Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Tony Curtis
Many thanks to the Kitty Packard Pictorial blog for the heads up to the Jules Verne Festival event honoring legendary actor Tony Curtis. On Saturday, June 13, 2009 the Jules Verne Festival was all about Tony Curtis. Beginning at 2:30pm was a screening of the Curtis film Houdini at the historic Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles, followed by a dinner with Curtis at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, and back to the Million Dollar Theater for a special 50th anniversary screening of the hilarious film Some Like it Hot. My fiance Zinnia and I were fortunate enough to attend the evening events. Here are some photos from that night.

Million Dollar Theater, Downtown Los Angeles
The screenings of Houdini and Some Like it Hot were held at the historic Million Dollar Theater. I wasn't able to make the Houdini screening but arrived at the theater in time to catch the party shuttle from the theater to the Los Angeles Athletic Club where the dinner was to be held.

Out Front of the Million Dollar. Bradbury Building in Background
Out front of the theater there were many old classic cars lined up. I especially liked this green Plymouth. They certainly don't make cars like they used to. Also, you may recognize that building from my earlier post on Double Indemnity film locations. That's the historic Bradbury building.

Tony Curtis strapping in escape artist Curtis Lovell II
Once the Houdini screening let out the shuttle took us to the Los Angeles Athletic Club for dinner. There was champagne, shrimp, sushi, ice cream sundae bar and all sorts of delicious food. For dinner entertainment, the escape artist Curtis Lovell II performed Houdini's straight-jacket escape stunt. Tony helped to secure the straps of the straitjacket.

Assistant steps in to help strap in Lovell

Lovell attempting to break out of the jacket while Curtis watches.

Robby, Zinnia, and Tony Curtis

After the escape stunt Tony Curtis started to sign his memoirs. Curtis was very generous and took time to sign autographs and take photos with everyone in the room. Some time you meet celebrities and its disappointing to learn how big their egos have become. Not Curtis. He's a class act. I felt the same way when I met actor Robert Wagner for the first time a few months back. Both men seem to have an appreciation for their success and the hard work it took to get to their level. They both seem to have a respect for their fans knowing that it's because of them in part that they had such successful careers.
Thanks Tony for the autograph and photo!

Tony Curtis honored by City of Los Angeles

Next we hopped back on the shuttle to the Million Dollar Theater for the 50th anniversary screening of Some Like it Hot. Jean-Christophe Jeauffre and Frederic Dieudonne, the founders of the Jules Verne Festival were the host for the night. After they showed a film reel with many entertaining clips from Curtis's many films the City of Los Angeles presented Curtis with an award for his many contributions to the city.

Frederic Dieudonne, Tony Curtis, Jean-Christophe Jeauffre

Tony Curtis came out on stage and shared many of his life stories. And even though Tony Curtis is getting up there in age (he just turned 84 on June 3) he is still an amazing storyteller. His stories were told with wit and perfect comic delivery. One of my favorite stories that Curtis told was about when he first met actress Marilyn Monroe for the first time. Curtis was a new actor under contract at Universal, only 22 years old, and he was asked by one of the Universal guards to give another young actress who was not under contract a ride back to her hotel. Curtis looked at the actress and started to describe her: "she wore a dress that was a little above her knee, orange and yellow in color, cinched in where her waist was (and)... her bosoms were remarkable!" Curtis turned back to the guard and said, "I would be privileged to give her a ride."
Another a funny story was told by Jean-Christophe. At another event in Paris honoring Tony Curtis, a French reporter asked the actor, "Mr. Curtis, you are getting older and you have a wife who is almost half your age. Aren't you worried about having sex with a woman her age?" Curtis replied without skipping a beat, "If she dies, she dies."

Tony Curtis reaches out to Frederic Dieudonne

Tony Curtis is presented the Jules Verne Award

After sharing some stories Jeauffre and Dieudonne brought up on stage two of Curtis's co-stars from Some Like it Hot, Tracy Moss and Marian Collier, to present him with the Jules Verne Award. The actresses were members of the all-female band in the film.

