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HossC Sep 22, 2015 6:37 PM

I've finished all the Julius Shulman Bank of America photosets which are identified as "Los Angeles" in their description, but there are still a few left from the suburbs. This is "Job 1267: Bank of America (South Pasadena, Calif.),1952". It shows the bank on the southwest corner of Fair Oaks Avenue and Mission Street in South Pasadena.

This is the view looking north on Fair Oaks Avenue.

Here's a close-up of the left side of the photo above. It shows the Cornet 5-10-25¢ Store and Macy's Photo Shop.

Another detail shows Fair Oaks Pharmacy on the northwest corner of the intersection.

North of the pharmacy was the Lotus Inn with their "Chop Suey" sign, and a bowling center, although I can't read the name. South of Mission Street on the left, this Bank of America was also close to a Market Basket store.

All from Getty Research Institute

The bank building has gone, replaced by this easy-to-miss branch of Citizen's Business Bank. Bank of America now has a branch at the south end of this block.

The reason I included a close-up of Cornet and Macy's above is that the buildings survive. The a-symmetric pattern in the brickwork on 919 was painted over in the 2011 GSV image - I'm glad they've uncovered it again.

On the northwest corner of the intersection, not only is the building still standing, it's still Fair Oaks Pharmacy. The pharmacy opened in 1915, and deserves a post to itself (feel free if anyone wants to take on the job). According to the banner on the right, they serve breakfast from 10am until 6pm - that sounds like a great time for breakfast!

The bowling alley has gone, as have all the buildings on the southeast corner of the intersection, including the Market Basket. On the northeast corner, however, another bank building survives. I think it was a Security First National Bank in 1952, now it's the Comerica Bank.

ethereal_reality Sep 22, 2015 7:26 PM

:previous: HossC, here's the Comerica Bank in 1924.

below: From the side, the Bank of America / A.C.O._G. building has the shape of a theater. I wonder if it was a theater before it was a bank.

posted by HossC

:previous: Am I looking at this correctly? That is the back half of the Bank of America looming over the businesses, right?
(or is it two separate buildings, divided at that white paint line)


tovangar2 Sep 22, 2015 7:27 PM

Old Plaza Firehouse/Cosmopolitan Saloon

Originally Posted by HossC (Post 7172861)
The firehouse was built in 1884, but only operated as a firehouse until 1897, so this narrows down our window for the Montezuma Saloon picture. Here's a slightly later picture from an earlier post.

The old firehouse became the Cosmopolitan Saloon at least by 1916. It was in a Lillian Gish vehicle, "Gretchen the Greenhorn" (see below) that year and was still the same business at least until 1920 (if photo captions are to be believed):

Exiting Ferguson Alley, 1916:
silent locations

The firehouse appeared in Buster Keaton's "The Goat" (1921) too, but very briefly, from the front and too far away to make out any signage.

I always wondered why the LAFD was in that building so briefly. Here's the answer:
el pueblo

ethereal_reality Sep 22, 2015 8:11 PM

:previous: It's so cool to see the Cosmopolitan Saloon (formerly the Montezuma) show up in an old silent film t2.
I wonder what the sign is in the distance. At first I thought it said PRUNES.

hmm...or maybe it's the first half of the word BRUNSWIG.

HossC Sep 22, 2015 9:15 PM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 7173000)

From the side, the Bank of America / A.C.O._G. building has the shape of a theater. I wonder if it was a theater before it was a bank.

Thanks for finding the 1924 picture of the Comerica Bank building, e_r. As to your question about whether the bank was once a theater, I can't find any evidence.
Here's the front of the bank at full resolution (all the Shulman photos are 3000 pixels wide - I crop the border and shrink them to 1200 pixels wide before posting).
Don't forget to scroll right. The right side of the building housed Star Inc Liquors. I think the signs on the single-story building to its right say "Baby Shop" and
"Ladies Apparel". There's no obvious theater entrance.
Getty Research Institute

None of the images at Historic Aerials give much away. The bank is the L-shaped building on the corner in this 1953 view, and the slightly higher bit seems to be enclosed
on at least three sides. It was replaced by the current building sometime between 1972 and 1977. I double-checked at Cinema Treasures, but neither of the theaters they
list near Fair Oaks Avenue were at this location.
Historic Aerials

It wasn't until I looked at the historic views that I noticed the old Cornet building (now Lucha's Comfort Footwear) goes all the way through to Edison Lane. This
west-looking view also shows the new Bank of America building.
Google Maps

ethereal_reality Sep 22, 2015 9:35 PM

:previous: Hoss, Lucha's has a nice little entrance in the back on Edison Lane. (with some nice-looking neon as well)

Thanks for the clarification on the Bank of America building.

ethereal_reality Sep 22, 2015 10:27 PM

Before we leave the area...

This 1922 image of the Comerica Bank building is slightly different than the 1924 sepia image I posted earlier this afternoon. (on the right is the building undergoing renovation)

"First National Bank at Fair Oaks and Mission St. Notice how all the overhead power and phone lines have be moved underground?
The photo on the left appears to have been taken when it was about to open, as there is a man lifting a door into place. Either that or he's robbing the joint.
The image is dated 1922, and the original caption states that Security First National Bank later occupied this location at 824 Fair Oaks.
The building underwent a renovation in what I think was the 1940s. It became Gandell's Furniture. It is currently being remodeled again and some of the historical
detailing that had been covered up is now being restored. Its original use will also be restored--Comerica Bank is moving in to the location."

-Chris or Kevin at

Here's what the building looked like before the current restoration.

ethereal_reality Sep 22, 2015 11:17 PM

from Matt Sweeney, Hollywood 1979-1983.

