Hollywoodland
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images CC
Hollywoodland
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images CC

Hooray for Hollywood

We may think of the whole entertainment industry as "Hollywood," but the actual Hollywood is a small part of the city of Los Angeles. In the 100-plus years the film industry has been in town, a lot has changed — in both. Some historic Hollywood landmarks remain today, some are gone forever, and others have evolved with time. Take a look at these photos from Hollywood then and now.

Then: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was opened in 1927 by power investors such as Sid Grauman and movie stars Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, an investment by United Artists and MGM to host guests and screenings. The hotel hosted the first Academy Awards, and if you hung around over the years you might see Shirley Temple learning to tap dance there, Clark Gable and Carol Lombard sneaking up to the penthouse for trysts, or Marilyn Monroe taking up residence. It fell into disrepair during the '70s, though, says Marc Wanamaker, a Hollywood historian, author and historic consultant to the Hollywood Heritage museum, archive, and preservation society. "Up until the mid-'80s, it was a disaster inside," Wanamaker says. "It was remodeled different times inside and ruined — the ugliest interiors you ever saw."

Now: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Now: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Hollywood Heritage advised the 1980s remodel based on archival photos of the hotel's 1920s heyday, and Hollywood has returned. "A ton of premiere afterparties take place there," says Los Angeles Confidential magazine journalist Scott Huver, co-author of "Inside Rodeo Drive: The Stores, The Stars, The Stories." A swimming pool installed in the 1950s has been revived as well, along with its 1988 mural by British artist David Hockney.

Then: Capitol Records Building
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: Capitol Records Building

Louis Naidorf designed the Capitol Records after EMI bought Capital Records in 1955. Naidorf's trademark was circular office buildings — in this case, coincidentally suggestive of a stack if records, and an architectural standout. "This is an ultramodern building on Vine street near Hollywood Boulevard, where you had buildings built in the '20s and '30s," Wanamaker says. What you can't see from the outside are the eight underground echo chambers, trapezoidal recording chambers where sounds can reverberate for up to five seconds. Artists such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and the Beach Boys have recorded there.

Now: Capitol Records Building
©TripAdvisor

Now: Capitol Records Building

The Capitol Records building remains unchanged, though not the neighborhood surrounding it. The old Hollywood buildings are long gone. "Capitol Records has sat in a sea of parking lots since it was built in the 1950s," says Christy McAvoy, a retired historic preservation consultant and Hollywood Heritage cofounder. A jazz mural painted on the building in 1990 was refreshed in 2013. "They finally raised the money and [the artists] came back and spruced it up," Wanamaker says. Capital has upgraded the studios to match improving technology. Recent artists such as Sam Smith, Muse, Imagine Dragons, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Beck, and Arcade Fire still come to record.

Then: The Janes House
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: The Janes House

The Janes House is a 1903 remnant of the Victorian homes built on Hollywood Boulevard starting in the 1880s. The Jane sisters opened a school in the house in 1911 and taught the children of celebrities such as Cecile B. DeMille and Charlie Chaplin. Back then, The Janes House was surrounded by orange groves to the north and south. "They would cut back the groves to build," Wanamaker says.

Now: The Janes House
Stephanie Y./Yelp

Now: The Janes House

The house — relocated a few feet back in the 1980s to spare it from the wrecking ball — is now home to No Vacancy, a nightclub that captures old Hollywood with authentic Victorian decor and a speakeasy-style entrance so secret not even reviewers will give it away. "It's still fairly well representative of what it used to be," McAvoy says.

Then: Hollywood Walk of Fame
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images CC

Then: Hollywood Walk of Fame

Developed by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, the walk was unveiled with eight stars in 1958 from just another dark sidewalk. "It was nothing special," Wanamaker says, but a savvy idea turned a bunch of concrete into a tourist destination that had the benefit of bringing people on vacation right to businesses with stuff to sell. The red stars on black borders are made of terrazzo and brass and state a celebrity's name with an icon indicating whether they are famous for film, television, music, radio, or live theater. The first star laid in the ground with a ceremony was in 1960, for director Stanley Kramer — followed by stars for Burt Lancaster, Joanne Woodward, Preston Foster, Edward Sedgwick, Olive Borden, Ernest Torrence, Ronald Colman, and Louise Fazenda.

