Monthly Archives: December 2013

Christmas on the Radio — Christmas Eve, 1943

Rounding out our stroll along the radio dial, we check in with an NBC special Christmas Eve broadcast from Hollywood, Dec. 24, 1943, with reports from service personnel around the world. The host is Bob Hope, with Lionel Barrymore and … Continue reading

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Rediscovering Los Angeles — A Home on Flower Street

Feb. 10, 1936: Times artist Charles Owens and columnist Timothy Turner visit Miss Abegale Stark, 72, who lives in the back of a house built for her father in the 1880s. She says the family came to California in a … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide — The Brooklyn Cocktail

Yes, the Manhattan cocktail once had competition from drinks named for the other boroughs. Here’s a recipe for the Brooklyn Cocktail, from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 7, 1937. The Brooklyn Cocktail as made by Brad Dewey consisted of Two … Continue reading

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Christmas on the Radio — Fred Allen and Jack Benny

A photo of Jack Benny, left, and Fred Allen from “Love Thy Neighbor,” listed on EBay at $14.80. Christmas with Fred Allen and guest Jack Benny, from 1937, courtesy of

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Coming in January — 1944: The Year in Radio

Dec. 19, 1943: A new Philco radio cost the equivalent of of $1,721.07 in 2013 dollars. I had such an interesting time exploring in search of radio broadcasts for Christmas 1943 that I have decided to try adding radio … Continue reading

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Movieland Mystery Photo (Updated + + + +)

Our mystery movie is indeed “City Streets,” directed by Rouben Mamoulian, with cinematography by Lee Garmes, which is quite a remarkable film. As far as I can tell, it’s not in commercial release (except in a Region 2 version in … Continue reading

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Mary Mallory / Hollywood Heights — Nostalgic View Of Hollywood’s Santa Claus Lane

Carol Hughes as photographed by Schuyler Crail, courtesy of Mary Mallory. For decades, motion picture studios churned out thousands of motion picture still photographs — candids, scene stills, off-camera shots, and portraits — to employ as free advertising for films … Continue reading

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Christmas on the Radio — ‘Fibber McGee and Molly’

A photo of Fibber McGee (Jim Jordan) and Molly (Marian Jordan) listed on EBay at $9.99. While we are twirling the radio dial looking for Christmas shows, here are some episodes from “Fibber McGee and Molly.” From 1941 (Dec. 16, … Continue reading

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Christmas on the Radio — Lionel Barrymore in ‘A Christmas Carol’

Another staple of the radio era was a production of “A Christmas Carol” starring Lionel Barrymore as Ebenezer Scrooge. From Christmas Eve, 1939, courtesy of

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Christmas on the Radio — Dragnet ‘.22 Rifle for Christmas’

From the radio version of “Dragnet,” Joe Friday (Jack Webb) and Ben Romero (Barton Yarborough) on the case of a missing 9-year-old boy in “.22 Rifle for Christmas.” From 1949 | From 1950 | From 1951 | From 1952 (with … Continue reading

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Mason Opera House

This program from the Mason Opera House for a 1920 performance of “The Mikado” has been listed on EBay, with bids starting at $5.50. The Mason was one of the leading theaters on Broadway. It was demolished in the 1950s … Continue reading

Posted in 1920, Architecture, Broadway, Downtown, Food and Drink, Found on EBay, Theaters | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide

For someone interested in the earlier history of Los Angeles, that is, outside the traditional Raymond Chandler/noir era that draws the most interest, you might consider Paul Bryan Gray’s “A Clamor for Equality,” another example, like Christina Rice’s “Ann Dvorak” … Continue reading

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Highland Park Sketchbook

We stopped by Cafe de Leche in Highland Park to pick up some coffee today and found this sketchbook. It’s a project of the 50NYork Gallery. Here’s some of the artwork:

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Movieland Mystery Photo

And for Friday, a mystery guitarist, courtesy of writer Christopher McPherson.

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

‘I Took the Gun and Shot Him Once in the Leg, Just for Fun’

Maybe it was murder. Maybe it never happened at all. Was she telling the truth or was it all a lie? Early on the morning of Nov. 20, 1953, acting on a tip, LAPD Detectives John Olsen and P.R. Brooks … Continue reading

Posted in 1953, Art & Artists, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Homicide, LAPD, Main Street | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Drinking Guide: The Harvey Wallbanger

A vintage 1972 iron-on transfer of Harvey Wallbanger himself, on EBay for $12. We have been looking at some historic drinks for this holiday season. To the millennials in the audience: This is what mom and dad used to drink … Continue reading

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Movieland Mystery Photo

And here’s a mystery woman for Thursday, courtesy of writer Christopher McPherson.

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

Los Angeles Prepares to Celebrate a Wartime Christmas

Dec. 19, 1943: Los Angeles prepares to celebrate Christmas with a focus on service members, while U.S. troops fight the Nazis in hand-to-hand combat for the Italian town of San Pietro.  The Times story by James Warnack (d. 1958) begins:  … Continue reading

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L.A. Daily Mirror Retro Shopping Guide

Several people have suggested that “Never Built Los Angeles,” which has yet to be added to the Daily Mirror library, would be an excellent holiday gift. The book by Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin with a forward by Thom Mayne … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Books and Authors, Futurism | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Movieland Mystery Photo

Here’s a mystery fellow for Wednesday, courtesy of writer Christopher McPherson.

Posted in Film, Hollywood, Mystery Photo | Tagged , , | 26 Comments