Carole Lombard (seen leaving the Vine Street Brown Derby restaurant with Fredric March) adored Hollywood -- and by that, we mean both the entertainment industry and the area of Los Angeles bearing its name. In fact, she lived for nearly two years in a house on Hollywood Boulevard, about a dozen blocks west of its central business district.
How'd you like to go back to the Hollywood of Lombard's time? It'd probably be enjoyable, right?
Well, before you jump into your flux capacitor a la Doc Brown and Marty McFly, remember you could somehow alter the space-time continuum...meaning you might not exist once you return. But don't fret -- we have a safer way to time travel in Tinseltown.
It's called the "Old Hollywood Walking Tour," a fun way to journey through the past of the movie capital. I just discovered this today (how'd I miss it for so long?), and plan to take it later this month.
That's April Brooks Clemmer, one of the tour guides and a member of the Hollywood Heritage Preservation Committee, appropriately dressed in period garb. ("Old Hollywood" here is defined as from 1887, when the community was founded, through 1960.)
The tour goes through the Hollywood shopping district, showing all sorts of sights tourists often don't get to see. For instance, here's April leading tour-goers through the historic Janes House. built in 1903 and the last surviving example of Victorian architecture on the Boulevard:
Also on the itinerary are Musso and Frank's Grill, Hollywood's longest continuously operating restaurant (it will celebrate its centennial next year); Larry Edmunds Bookshop, a longtime destination for entertainment book collectors; and several former moviehouses, such as the former News-View Theatre, one of a number of venues throughout the nation that showed newsreels back in the pre-television era. Here it is in 1944...
...and its incarnation today as a hologram theatre:
One especially fascinating facet of this tour is the opportunity to see a late 1930s Hollywood in miniature exhibit that's currently in the process of being restored. Its creator was Joe Pellkofer, owner of the Hollywood Cabinet Company. It's still a work in progress, but you can get a feel for this fantastic project. Here's a small part of it (pun intended):
The tour price is $25, and this month it is scheduled for July 13 and 14, as well as July 27 and 28. Make a reservation and learn more by visiting http://www.oldhollywoodtour.com, or phone 323-463-6767.
Carole, shown below in a candid at the 1930s Sardi's on the Boulevard, cordially invites you to check out the past.