Just Above Sunset
July 16, 2006 - Hollywood in the Twenties

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Hollywood Center Building, 1929, Zigzag Art Deco
Hollywood Center Building, 1929, Zigzag Art Deco

Italian Renaissance

Zigzag Moderne

Spanish Colonial Revival


The conventional view -


Hollywood in the twenties was an age of desperation. People were desperate to find the good life, and those who came to Hollywood and found stardom usually changed their names. The publicity departments went wild with sensationalistic stories of the celebrities' torrid or unusual past; little girl from middle America would usually wind up becoming an exiled princess from a European country. Those who did come to Hollywood in the early days and made it as stars had to handle life on their own terms. Some handled it well while others destroyed themselves. Popularity and the freedom proved too much. Mabel Normand was one of the many who died at an early age. Many more were to follow. They lived too fast and died too soon, unlike those who took life slow and easy and were able to keep and enjoy what they had.

Most of the stars of the silent era did not make it into sound, due to many reasons. One was that their voices may not have been suited for sound and were too high for some male stars and too low for some female stars. Some spoke with thick accents, and some just could not handle the change. Most of their careers were cut short. The few who did make the change became major stars of the thirties and forties, as did Greta Garbo. It was the silent stars who created what we know today as "Hollywood."

Tough times, but the architecture was fine.  Here are three examples from the late twenties, built on the boulevard as the movie industry boomed and Hollywood became the entertainment capital of the world, as they say -


Next Page (Warner Pacific Theater)


If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

Copyright 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 - Alan M. Pavlik

The inclusion of any text from others is quotation for the purpose of illustration and commentary, as permitted by the fair use doctrine of U.S. copyright law.  See the Legal Notice Regarding Fair Use for the relevant citation.
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