Sunday, November 20, 2016
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"