vp19 (vp19) wrote in carole_and_co,

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Marion swam here -- and now, so can you

A little bit of classic Hollywood sprang back to life Saturday...in Santa Monica.

What we mentioned in an entry last year on Marion Davies' oceanfront property (http://community.livejournal.com/carole_and_co/124359.html) finally came to pass, as Santa Monica hosted the grand opening of what is now known as the Annenberg Community Beach House (the Annenberg Foundation provided about four-fifths of the roughly $35 million needed to renovate the facility):

But don't fret -- Marion has not been forgotten. The guest house itself, all that's left of the original Ocean House mansion (these also were servants' quarters), has been named for her:

The building was open for tours Saturday, and it's been decorated with photos and other memorabilia from Davies' heyday as a star and partygiver:

Beginning in June, reservations can be made to host events at the house starting in October.

And the marble-tiled pool where Marion and friends (likely including Carole Lombard) swam will be open as well, beginning on weekends in May. It's the only swim club on the California coast that doesn't require membership. Here's what the pool looked like in its heyday, as well as what the pool looks like after its renovation along with an aerial view of the entire estate when all the buildings were up:

The generous Davies, who founded a children's medical clinic at UCLA and was among the most popular personalities in Hollywood, would no doubt be pleased to learn that what is left of her beloved complex is being put to good use. Here's Marion with Carole, Clark Gable and Raoul Walsh at a late-thirties premiere at the famed (but, alas, now-demolished) Carthay Circle Theatre:

For more on the facility (including several dozen photos), go to http://www01.smgov.net/beachhouse/

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