Friday, December 9, 2016


Steve Martin goes to the Fox Westwood Village Theatre for the premiere of "Chubby Rain," his film-within-a-film in Frank Oz's "Bowfinger" (Universal, 1999). Martin plays Bobby Bowfinger, a broke and untaleted director, trying to get a film made featuring star Kit Ramsey (Eddie Murphy) -- with out Kit knowing about it.

Here we're finding the only remaining seats are in the front row. 

A view from the rear of the auditorium in "Bowfinger." See our page on the Fox Westwood Village, now known as the Regency Village Theatre, for a history of the 1931 venue along with many photos.

The website Silver Screens has a page on "Bowfinger."

On IMDb: "Bowfinger"

"The Formula"

We're in lots of exotic places like Berlin, Switzerland and on Wilshire Blvd. in John G. Avildson's surprisingly good thriller about the oil business "The Formula" (MGM, 1980). After we get a prologue in Germany, police detective George C. Scott is seen leaving the Vagabond.

Outside the Vagabond.

Another shot from the scene at the Vagabond. The theatre, after a long run as a repertory venue, became a legit house, renamed the Hayworth. See our page on the Hayworth Theatre for more about the building.

The film also stars Marthe Keller, John Gielgud and, of all people, Marlon Brando as an oil tycoon. Here near the end of the film we get a look, at the right, of the tower of the Fox Westwood from Brando's office window. See our page on the Fox Westwood Theatre for many photos of the 1931 vintage building.

On IMDb:  "The Formula"

Sunday, December 4, 2016

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

A look at the El Rey during filming of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (Touchstone, 1988).  Well, actually not the real theatre -- it's a nice mockup of the facade. The set was constructed for the film on Hope St. between 11th and 12th.

A closer view of the facade during filming. The "El Rey" shooting site is now a vacant lot. Thanks to
Bill Volkmer for the photos, appearing as part of a "Roger Rabbit" set on the website Dave's Rail Pix.

Another shot taken by Bill Volkmer during the filming.  Thanks, Bill! 

The El Rey set as it actually appears in the film as we look south on Hope St. Thanks to Douglas Rudd for the screenshot, appearing on Photos of Los Angeles.  The film, directed by Robert Zemeckis, stars Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd.

For photos of the real theatre see our page on the El Rey Theatre, still around at 5515 Wilshire Blvd.

On IMDb: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

"Auto Focus"

In Paul Schrader's "Auto Focus" (Sony Pictures Classics, 2002) the El Rey is the theatre in the film as the venue where the Bob Crane film "Superdad" is playing.  Starring are Greg Kinnear, William Dafoe and Maria Bello.

See our El Rey Theatre page for more about the Miracle Mile film house, now a music venue. It was a design of Clifford Balch.

On IMDb: "Auto Focus

"Night of the Comet"

The film "Night of the Comet" (Atlantic Releasing Corporation, 1984) features the El Rey, including a shot in the booth. It's directed by Thom Eberhardt and features Katherine Mary Stewart and Kelli Maroney as two girls from the Valley who survive after an alien attack.

See our page on the El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Blvd. for more on the theatre, a deco style house opened in 1937 that's now a music club.

On IMDb: "Night of the Comet"

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

"Ruby Sparks"

Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan buy a ticket for a show at the Egyptian in Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris's "Ruby Sparks" (Fox Searchlight, 2012). Personal problems intervene and we don't get to come back for a show.  See our Egyptian Theatre pages for more about the theatre.

The film also visits the Billy Wilder Theatre at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. This view is of Steve Coogan onstage.

 A look toward the stage from the rear of the house in "Ruby Sparks." See our Billy Wilder Theatre page for more about this venue, home to programs from the UCLA Film Archive.

On IMDb: "Ruby Sparks"

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"Alex in Wonderland"

 A look east on Hollywood Blvd. during the filming of Paul Mazursky's "Alex in Wonderland" (MGM, 1970). That's a bit of the Vogue Theatre over there on the left. The New-View Theatre (somewhat obscured by smoke) is over on the right -- just this side of that four story building at Hollywood and Cherokee. Thanks to Bobby Cole for posting the photo on the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page.

An L.A. Times photo of lovely Hollywood Blvd. during the filming of "Alex in Wonderland." The
film stars Donald Sutherland Ellen Burstyn and Jeanne Moreau.  Here we get a better look at the New-View, over on the ri

Here Jeanne Moreau and Donald Sutherland are in the middle of Hollywood Blvd. as we look west toward the Egyptian Theatre.  The photo appears on page 39 in the Arcadia Publishing book "Location Filming in Los Angeles" by Karie Bible, Marc Wanamaker and Harry Medved.  There's a preview on Google Books.

