March 30, 2007


Originally uploaded by movieland.

Here’s a picture of EJ, as I continue to test this “post to blog via mail” feature of Flickr’s. This picture was taken a couple of winter’s ago at The Music Box Steps. Here’s the Movieland Directory entry for this terrific, and legendary Los Angeles location.

Robert E. Petersen: 1926 – 2007

March 27, 2007

One of the things that is such a huge part of Los Angeles and Southern California culture, the automobile, lost one its inconic figures with the death of Robert Petersen, the founder of Hot Rod magazine.  A high school drop out, he went on to found Motor Trend, a number of other magazines, and was a serial entrepreneur before that term was invented.  In addition to supporting numerous LA charities, his legacy is the 12 year old Petersen Automotive Museum, already recognized as one of the finest car museums on the planet.

Movieland provided an initial stepping stone for Petersen’s successful careers.  His mother dead from TB when he was ten, he dropped out of Barstow High School at 15 and worked odd jobs.  The LA Times obit notes that Petersen moved “at age 16 to Los Angeles, where he landed an $18-a-week job as a messenger boy at MGM.  He worked his way up to the publicity department, where his job was to plant items about the studio’s stars with gossip columnists such as Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper.”

Bike Routes in LA

March 25, 2007

Here are some bike routes in LA suggested by the natives to the editors of cicle.com (Cyclists Inciting Change).  They use the same Gmaps pedometer site noted in our last post.  Small world.  On our list of things to do now will be to find some Movieland sites on or adjacent to these routes.

Tracking Your Walk In LA … or New York or Chicago or Anywhere

March 21, 2007

Plan Your WalkWe think of The Movieland Directory as a travel-related site.  We hook into all the major mapping tools, so you can use your favorite, and mix in your own stops along the route.  

When I plan walking or biking routes, I love this online pedometer which uses Google Map functionality.  I have only found it useful for person-powered travel, as opposed to planning car travel.  I use it to keep track of my running and biking routes around Chicago, like my path home from work, last night.  If you stayed at Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, and the staff threw you off the jogging track at Harvard-Westlake up the street (been there, done that), this little route would not be an unpleasant weekend morning jog.  (But, try the track.  It’s nice!)

To use the site, you zoom to street level, then start double-clicking your waypoints along your route.  It calculates how far you have traveled on the fly, so you’ll have a good idea of how much time will be passing and how much longer you will want to go before breaking for a drink.  When you are done, it saves the route and provides the numbered url, immediately.

There are other cool map sites with more features, but this is a handy and focused little tool which does this one thing very well.

If you have any handy general map or travel links, or any great Los Angeles links you feel any traveler must review to know LA better, let us know.  We can include them here or on our links page at The Movieland Directory.

Perhaps Only in LA…

March 18, 2007

Phil spector

could you find a jury of this guy’s peers

There Goes The Neighborhood!

March 14, 2007

As ever Bob Goldsborough at Big Time Listings has taken a listing – in this case Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis’ offering of his home at 1410 Davies Drive – and provided chapter and verse you don’t find elsewhere.  We love that kind of obsession.  I don’t know exactly why Mr. Kiedis is selling his neat looking old place, but here’s a thought.  You have a neat old place tucked away in a canyon at the end of the road with lots of old growth surrounding your property.  And, then….  Check out the satellite image of the neighborhood on Virtual Earth.  The Kiedis house is the tan spread on the bend in the road.  Check out the gigantic project across the street, and the other out through the backyard.  4,300 SF never looked so small!  There goes the neighborhood!

An interesting aspect of Virtual Earth’s stitchery of the various satellite angles is that you get to see those houses going up over time.  Make sure you’re in 3D view, then drag the image around and click on the compass rose.  You’ll see different images pop up; shots taken from different angles at different times.  Pretty cool, actually.  Unless you live across the street!

The only Davies Drive address we have presently in The Movieland Directory is 1309 Davies.  That is quite a storied address:  Lance Reventlow lived there (built for him in 1956 by his Mom, Barbara Hutton), Michael Caine, Rupert Murdoch, and Ricky Martin, among others.  You could spend all day within a mile of here, there are so many interesting places.   The subject of E.J.’s next book, Paul Bern, was murdered at 9820 Easton Drive, a five minute drive up Benedict Canyon.

