Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated)

Mystery fellow in a red dotted shirt and suspenders talks to man in big, floppy hat
For Monday, we have a mystery fellow. Also Big Hat Guy.

Continue reading

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Black Dahlia: Larry Harnisch Reviews Steve Hodel on ‘Black Dahlia Avenger’

I made a “reaction” video of me watching a Steve Hodel Zoom session sponsored by Sisters in Crime of Atlanta.

I have been fact-checking Steve Hodel since Black Dahlia Avenger was published in 2003 and even I was amazed by some of his lies. Notice that Elizabeth Short is barely mentioned in Steve’s presentation. It’s all about his “journey.”

Also: 6 Reasons George Hodel Didn’t Kill Elizabeth Short.

Steve is a skilled liar and in this video, he unintentionally gives a master class in how police officers lie: He is always confident, self-assured, if he sees an inconvenient fact coming his way, he sidesteps it. He gives out the minimal information and nothing extra. He never gets rattled or loses his cool. He is always in control of the narrative. When he cannot dispute the facts, he attacks the individual, which is what he does with me. I’m the “sour grapes” hardcore “naysayer” who dares to question the great LAPD homicide detective.

Part 1 runs 112 minutes. Part 2 in on the jump.

A Personal Message to Steve Hodel.
Continue reading

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia, Cold Cases, Homicide, LAPD | Tagged , , , , , | 14 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Christmas House Offers Simple Family Joys of Holiday Season

Christmas House
The Christmas House in Boyle Heights, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Note: This is an encore post from 2019.

Long before the inauguration of Instagram and trying to win social media by posting the most elaborate or flashy photo, George G. Skinner designed a homespun holiday light installation in the late 1930s meant as a simple opportunity to enjoy happy times and pleasures with friends and family. A popular holiday destination in Los Angeles similar to Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena, the Christmas House at 919 S. Mathews St. perhaps inspired later fancy holiday light displays throughout Southern California.

Born in Canada in 1912, George Skinner found himself in Los Angeles when his father Albert abandoned the family and took his son with him to sunny Southern California in 1920. The teenager developed a strong bond with his father, enjoying camping and beach trips. Though he yearned for his family, he remained with his dad, who told George that the warm weather better suited his health.

Mary Mallory’s “Living With Grace” is now on sale.

“Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays” by Karie Bible and Mary Mallory is available at Amazon and at local bookstores.

Continue reading

Posted in 1938, Architecture, Film, Fire Department, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Nuestro Pueblo | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

L.A. Celebrates a Wartime Thanksgiving, 1943

Nv. 26, 1943, Thanksgiving
Note: This is an encore post from 2013.

A wartime Thanksgiving in Los Angeles, with many service personnel welcomed into people’s homes for a holiday meal.

The Times published cooking tips for war workers, advising cooks who were otherwise engaged “for the duration” to use prepared mixes, packaged pie crust and canned pumpkin to cut preparation time.

Continue reading

Posted in 1943, Food and Drink, World War II | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

An 1890s Thanksgiving in the Kitchen

Everyday Cook-Book

Note: This is an encore post from 2011.

Here’s a traditional roast turkey recipe from the “Every-Day Cook-Book and Family Compendium,” written about 1890 by Miss E. Neill. Be sure your fire is bright and clear and watch out for the gall-bag.
Continue reading

Posted in 1890, Food and Drink, From the Stacks | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Mallory: Hollywood Heights – Eaton’s Rancho

Eaton's Rancho

Note: This is an encore post from 2012.

The area of Los Angeles now known as Studio City was mainly farm and ranch land up into the late 1920s, when investors founded the Studio City Business District and decided to try and create a film industry in the city.  Businesses began springing up along the highway connecting the far Valley with Hollywood, the street now known as Ventura Boulevard.  As the business area grew around what was originally the Mack Sennett Studio, and then Republic Studios, so did restaurants.  One of these was Eaton’s Rancho Restaurant.

(Update: This site is near Du-Par’s, which is closing Dec. 31. An earlier version of the post said this was the site of Du-Par’s).

