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  #56821  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2021, 11:07 PM
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ethereal_reality ethereal_reality is offline
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Let's take the Wayback Machine to the 1880s so we can visit the mystery location shown below.


"Cabinet Photograph of Paraffine Paint Co / P& B Roofing Warehouse Los Angeles"



eBay


As you can see the company's offices were located downtown at 5th and Spring St. but the location of the warehouse is a mystery. Luckily we have the street number of the warehouse, 711 - 715
but the name of the street remains a mystery.

-note the palm tree and the rather tall mailbox (or is it a sign?) on the far right side - - >


.

Last edited by ethereal_reality; Apr 15, 2021 at 11:23 PM.
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  #56822  
Old Posted Apr 15, 2021, 11:52 PM
Noir_Noir Noir_Noir is offline
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rescarta.lapl.org
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  #56823  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2021, 2:59 AM
HenryHuntington HenryHuntington is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethereal_reality View Post

postscript

OK, I just looked at the 2nd old photographs again.

There appears to be a 'lens' (or screen?) several feet inside the frame that is slightly slanted downward. (but I don't think it's enough to make a difference)

Do see it? Does it look slightly slanted to anyone else or am I imagining things?



Obviously the dark space between the outer frame and this interior 'screen' worked as a shield from the sun so the image could be seen during the day.


Also too. . .surely something this large and out of the ordinary was reported in the local newspapers. (but so far, zilch)




Whatever it is. . this roof-top oddity has stumped all of us for years and is one of the very few mysteries that we haven't been able to solve on NLA.
.
__________________________

Under magnification, it does look like there's a rear-projection screen housed within the box structure. There also appears to be a steel cable strung across the opening most of the way up. I don't see any provision for audio, so stills or silent movies likely were the video format.

Looking across the street, where the presumed audience would be, there was the Cherokee Building (now the Hollywood-Cherokee Building). The "T" intersection provides for a longer continuous sidewalk on that side of the Boulevard, which makes me wonder if it was a preferred area for viewing parades or whatever.

Meanwhile, note the apparent radio antenna mast supported by guy wires above or behind the United Airlines ticket office. The mast doesn't appear substantial enough for commercial broadcast (could be wrong here), so I wonder (a) if that's what it was, (b) what its purpose might've been and (c) if it had any relationship beyond proximity to The Thing.

For a smallish commercial building, The Virginia certainly had its share of interesting features.
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  #56824  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2021, 4:53 AM
CaliNative CaliNative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanklem View Post
I conject it is a film projection viewer similar to large screens used today.
Besides the possible visual projector aspect, it could have also been an audio projector like a megaphone, possibly amplified electronically. The name of the building is the "The Virginia". Maybe that is a clue:

To wit, Frank Lloyd directed the film "THE HOWARDS OF VIRGINIA" in the late 1930s starring Cary Grant. Lloyd has his sidewalk walk of fame star almost directly in front of this building location at 6667 Hollywood Blvd. Could that have something to do with the building being called the "Virginia"? Maybe Lloyd had offices there or even an ownership interest (hence naming rights)? Anyway, his star is right in front of where it stood. Lloyd is best known for directing the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty starring Clark Gable & Charles Laughton. Perhaps the gadget on the roof was an audio/visual device to promote his films?

Last edited by CaliNative; Apr 16, 2021 at 8:42 AM.
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  #56825  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2021, 5:53 PM
Martin Pal Martin Pal is offline
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If I recall correctly, The Virginia was an apartment complex.
____________

HossC posted this in 2014, indicating it was...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HossC View Post
Could this be the Virginia Apartments at 6629½ Hollywood Boulevard where John Ford once lived? The extract below is from a book called 'Print the Legend: The Life and Times of John Ford' by Scott Eyman.


books.google.com
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  #56826  
Old Posted Apr 16, 2021, 7:29 PM
Earl Boebert Earl Boebert is offline
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I did a Newspapers.com search of the address hoping for an article. Nothing, but here's what I gleaned and deduced from the photos:

6637 Hollywood Blvd: The Jade. No advertisements or mentions. Then Sontag Drugs after 1937.

6635 Hollywood Blvd: United Air Lines/Western Air Express ticket office. No mentions after 1937.

6633 Hollywood Blvd: Stern's Fine Furs. July 1937 ad states "Moving to 6659 Hollywood Blvd" and "Building Coming Down"

6631 Hollywood Blvd: Lichter's Deli. October 1937 article says moved to 6615.

6629 1/2 Hollywood Blvd: Unmarked door, probably to apartments on second floor, consistent with Martin Pal/HossC postings.