Silver Lake News Tour

March 7, 2007

Here’s a terrific little tour of The Architectural Heritage of Los Angeles’ Eastside in The Silver Lake News.  It appears as if this is a living document, permitting readers to submit additions.

Earle C. Anthony HouseSee the first home on the tour, the Earle C. Anthony House.  Go to The Movieland Directory and then click on Virtual Earth.  Yes.  That…campus…was someone’s home!

Chicago To L.A. – Take A Left. A Soft Right. And You’re There

March 3, 2007

We love maps.  E.J.’s first book, Hollywood Death and Scandal Sites, is all about driving and directions.  Each of sixteen driving tours’ sites and stories are joined with turn-by-turn directions.  The first thing we did developing The Movieland Directory site was ensure that the site could pass our addresses to all the major online map sites.  We love maps.  All kinds.  E.J.’s got a great collection of vintage star maps, copies of which will make up to the site some day.  

Here’s a tidy simplified graphic of the U.S. interstate highway system at a site were map creatives hang out.  So creative, that one of the designers on the thread took the time to fix the errors on the original.

As people who maintain a database with over 46,000 Movieland address entries, we can appreciate that kind of obsession!

Addresses, addresses…

March 1, 2007

Hi all. 

E.J. here; my brother Tony writes most of the posts but he’s shamed me into participating more often.  It’s probably not as clear as I’d like, but the TMD site has almost 47,000 entries now, which is a testament to sick obsession I’ve had for 20+ years.  I continue to dig them up with the help of friends.  Two new favorite sites are young but great; Big Time Listings and The Real Estalker that both follow celebrity moves. 

I know I’m a curmudgeon, but here’s something that pisses me off.  The whole David & Victoria Beckham moving to L.A. thing and all the press about where they’re going to live.  All the mansions she’s looked at.  The agents she’s gone through.   The money she wants to spend.  She actually walks around in a model strut with her boney shoulders trailing her cadaverous hips by about a foot, all the time.  And how does she keep her cheeks sucked into her mouth without a break?

That being said, I still have the list of most of the mansions that Boney Beckham looked at during her L.A. visit.  A lot of pretty well-known spots.   209 Copa de Oro, a John Byers house that’s been home to a bunch like Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow and Telly Savalas.   461 Faring Road, the Irene Dunne house.   651 Faring Road, the Wendy Finerman house.   1015 Roxbury, a storied address home to Betty Grable, Diane Keaton and Madonna, among others.   215 Strada Corta, the old Bob Newhart house that Deidre Hall is selling.  And about a dozen more.

But, honestly, who cares?  I don’t care where they live.  If some soccer team is stupid enough to pay him $20MM a year to play soccer thinking that enough incremental seats will be sold to pay that salary, terrific.  But, again, who cares?  He plays soccer.  I’m sure he’s a wonderful soccer player, but big deal.  That he’s playing will excite 6 people in L.A. who watch soccer (I know it’s more, but really, be honest, who cares?) and might come to a game just because Beckham is playing.  And her? The sound you hear is someone hurling.  I swear to God she gets moist when she sees a camera.  She freezes into that shoulders back hips to the side suck in the cheeks look disinterested model thing.  It’s kind of scary.  I think she’s repellent, but that’s just me.  And the scientology thing?  I won’t capitalize a hobby.  Just my opinion, but it seems to me to be the most ridiculous organization I’ve ever encountered.  I have to wonder what kind of person would listen to a pseudo-religion based upon aliens coming to the planet and burning everyone in volcanos so we have to pay the church to get the bad karma engrams out of our body to reach a state of clear and only wear the blue shirts.  Did you know that they tell you what kind of blue shirts you can wear when you first join and begin the brainwashing fun?  They do.  Unless you’re celebrity like, say, Tom, and you can afford to just pay the $300,000 and congrats you’ve achieved clear everything’s good have a great life but if you leave the church we’ll tell bad stories about you.  If you’re a good boy – read “mindless” – you get to move from light blue polo to darker blue button-down.  Anyway, apparently the Beckhams are really interested in the goofball club because of their close friends Tom and Katie.  Don’t get me started.  Referral enough.  To summarize, I don’t care where the Beckhams live.  I wish they’d stay in England.