BACKSTORY: Hollywood. Probably the best known city in California. The Land of Dreams. Where movies are made. Take a spin through Tinsel Town on my site and see both old and new photos of the city that movies helped build.
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BACKSTORY (Oct. 3, 1942 —Nov. 22, 1945): During World War II, the stars of Hollywood and Broadway banded together to make things a little easier for service men and women going off to fight by providing laughter, refreshment, entertainment, and compassion at Canteens on both coasts. In California, The Hollywood Canteen (founded by Bette Davis and John Garfield, among others), sometimes entertained as many as 10,000 guests a night. Free of charge, some of the biggest names in the Industry danced, poured coffee, chatted, told jokes—and did their best to give the fighting forces a proper send off.
(Jan. 24, 1927 —Present) BACKSTORY: Originally known as The Hollywood Playhouse, it was designed in the Spanish Colonial Revival style by the architectural firm of Gogarty and Weyl. During the Great Depression, the theatre was renamed The WPA Federal Theatre (after the Works Progress Administration), and used for government-sponsored programs. Later, the theatre hosted many CBS Radio Network programs, including Fanny Brice's Baby Snooks show and Lucille Ball's My Favorite Husband program. In the 1940s, it was renamed The El Capitan Theatre, and was used for a long-running live burlesque variety show called Ken Murray's Blackouts.
In the 1950s, still under the name of El Capitan, the theatre became a television studio and it was from a set on its stage that Richard Nixon delivered his famous “Checkers speech” on September 23, 1952. This event is often mistakenly said (especially on the Internet) to have taken place at the El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, though that theater was never a television studio, and in 1952 was operating as a movie house called the Paramount Theatre. The theater was also home to The Colgate Comedy Hour, the Lawrence Welk Show, and This is Your Life. In 1963, ABC television used the theater for Jerry Lewis’ weekly TV program, and appropriately renamed it The Jerry Lewis Theatre. After the cancellation of Jerry Lewis’ show, ABC renamed the building the Hollywood Palace and launched The Hollywood Palace, a variety series which had guests such as Judy Garland, Groucho Marx and Louis Armstrong. The program was successful and continued for seven years, until 1970, after which ABC continued to use the building as a studio for occasional broadcasts. In 1978, ABC sold the theatre to private businessman Dennis Lidtke, who restored it and reopened it four years later with an abridged name, The Palace.
It is featured prominently in the film “Against All Odds.” The punk band The Ramones played their 2263rd and final show here on August 6th 1996. It was recorded for billboard live for the album We’re Outta Here. The building was purchased by Hollywood Entertainment Partners in September 2002 and renamed The Avalon.
BACKSTORY: The El Coyote Mexican Cafe has been familiy owned and operated since 1931. The current location is at 7312 Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood. Visit their website.