Continue reading

Posted in Food and Drink, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, San Fernando Valley | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title over artwork of Marjorie Main, Zasu Pitts and Aline MacMahon
This week’s mystery movie was the 1942 MGM picture Tish, with Marjorie Main, Zasu Pitts, Aline MacMahon, Susan Peters, Lee Bowman, Guy Kibbee, Virginia Grey and Richard Quine.

Continue reading

Posted in 1942, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title. Stage curtains open to reveal the title Darryl F. Zanuck's Production of Lillian Russell
This week’s mystery movie was the 1940 Twentieth Century-Fox film Lillian Russell, with Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Henry Fonda, Edward Arnold, Warren William, Leo Carrillo, Helen Westley, Dorothy Peterson, Ernest Truex, Nigel Bruce, Claude Allister, Lynn Bari, Weber and Fields, Eddie Foy Jr., Una O’Connor and Joseph Cawthorn. Continue reading

Posted in 1940, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Women Played Key Roles in Early Film Sales

Agnes Egan Cobb, wearing a wide-brimmed hat
At a time when men dominated the sales profession, two women facilitated moving pictures sales in the United States during the 1910s and 1920s, an incredible rarity in the selling profession. Pioneers in their field, these unsung women demonstrated that finesse and knowledge were as successful as aggression and domination in the often combative field.

Salespersons were then required to sell a company’s moving pictures to states’ rights distributors looking to fill the country’s film theatres while at the same time attempting to create demand for a particular brand or studio. Others were attempting to sell films from foreign countries here in the United States as well. Men dominated this competitive field, particularly those loud and aggressive enough to dominate competition or wily enough to outsmart competitors. These salespersons explained differences in product, popularity, and appeal, introduced new products, and supplemented their direct meetings with exhibit bulletins, reviews in Exhibitor’s Trade Herald and other trade magazines. Salespeople were the very embodiment of a booming new field. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title superimposed on an image of a grand piano
This week’s mystery movie was the 1953 MGM film Torch Song, with Joan Crawford, Michael Wilding, Gig Young, Marjorie Rambeau, Henry (Harry) Morgan, Dorothy Patrick, James Todd, Eugene Loring, Paul Guilfoyle and Benny Rubin. Continue reading

Posted in 1953, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Hollywood Studio Club Provides Home For Movie-Struck Girls

The Studio Club in Photoplay, 1917.

Note: This is an encore post from 2013.

T he advent of the 20th century offered the possibility of more freedom and opportunity for women. For decades, women had advocated for the right to vote, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Others clamored for more work opportunities beyond teaching, librarian, and secretarial positions.

The relatively new medium of motion pictures also tantalized audiences with many new possibilities beyond their hometowns: exciting new cities, novel hobbies and recreations, and modern employment opportunities. In fact, many people considered the growing film industry itself an excellent field to try their luck, especially movie-struck, naïve young women.

Magic Castle
Mack Sennett

Brand Library
Auction of Souls

Continue reading

Posted in 1916, Architecture, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Reminder From Pier Angeli and Friend

Nov. 3, 2016, Pier Angeli

Pier Angeli and her little friend remind Daily Mirror readers to turn back their clocks this Sunday.

Posted in Animals, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title. Letters over a snow scene of an apartment building
This week’s mystery movie was the 1933 RKO picture Topaze, with John Barrymore, Myrna Loy, Reginald Mason, Jobyna Howland, Jackie Searl, Albert Conti, Frank Reicher and Luis Alberni. Continue reading

Posted in 1933, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Dr. Caligari and the Rise of American Nationalism

Robert Wiene’s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, described by film critic Roger Ebert as the “first true horror film,” still wows audiences more than 100 years after creation due to its high artistic values and nightmarish, foreboding atmosphere. Reflecting as well as foreshadowing political events in Europe at the time, the story of its first release in Los Angeles in May 1921 also mirrors our current political environment.

Released in Germany to huge acclaim in 1920, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari popularized the Expressionist Style of filmmaking through its otherworldly depiction of the depraved psyche and nightmarish anxiety of its lead character. An offshoot of the revolutionary early twentieth century art form cubism, which embraced an abstracted and multidimensional presentation of reality, Expressionism symbolically explored the madness and nightmarish qualities of an anxiety-filled, suspicious culture. Continue reading

Posted in 1921, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Egyptian Theatre, Where Grauman Put the ‘Show’ in Show Business, Turns 100

A postcard showing Sid Grauman and the Egyptian Theater, listed on EBay.