6629 Hollywood Blvd: 1936 ad for Dudleigh's Smoke Shop, then 1938 article stating Los Angeles Music Company moving into the Sontag Building.

6627 Hollywood Blvd: Edmund F. Richardson, Optometrist mentioned in article. Then starting in 1938, ads for musical instruments bought and sold.

So this reinforces what we already knew, and the mystery object dates to before the building was convert to Sontag Drugs in the early Fall of 1937. 6637-6631 Sontag, 6629 1/2 gone, 6629-6627 Los Angeles Music Co.

Cheers,

Earl
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  #56827  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 12:58 AM
Lwize Lwize is offline
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What about 6625 Hollywood Blvd?
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  #56828  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 1:33 AM
CaliNative CaliNative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanklem View Post
I conject it is a film projection viewer similar to large screens used today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Pal View Post


Beat me, Hoss!
(additional photos)

That was at Cherokee Ave.:







(1937)
The Jade
The Virginia
Bradley's 5 and 10
I see drapes in the windows on the second floor, consistent with these being dwellings, not offices. But perhaps there is a link also to director Frank Lloyd, since he does have his sidewalk star almost in front, and he did make the "Howards of Virginia" with Cary Grant. Maybe he owned the building or lived there? Still a mystery about the device on the roof. Must be a projector or viewing screen of some sort, maybe for advertisements or movie promotions, and mabe with audio also. In the upper left corner of the second floor there is a sign saying the "owner will erect a new building". Is this building still there?
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  #56829  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 3:00 AM
Noir_Noir Noir_Noir is offline
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Here's another view, dated 1925, of The Virginia Apartments building.



waterandpower.org


As to the "roof-top oddity", I think this July 1936 permit is the one that relates to it. Only refers to it as being a steel sign though.



ladbsdoc.lacity.org


The pictures with the oddity on the roof must come between this and demolition in August 1937.

Last edited by Noir_Noir; Apr 17, 2021 at 3:17 AM.
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  #56830  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 3:15 AM
Earl Boebert Earl Boebert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lwize View Post
What about 6625 Hollywood Blvd?
The little building next door to The Virginia:

1934, Peter B Maus, butcher

November 1935, The Curtain Store

July 1938 Mattson's Army Navy store and the Curtain Store

July 1944 The Italian Kitchen and The Curtain Store

The Curtain Store uniformly until January 1960 [!] and then Christian Science Reading Room.

Cheers,

Earl
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  #56831  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 1:16 PM
stanklem stanklem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noir_Noir View Post



Here's another view, dated 1925, of The Virginia Apartments building.



waterandpower.org


As to the "roof-top oddity", I think this July 1936 permit is the one that relates to it. Only refers to it as being a steel sign though.



ladbsdoc.lacity.org


The pictures with the oddity on the roof must come between this and demolition in August 1937.
In building department-speak it may be a sign if it fits that legal description. Were there other permits associated with the sign?

There is a permit for a water tower in 1937. Water towers are required for sprinkler systems. Not seen on any photos yet.

Demolition permit in 1937. No description of what was demolished. Permit was issued to a wrecking company so the work might be substantial.

Sign installation in 1938.

There is also the possibility the installation was illegal. Not unheard of for the era.
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  #56832  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 1:50 PM
montréaliste montréaliste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryHuntington View Post
__________________________

Under magnification, it does look like there's a rear-projection screen housed within the box structure. There also appears to be a steel cable strung across the opening most of the way up. I don't see any provision for audio, so stills or silent movies likely were the video format.

Looking across the street, where the presumed audience would be, there was the Cherokee Building (now the Hollywood-Cherokee Building). The "T" intersection provides for a longer continuous sidewalk on that side of the Boulevard, which makes me wonder if it was a preferred area for viewing parades or whatever.

Meanwhile, note the apparent radio antenna mast supported by guy wires above or behind the United Airlines ticket office. The mast doesn't appear substantial enough for commercial broadcast (could be wrong here), so I wonder (a) if that's what it was, (b) what its purpose might've been and (c) if it had any relationship beyond proximity to The Thing.

For a smallish commercial building, The Virginia certainly had its share of interesting features.

What you perceived to be a steel cable inside the box may also be a shade or louver to break down a bit more of the incoming light from the opening.
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  #56834  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 6:13 PM
Martin Pal Martin Pal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Boebert View Post
I did a Newspapers.com search of the address hoping for an article. Nothing, but here's what I gleaned and deduced from the photos:

6637 Hollywood Blvd: The Jade. No advertisements or mentions. Then Sontag Drugs after 1937.

6635 Hollywood Blvd: United Air Lines/Western Air Express ticket office. No mentions after 1937.

6633 Hollywood Blvd: Stern's Fine Furs. July 1937 ad states "Moving to 6659 Hollywood Blvd" and "Building Coming Down"

6631 Hollywood Blvd: Lichter's Deli. October 1937 article says moved to 6615.

6629 1/2 Hollywood Blvd: Unmarked door, probably to apartments on second floor, consistent with Martin Pal/HossC postings.

