Friday, July 20, 2018

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"Half Magic"


Heather Graham plays an aspiring screenwriter in "Half Magic," her debut film as a director (Momentum Pictures, 2018). She and her friends Angela Kinsey and Stephanie Beatriz share their tales of woe about work, sex and other issues in Hollywood. Over the end credits we see that Graham has got a film into the Cinerama Dome, 6360 Sunset Blvd.



The ladies in front of the east boxoffice windows.



A pan up to see the title of Ms. Graham's film. 

See the Cinerama Dome page on the Los Angeles Theatres site for many photos and a history of the theatre. It opened in 1963 and is now part of the 14 screen ArcLight Cinemas complex.

On IMDb: "Half Magic"

"He Walked by Night"


We're on top of the Hill St. Tunnel looking south near the beginning of "He Walked by Night" (Eagle-Lion Films, 1948). That's the stagehouse of the Mason Theatre and one of its smoke vents over on the left through the trees. The theatre's entrance is actually at 127 S. Broadway -- it had a very long lobby.

See the page about the Mason Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of this 1903 vintage theatre. It was demolished in 1956 for a state office building that has now also been demolished.

The film, directed by Alfred Werker and an uncredited Anthony Mann, stars Richard Basehart as a quirky killer the LAPD is trying to catch. The ending features a terrific chase through L.A.'s storm drains. On the hunt are Scott Brady, Roy Roberts and Jack Webb.



The Olympic Theatre, on 8th between Hill and Broadway, once had a very colorful marquee that flashed wildly. We see it in several movies but it's always a quick drive-by. And here in our squad car view it's a fuzzy one as well, mostly the fault of the substandard DVD. On film it looks great. At the extreme left edge of the frame is the vertical for the RKO Hillstreet at 8th & Hill.

See the pages on the Los Angeles Theatres site about the poor Olympic Theatre. It opened in 1927 but is now used as retail space.

On IMDb: "He Walked by Night"

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"

Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" (Sony, 2019) stars Leo DiCaprio and his friend Brad Pitt as an actor and stuntman trying to break into the business in 1969. The Manson murder case also figures into the plot as the guys live next door to Sharon Tate, played by Margot Robbie. Locations used include the Vogue Theatre / Musso & Frank, the Pussycat / Ritz Theatre and the Cinerama Dome.

Filming at the Cinerama Dome: The Cinerama Dome was used as a location with the theatre dressed as if it were running "Krakatoa, East of Java," a May 1969 release.

Jack Sharf's June 13, 2018 Indiewire story noted the filming there: "According to a Cinerama employee who witnessed the shoot but requested anonymity, it was not a full-fledged production but more of a second-unit effort: 'They just wanted to get the sun going down and the lights coming on.'" Thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting the article.


The Cinerama Dome dressed for the filming. Thanks to Alison Martino for her June 13, 2018 photo on Twitter.



A crew member and some extras at the Dome. Thanks to Preposterous180 for the photo on Instagram.


 
Thanks to Ken McIntryre for finding this view for a post on the Facebook page Photos of Los Angeles.



An evening shot June 13. Thanks to J.S. Lewis on Twitter for the photo. And thanks to Jonathan Raines for spotting the tweet. Lewis was there to see "2001" but the screening got bumped to another theatre in the complex.



"Krakatoa" signage above the entrance. Photo: J.S. Lewis on Twitter  -  June 13, 2018  



More 1969 vintage signage. Photo: J.S. Lewis on Twitter  -  June 13, 2018  

See the page about the Cinerama Dome on the Los Angeles Theatres site for a history of the venue and many, many photos.


Filming at the Vogue Theatre / Musso & Frank: 


Dusk at the Vogue Theatre, 6675 Hollywood Blvd., with a line of vintage cars for the film in front. Photo: Bill Counter - July 16, 2018



A closer look at the theatre's entrance. Nice to see the neon turned on above the readerboards. Photo: Bill Counter - July 16, 2018



Looking west toward the Vogue and Musso and Frank. Photo: Bill Counter - July 16, 2018



Working on a TV store in the east storefront of the Musso & Frank building. It's a photo by Jamie Knuckes. Thanks to Alison Martino for posting it on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles.



Looking west along the Musso and Frank building storefronts toward the Vogue Theatre.  Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



Another TV shop view -- with both of its neon window signs working.  Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



The camera shop at 6365 Hollywood Blvd., the first storefront east of Musso's entrance. Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



The camera shop with its neon turned on. Inside these two storefronts it's shop space for the set decorators. Photo: Bill Counter - July 19, 2018



Window dressing for a restaurant several doors down from Musso & Frank. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 20, 2018 



Shooting behind Musso & Frank. The brick building beyond is the Vogue Theatre. Thanks to Brian Donnelly for his photo. Check out his "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" set on Facebook for many more photos of the action.



Looking north on Cherokee Ave. just around the corner from Musso & Frank as posters were getting pasted on any available surface. The storefront at the right was made over into Le Sex Shoppe. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 20, 2018



The corner of the "Le Sex Shoppe." Note the new murals to the right.  Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 20, 2018



Repainted murals on the side of the storefront on Cherokee Ave., around toward the the rear entrance of Musso & Frank. Thanks to Alison Martino on Vintage Los Angeles for the photo. Her post also includes views of the original posters of various Hollywood stars designed by Elaine Hanelock. They were published by Royal Screen Craft Inc. in 1968.  



New LED panels getting covered with good old white plastic at the Vogue. Thanks to Chris Nichols for his photo, one of many appearing with "Take a Peek at How Quentin Tarantino Time-Warped Hollywood Boulevard Back to the 1960s," his July 19, 2018 article for Los Angeles magazine. 



Cabo Cantina next to the Vogue getting disguised. Their thatched awning and some items that were protruding from the facade got removed. Note that nice piece of blue sheet metal and neon added as an extension of the marquee, much as it was in the 60s and 70s. Photo: Bill Counter - July 19, 2018  



A look west along the Vogue's new marquee extension. Photo: Bill Counter - July 19, 2018



The rebuilt theatre entrance with display cases added. Photo: Bill Counter - July 19, 2018



An east wall detail. Tarantino has the Vogue in triple-feature grindhouse mode running "The Night They Raided Minsky's," "Sam Whiskey" and "African Safari." Photo: Bill Counter - July 19, 2018 



Marquee work continues. Note the added readerboard panels at the left and along the front of Cabo Cantina. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 20, 2018



The Vogue lit at night as seen from across the street.  Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 20, 2018 


 
Another night view with a peek into the redone entrance. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 20, 2018. Thanks, Brian! For more great views see his "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" set on Facebook.

See the Los Angeles Theatres page on the Vogue Theatre for more about this house, a 1935 design by S. Charles Lee. It's now a museum / auction display room for the firm Screenbid. 


Filming at the New View / Pussycat / Ritz Theatre: Although Tarantino's film is set in 1969, he turned the theatre back into the Pussycat. In 1969 it was still being run by Pacific Theatres as the New View. It didn't become the Pussycat until 1974. The signage went up in March 1975, according to a permit search done by Chris Nichols.


A look across the street at facade work. The oval sign at the top of the theatre's facade had been changed out for a bit of Pussycat signage. Here on the north side of the street there was a whole row of vehicles used in the film. Photo: April Clemmer - July 16, 2018.

Join April for her well researched and lively Old Hollywood Walking Tour of the area. The 90 minute adventure, in addition to lots of discussion about theatres, includes stops at various iconic Hollywood office buildings and department stores, and visits the longest operating restaurant and oldest remaining residence on the Boulevard. It's offered on selected Fridays and Saturdays or by special arrangement.



In the truck at the left are the pieces that will cover the hologram signage on the facade.  That red paint job in the theatre's entrance area was done for the film. Previously it had been a rather drab gray. Note the store on the right. The next day it would be transformed into Larry Edmunds bookstore, the location they had in the 60s and 70s. Photo: Bill Counter - July 16, 2018



A view to the east toward Cherokee Ave. Photo: Bill Counter - July 16, 2018



The yet-to-be deployed facade sign. Photo: Bill Counter - July 16, 2018



Looking up to check out the Pussycat girl. The four story deco building next door was getting redone with 1969 vintage clothing displays in its windows. Photo: April Clemmer - July 16, 2018. Thanks, April!



A closer look at the Pussycat oval. Photo: Bill Counter - July 16, 2018



An early morning view of the completed facade. Note the new Larry Edmunds sign. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 17, 2018. Check out his "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" set on Facebook for many more photos of the action. Thanks, Brian!



Looking west toward the Egyptian. Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018


Another facade view as work continues. Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018


A peek at the entrance. The red paint is an homage to the Pussycat days. Before the film crew came along it was a drab gray. Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



Looking west toward the theatre. The main up in the lift was touching up the brown paint on the facade. The building on the corner was getting its windows dressed with 1969 vintage clothing displays. Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



Windows along Cherokee Ave. Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



At the rear of the building -- working up on the theatre roof.  Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



Signage getting covered on the building on the SE corner of Hollywood and Cherokee. The current Larry Edmunds location is off to the left. Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



Looking east toward the Pussycat/Ritz from Las Palmas Ave. There's redone signage for a Peaches store four doors down. Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



The signage for Peaches. Thanks to Alison Martino for her photo, a post on the Facebook page Vintage Los Angeles. She has a closer view on Instagram.



A closer look at the corner building, redone as a shoe store. The new neon above the door for the film says "Shoe Shop." Photo: Bill Counter - July 17, 2018



Work continues on the shoe store.  Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 20, 2018



The restocked newsstand on the west side of Las Palmas.  Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 17, 2018. Check out his "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" set on Facebook for many more photos of the action. Thanks, Brian!



Plastic going up at the Pussycat to hide the LED panels. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 17, 2018



 The marquee at night, lit by the LED panels behind. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 18, 2018 



A view from up on the lift. Still to go: neon tubing outlining the Pussycat letters. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 18, 2018



The view west. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 18, 2018



Work continuing on the Pussycat letters on the facade. Thanks to Chris Nichols for his photo, one of many appearing with "Take a Peek at How Quentin Tarantino Time-Warped Hollywood Boulevard Back to the 1960s," his July 19, 2018 article for Los Angeles magazine. At the time of the photo they were adding the neon tubing to outline the Pussycat letters with "Puss" yet to be done.



A view of the west side of the marquee and the Larry Edmunds storefront getting rebuilt. Photo: Chris Nichols - Los Angeles magazine. Thanks, Chris! 



Neon outline of the Pussycat letters complete. Photo: Bill Counter - July 19, 2018 



A sign detail. Photo: Bill Counter - July 19, 2018 



The boxoffice getting more dressed. To the right of the "Cool" sign there's neon in the window saying "Girls Girls Girls." Photo: Bill Counter - July 19, 2018



A look upward at the front of the marquee.  Thanks to Sandi Hemmerlein for her July 19 photo, a post on the LAHTF Facebook page.  



Looking west toward the theatre after the poster team hit the area. Photo: Brian Donnelly - July 20, 2018. Thanks again, Brian! For more great views see his "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" set on Facebook.

See the Ritz Theatre page on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more about the theatre, originally opened as a newsreel house called the News-View. It's currently being used as a hologram theatre called Hologram USA.