On Oct. 18, Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre turned 100 years old. Built and operated by legendary showman Sid Grauman, the spectacular theater introduced major Hollywood premieres and radio broadcasts as it became a mecca of entertainment for Southern California. The successful theater demonstrated the business and creative acumen of the shrewd exhibitor as he formed the template of the Hollywood premiere and its publicity possibilities by showcasing and expanding his creative genius.

Grauman absorbed showmanship from his theater manager father. Vaudeville’s obit called him “the father of continuous vaudeville…the first showman to establish himself after the great fire; also the first showman to adopt the large, luxurious theater for pictures.” Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory, Preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main title. Letters over ambulance rushing through streets of New York
This week’s mystery movie was the 1937 film Internes Can’t Take Money, with Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Lloyd Nolan, Stanley Ridges, Lee Bowman, Barry Macollum, Irving Bacon and Gaylord Pendleton.

Continue reading

Posted in 1937, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main title letter on wrinkled paper, as if an old theatrical poster
This week’s mystery movie was the 1949 film The Queen of Spades, with Anton Walbrook, Edith Evans, Ronald Howard, Mary Jerrold, Yvonne Mitchell, Anthony Dawson, Pauline Tennant, Miles Malleson, Athene Seyler, Michael Medwin, Maroussia Dimitrevitch, Ivor Barnard and Violetta Elvin.

Continue reading

Posted in 1949, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights — The First Motion Picture Electrical Parade

Motion Picture Electrical Parade

Harold Lloyd’s float in the electrical parade, courtesy of Mary Mallory.

Note: This is an encore post from 2013.

Long before the Walt Disney Co. began presenting an electrical parade at its parks, Los Angeles offered electrical parades as part of the city’s grand La Fiesta de las Flores celebrations. In 1931, the motion picture industry presented its own lavish spectacular, a glorious, over-the-top affair that only 1930s Hollywood could produce, called Motion Picture Night and the Parade of Jewels.

Los Angeles began celebrating La Fiesta de Las Flores in the 1890s as a way to boost civic pride and awareness as well as lure tourist dollars. Floats, bands and equestrian groups decorated with flowers took part in the event. An evening electrical parade highlighted each fiesta, lending a magical aura to festivities.

Keye Luke
Auction of Souls
Busch Gardens and Hogan’s Aristocratic Dreams

Continue reading

Posted in 1931, Film, Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights: Exploring L.A. History With CicLAvia

LA City Hall Ciclavia 10-8-22
For more than 12 years, Los Angeles has participated in CicLAvia, which closes city streets to traffic and transforms them for a few hours into public parks. These lively spaces allow residents to enjoy healthy activity, visit new neighborhoods, learn history, and people-watch. It connects people throughout Los Angeles in exciting and energizing ways, hopefully opening eyes and minds to our shared humanity.

Mike Hawks and I decided to enjoy the Heart of LA CicLAvia route Sunday, flaneurs enjoying the international and cosmopolitan flair of Los Angeles. We walked the entire route, traveling more than 24,000 steps and almost 10 miles in a city that has endured painful and discriminatory eras to learn the beauty and power of different cultures and races, blending them into a wonderful, inclusive gumbo that enriches as it informs.

Continue reading

Posted in Hollywood, Hollywood Heights, Mary Mallory | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Main Title letters against clouds in the sky.
This week’s mystery movie was the 1958 film The Proud Rebel, with Alan Ladd, Olivia de Havilland, Dean Jagger, David Ladd, Cecil Kellaway, James Westerfield, Henry Hull, Dean Stanton, Thomas Pittman, Eli Mintz, John Carradine and King.
Continue reading

Posted in 1958, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Black Dahlia: Halloween and Why Murder Victim Cosplay Is Wrong

Halloween is coming up, so I’ll issue my annual warning: Don’t dress up like “The Black Dahlia.” It’s not honoring the memory of Elizabeth Short. It’s not “Justice for Beth,” however you might define it. Just don’t do it.

Posted in 1947, Black Dahlia | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment