Sunday, November 20, 2016

"Girl Shy"

We go all over the place in Harold Lloyd's "Girl Shy" (Harold Lloyd Corp. / Pathé, 1924) including Hollywood, Culver City, Bunker Hill and Downtown. 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. in Culver City. 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 in the front of the building. 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.

Another view a moment later. 

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 the page on the Los Angeles Theatres website covering this first Culver City Theatre for larger views of those City Hall / Theatre photos we see as insets in the aerial view above.

Toward the end of the film Harold takes a wild ride using all available means of transportation to get into the city from his small town to prevent a marriage between the woman he loves and a cad who happens to be already secretly married. On the way we're heading west on Sunset Blvd. and we get this side view of the Granada Theatre, 7425 Sunset Blvd. The theatre had opened in 1921. Later it was renamed the Oriental.

See the page about the Oriental Theatre on the Los Angeles Theatres site for more photos. The building still exists but has become part of the Guitar Center.

After many great views of Bunker Hill and other neighborhoods we find ourselves downtown, looking north on the 800 block of Broadway. At the left it's Hamburger's Department Store, later becoming the May Co. The marquee on the right is the Garrick Theatre, 802 S. Broadway. The Tower Theatre is now on the site.  Across 8th St. it's the Hulett C. Merritt Building on the left and the Chapman Building on the right. Both survive.

A moment later the marquee and facade of the Rialto Theatre come into view on the far right. The building at 812 S. Broadway is now an Urban Outfitters store.

On the left the two small vertical signs of Tally's Theatre, 833 S. Broadway, come into view.  

On the right we now get a view of the Mission Theatre, 838 S. Broadway. The Orpheum Theatre is now on the site, opening in 1926. 

A bit farther south we see the curving marquee of the Majestic Theatre, 845 S. Broadway. It was demolished in 1933 so the May Co. could have more parking. On the right is a bit more of the Mission Theatre than we saw in the previous shot.

Looking north toward Olympic Blvd., at the time of the film still called 10th St. The building on the left is Western Costume Co.'s prop department. The tall building in the middle is their headquarters. It's now condos. The United Artists Theatre would rise just beyond it in 1927.

The second tall building we see on the left is the Majestic Theatre, with "Majestic" lettering vertically on the edge. The Eastern Columbia Building would rise this side of it in 1930. The streetcar tracks heading to the right go to Broadway Place, a short street cutting over to Main that's no longer in use.

See the pages for the Garrick, Rialto, Tally's Broadway, Majestic and Mission theatres on the Los Angeles Theatres site for histories of the buildings and many photos.

"Girl Shy" is included in the "Harold Lloyd Comedy Collection Volume 1" from New Line Entertainment. For more information on filming 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"

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