6629 Hollywood Blvd: 1936 ad for Dudleigh's Smoke Shop, then 1938 article stating Los Angeles Music Company moving into the Sontag Building.

6627 Hollywood Blvd: Edmund F. Richardson, Optometrist mentioned in article. Then starting in 1938, ads for musical instruments bought and sold.

So this reinforces what we already knew, and the mystery object dates to before the building was convert to Sontag Drugs in the early Fall of 1937. 6637-6631 Sontag, 6629 1/2 gone, 6629-6627 Los Angeles Music Co.
Cheers,Earl
_________________________________________________________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Boebert View Post
The little building next door to The Virginia:
1934, Peter B Maus, butcher
November 1935, The Curtain Store
July 1938 Mattson's Army Navy store and the Curtain Store
July 1944 The Italian Kitchen and The Curtain Store
The Curtain Store uniformly until January 1960 [!] and then Christian Science Reading Room.
Cheers,Earl
_________________________________________________________________

Thanks, Earl Boebert! I just wanted to make clear for those that don't know, after 1937 The Jade relocated, as NoirCityDame points out in her post that HossC re-posted recently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noircitydame View Post
But this building was remodeled in 1937. S. Charles Lee turned it into the streamlined Sontag that opened 12-19-1937, with the address 6637 Hollywood Blvd., seen in this great color photo from E-R's post #29450



The Jade moved up the block to 6619 Hollywood Blvd. in November 1937. Its vertical sign can be seen in the color photo, red with gold lettering. (The Curtain Store, with the "Drapes Made Free" blade sign, at 6625 were unaffected by the remodel- their sign is in both photos)
_________________________________________________________________
Someone referred to the building being demolished. Or was it just remodeled?

Noir_Noir, thanks for the 1925 photo of The Virginia Bldg. which shows that the corner location was a drug store before The Jade was there, as well as after.

Also that permit is quite interesting. I wonder if there's any more that can be gleaned about what that "steel sign" was for from the company that made it?
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  #56835  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 7:18 PM
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I've combined two previously-posted photos of the building at Hollywood Blvd. and Cherokee Avenue for convenience:



The device seems to be aimed very precisely at some point across the street, seemingly at 6636 Hollywood Blvd. In 1937, 6636 had the offices of the World Wide Wonders Motion Pictures company:


Film Daily Product Guide and Director's Annual of 1937.

Could the device be some sort of screen with an internal projector, meant to be seen from the offices of said company for some purpose (publicity? development of backing?)? Or could it be a projector meant to project something onto that building, again for the purposes of that company?

And so . . . no final answer yet; but the plot thickens with the World Wide Wonders Motion Pictures company.
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  #56836  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 7:29 PM
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Handsome Stranger Handsome Stranger is offline
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It looks like one of Martin Turnbull's followers on Twitter solved the mystery yesterday.

https://twitter.com/SF_Historian/sta...39074228297732
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  #56837  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 9:42 PM
Martin Pal Martin Pal is offline
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Mystery solved? Yowsa!

The poster on MT's twitter tweeted:

SF_Historian
@SF_Historian
·
Apr 16
In 1936, Mabel Grady leased the rooftop of her building for construction of a new "motion picture billboard." Less than a year later, however, Grady sold the building to Sanford Jacobi, who demolished the building for a new Sontag drugstore.

L.A. Citizen, September 5, 1936



Hmm...a San Francisco historian found the answer!
___


Thanks for finding this Handsome Stranger!

That mystery was a long time solving!!!

Last edited by Martin Pal; Apr 17, 2021 at 9:55 PM.
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  #56838  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 9:55 PM
Martin Pal Martin Pal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Pal View Post
I realize there are 4 corners at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd. and Las Palmas Ave. and I am wondering where The Royal Room was located. I'd first noticed it on this record album somewhere along the way:

Discogs

Jack Teagarden and His Band Live at the Royal Room, Hollywood November 1, 1951.

In searching around online for Las Palmas Ave. recently I came across this photo:

Fire at Royal Room, Hollywood and Las Palmas, December 6, 1957. Photographer: Wesselmann.
Fireman chops up the bar in effort to extinguish flames in woodwork at Royal Room.