Now: Hollywood Walk of Fame
Wikimedia Commons

Now: Hollywood Walk of Fame

After six decades, the Walk of Fame includes more than 2,650 stars on two rows that now branch off down side streets. "It goes to La Brea. It goes past Argyle now, down to Sunset," sticking to where the tourists cluster, Wanamaker says. Fans can nominate any celebrity they like in any of the five categories with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce as long as the celebrity or their management agree with the nomination. (If chosen, the celebrity pays $50,000 for the star, with the money going to maintain the Walk.)

Hollywoodland
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images CC

Then: The Hollywood Sign

The sign originally read "Hollywoodland" to advertise a housing development of that name in 1923 — and its sections used to light up in alternating stages. But its connection with the movie industry may have been tragically sealed in 1932, when actress Peg Entwistle killed herself at 24 by jumping off its "H," reportedly feeling she was failing at getting roles. Hollywoodland filled up within 10 years, Wanamaker says, but by the ‘40s, it was a bust and the sign was rotting, its letters were falling down. "The City of L.A. had orders to tear down the sign," Wanamaker says. "It was dangerous and it was a mess." The Chamber of Commerce raised money to save the repurposed icon starting in 1949, though the lights were too costly to maintain.

Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California
Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California by Thomas Wolf (CC BY-SA)

Now: Hollywood Sign

By 1978, the sign needed another restoration. This time money celebrities donated $27,777 for each letter, or more than $108,000 in today's dollars. Hugh Hefner held the fundraiser at his Playboy Mansion and bought a letter, as did stars such as Gene Autry, Alice Cooper, and Andy Williams. It is also copyright to the Chamber of Commerce, so when you see it in a movie such as "Argo" or "San Andreas," producers paid for the rights to show it. The official Hollywood Sign website now offers live streaming looks at the site, and while there is a fence with security cameras to keep tourists out, hiking trails will get you close enough for a good picture.

Then: The Hollywood Hotel/Hollywood & Highland
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: The Hollywood Hotel

Built in 1903 on Hollywood Boulevard, running the length of the block between Highland and Orchid avenues, the Hollywood Hotel was the place to stay in Hollywood. "That's why Hollywood, the geographical region, became the epicenter of the industry," Huver says. Stars such as Rudolph Valentino came to stay there, and producers, directors, and writers held their meetings in the hotel. Movie columnist Louella Parsons broadcast her radio show from the hotel, inspiring the Busby Berkley movie "Hollywood Hotel" and its hit song, "Hooray For Hollywood." By 1956 it was demolished, replaced by a First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hollywood building.

Now: The Hollywood Hotel/Hollywood and Highland
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Now: Hollywood & Highland

In 2001, the shopping center surrounding the Savings and Loan was demolished and the Hollywood & Highland shopping center built in its place. Hollywood & Highland houses the Dolby Theater — the current location of the Oscars — and a six-screen addition to Grauman's Chinese Theater. Just outside Hollywood & Highland is Hollywood Boulevard and the Walk of Fame, populated with people dressed as superheroes, comics characters, and classic movie stars who will take pictures with you (donations suggested). Names of each year's Best Picture Oscar winner adorn the stairs up the levels to the Dolby and beyond. If you look up from the ground floor, you'll notice a recreation of the Babylon set from D.W. Griffith's silent film "Intolerance," complete with its elephant statues Another hotel called The Hollywood Hotel is on Vermont Avenue.

Then: Frank's Francois Cafe
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: Frank's Francois Cafe

Frank Toulet opened Frank's Francois Cafe in 1919, partnering with Joseph Musso and combining French and Italian menus four years later. "They designed the interior like a hunting club … like a movie set with copper table tops and booths from old London," Wanamaker says. The Carissimi and Mosso (not Musso) families bought it in 1927, adding a second dining room in the 1950s. Musso & Frank has been popular with movie stars from Charlie Chaplin to Marilyn Monroe and Humphrey Bogart, as well as legendary writers often slumming in Hollywood, including William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Dorothy Parker, Charles Bukowski, and Gore Vidal. Writers Guild offices were once right across from the restaurant, Huver notes.