Tony Curtis with Some Like it Hot co-stars Tracy Moss and Marian Collier

After the award presentation it was time to start the film. Some Like it Hot played to a full house and the theatre was filled with laughter from start to finish. The film holds up pretty well and is a true classic with many great performances.

Patricia Douglas, "Girl 27" - photo from
Who doesn't like a juicy Hollywood scandal? If you're like me you want to hear the horror stories just as much as the fun and fanciful tales of Hollywood's past. That's why I was intrigued when I came across the documentary, Girl 27 (2007), which tells the story of Patricia Douglas, a young starlet who was raped at an MGM stag party in 1937. I had not heard of this story before and that is because the powerful MGM movie studio did their best to bury it. Then director/writer David Stenn came along, did some sleuthing and reintroduced this scandal to the public.
In 1937, MGM held a huge party in Los Angeles for their top film salesmen. The studio brought them in by train from all over the country. The party started with a ceremony at the famous Ambassador Hotel with a speech by MGM exec Louis B. Mayer, but it wasn't until after the ceremony that the real party would start.
All the salesmen went to an old barn located on property owned by RKO which was used for filming purposes. MGM had loaded the barn with booze and had hired over 100 underage girls for entertainment, one of them being Patricia Douglas who was listed as "Girl 27" in MGM's studio records. Of course the mix of booze, underage girls, and wild salesmen would lead to trouble.
One salesman from Chicago attempted to get Douglas drunk. Douglas didn't drink so a few of the salesmen held the 17 year-old down and forced booze down her mouth. This led up to the Chicago salesman raping the young girl.
Douglas would go public with her story and eventually take her case to court. If you think MGM would have taken the side of the young raped girl you're wrong. MGM couldn't let the public know that one of their top salesman raped an underage girl at a stag party they organized; so, the studio went into overdrive to bury the scandal. They had their Publicity department create other newsworthy stories that were not embarrassing so that the Douglas scandal would not be a cover story, but buried deep into the pages of the newspaper where noone would read it. The MGM publicity department also made attempts to project Douglas as a whore, to discredit her case.
Stenn, the director and writer for Girl 27 tracks down Douglas to see what happened of the young girl from the scandal and to see if he can get her to open up about the case. Douglas eventually left Hollywood and would become a recluse in her old age. Stenn makes several attempts to reach Douglas, and eventually he does, getting her to open up a little at a time.

Public Enemies, (C) Universal
Usually I just write about locations that can be found in the greater Los Angeles area, but because I'm looking forward to the upcoming film Public Enemies, I decided to make an exception. The film, starring the always great Johnny Depp, as well as Christian Bale, was shot primarily on location in the Midwest, including many places where I grew up in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Tourism website, has a list of many of the shooting locations as well as related tours on gangsters.

Downtown Columbus, WI - photo from flickr

The San Fernando Valley newspaper, Daily News listed several of the filming locations a few weeks back. Here is a list from the May 3, 2009 Daily News:
  • Little Bohemia, a resort near Manitowish Waters, has bullet holes and artifacts from an FBI shootout with John Dillinger, George "Baby Face" Nelson and other gangsters in April 1934.
  • Mirror Lake State Park in Lake Delton hosted several nights of filming, complete with late-night gunfire and squealing tires.
  • Oshkosh was turned into a movie set with refaced buildings and '30s-era billboards, window displays, awnings and marquees. Crews filmed two famous Dillinger robberies here, with a downtown bank/office building standing in for the Security National Bank and Trust in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Oshkosh's Masonic Temple standing in for the American Bank and Trust Co. in Racine, Wis. The actual bank in Racine, now the Racine Museum of Art, features "The Scene of the Crime: Warrington Colescott Depicts Dillinger," May 24-Sept. 6, and the Racine Police Department lobby has a Dillinger submachine gun, mug shots and press clippings on display.
  • Also in Oshkosh: A planned July 4 gallery walk will include displays of photos and artifacts from the shoot, extras dressed in costume, and an opening of the bank vault where crew filmed; and the Oshkosh Public Museum's exhibit "The Era of Public Enemies: A Wave of Crime in a Troubled Time. Oshkosh's Pioneer Field stood in for Chicago Midway Airport, where Dillinger was flown after his arrest in Arizona. Visitors can see and ride in the vintage plane used for the scene, a Ford Trimotor owned by the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Madison, WI, Capital Steps, filming Public Enemies
  • Columbus, Wis., was turned into Greencastle, Ind., where a $75,000 bank robbery took place, filmed in Columbus at West James Gallery, a former bank. Columbus' downtown, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, will host a July 25 celebration that will include a parade, old cars and extras from the movie, music and dancing from the 1930s, a look-alike-contest, treasure hunts, tours and there may even be a Johnny Depp look-alike.
  • Ishnala Restaurant in Wisconsin Dells is near the site of a chase scene involving Depp.
  • The interior and exterior of the state Capitol in Madison was FBI headquarters in the movie, with Christian Bale as FBI agent Melvin Purvis and Billy Crudup as J. Edgar Hoover.
  • The historic Hotel Rogers in Beaver Dam, now an apartment building called The Rogers, stood for Tucson's Hotel Congress, the site of the Dillinger gang's capture after a fire broke out and authorities recognized them.
  • The Lafayette County Courthouse in Darlington was a substitute for the Lake County Courthouse in Crown Point, Ind., where Dillinger was arraigned.
  • Milwaukee County Historical Society building in Milwaukee, a former bank, was converted back into a bank by film crews. The society plans to restore some sets.
Oshkosh, Madison and Milwaukee will host movie premieres and parties June 30

