Monthly Archives: June 2011

Found on EBay – Witzel Portrait of Louise Fazenda

This striking photo of Louise Fazenda by Witzel studios has been listed on EBay. Witzel was one of the leading studios in Los Angeles for portraits of entertainers. The vendor says this is an authentic autographed picture. Bidding starts at … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Found on EBay, Hollywood, Witzel | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

#history: Museum Closed, Exhibits Sold at Auction

Ft. Wayne, Ind., has raised $50,000 by auctioning off items from its closed Jack Diehm Museum of Natural History, including  a polar bear that sold for $7,500. The museum was founded in 1965 by taxidermist Berlen Diehm to honor his … Continue reading

Posted in History, Museums | Tagged , | Leave a comment


Lady Mayfair, a statue that was once atop the Mayfair Theater in Dayton, Ohio, is being moved from the Dayton Art Institute to Carillon Park. The Mayfair was demolished in 1969, according to WDTN-TV Channel 2 in Dayton. Photo: Mayfair … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Film, Preservation, Theaters | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Charlie Chaplin – No Sale!

The New York Times reports that the short World War I propaganda film “Zepped,” a pastiche of Charlie Chaplin clips and some animation, failed to sell at auction by Bonhams.The film’s reserve price was about $160,000.

Posted in Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

#Cold Cases

New York Times The NYT takes a look at Manhattan Dist. Atty. Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who  is expanding the use of DNA to solve old cases. The NYT says: On Wednesday, Mr. Vance will travel to Albany in support … Continue reading

Posted in Cold Cases, Crime and Courts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment


A summary of history-related posts on the Web: Chicago Tribune The Trib has an item on the Children’s Museum remaining at Navy Pier rather than moving to Grant Park as the facility is transferred to private management. Here’s the Trib’s … Continue reading

Posted in African Americans, Baseball, Chicago, Film, History, Hollywood, Museums, Music, Native Americans, Photography, Sports | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

Here’s another mystery photo courtesy of Steven Bibb. Thanks! [Update: Please congratulate Don Danard  for identifying Tex Fletcher (d. 1987) in “Six-Gun Rhythm.” ]

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, Photography | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

‘Zoot Suit’ and History – Part 3

In March 1943, Disney studios released “The Spirit of ’43,” a cartoon in which Donald Duck is forced to choose between saving his money for “taxes to bury the Axis” (aided by a thrifty proto-Scrooge McDuck)  and spending his paycheck … Continue reading

Posted in 1943, Art & Artists, Columnists, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Film, Hollywood, LAPD, Latinos, Lee Shippey, Nightclubs, Zoot Suit | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

History as a Theme Park

The New York Times has a review by Edward Rothstein of Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, which he calls “a hybrid of historical society, amusement park, 19th-century village and high-tech theater. Its history inspires it to try to tell history … Continue reading

Posted in 1863, Museums, Parks | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

Photographs by Howard Decker Our pal Fibber (Howard Decker) sends along two pictures as mystery photos. Thanks! [Congratulations to Lorenzo for identifying Season Hubley!]

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, Photography | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

From the Stacks: ‘The Big Picture’

I picked up “The Big Picture,” Melba Levick and Stanley Young’s 1988 book about Los Angeles murals, not realizing what a terribly sad book it would be. As Young notes: “Most artists are aware that, exposed as it is to … Continue reading

Posted in 1988, Architecture, Art & Artists, Books and Authors, Crime and Courts, Downtown, From the Stacks, Hollywood, Latinos, Photography, Preservation, San Fernando Valley, Sports, Zoot Suit | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

From the Galleries: Soviet Film Posters

Friday’s New York Times has a brief article on an exhibit of Soviet film posters at the Tony Shafrazi Gallery on West 26th Street in Chelsea. According to the New York Times, the posters were collected by Susan Pack, a … Continue reading

Posted in Art & Artists, Film, Hollywood | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Lost and Found: Patek Philippe

Last Thursday’s New York Times had a terrific story by Austin Considine about Charles B. Woehrle, who received a Patek Philippe watch while imprisoned at Stalag Luft III (he ordered the watch and promised to pay for it after the … Continue reading

Posted in 1944, Fashion, World War II | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

Here’s another mystery photo from Steven Bibb’s collection! [Update: Please congratulate Don Danard for identifying our mystery hero as Buddy Roosevelt. His mystery companion isn’t identified on the back of the picture, but Don says it is  Lafe McKee.]

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, Photography | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

‘Zoot Suit’ and History – Part 2

May 9, 1943: Al Capp satirizes zoot suits in a series about “Zoot-Suit Yokum.” In Part 1, we saw that in 1942, The Times originally portrayed zoot suits as a youthful fad, but that attitudes hardened toward them once the … Continue reading

Posted in 1943, Art & Artists, Columnists, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Fashion, Film, LAPD, Latinos, World War II, Zoot Suit | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Movieland Mystery Photo [Updated]

Here’s another mystery photo, courtesy of Steven Bibb. There’s a closer look on the jump. [Update: This is Dorothea Wieck (d. 1986), known for “Maedchen in Uniform,” arriving in Los Angeles, April 13, 1933. She returned to Germany because she … Continue reading

Posted in 1933, Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo, Photography, Transportation, World War II | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

‘Zoot Suit’ and history – Part 1

I was extremely fortunate to attend Wednesday night’s showing of “Zoot Suit” and hear remarks by the panel that preceded the show. Betto Arcos moderated a session with director Luis Valdez, Rose Portillo (Della), Edward James Olmos (El Pachuco) and … Continue reading

Posted in 1942, 1943, 1947, Black Dahlia, Books and Authors, Cold Cases, Crime and Courts, Fashion, Film, Hollywood, Homicide, LAPD, Latinos, Music, Stage, Theaters, Zoot Suit | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Eve Golden: Queen of the Dead

Queen of the Dead—dateline June 25, 2011 • Wheelchair-bound actor and male stripper Lee Kemp, 39, died of cancer on April 11. The British actor became a paraplegic after a 1990 motorcycle accident and—against all odds—continued his career, even winning … Continue reading

Posted in Eve Golden, Film, Hollywood, Obituaries, Queen of the Dead, Religion, Stage | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Times and ‘The Deal From Hell’

Bryan Burrough reviews James O’Shea’s “The Deal From Hell” in the New York Times column “Off the Shelf.” Burrough writes: “Mr. O’Shea, a onetime top editor at both The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times, tells the story of … Continue reading

Posted in Books and Authors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New York Honors Pioneering Black Police Officer

The New York Times has a great feature about Samuel J. Battle on the centennial of him becoming the first African American appointed to the New York Police Department. Excerpts from an interview given in 1960 for Columbia’s oral history … Continue reading

Posted in 1911, African Americans, Crime and Courts | Leave a comment