"Near Sunset and Western a man walks and prays in front of apartments." -Matt Sweeney

CityBoyDoug Sep 22, 2015 11:50 PM

ER...fascinating photo above....

Cadillac that was given to Marilyn Monroe after her appearance on the Jack Benny Show in 1953, this photo is from 1954. For some reason he was not
allowed to pay her cash in that amount.....hence the car.

Mstimc Sep 23, 2015 2:20 AM


Originally Posted by Noircitydame (Post 7172383)
913 North Bedford Drive, a 1926 Spanish Revival mansion owned by Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s pal Countess Di Frasso and had Marlene Dietrich for a tenant in 1939. [/URL] Architectural Digest April 1990

The sun room jungle mural was painted by artist Charles Baskerville

To quote Oscar Wilde on his deathbed, "Either that wallpaper has to go, or I do."

ethereal_reality Sep 23, 2015 2:42 AM

Here's a fantastic (somewhat over-saturated) Kodachrome slide from the 1950s that I am almost certain we haven't seen before on NLA.

Earlier on NLA, it was decided the corner café opposite the Paramount gate was Oblath's at 723 N. Bronson Avenue.
(thanks to HossC's post below)

You can also see it in this image from 'Sunset Boulevard' (1950)

But what about that giant A on the left side of the 1950s slide? (below)

Equally intriguing is the venue on the right side of the 1950s slide. (if you look closely there's a name on the brown awning)

Does anyone know what these two businesses were?

sopas ej Sep 23, 2015 2:48 AM

Loving, loving the South Pas photos. That is totally my 'hood. I walk to the Fair Oaks Pharmacy from my apartment for the occasional sundae or egg creme.

Here are some photos of Fair Oaks and Mission Street, January 3, 1953. Apparently, there was a runaway crane that caused a fatality.
USC Archive
USC Archive
USC Archive

And a shot I just took about a half hour ago. The Fair Oaks Pharmacy installed a new sign on its corner, mentioning the 100 years in service. I was waiting for the neon sign to turn on, but it still wasn't turning on. I grew impatient, snapped the photo, and left.
Photo by me

tovangar2 Sep 23, 2015 2:52 AM

Comerica Bank, South Pasadena
incredible accident photos sopas ej


Thank you Hoss and e_r. That's a really happy result

1922 (before the utilities were buried):
previously posted by e_r


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 7173000)

1940s (?) remodel in 2007:

Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 7173271)

previously posted by e_r


Originally Posted by HossC (Post 7172933)


ethereal_reality Sep 23, 2015 2:53 AM

While googling the 1950s Paramount/Bronson gate slide I found on eBay, I came across this interesting 1987 review of the restaurant that replaced Oblath's.

It was called "Legends".

"Prim, slightly prissy".....I don't think Legends' was much of a success.

By the way, I really like this photo of Marilyn CBD. I don't recall seeing it before.

Any idea where this was taken?


tovangar2 Sep 23, 2015 3:11 AM

Leonardo Liquors
I couldn't resist sending this along to the current owner:


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 7168775)
Leonardo Liquor Store, 10426 Magnolia Blvd. No. Hollywood, Calif.

The little art deco building is still there and in fine shape.

He loved it:

"Thank you very much!

I knew of Leonardo’s existence prior to me purchasing the building in 1999 (from neighbors that remembered the establishment). I never have seen any pictures or literature of it though.

I guess the closest and next best thing would be this matchbook!

Thanks for thinking of us...


Franco Skilan RPT

haiku99 Sep 23, 2015 4:40 AM


Originally Posted by tovangar2 (Post 7170353)

Dagmar (1921-2001):

Dagmar's wiki page is here

...and a charming video is here (Dagmar's bit ends @ 1:40)

Another quite fetching Dagmar photo, everyone is smiling ;-)

MartinTurnbull Sep 23, 2015 4:51 AM

Hills U Drive
A friend of mine just sent me this great photo. Her grandfather, Sid Rehfeld (he's the one on the right), opened one of the first car rental places (in LA, I assume) which was, apparently very successful.

I found it in a 1936 City Directory - 1614 Cherokee Ave, Hollywood.

CityBoyDoug Sep 23, 2015 5:24 AM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 7173649)
Any idea where this was taken?


Don't know where it was taken but my guess is that's its across the street from Jack Benny's home in Beverly Hills.
I see the Mayflower coffee shop in one photo.

This Cadillac might be a part of a collection of cars in Russia.

HossC Sep 23, 2015 8:51 AM


Originally Posted by ethereal_reality (Post 7173631)

Here's a fantastic (somewhat over-saturated) Kodachrome slide from the 1950s that I am almost certain we haven't seen before on NLA.

But what about that giant A on the left side of the 1950s slide?

Equally intriguing is the venue on the right side of the 1950s slide. (if you look closely there's a name on the brown awning)

Does anyone know what these two businesses were?

There was a good clue to the identity of the building with the giant A in the post of mine that you linked to, e_r. It contained a quote from an earlier post by Handsome Stranger:


Originally Posted by Handsome Stranger (Post 6842647)

It's also interesting to note that television station KTLA was situated so closely, as it was then owned by Paramount.

I don't know which picture was being referred to, as that post has lost its images. Here's another I found that shows the whole KTLA building in 1949.

The 1956 CD lists Geller's Men's and Women's Wear at 706 N Bronson. That may be the name on the brown awning.

oldstuff Sep 23, 2015 2:09 PM

below: From the side, the Bank of America / A.C.O._G. building has the shape of a theater. I wonder if it was a theater before it was a bank.

posted by HossC

The building with the raised portion of the roof does not seem to have been a theater since it does not have a fly space, the high vertical area above the stage into which curtains and scenery would be lifted or "flown"

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