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (C) Disney
Recently I did a post about the traffic dilemma in Los Angeles as detailed in a book written in 1950. The summation was that there are too many cars on LA roads and not enough roads and public transportation to relieve the congestion. No other film more amusingly and dramatically pokes fun at how this Los Angeles traffic problem evolved than the 1988 film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. So, to continue with this Los Angeles traffic theme I decided to post some of the filming locations from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Ren-Mar Studios as Maroon Studios
The film begins at Maroon Studios which is actually the Ren-Mar Studios located on Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood, CA. Ren-Mar is an old Hollywood studio lot dating back to 1915. It's also famous for being Desilu Studios, when Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz bought the property in the early 1950s. Many shows, including some of the Dick Van Dyke and The Andy Griffith shows as well as many music videos have filmed here over the years.

Ren-Mar Studios, 846 N. Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood
Above is a photo of the Ren-Mar Studios minus the "Maroon Cartoons" sign. Other than the sign and the maroon awnings, the building looks mostly the same as in the film.

Maroon Studios
Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) catches a trolley out front of Maroon Studios. There are no trolley or rail tracks that run in front of the studio. In fact, that's what Who Framed Roger Rabbit is all about. Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) wants to shut down the Red Line (the Los Angeles trolley system) and create, hold your breath, a freeway! "I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on all day, all night. Soon, where Toon Town once stood will be a string of gas stations, inexpensive motels, restaurants that serve rapidly prepared food. Tire salons, automobile dealerships and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see. My God, it'll be beautiful," says Judge Doom.

Ren-Mar Studios, location for Maroon Studios

Valiant Detective Agency, Hope Street, Los Angeles
Above is the Valiant and Valiant detective agency.

Valiant Detective Agency, 1130 Hope Street, Los Angeles
Above is how the Valiant Detective Agency building appears today. The building is completely vacant. The doors and windows are all boarded shut. Most of the other buildings that once stood near this building have been torn down. From the photo above you can see how newer structures have sprung up on both sides. It's only a matter of time before this building is torn down as well.

Eddie Valiant and Dolores argue on Hope Street, Los Angeles

Hope Street, Downtown Los Angeles
Above is a shot of Hope Street in downtown Los Angeles, just a few blocks from the Staples Center. This location is right out front of the Valiant detective agency. You can see the two buildings in the distance haven't changed. The closer buildings where completely disguised in period decor for the film.

Hope Street, downtown Los Angeles
Above, Roger Rabbit and Eddie Valiant are running from the Weasels in Benny the Cab. Here they are driving down Hope Street, one block south of the Eddie Valiant detective Agency. Again, the trolley car and the tracks do not exist. However, there has been talks about bringing a trolley system back to downtown LA.

