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Old Posted Aug 9, 2010, 2:56 PM
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gsjansen gsjansen is offline
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Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post
..............the Laemmle Building at Hollywood & Vine St. Previously this was the location of the Richard Neutra designed CoCo Tree Cafe from 1932 to 1940.....................
The poor Laemmle building

In 1925 German immigrant, movie maker and president of Universal Pictures. Carl Laemmle purchased the NW corner of Hollywood and Vine property from George Hoover for $350,000. Laemmle planned to build an elaborate 900-seat theater and office building on the site.

L.A. Times Archive

The economic depression of 1929 hit hard and Laemmle's building plans were put on hold. The site sat vacant except for billboards advertising Universal Pictures in release


In 1932 Richard Neutra was retained to design The CoCo Tree Cafe. It was designed in the International style.

USC Digital Archives

Interior of the Coco Tree Cafe


In 1940, restaurateur Sidney Hoedemaker of the Pig 'n' Whistle - Melody Lane chain, leased the northwest corner Hollywood and Vine transformed it into a Melody Lane restaurant.


Hoedemaker did not care for Neutra's International style of architecture and he had the restaurant redesigned more to his liking. He hired coffee shop modern architect Wayne McAllister and S. Charles Lee to do the design. The images shown in ethereal_reality's post are the McAllister/Lee designs for the Melody Lane.

USC Digital Archives

grand opening advertisement

L.A. Times Archives

In 1955, Hody's restaurant group signed a 20 year lease for the property on the northwest corner of Hollywood Blvd and Vine Street. Hoedemaker had it remodel extensively

1955 Postcard

1957 postcard

early 1960's image of hollywood and vine

USC Digital Archives

In 1969, Sidney Hoedemaker passed away, and the Laemmle building was then leased to Howard Johnson's

1972 postcard

Howard Johnson's remained at this location through to 1986

California State Library

With the closing of the Brown derby on Vine Street, a new venture utilizing the famed brown derby's name was opened after the Howard Johnson had closed in 1987

California State Library

for the next 20 years the site was utilized for different types of retail uses

The final incarnation of the Laemmle Building was the Basque Nightclub. In 2008, the building caught fire, and was subsequently torn down

Current 2010 view of the site

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