See our pages on the Egyptian Theatre, the Ritz/New View Theatre and the Vogue Theatre for many more views of these Hollywood Blvd. venues.

On IMDb: "Alex in Wonderland"

"Hollywood Cavalcade"

Alice Faye plays Molly Adair, who gets an Egyptian Theatre premiere of her first talkie "Common Clay" as the film-within-a-film in "Hollywood Cavalcade" (20th Century Fox, 1939).  The feature is in Technicolor -- this image above is from a lobby card. Thanks to the Egyptian for posting it on the Egyptian Facebook page in 2012 when they ran the film.

We actually get a better look at the entrance here than we do in the film itself.  But the film, about early Hollywood, does give us a peek in toward the entrance as it was in 1939 and a view of a Bedouin patrolling the theatre's rooftop. "Hollywood Cavalcade," directed by Irving Cummings (with uncredited work by Buster Keaton), also stars Don Ameche, Buster Keaton and Al Jolson.

The crowd coming out of the Egyptian.

A frame from a quick pan up the facade.

One of Sid Grauman's famous Bedouins patrolling the roof.  He was just up there for the film. At the time of the shooting the theatre was operated by Fox West Coast and rooftop patrols were a thing of the distant past.

See our pages on the Egyptian Theatre for a history of the building along with many photos. 

On IMDb: "Hollywood Cavalcade"

"American Gigolo"

Richard Gere spends a lot of time wandering around Westwood in Paul Schrader's "American Gigolo" (Paramount, 1980). Here we get an establishing shot of Westwood with the tower of the Fox Westwood Village Theatre at the left. See our page on the Fox Westwood Village for many photos and a history of the building, still thriving as a major first run house.

Later in the film we get a brief look at the Egyptian's boxoffice as Richard Gere cruises down Hollywood Blvd. He's in the escort business and gets accused of a murder he didn't commit. The film also features Lauren Hutton, Hector Elizondo and Nina van Pallandt.

See our six pages on the Egyptian Theatre, Sid Grauman's first Hollywood movie palace, for many photos of different areas of the building.

On IMDb: "American Gigolo"

Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Rules Don't Apply"

We get some lovely 1959 background footage as we drive down Hollywood Blvd. near the beginning of Warren Beatty's "Rules Don't Apply" (20th Century Fox, 2016). Sights include a bit of the Vogue Theatre vertical and a good look at the Egyptian Theatre facade with signage up for "Ben Hur." We also get another trip down the same stretch of the street later in the film.

Beatty himself is Howard Hughes. Others featured include Martin Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Annette Bening and Candace Bergen. Our young couple who, according to the Hughes rules, aren't supposed to date is played by Alden Ehrenreich (a driver for Hughes) and Lily Collins (an aspiring starlet).

On IMDb: "Rules Don't Apply"

Sunday, November 20, 2016

"Girl Shy"

We go all over the place in Harold Lloyd's "Girl Shy" (Pathe, September 1924) including Hollywood, Bunker Hill and Culver City. The 80 minute film, directed by Fred Newmeyer and Sam Taylor, also features Jobyna Ralston and Richard Daniels.

Here in this shot we're looking northwest on Van Buren Place toward Washington Blvd. We've got two City Halls featured. Straight ahead is the house left side of the theatre that was in the building at Main St. and Culver Blvd. It had a theatre on the main floor and the City Hall in the 2nd floor offices. Soon after the filming, the building was demolished and the Culver Hotel was built on the site. It opened the same month the film was released -- September 1924.

On the right of the shot we have the 2nd Culver City City Hall including the Police and Fire Departments in the lower structure nearest us.  This location was in use until a new building was constructed in 1928.

This 1920 aerial view shows the relationship between the buildings. The red rectangle is the building we see straight ahead in the "Girl Shy" shot. It's the house left side of the theatre. If we were to take a right and go around to the front we'd see the theatre downstairs and the City Hall offices on the 2nd floor. The yellow rectangle is the 2nd City Hall location, not yet built at the time of this aerial view. There was no theatre involved at this 2nd location.

Thanks to Japanese film investigator Yasuyasu for his "Girl Shy" research and sending these two images our way. He's involved with a website, Our Gang 1922-28,  working to identify Culver City locations for some of the early silent Our Gang comedies. 

The 1920 aerial view above with Yasuyasu's annotations uses a detail from a photo from the Bruce Torrence Hollywood Photographs collection.