Hope Street, downtown Los Angeles

Same shot as above as it appears presently (June 2009).

Hyperion Bridge, Los Angeles
When Eddie, Roger and Benny run from the Weasels they had for the Hyperion bridge which connects the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Atwater Village and Silver Lake.

Hyperion Bridge, Los Angeles
Above is a shot of Eddie, Roger, and Benny getting away on the Hyperion bridge. Below is how the bridge appears today (June 2009).

Hyperion Bridge, Los Angeles

Eddie Valiant, Jessica Rabbit leave Toon Town

Later in the film when Eddie Valiant and Jessica Rabbit are leaving Town Town they exit through what is the Griffith Park Tunnel. Above is a shot of them leaving the tunnel and below is a picture of the tunnel today. This tunnel has been used in other films, including the Back to the Future films.
Griffith Park Tunnel, Los Angeles

If you go visit the Griffith Park Observatory you will pass through this tunnel. It's only a few blocks from the Observatory.
Anywho, to find out why the traffic is so bad in Los Angeles go back and watch the very entertaining Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

James Dean, East of Eden (C) Warner Bros.
James Dean started his acting career in Los Angeles, but after struggling for roles in Hollywood, he took the advice of his mentor, radio director, Roger Bracket and moved to New York City. While in New York, Dean would land roles in several episodes of various television series which then led to him being accepted in to the legendary Actors Studio, an acting school led be Lee Strasberg. Dean's acting skills began to blossom and the young actor was starting to make a name for himself in New York. Soon Hollywood would be calling him back West.
Director, Elia Kazan was casting his film East of Eden and was looking for an actor who could play the character of the young, emotional Cal. Marlon Brando, another Actors Studio alumni, was first considered for the part. Paul Newman also did a screen test for the role. Ultimately, Dean would win the part.

Formerly the Olive Drug Store, Now part of Warner Bros. Studios
Kazan arranged for James Dean to move from New York City out to California to start work on East of Eden. Hoping to create a brotherly relationship between his two young actors who would be playing on-screen brothers, Kazan found a one bedroom apartment located above what was then the Olive Drug Store on Olive Avenue in Burbank, for Dean and his Eden co-star, Richard Davalos to share. At this time, the Olive Drug Store was located across the street from Warner Bros. Today, the Olive Drug Store business no longer exists. The building is now part of the Warner Bros. lot and is building #5. Above and below are photos of the building as it appears today from the side facing Olive Avenue.

Building #5 on the Warner Bros. Lot, Burbank, CA
While Dean lived above the Olive Drug Store he did not necessarily develop the brotherly relationship with Davalos that Kazan was hoping for. Dean often did his own thing. Sometimes Dean would join his other co-star, Burl Ives, and the two would go to the nearby Smoke House restaurant or Bob's Big Boy (both still operating today) for lunch or dinner.

View of Building #5 from inside the Warner Bros. lot, Burbank, CA
Dean started getting into too much mischief while living in the apartment above the Olive Drug Store so Kazan, in order to keep an eye on his troublesome actor, had Dean moved out and arranged for the two of them to share a living space inside one of the bungalows on the Warner Bros. lot. Kazan and Dean continued to live in the bungalow on the WB lot during the rest of the East of Eden production. Story goes that Dean continued to live in the bungalow even after production wrapped and was eventually forced out when word made it's way up to the top Warner brass that he was living on lot.

If you take a tour of the Warner Bros. studio this is not one of the areas of the lot you will get to see. However, you can easily see building #5 when driving along the outside of the studio along Olive Ave.

Over the weekend I found a book published in 1950 called The Los Angeles Book and when I skimmed the chapter listings there was one that stood out right away. Chapter 10 was titled, "Where 'Traffic' is Spelled 'Terrific.'" I at first chuckled, thinking that the authors were going to be talking about how great traffic was in Los Angeles, however, what they had to say was quite the opposite! In fact, the authors point out that even in 1950 Los Angeles had a serious traffic dilemma. And in all these decades since this book was published Los Angeles still hasn't solved its traffic woes.

So you too can read what they had to say about traffic in Los Angeles in 1950 I've posted below part of this particular chapter.