Now: The Musso & Frank's Grill
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Now: The Musso & Frank Grill

Servers and bartenders still wear classic Musso & Frank red tuxedos, the menu hasn't changed much, it remains family-owned, and celebrities are still spotted among the diners. You might see George Clooney or Brad Pitt — Wanamaker saw Jack Nicholson at a table in the back. "We still have Hollywood stars still loving the idea of old Hollywood themselves," Wanamaker says.

Then: Lucy's El Adobe Cafe
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Then: Lucy's El Adobe Cafe

This Mexican restaurant opened in 1964 across from the Paramount studio lot. Lucille Ball was one of many celebrities who ate there (though it is not named after her). "Former Gov. Jerry Brown and his girlfriend Linda Ronstadt used to rendezvous there," Wanamaker says. "That was in the '70s/'80s. That's what really put them on the map — because a governor was eating there." Visiting politicians such as Sens. Robert Kennedy and Robert Dole made it a point to stop by Lucy's, and musicians such as Jackson Browne and members of the Eagles were semi-regulars.

Now: Lucy's El Adobe Cafe
Gene N./Yelp

Now: Lucy's El Adobe Cafe

Nestled in the middle of a nondescript block of storefronts, Lucy's hasn't changed much — you can enter through the patio, grab a margarita at the bar or a booth for some of the eatery's traditional tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tamales, and chile rellenos. There are many more photos of celebrities eating though, having been collected over more than five decades in business. "Lucy's to this day is still like a hangout. It's one of the historic hollywood restaurants," Wanamaker says.

Then: Egyptian Theater
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images CC

Then: Egyptian Theater

Sid Grauman opened the Egyptian theater in 1922. "Within two weeks of its opening they discovered King Tut's tomb and Egyptian things became a craze," Huver says. But what wasn't just lucky timing was Grauman's hosting of the premiere of Douglas Fairbanks' silent film "Robin Hood" as the grand opening of the Egyptian — considered the first premier in movie history. The theater went on to host premieres and play first-run movies to the public, though it closed as a United Artists theater in 1992 and suffered damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake.

The Egyptian Theater
The Egyptian Theater by Loren Javier (CC BY-ND)

Now: Egyptian Theater

The American Cinematheque nonprofit film organization was given the theater in the 1990s by the city of Los Angeles — technically, it bought the Egyptian for $1 — and restored and reopened it in 1998 to again show classic movies and hosts movie premieres. The Egyptian style courtyard was restored faithfully, though "they didn't quite put the expense into trying to get the grandness that was on the inside," Huver says. Netflix bought the theater in June and will share it with the Cinematheque.

Then: Grauman's Chinese Theater
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: Grauman's Chinese Theater

Sid Grauman opened his next Hollywood theater in 1927, complete with what the Los Angeles Conservancy notes were imported temple bells, pagodas, stone sculpture, and other artifacts from China integrated into the theatre's design, fronted with a 90-foot pagoda. It cost $2 million, or around $29 million in today's dollars. It also launched with the spectacle of celebrities capturing their hand and footprints in cement. There are many legends about how the tradition started. In one, silent film star Norma Talmadge slipped in wet cement; others say Grauman himself stepped in it. Wanamaker says it was both, as Grauman was showing Talmadge and other film stars the new theater. "The cement was not completely dry," Wanamaker says. "When they walked into the theater they left tracks, a trail of footprints. Sid got this idea — wow, let's all sign our name and date on the slabs."

Now: Grauman's Chinese Theater
Justine L./Yelp

Now: Grauman's Chinese Theater

The courtyard of the Chinese theater is now so full of hand and footprints that they've migrated some blocks inside the Chinese 6, while others have been put in storage. The theater itself has adapted to evolving cinema technologies, such as installing IMAX capabilities in 2013, but the interior maintained its aesthetic after a $7 million renovation begun in 2000: After you read all the signatures and measure the footprints, guests enter through a Chinese dragon and take a seat before the red curtain that will open to reveal the screen. Before the movie starts, gaze up at the paintings surrounding the medallion on the ceiling. They've been there since the theater opened.