A c. 1923 aerial view -- again thanks to Yasuyasu for the find. The irregularly shaped building on the triangular lot in the center is our 1st City Hall/Culver City Theatre building --  now the site of the Culver Hotel. Off to the right is the commercial building seen in the 1920 view above. Here we also get the lower building behind that was the 2nd City Hall.

The main street running through the photo is Washington Blvd. as we look east. It no longer is routed this way through Culver city -- it takes a jog over to Culver Blvd. for several blocks.  The angled street heading off to the left is Culver Blvd. The large buildings in the upper right are at the Thomas Ince film studio.

See our page covering both this first Culver City Theatre + the Meralta Theatre for larger views of the front of those City Hall / theatre building photos we see as insets in the aerial view above. The Meralta Theatre also on the page was a 1924 building constructed to deal with the absence of a theatre in town after the Culver Hotel was built.

For other "Girl Shy" locations see John Bengtsoin's see posts "How Harold Lloyd Filmed Girl Shy on Bunker Hill" and "How Harold Lloyd Filmed the Girl Shy Trolley Stunts."  Visit John's blog Silent Locations for reports of his ongoing discoveries. His "Silent Locations" book is available on Amazon.

On IMDb: "Girl Shy"

Friday, November 4, 2016

"Number, Please?"

 Harold Lloyd, trying to capture a missing dog in "Number, Please?" (Pathe, 1920), crouches down beside a concrete embankment that we see (in another shot) helpfully tells us we're on W. Seaside Way -- which puts us in Long Beach. We're looking east and in the distance on the left is the mansard roof of the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium.

A continuation of the scene filmed on Seaside Way -- the dog has found him. This original Municipal Auditorium was demolished after they built a new one in 1932. See our Long Beach Municipal Auditorium page for information on both buildings.

The film features seaside locations in Long Beach, Venice and Ocean Park for a tale of a guy trying to win the heart of a girl who's paying too much attention to a rival. Directed by Hal Roach and Fred Newmeyer, it also features Mildred Davis (as The Girl) and Roy Brooks (as The Rival).

Another Long Beach shot -- on The Pike, again looking east.   The dance hall nearest us on the left was originally a roller skating rink. Just beyond is the Strand Theatre. Way in the distance is the side wall of the Jergins Trust / State Theatre Building. Later in the 20s this view would be blocked by construction of the Ocean Center building at the west end of The Pike.

After the dog down The Pike. 

Coming back in the other direction. See our pages on the Strand Theatre and the State Theatre for information about those two now-vanished Long Beach theatres.

A shot in Venice looking west on Ocean Front Walk -- the beach is behind the buildings on the left. The big structure in the distance on the left with the sloped roof is the Venice Plunge. Just this side of it we get a rare view of the California Theatre.

Another shot from the scene in Venice. The theatre, here seen in its opening year, was later renamed the Venice. See our listing for the Venice Theatre on the Venice and Ocean Park Theatres page for several more views.

We've had some great Ocean Park shots earlier -- but not featuring theatres. At the end of the film Harold is on the beach and, looking north, we get a view of the Pickering Pleasure Pier just south of the Santa Monica city limits. So, we're actually in Venice. Note the stagehouse of the Rialto Theatre, a venue that was earlier used as the Rosemary Theatre -- the third of their five locations.

Another shot near the end. At the far right note a portion of a dome -- with part of the letter "D" visible. It opened in 1916 as a dance hall --  two years after this film shoot it became the Dome Theatre. It all burned in a 1924 pier fire. See our pages on the Rosemary Theatre and the Dome Theatre for lots of information on the multiple locations using those two names.

On IMDb: "Number, Please?"

Thursday, November 3, 2016

"The Grifters"

We get several view of the top of the building housing the Million Dollar Theatre (3rd & Broadway) during the opening credits of Stephen Frears' "The Grifters" (Cineplex Odeon Films/Miramax, 1991). We also get a shot of the top of the vertical sign at the former Warner Hollywood, here seen as the Hollywood Pacific.

It's based on a Jim Thompson novel and stars John Cusak, Annette Bening and Anjelica Huston. A dark and bloody adventure. Lots of the film is set in Los Angeles but after the credits we don't get any more theatre views.

On IMDb: "The Grifters"

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"Not Fade Away"

The Dome appears prominently in David Chase's "Not Fade Away" (Paramount Vantage, 2012) as we look west on Sunset in the 60s for a lengthy shot that concludes the film. The film features Bella Heathcote (seen in this scene), John Magaro, Will Brill and James Gandolfini.

 Want more on the Dome? See our Cinerama Dome page. 

A last shot from the scene.

On IMDb: "Not Fade Away"

"In The Picture"

We get to see the Cinerama Dome in the David Strohmaier three-strip Cinerama film "In The Picture" (2012).  Thanks to Leonard Maltin for the screenshot  he took at the Dome during the film's screening during the "Cinerama at 60" festival.

In his blog post "The First New Cinerama Film in 50 years" Maltin notes that the film was "...shot with one of the same cameras that photographed 'How The West Was Won' and 'The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm.' It’s a consciously corny travelogue of Los Angeles featuring two couples (just as in 'Cinerama Holiday') taking in the sights: Mulholland Drive, the Griffith Park carousel, Griffith Observatory, historic Angels Flight funicular railway in downtown L.A., and a pair of brigantine sailing ships in San Pedro harbor. It so happens that one of the locals showing his visiting friends around town is Stanley Livingston, the former child actor who appeared in 'How The West Was Won'… and when he and his troupe reach their ultimate destination, the Cinerama Dome, they encounter Debbie Reynolds (who played his aunt in that movie) signing autographs in the lobby. A movie can’t get more self-referential than that.

See our Cinerama Dome page for lots of information about the theatre as well as the Cinerama process.

On IMDb: "In The Picture"


We get an aerial view of the Cinerama Dome in "Earthquake" (Universal, 1974).  Thanks to Clifford Scott Carson on Vintage Los Angeles for the screenshot. Note that on the far right we also see the Ricardo Montalban Theatre on Vine St.

The film ran at the Chinese, where Ted Mann put a net under the ceiling, allegedly to catch debris falling during the earthquake scenes.

See our page on the Cinerama Dome for a history of the theatre along with many photos.

On IMDb: "Earthquake"

"Final Curtain"

We see the outside of the Dome Theatre in Ocean Park in Ed Wood's "Final Curtain" (1957). The theatre was closed at the time -- and getting gutted to become part of the pier area's makeover -- Pacific Ocean Park.

Thanks to Brooklyn-based theatre historian Cezar Del Valle for spotting this one. The 22 minute film was done as a pilot for a projected TV series that never happened. We do get lots of interior views -- but of what theatre it's hard to tell as it's all so murky. It's possible some shots are of the Dome's auditorium but it doesn't seem likely.

A proscenium view from "Final Curtain." It's unknown where
 it was shot -- but it doesn't look like the Dome Theatre.

A chandelier view. Again it doesn't look like a match for the Dome.

There are also views backstage and in some lobby somewhere. The film is available for viewing on YouTube. The plotline has something to do with a vampire haunting a theatre after the last performance of a horror-themed play. See our page on the Dome Theatre (or rather theatres -- there were two locations) for photos and history.

on IMDb: "Final Curtain"


Here we're on Ocean Front Walk in Ocean Park with Mickey Rooney and Barbara Bates in Irving Pichel's "Quicksand" (United Artists, 1950). The film also features Peter Lorre and, as the femme fatale ruining Mickey's life, Jeanne Cagney.

We're looking south. It's the Dome Theatre marquee in the foreground with the vertical sign of the Rosemary Theatre visible beyond. See our pages on the Dome Theatre (or rather theatres -- there were two locations) and the Rosemary Theatre for more photos and history.

Another view from "Quicksand" looking east toward Ocean Front Walk alongside the Dome Theatre. That's the stagehouse rising up at the center of the photo. The dome straight ahead marked the pier's entrance.

See Jeffrey Stanton's great "Movie Making in Venice and Ocean Park" web page for a full list of movie action on the beach.

On IMDb: "Quicksand"

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"Woman on the Run"

The exterior of the Dome Theatre in Ocean Park appears in Norman Foster's "Woman on the Run" (Universal-International, 1950). Although set in San Francisco, the amusement park sequences at the end were filmed in Ocean Park. Thanks to the website Reel SF for this screenshot. They have several pages discussing the film's locations.

See our page on the Dome Theatre (or rather theatres -- there were two locations) for more photos and a history.

We also see the Star Theatre in the background during a walk out on the pier with Ann Sheridan and Dennis O'Keefe. See our Star Theatre listing on the Venice and Ocean Park page for more about this one.

On IMDb: "Woman on the Run"

"Just Rambling Along"

 Stan Laurel stars in "Just Rambling Along," a 1918 Hal Roach one reeler filmed on the pier in Ocean Park. Here near the beginning we get a view looking north toward the stagehouse of the third location of the Rosemary Theatre. The film is on You Tube.

After the Rosemary moved to a new location at the head of the pier around 1919 this theatre was renamed the Rialto. See our page on the various Rosemary Theatre locations for more photos.

On IMDb: "Just Rambling Along