From The Los Angeles Book, Houghton Mifflin Company 1950, by Max Yavno & Lee Shippey:

"An Angeleno's Paradise is one in which all have wheels. The traffic problem in Los Angeles began in 1900 and has been increasing ever since. In 1900 only a few foolish persons owned automobiles. When cars began to be common, the horse lovers decided to put an end to motor vehicles, once and for all, by filing damage suits.

That attitude caused the creations of the Automobile Club of Southern California, a little group of automobile owners banded together for self-protection. It has grown into the biggest club in the country, with 280,000 members. It not only serves motorists all over Southern California but does a big insurance business and publishes Westways and other publications. Because some parts of Los Angeles were more than thirty miles, by main highways, from other parts, and the street car lines all radiated from the center, often one had to go ten miles downtown, transfer to another line and go ten miles back, in order to reach a place which was only two miles away. So the motorcar became more of a necessity in Los Angeles, and all of Southern California, than in most areas...

Traffic checks show it is an ordinary thing for 7000 cars an hour or about 117 a minute, to pass a busy intersection during rush hours. A six-hour check at Sunset and Figueroa counted more than 34,000 cars. On the 4811.22 miles of streets and 653.31 miles of alleys and trails in spread-out Los Angeles, there are plenty of intersections.

Fines assessed on traffic offenders yield Los Angeles half a million dollars a year, and anyone driving anywhere gets the impression that the police fail to catch most of the offenders.

It is a tragic fact that Los Angeles had the highest traffic death rate per hundred thousand population in the country from 1933 to 1949, but in June 1950, it surprised itself by winning national honors for safety.

Nowhere else is the traffic problem quite what it is in Los Angeles, and the reason is, at first blush, surprising. We have already mentioned the fact that this city of 2,000,000 has no skyscrapers. The throngs pouring in or out of skyscrapers which congest the streets in certain areas of other big cities are not a problem here. In addition, comparatively few Angelenos live in apartments, and there are practically no tenements. A tree growing in some parts of Brooklyn may be worth writing a book about, but the slums of Los Angeles are mostly small frame buildings with yards and trees and shrubs, often with flowers. They are paintless and dilapidated, and many are terribly overcrowded, but at least they are in areas of light and air, sunshine and green trees which cast a shade.

While such spreading out into individual dwelling units tended to decrease traffic jams at first, they have brought up problems of their own. Angelenos not only wish to live alone and like it but are choosy and fickle about neighborhoods. A worker in a huge industrial plant on the east side of Los Angeles may prefer to live in a suburb on the west side, and must drive across the city during both the morning and evening rush hours. The mere fact that business is not concentrated in one area as it is in Chicago's Loop, and that shopgirls and workers do not live in tenements or towering apartments, means that all those persons have to travel miles instead of blocks. One airplane plant survey showed that the average worker lived twenty miles from his job, and driving to and from the plant during rush hours really added two hours daily to his toll.

The freeways already completed, it was thought, would carry vast tides of traffic into the city and out again and so relieve congestion. But they made it so inviting for shoppers and businessmen to drive to and from the city that there was more downtown traffic than ever to contend with. Now thirty-five million dollars is being spent on a ten-year plan for new freeways which, it is believed, may result in one per cent of the streets carrying fifty per cent of the traffic. But the other fifty per cent will provide plenty for the other 4800 miles of streets...

Some of the city's finest stores, in the downtown area, are building branch stores which are bigger and finer, in outlying districts where they can get adequate parking. And as soon as they do that, smaller shops of all kinds spring up around them, to take advantage of the same parking facilities. Some merchants find they have to provide four times as much parking space for customers' cars as they do floor space for customers and goods. Some of them desperately buy valuable building lots or even have substantial buildings moved off lots in order to use them for parking. Some, who thought they had secured adequate parking, find that their own employees take up so much of it with the cars in which they drive to work, which remain there all day, that they are asking clerks to come to work by bus or streetcar. Thus, perhaps in the only great city in which a considerable proportion of the salesgirls and minor clerks own cars, they soon may be unable to use them to go to work in because of traffic.

