The Belasco Theater

Belasco_Theater_Los_AngelesIt was a double premiere- the opening of the new Belasco Theater at 11th & Hill streets and the Los Angeles debut of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on November 1, 1926. Author Anita Loos and the crème de la crème of filmdom society were in attendance. Both the play and the theater were a hit. History doesn’t record whether the theater’s major financial backer enjoyed the show; he was about to leave for Washington, D.C. to testify in his bribery trial. Continue reading

The Hall of Justice

hall_of_justice_los_angelesLos Angeles could be justly proud of the shining white temple that opened in February 1926. There was high praise all around for the design by the Allied Architects Association and the beautiful interior appointments, which lent a dignity to what were often sordid proceedings. But almost immediately it was tainted by controversy when several prisoners escaped from its “escape-proof” jail, and then there was the sheriff’s wild party on the roof… Continue reading

Georges Carpentier in Los Angeles

georges-carpentierIn July 1921 Georges Carpenter and Jack Dempsey made history in the “Battle of the Century” for the world heavyweight title in Jersey City, NJ. Images of Carpentier lying prone on the canvas flashed from coast-to-coast almost instantaneously via the new press photo wire service. Five years later, in July 1926, Los Angeles finally got a look at the Orchid Man in the flesh. Continue reading

The Los Angeles Steamship Co. Harvard & Yale

harvard_and_yale_steamships_los_angelesThe beautiful twin sisters were originally from the east coast but like others before them they’d drifted west by the early ‘teens and ended up in Los Angeles. They were recruited by the US Navy during WWI and saw the world. But by the 1920s, having had a major facelift, the Los Angeles Steamship Co.’s Harvard and Yale were again plying the California coast, billed as the “floating playgrounds of the Pacific.” Continue reading