No other photos or information.

USC LD

Same place? That's as far as I seem to be getting.
_________________________________________________________________

Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryHuntington View Post
Martin Pal, the 1956 L.A. City Street Directory shows the Royal Room at 6700 Hollywood Blvd., which would be the SW corner of Las Palmas Ave.
_________________________________________________________________

Thank you HenryHuntington!

Well, apparently when I wrote above that the album was the first I'd heard of the Royal Room, that wasn't the case. In December of 2017 I posted 5 Christmas themed photos. But this photo is missing on the post now:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Pal View Post
We've seen a lot of similar images, but I don't recall this one before; a Getty Images photo of Hollywood Blvd. at the holidays, looking east from Las Palmas.
No date is given, but the Vogue Theatre has a banner showing The Story of Molly X playing, which premiered in November, 1949.

Notice the ladder leading up to an opening in the bottom of the [metal Christmas] tree. Could a person crawl inside them?

To the right of this tree is a blade sign for a place I don't recall before. It looks like it's the Royal Room. [...] I believe this location was later the Gold Cup.
_________________________________________________________________
I just spent over two hours looking for that photo, but cannot find it.




I did find another photo, from a block away, to the left of the Egyptian Theatre, showing the blade sign. It's dated 1951, the same year the above Jack Teagarden album was recorded live there.

Link


_________________________________________________________________

I did find that other photo on Alamy Stock photo: The banner at street level for Royal Room (blade sign right) looks like it might say Dixieland.


Last edited by Martin Pal; Apr 18, 2021 at 12:29 AM. Reason: add photo
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  #56839  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 10:08 PM
Martin Pal Martin Pal is offline
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P.S.: In some jazz magazine from the period that I had found references to the Royal Room, the author wrote that author "James Jones used to come in the Royal Room with Lowney Handy." Whoever that is.
______

^^^
Well, I assumed that was another guy, but I was incorrect:

In downstate Illinois throughout the 1950s, legendary novelist James Jones and his patron, mentor, and lover Lowney Handy, formed a countercultural writers’ group, known locally as The Colony. Lowney was an older, married, childless woman, whose unconditional support of ex-G.I. Jones between 1944 and 1950 allowed him to write his vast, groundbreaking novel From Here to Eternity.

A LIFE Magazine photo-essay about Jones and Lowney was featured in the May 8, 1951, issue. Lowney was described as Jones’s foster-mother, which was plausible due to her being 17 years his senior.


A photo of them is at the link I found this information: LINK
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  #56840  
Old Posted Apr 17, 2021, 11:59 PM
jerry1656 jerry1656 is online now
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The Virginia "thingy"

I am glad you noir folks finally solved the projection box mystery at 6637 Hollywood. Kudos, I knew you would do it!
I was a set and props man from 1988-2004, and worked in a whole lot of the places that you post and have lurked in silence here for the past many years. After installing Proton Sony Monitors in the 80's, and installing RP ( rear projection) & FP screens and working with Iwerks projection units I bet it had to be a projection device. A tilted inner screen, and, as with any one of a kind prototype installation... they had to add that extra overhead sun shield (I can see that it bows) after the construction to get the right effect.
Projecting moving or still pictures on a screen during daylight is a real tricky thing, but I was surprised that someone tried this out so early. I would bet it was not very successful during the day, and it probably did good at night. A RP screen has to have a slight matte viewing side to reduce glare, and a semi diffused rear side to reduce light "bounce back scatter" so back then I think they would have had to use glass , but they could have used stretched fabric, and deal with the wind/ repair issue later. The lack of a visible exhaust vent for the carbon arc, or super bright light source is a little puzzling though.
I spent 2004-2020 as a Construction & Design manager for one of the Hollywood restaurant groups so I can tell you the Geisha House was designed in 2004 and lasted until about 2014, and that it is not the old Virginia structure.
Additionally, the Las Palmas and Hollywood Bldg. with rooftop "widows walk" building was a 2 year office of Dodd Mitchell Design ( Hospitality) about 2008. I was there 5 or 6 times. The Atrium was not part of the offices , but private and accessed through the icky restaurant or the Las Palmas entrance. That restaurant was a greasy spoon. The Hollywood BLVD. entrance to DMD had the old ancient door, and all of the old hexagonal tiles and stairs.

Lastly, 6637 is slated to be demolished soon, it looks like its going to be a hotel. See LA Curbed , item 18.
https://la.curbed.com/maps/hollywood...s-construction

Sorry to be long winded. I hope I posted it correctly.
You folks are a great forum and resource for those of us who live and work here and all of the history that goes along with it!
JE
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