El Capitan Theater 1931 postcard
El Capitan Theater 1931 postcard by Steve & Michelle Gerdes (CC BY-NC-ND)

Then: El Capitan Theater

Built over orange groves in the 1920s, the El Capitan opened as a stage for live theater in 1926. After the Great Depression, it couldn't stay in business despite its 1,550 seats. Orson Welles rented the theater to show his masterpiece "Citizen Kane" in 1941. Then Paramount bought it and remodeled it to show its studio films.

El Capitan Theater
El Capitan Theater by Alan Light (CC BY)

Now: El Capitan Theater

Disney began leasing the space in 1989 from Pacific Theaters, doing a $14 million remodel and reopening a 998-seat El Capitan in 1991 as a showcase for Disney films, starting with "The Rocketeer" — an echo of its Paramount era. Disney installed an organ, which is played before every show, and the stage often hosts live performances of Disney characters before family films. Although the marquee now displays digital images, Wanamaker says it is the original El Capitan marquee. And the Masonic temple next door? It's home to "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"

Then: Cinerama Dome
Hulton Archive / Staff / Getty Images CC

Then: Cinerama Dome

Opened in 1963 with the premiere of "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," this iconic movie theater lays claim to being the only concrete geodesic dome in the world. Cinerama movies — a widescreen process that used three projectors in sync — rarely showed on the screen, making any such screening into an event. Promotions of current have been events too: "There was a tradition of putting giant models and characters and all kinds of other things on the roof, giant balloon characters," Wanamaker says. Longtime Cinerama Dome attendees will recall that the sides of the picture would curve upward with the shape of the screen.

Now: Cinerama Dome
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Now: Cinerama Dome

The Arclight chain of movie theaters did a 2002 remodel that preserved much of the Dome's layout while turning the parking lot behind it into an additional 14 screens and a shopping complex with restaurants, a spa, and gym. The 800-seat theater now shows more Cinerama movies than ever. "It wasn't until after the restoration that they were able to do a decent Cinerama screening there," Huver says. You can catch "How the West Was Won" or "This Is Cinerama" as it was originally filmed, but the Dome also shows new releases, including Quentin Tarantino's 70mm engagement of "The Hateful Eight."

Then: The Magic Castle
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: The Magic Castle

The Victorian building that would become The Magic Castle, the clubhouse for illusionists famous enough to be mocked in the television show "Arrested Development," began as Holly Chateau, the 1909 home of philanthropist Rollin B. Lane. He lived there, amid citrus groves, until his death in 1940. After serving as multifamily housing and as a retirement home, it was leased in 1963 by Milt Larson, founder of the Academy of Magical Arts, "a not-quite-union" for magicians, Huver says. "So when they took over the operation of that mansion, they made that like the clubhouse," a members-only club where magicians could bring their friends. Though derelict at the time, it was turned into a pleasantly creepy spot with small theaters for shows and nooks where magicians could be spotted showing each other their latest — after you told the mechanical owl the password and a lobby bookcase slid open. In one room, an invisible piano player took requests and musical challenges, always proving unstumpable.

Now: The Magic Castle
Wikimedia Commons

Now: The Magic Castle

The interior of The Magic Castle has been renovated over the years as it's grown in popularity, but maintained its Victorian style. "It's been changed inside to accommodate large groups," McAvoy says. The theaters still host shows, and there are still roaming magicians to perform close-up in the halls. There are seances, and a restaurant for dinner and brunch. "For years and years and years people were like, the food there is terrible," Huver says. "It's only in recent years that the food's gotten a decent reputation." If you don't know any magicians, a Hilton hotel can hook you up with a pass. You'll still have to meet the dress code.

