, at Wilshire Boulevard, the current film playing at the theater was Paramount's Incendiary Blonde, starring Betty Hutton. In 1925, real estate pioneer, Dan M. Quinlan constructed the theater, the first to be built with East Indian decor. The businesses in the theater building included Sally's Homemade Candies. 

 One of the most enduring Beverly Hills restaurants is Nate 'N' Al, located at 414 N. Beverly Drive since 1945. In May 2005, the restaurant celebrated its 60th anniversary. Al Mendelson and Nate Reiner opened the delicatessen for a celebrity clientèle typical for Beverly Hills.  From Jack to violinist, Jascha Heifetz, almost every celebrity resident or visitor has eaten at Nate 'N' Al over the years.

 Looking east down Sunset Boulevard from Whittier Drive is the Sunset Bridle Path. By 1938, with less horses in the city limits of Beverly Hills, the bridle path became more of a bicycle path, keeping the small town feeling of the town well into the 1950s.

 A new swimming pool was constructed at the Beverly Hills Hotel, at the beginning of 1937 in the beginning of a longterm renovation plan that ended in 1949. The swimming pool became a famous location for entertainment personalities to be seen and publicized around the world.

 Looking north, this is Beverly Drive from Olympic at the beginning of the Great Depression. Much of the residential development south of Wilshire was underway at the end of the 1920s on both sides of south Beverly Drive. With the coming of the 1930s much of the proposed construction of a commercial section was postponed until after the end of the Depression. 

 The Wilshire Links miniature golf course was once located on the southeast corner with the Fox Wilshire Theater a block east on Hamilton Drive.  In 1972, Great Western Savings opened it's new Beverly Hills headquarters on the site in a dramatic, oval-shaped building, crowned with a large bronze sculpture of John Wayne on horseback, in the forecourt.

 The intersection of Wilshire and Beverly Drive has always been the heart of the commercial triangle of Beverly Hills.  On the northeast corner was the Beverly Theater, built in 1925. It was the cities first theater. On the northwest corner was the parking lot of Adrian's Costume building. which was originally the Victor Hugo Restaurant in the 1930s.

The Beverly Hills Brown Derby is visible at Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Boulevard across the street from the Wilshire Hotel. Some of the stores on Wilshire just west of Rodeo Drive included Gordon's and Evan's. On the south side of Wilshire Boulevard stood the J.J. Haggarty department store.

Looking east towards Canon Drive, South Santa Monica Boulevard was an extension of Burton Way. On the right where the drugstore is located was the original shopping building of Beverly Hills, established in the early 1920s.

I hope you enjoyed the images and stay tuned for more on Mary Astor as well as my Hollywood at Home series which will be back soon (For now I'm keeping the stars that I'm featuring a secret but I think you're going to like who's up next on the home tour). So glad to be back blogging and I can't wait to get caught up with what all of you are writing about at your own blogs.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Summer Fun AGAIN? Bare With Me and Get Your Sunscreen!

Listen kids! I fully expected to do my third installment of my Mary Astor bio this weekend but instead you're getting more summer photos of our stars. (I sure could use that annoying Shirley Temple right now to fill in for me!)

After this horrific few weeks of tornadoes here I really thought that June would bring hope and a bit of solace but sadly my uncle is having open heart surgery tomorrow then my dear mother is going back in for her second heart surgery on Tuesday.  For now, I will be doing these filler posts so please bare with me and know that I will be back soon blogging like an idiot and posting until your heads spin!  : )

Enough sadness! Lets see some of our favorite stars flaunting it in their bathing suits. Work it girls and boys!

Hey, Carole Landis? Those wedge heels are back in style, you fashion diva!

For the ladies! Buster Crabbe...Surfing lessons anyone?

Joan Crawford relaxes by the pool. Work it, Joanie!

Donna Reed is perfection, right boys?

Hey, ladies! It's Fernando Lamas. Is Lana around?

Gene Tierney is a stunner as she relaxes on the beach in all white. Enjoy your day in the sun, Gene!

This is my favorite candid of any Hollywood star. Francis Farmer posing by her pool. What a beauty and a lost girl at the hands of Hollywood and their ignorance when it came to mental illness.

Jayne Mansfield and all of her natural beauty. Work those curves, girl, you're perfect!

Carole Lombard strikes a pose! A serious pose. 

The vivacious, Natalie Wood poses near the water.

For Kevin! Work it Rita!

I'm ending another Summer beach post with the flawless Marilyn Monroe. Who can follow her? 

I'll see all of you soon but in the meantime live every hour of every day like it's your last   and please leave a comment on these gorgeous stars and their fashion.!  : )