No matter where one goes, traffic is terrific. Hollywood Bowl is about seven miles from what was the entertainment center. The Hollywood Park and Santa Anita race tracks are fifteen and twenty miles from it. You can't go from anywhere to anywhere without bucking traffic, for in Los Angeles motorcars are like waves on the ocean.

Looking down from the City Hall Tower or almost any high point in the city, one may see parked cars wherever cars can be parked. Whenever there is a big football game in the Coliseum they are parked all over lawns for blocks about. A park for 3500 cars is to be built under Pershing Square, similar to the one under Union Square in San Francisco, but that will care for only a fraction of the parking needs of the downtown district.

Additions to the freeway system and rapid public transit to suburban areas doubtless will help a great deal, for perhaps half of those who drive into the city would prefer to ride in trams and buses if only they could make reasonably fast time in them. In the meantime, Los Angeles groans and adds to its problem daily. There was a time when Main Street was called the "Fifth Avenue" of Los Angeles, but now the stores and shops which would create a Fifth Avenue and the theaters and restaurants which would create a Broadway are from five to fifteen miles apart, and many of the city's principal places of entertainment are farther apart than that. But city departments, the Chamber of Commerce, the All-Year Club and other bodies are collaborating in efforts to solve the problems, and Los Angeles serenely jogs, bumps, honks and smashes its way ahead, confident that before too long they will come up with helpful answers. At least, in civic crisis, someone always has come up with them."

So far most of my film location posts have involved places in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles. Well, this time I decided to track down some of the film locations for the Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak film, Strangers When We Meet (1961), which took me to some new areas of Los Angeles: Brentwood, Malibu, and Beverly Hills.

Most of the locations below I know for certain are the correct locations. There are a couple that I may be off on but based on some landmarks I think I may be right on these as well.

100 N. Kenter Avenue, Los Angeles

The film starts at a bus stop located at 100 N. Kenter Avenue in the Brentwood neighborhood of LA. It's here that Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak's characters first meet and begin their affair. This is a primary location in the film that appears throughout the story.
The trees have grown up quite a bit since the film was shot in the early 1960s but otherwise the location looks almost the same.

100 N. Kenter Avenue, Brentwood

Looking Northwest at the bus stop location as seen in the film.

Looking Northwest at the bus stop location present.

Kirk Douglas dropping his son off at the bus stop at Kenter Avenue.

Present view of where Kirk Douglas drops son off at bus stop.

Kim Novak standing at bus stop.

Present view of bus stop location.

Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak are seen here leaving the bus stop. That's Sunset Boulevard in the background. Below is the same view today.

Kenter Avenue at Sunset Boulevard

Kim Novak & Kirk Douglas, Tigertail Rd in background.

View looking up Tigertail Road today.
The next location below was a little difficult to figure out. In the film the location is known as the Village Market, a red country barn themed grocery store. It's here that Walter Matthau's character works as a butcher. However, today the country barn look is long gone.

11725 Barrington Ct, Los Angeles, CA

11725 Barrington Ct, Los Angele, CA (Present)

To figure out this location the only thing I could match was the white pillars next to the stairs in the center of the photo. If you look in the below photo you can see the same white pillars and the stairs going up the building. If it wasn't for that detail I don't think I would have ever found this location!

Brentwood Village Market

Kim Novak getting into her car outside the Nosh Box.

All the shops that were at this little strip mall when Strangers When We Meet was being filmed are all gone. The above photo I believe is the same shot as the one where Kim Novak is seen getting into her car.

Kirk Douglas at Service Station @ Brentwood Village Market

Another location I'm not sure about is the scene where Kirk Douglas is walking through the round overhang of the service station. In the photo below is what I'm guessing to be the same location as it appears today. In the film Douglas is walking from the service station towards Kim Novak getting into her car. If the service station was next to the strip mall then the below location would have to be where the service station was.

Possibly the service station location.

Barrington Ct, Brentwood, CA

The above photo is another shot of Kirk Douglas near the Brentwood Village Market. In the background you can see a Chevron service station. This location was easy to locate because if you look at the below photo you can see that the Chevron station almost looks exactly the same.