Related: 25 of the Most Exclusive Bars and Restaurants in America


Then: The Hollywood Bowl
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: The Hollywood Bowl

Before there was a formal theater where Highland Avenue meets Caheunga Boulevard, the land formed a natural amphitheater — bought in 1919 for $47,500 (or about $700,000 today) by a group who'd been doing outdoor community theater and quickly transformed for music and symphonies. "At one time it didn't have seats," McAvoy says. "They'd sit on the ground. Then it had benches all the way across. Then the seats got divided up into the various boxes, and things that you see today." A series of five shells would cover the stage over the years, including one designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Over the years, the likes of Billie Holiday, The Beatles, and classical cellist Yo Yo Ma have taken the stage.

The Hollywood Bowl amphitheatre, stage and Hollywood sign in mountains behind
The Hollywood Bowl amphitheatre, stage and Hollywood sign in mountains behind by Matthew Field (CC BY-SA)

Now: The Hollywood Bowl

The outdoor acoustics still make the Hollywood Bowl a great place to see rock concerts, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and movie screenings with live orchestral accompaniment. You can bring your own picnic, and there are picnic tables in the public park outside and make a whole day of dinner and a show. The Bowl still books acts such as John Legend, Hugh Jackman, and Death Cab for Cutie — though like other public venues, it sits empty while waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic.

Then: Paramount Studios
Hulton Archive / Staff / Getty Images CC

Then: Paramount Studios

Paramount, not shy about noting that it's "the longest operating and only remaining major studio in Hollywood," began building on Melrose Avenue in 1926 on a 26-acre lot with four soundstages divided among many studios — but Paramount started growing and taking them over. Movies from the first Best Picture Oscar winner "Wings" (in 1927) to classics "Sunset Boulevard," the Hope and Crosby "Road" movies and "The Ten Commandments" filmed at Paramount lot. In the 1960s, Paramount added television series such "The Andy Griffith Show" and "The Brady Bunch" to its roster.

Paramount Pictures' studio lot in Hollywood (Melrose Gate entrance)
Paramount Pictures' studio lot in Hollywood (Melrose Gate entrance) by Coolcaesar (CC BY-SA)

Now: Paramount Studios

There are now 30 soundstages on what has become Paramount's 65 acres, where a studio tour will bring visitors past such things as New York city street backlots, the Blue Sky water tank where Jim Carrey ventured to escape "The Truman Show," and  Forrest Gump's bench. Current series in production at Paramount include "The Dr. Phil Show," "This Is Us," "NCIS: Los Angeles" and Hulu's "Love, Victor." Inside Paramount's familiar gates, people ride bicycles between offices, soundstages, screening rooms, and the elegant Studio Theater where Michael Bay reportedly watched "Transformers" more than 30 times.

Left to right: Léon Bary, Eugene Pallette, Douglas Fairbanks, and George Siegmann in the American film The Three Musketeers (1921) - publicity still
Wikimedia Commons

Then: Raleigh Studios

Across the street from Paramount on Melrose, another studio space began in 1914 as Fiction Players. Adolf Zukor's Famous Players picked it up, then sold the studio by 1916, beginning a rapid turnover of just 10 acres that is nonetheless bursting with a history of star power: Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford filmed there, and it's where Douglas Fairbanks starred in "The Three Musketeers." Director Stanley Kramer's office was on the lot as well as production for Oscar winners "The Best Years of Our Lives" and "In The Heat of the Night," as well as television shows including "Gunsmoke" and music videos, such Nirvana's for "Heart-Shaped Box."

Raleigh Studios
Raleigh Studios by Neon Tommy (CC BY-SA)

Now: Raleigh Studios

Raleigh Studios has operated the space since 1979. There are still soundstages and screening rooms named after Chaplin, Pickford and Fairbanks. "It's changed but it still does show what a studio looks like just like Paramount," McAvoy says. The lot has 13 soundstages, office spaces, three screening rooms, and post-production facilities. Netflix uses Raleigh Studios for Emmy consideration campaign events — and just filmed its "Space Force" there too. 

Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Hollywood Forever Cemetery by Alan Light (CC BY)

Then: Hollywood Forever Cemetery

The Hollywood Cemetery, founded in 1899, is the final resting place of celebrities such as Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, Mel Blanc, Jayne Mansfield, Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone, John Huston, "Gone with the Wind" Oscar winner Hattie McDaniel, Beatle George Harrison, and "Golden Girl" Estelle Getty. Within 20 years of its founding, it was already shrinking to accommodate Hollywood in another way: Some of the Paramount lot is built on land originally owned by the cemetery. "They subdivided their property and sold bits and pieces to movie studio people," Wanamaker says.

Lolita at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
Lolita at Hollywood Forever Cemetery by JulianBleecker (CC BY-NC-ND)

Now: Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Hollywood Forever is still a functioning cemetery, and added a famous resident not long ago when Judy Garland's grave was moved in 2017 from New York (putting her back together with frequent co-star Mickey Rooney). The grounds offer a variety of memorials, from headstones to mausoleums, but visitors also come for the lake and social events. Cinespia hosts late night screenings on weekends with people sitting on the grass to watch movies outdoors, and the cemetery has held Dia de los Muertos ceremonies since 1999.

Then: Chaplin Studios
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images CC

Then: Chaplin Studios

Charlie Chaplin built his own studio in 1918 in a Victorian style to remind him of his home in England, with offices, screening rooms, and labs, but also stables, tennis courts, and a swimming pool, Huver says. Comparing photos from 1926 and 1936 shows orange groves being built over swiftly. Some of the houses that went up were Chaplin's, who planned to live there while he worked on his films. 

Now: Jim Henson Studios
Wikimedia Commons

Now: Jim Henson Studios

Chaplin left the country in 1952, around the same time shows such as George Reeves' "Superman" and "Perry Mason" would move to the lot for filming. Raymond Burr lived in the lot's homes for the duration. A&M Records took over in the 1960s, capturing everything from Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 to the video for "We Are the World" in 1985. In 2000, the Jim Henson Co. bought the lot, keeping some of the recording studios and adding their touch: "They added the Kermit the Frog as the Little Tramp statue," Huver says.

Then: Boardner's
D N./Yelp

Then: Boardner's

Steve Boardner's bar opened in 1942, but the space dates back to 1927 — the year of the first Oscars — as My Blue Heaven, owned by Gene Austin and named for his song. It changed hands a few times, including stints as one of Hollywood's earliest gay bars and a hair salon fronting an illegal gambling club. Boardner's, with its Moorish architecture and tiled-fountain patio, kept the lights low and adapted. "In the '70s it became a porn industry hangout. In the ‘80s there was a heavy metal and punk rock subscene. It stayed exactly the same for decades," Huver says, "rough around the edges." It collected celebrity customers along the way, such as Errol Flynn, Peggy Lee and baseball player Mickey Mantle.

Now: Boardner's
Emily C./Yelp

Now: Boardner's

Boardners still brags about its "low lit Social Room" and nightlife in its B52 club, which offers an '80s night as well as a 21-and-over goth night with a fetish dress code strictly enforced. Bad boys and girls such as Russell Crowe, Courtney Love, Axl Rose, and Rose McGowan make the scene, and you might recognize the bar from cameos in period pieces such as "L.A. Confidential" and "Gangster Squad" or present day films such as "Gone Girl" and "Leaving Las Vegas."

Then: The Hollywood Palladium
Michael Ochs Archives / Stringer / Getty Images CC

Then: The Hollywood Palladium

The Hollywood Palladium opened in 1940 with a performance by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, with Frank Sinatra singing and Judy Garland and Bob Hope in the audience. The performance venue hailed for architect Gordon B. Kaufmann's glamorous art deco curves hosted "The Lawrence Welk Show" — broadcast from the Palladium beginning in 1961 — but also Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, welcomed JFK and MLK, and provided handsome backgrounds for "The Blues Brothers" and "Galaxy Quest." It was dubbed "the biggest nightclub on earth" when it opened.

