May 30, 2007
The Movieland Directory site is down as we migrate to a new setup. Our database program was not built for the number of pageviews we receive. That’s a good problem. We hope to have the site up and pointing to this new database within a few days.
In the meantime, you can get your Movieland fix from any of the links over to the right here, for example: FindADeath, (though it’s a ghoulish name, with some ghoulish content, it’s a great LA celebrity/history site) The Real Estalker (“Mama” must have no paying job, or time-consuming bad habits, to cobble together the steady stream of in-depth write-ups on celebrity homes), Big Time Listings (same goes here, where the background searches and write-ups are second to none).
If you are traveling to Los Angeles, check the various “do-it-yourself” (DIY) links.
May 22, 2007
We agree with the folks at Road Trip America that the AAA TripTik site is a fabulous route planning tool. Supplement the addresses included there with locations from The Movieland Directory or any of the Do-It-Yourself tours linked here.
May 21, 2007
I’ve been remiss in adding to the blog, which Tony reminds me of fairly consistently and for which I must apologize. He is pretty good about adding tidbits but I should do more and will try to do so…
In a week or so I’m heading to L.A. to do some research on the Paul Bern bio I’m writing and to visit with the L.A. friends. I’ll spend two or three days ensconced in the Herrick Library Special Collections Department at the Motion Picture Academy, which is always a great time. If you’re ever in L.A., visit the Academy. They have great stuff and one of the biggest collection of movie-related stuff anywhere. You have to have access to visit the Special Collections Department and have to make an appointment to have the materials you’re interested in ready for you. Plan a month ahead.
I also got the nod to go to a farewell party at 512 North Palm, a mansion in the flats of Beverly Hills that was Jean Harlow’s last home. It was there that she spent the final weeks of her life in bed suffering from an undiagnosed liver condition that eventually killed her. A few days before she died, Clark Gable and Frank Morgan forced their way in because Jean’s friends had been prevented from seeing her for over a week. She and Gable were filming Saratoga at the time. Unfortunately they were too late to prevent her death and she died a few days later in the hospital. Rent the movie some time; the last half of the movie a stand-in played Jean’s role, filmed from the back and using voice-overs for dailogue. Anyway, the folks who own the house just sold it and are having a Jean Harlow party to celebrate their move. Some movie friends of mine got me on the list, so I get to go. One of my buddies knows the people that own the 1932 Packard that Jean owned when she died and will have the car in the driveway for the party. Very exciting in a weird, writer kind of way. The next day we’re going to take pictures of the Packard in front of the Club View Drive house that Jean lived in when she married Paul Bern. Again, weird in a writer kind of way, but exciting for me.
I’m still trying to wangle a visit with the doctor who owns Paul’s Easton Drive house but so far no luck. That’s the Holy Grail and we’re still trying. We’ll post photos of whatever we get to see when I return mid-June.
Thanks for visiting the blog and the Directory site. Feel free to write with any questions or inquiries and we’ll see you soon.
May 21, 2007
The Hollywoodland DVD is out. Here’s the write-up in American Cinematographer. With its hooks to EJ’s book The Fixers, it was a natural for us to enjoy it.
May 20, 2007
Living or traveling in LA on Thursday? FindADeath’s Scott Michaels sends along the suggestion to see a Hitchcock film at the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax. And, he adds, “This is the cool part. The theatre is actually a real life murder scene. Read about it’s history and THE MURDER here: http://www.povonline.com/cols/COL123.htm. Thanks, Scott!
May 19, 2007
OK…maybe not. But, this article in the New York Times about Playa Vista had me wondering if The Movieland Directory had any PV entries.
Searching on Playa Vista and checking the few entries, I came across this entry on Buddy Ebsen. If you want to drive a Do-It-Yourself Buddy Ebsen tour, click here to see other address where Jed lived.
May 17, 2007
Here’s a nice writeup on E.J.’s Wally Reid book at the Canyon News site.
This link at the site, to dog parks, caught our eye. Maybe we should add those addresses to The Movieland Directory. People traveling with pets, and people traveling who want to run into Movieland types would do well to stop by dog parks, right?
May 11, 2007
We often talk about how the homes, buildings and neighborhoods we love visiting are a great way to appreciate the history and culture of Movieland. But, it all starts with people, right?! Without a doubt, LA has a history of being…well…perhaps some of the population being a bit narcissistic. Who am I to cast stones, though, right? Who knows what will become of me by the time this blog has spawned its own media empire?! Anyway…I thought the writing and the story from this Sceniac column in the LA Times was…funny. Funny writing. You decide on the subject matter.
May 11, 2007
In case you have not visited prior, you should know that one of the things that guided the development of The Movieland Directory was our thinking that there is life for travelers beyond shopping and eating.
I was clicking through the links at the blog here and see that USC Geography Department has revamped their downtown walking tours site since last I looked. Nice job. We will have to do our homework and get more of these sites on the Directory. Take a look. You will find something here for your next visit.
May 8, 2007
James Bacon, the dean of Hollywood Columnists, in the most recent issue of Beverly Hills 213, references EJ’s story from The Fixers on the death of Thelma Todd. If you don’t know Thelma Todd from Sweeney Todd, check out the links at The Movieland Directory to bring yourself up-to-speed on this talented and fascinating actress. Her fondness for the fast life set the stage for a death, the circumstances around which remain a mystery to this day. Though, we have an opinion! Way more interesting reading than whatever tmz.com offers up for Paris Hilton.
Whether you find her death or her life interesting, chances are very good that if you are touring Los Angeles you will end up in the vicinity of her famous Cafe along the PCH just north of Santa Monica. Just above the cafe, winding through the tight streets, you will find the garage where Thelma was found dead at 17531 Posetano. So, take a break from the ordinary on your tour, and take in some Movieland history!
Speaking of Movieland history, this page has the writeup on last month’s addition of James Bacon on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, next to his friend Frank Sinatra. Still writing a column at 93 years old. Sign us up for that!