Chevron Station, Barrington Ct, Brentwood, CA

Romanoff's Restaurant, 140 S. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills
The famous Romanoff restuarant can be seen in Strangers When We Meet. Above is a screenshot featuring the restaurant. Romanoff's opened in 1941 at the location 326 N. Rodeo Drive. It became an instant hit with Hollywood stars. The restaurant was one of Humphrey Bogart's main hangouts. In 1951 the restaurant moved to 140 S. Rodeo Drive and it's this location that appears in Strangers When We Meet.

140 S. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

Unfortunately, Romanoff's is no longer. The building has been torn down and today an office building stands on the site.

Albatross Hotel Restaurant site. 21202 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak carry on their affair at the Albatross Hotel Restaurant. Back in the 1950s and 1960s business was good for the Albatross. Eventually, the business faded away and so to the building itself. The Albatross was torn down and today it is the empty lot you see above.

Kim Novak, leaving the Albatross Hotel Restaurant

Present day view of where Kim Novak is seen leaving the Albatross Hotel Restaurant

Kim Novak on PCH near Albatross Hotel

If you look at the above screenshot of Kim Novak driving down the Pacific Coast Highway you can see a sign to the right that says the Sea Lion. The Sea Lion restaurant no longer exists but their is a new restaurant at this location called Dukes. In the photo below you can see the sign for Dukes where the sign for Sea Lion used to stand.

21202 W. Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu
Now, you all were probably hoping to see photos of that house that Kirk Douglas's character is building for Ernie Kovacs's character - the one located high atop the hills in Brentwood. Well, I searched and searched for that home but could not find it. However, in the process I found Conan O'Brien's new west coast home. But, if anyone does know where the house is located please share in the comments section. I thought it might be on Tigertail Road which is near the bus stop sight.
Special thanks to Zinnia for coming with and her help on this film location hunt!

*UPDATE* (07/12/09)

Many thanks to Dr. Bitz for these photos below which show the Kim Novak house as it appears today compared to the screenshots of the house in the film:

Kim Novak house as it appears in the film. 512 Tigertail Rd.

Kim Novak house as it appears today.

Kim Novak leaving her house as seen in the film.

Kim Novak's neighbor's house as it appears today.

Jerry Lewis
This weekend I was watching the Jerry Lewis film, The Ladies Man, and I immediately recognized the scene where Lewis's character is having a graduation ceremony as being the "Producers Park" at Paramount Studios. Producers Park is an area of the Paramount lot located right behind the main Administration building - it's that building to the left of the famous Bronson gate which can be seen in numerous films (such as Sunset Boulevard) and photos. Although the buildings in Producers Park are mainly office buildings it is not uncommon for them to be used for filming purposes.

The Ladies Man (C) Paramount
Above you can see Producers Park standing in for Milltown Junior College in the 1961 film The Ladies Man and below you can see a photo of the same location that I took just a few years ago. Another piece of trivia, that building on the right is film producer/actor Robert Evans office.

Producers Park at Paramount Studios c. 2006
One thing that you will notice that is different between the Then and Now is the sidewalk. During the time of the film the sidewalk is long and straight. Today the sidewalk is skinny and curves. At one point, I believe it was the 1950s, the grass was paved over to create a parking lot, but was eventually turned back into a grassy park. Otherwise, this area has remained mostly unchanged.

Jerry Lewis in The Ladies Man (C) Paramount

Robert & Richard Sherman with Walt Disney
Do the names Robert and Richard Sherman sound familiar? Well, how about the songs Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, The Bare Necessities, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, or the theme park song It's a Small World? These are just a few of the many, many classic songs written by the songwriting team the Sherman Brothers. Known for their catchy, happy, optimistic, upbeat tunes, many will be surprised to learn that these two brothers were anything but happy and upbeat towards one another.
The new documentary, The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story, out now in theaters for a very limited release, tells the story of their professional success making harmonious music despite their discordant relationship.
During the Sherman Brothers long successful careers working together as partners, the two rarely spoke to each other and didn't allow their families to intermingle. Jeff and Gregory Sherman, the sons of Robert and Richard, decided to make the film about their dads after running into each other at an event honoring their fathers.
Despite growing up just a few blocks from each other in Beverly Hills, the two cousins did not get to know each other until their 40s. After exchanging stories, Jeff and Gregory realized what each of their dads had told them about the family was very different.
In the film, Jeff and Gregory interview their dads and get each of them to tell their side of the story. Mixed in are also interviews with Disney legends such as Roy E. Disney, Dick Van Dyke, and Julie Andrews, film historians Robert Osborne and Leonard Maltin, and many other famous individuals who were close to "The Boys."
The documentary is a wonderful film about two amazingly creative men. However, unlike many of the Disney films that Sherman Brothers have written songs for, this film doesn't have a happy Disney ending.
El Capitan Theater, Hollywood, CA
I saw the film at the beautiful El Capitan Theater in Hollywood which is one of the few theaters showing The Boys. Currently, the film is only playing in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. If you live in one of those cities check your local listings for showtimes and then go see this film right away! It probably won't be playing for long.

Rob Richards playing the Wurlitzer at El Capitan Theater
If you are able to see the documentary at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood you get the added bonus of seeing organist Rob Richards playing the Wurlitzer organ before the show. This is certainly something to be heard if you haven't. Typically, Richards plays tunes that relate to the evenings program, in this case he played several songs by the Sherman Brothers.

Jeff Sherman and Robby Cress
After the screening my fiance noticed that Jeff and Gregory Sherman were sitting behind us with their families. I had a moment to thank each of them for making such a fascinating documentary about their dads - something I was hoping would be made by someone. Above is a photo of myself with Jeff, who was kind enough to chat with my fiance and I afterwards.

Fred MacMurray's Office Building - Bradbury Building
One of the best noir films which had set the standard for so many other noir films after would be Double Indemnity, starring Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck. For me, an added point of interest is that so many of the scenes were shot on location around Los Angeles. Here are some of those dark and gritty locations as seen in the film and how they appear today.

Bradbury Building, 304 S. Broadway, Los Angeles
At the beginning of the film we see Fred MacMurray's character raising through downtown Los Angeles on his way to his office. That office building is the historic Bradbury building located at 304 S. Broadway. What's great about this location is that they actually filmed interior scenes in the building - see the screenshot above.

Dietrichson House, 6301 Quebec Drive, Hollywood Hills
Above is a scene of Fred MacMurray leaving the Dietrichson house where Barbara Stanwyck's character lives. Below is the same house today.

Dietrichson House - 6301 Quebec Drive, Hollywood Hills

Dietrichson House

Dietrichson House
Getting to the Dietrichson house can be a little tricky. To get to this home located near the top of the Hollywood Hills you must drive up a series of very narrow and winding streets. Some are one way only because the streets are so narrow. Once you get to the top you will have a beautiful view though. Below is a screenshot of the view from the Hollywood Hills and a picture of the view today.

View from Hollywood Hills

View from Hollywood Hills

Fred MacMurray's Apartment, 1825 N. Kingsley Drive

Fred MacMurray's Apartment, 1825 N. Kingsley Drive, Hollywood

Fred MacMurray's Apartment

Newman Drug Store
Above is a screenshot of the Newman Drug Store. The building is still standing and you can see how it looks today, however, the Newman Drug Store is no longer. When I rewatched this film I recognized the drug store from the book, The Story of Hollywood, which shows many Hollywood buildings as they used to be, as well as many buildings that no longer exist. This building is located at the Southwest corner of Hollywood Blvd & Western.

Hollywood Blvd & Western

Hollywood Blvd & Western
One of the main points of action in the film takes place at the Glendale Station located at 400 W. Cerritos Ave, Glendale, CA. Below is the shot of the station in the film and how it appears today. Not too much has changed. It's here where MacMurray's and Stanwyck's characters try to get rid of Mr. Dietrichson.

Glendale Station, 400 W. Cerritos Ave, Glendale, CA

Glendale Station, 400 W. Cerritos Ave, Glendale, CA
There are a few more locations that I plan to take photographs of but these are the main ones. I may have to do a follow up post at a later time. If you're looking to track down these locations yourself I recommend starting in downtown Los Angeles early in the morning before traffic gets too bad and then working back towards Hollywood.

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