Now: The Hollywood Palladium
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Now: The Hollywood Palladium

You can still see a show at the Hollywood Palladium — along with 3,999 of your friends — to see artists such as Meghan Trainor, Jay Z, Garbage, and Tegan and Sara perform there, though there are now two giant residential towers overhead that, at least Huver feels, "kind of go with the streamlined art deco style of the Palladium." It also continues to pop up in television and movies, including Netflix's "GLOW" and Judd Apatow's "Get Him to the Greek."

Then: The Pantages Theater
Archive Photos / Stringer / Archive Photos / Getty Images CC

Then: The Pantages Theater

Greek immigrant Alexander Pantages made his way from penniless laborer to theater magnate, picking up property at Hollywood and Vine with visions of a combination vaudeville and movie theater and high-rise. He started building it in 1929, but was in a losing race with the Great Depression. "They couldn't finish the building until 1931 and they ran out of money," Wanamaker says. Still, the theater opened in 1930, called by Los Angeles magazine "regal and elaborate with glistening chandeliers, byzantine statues, and elaborate gilded gold and silver kaleidoscope designs that adorned the vaulted ceilings." Howard Hughes bought it in 1949, using it for movie premieres and offices, and The Pantages hosted the Oscars throughout the 1950s. 

Wicked Pantages 4025
Wicked Pantages 4025 by mliu92 (CC BY-SA)

Now: The Pantages Theater

Nederlander returned the theater to a live stage venue in 1977, with rows of 2,703 red seats and ceiling patterns that reflect Pantages' original vision and prepared it for the local opening of the forgotten "Bubbling Brown Sugar." It got another $10 million restoration in 2000 for a more memorable show: Disney's "The Lion King." The Pantages remains the spot for Los Angelenos to see touring Broadway shows, including "Wicked" and "Hamilton."

Then: The Brown Derby
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Then: The Brown Derby

The first Brown Derby, in the shape of a hat, opened in 1926 on Wilshire Boulevard near the Ambassador Hotel. That was a little too far for Hollywood to go, so Herbert Somborn and Robert Cobb were encouraged to open other locations with blander designs that were popular nonetheless — helped by Robert Cobb inventing and serving the Cobb salad and locations that drew celebrities (Clark Gable proposed to Carole Lombard in a Derby booth) and television crews dining between broadcasts. Then shows began broadcasting from the Derby itself, and the chain's popularity was assured. The artist Vitch would sketch every celebrity who visited the restaurant, and Wanamaker says they filled the walls with his art by 1936. The Derby was such a landmark that Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz went there in a 1955 episode of "I Love Lucy."

Now: The Brown Derby
Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives

Now: The Brown Derby

The Hollywood Brown Derby went out of business in 1985, and the space was destroyed by fire in 1987. Others of the four locations were destroyed by the 1992 L.A. riots and 1994 Northridge Earthquake. Now, where agents and producers used to make deals and paparazzi could catch stars mingling, sits a W Hotel and Trader Joe's.

Then: Max Factor
Hulton Archive / Stringer / Hulton Archive / Getty Images CC

Then: The Max Factor Building

Polish-born Max Factor went from beautifying Czar Nicholas II and his family in Russia to emigrating in 1908 and becoming makeup artist to the stars in Hollywood of the 1920s. He planned a stunning, marble art deco palace for celebrities and everyday women in 1928, but the Depression slowed its opening to 1935 — though soon enough he would be treating brunettes in one room, blondes such as Marilyn Monroe in another, and redheads including Lucille Ball in a third. The space would go through various owners afterward: Revlon, Playtex, Beatrice Foods, and Proctor & Gamble.

Max Factor building, 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd) in Los Angeles, California
Max Factor building, 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd) in Los Angeles, California by Jllm06 (CC BY-SA)

Now: The Hollywood Museum

P&G sold to Hollywood Museum's founder Donelle Dadigan in 1994, and painstakingly restored the glamour and built exhibits from her private collection of memorabilia before opening her museum in 2003. There are items just as glitzy in the exhibits, such as Cary Grant's Rolls Royce, but visitors also love getting into a basement filled with artifacts from more than 40 horror films and a full-scale replica of the cell where Clarice Starling interviews Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs."