Old Hollywood: The movie town, as seen from the sky during the 1920s

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Bernheimer home, Hollywood, Calif. 1922

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So this is Hollywood! (1922)

If they hadn’t improved on the 1890 model bathing suit, Mack Sennet wouldn’t be where he is today.

But if Sennet hasn’t tried to step ahead of the age and adopt costumes to be worn by the water nymphs of the coming generation, his bevy of beautiful girls would still be seen gliding their dripping way across the silver sheet.

But censors cut in awhile back, and now the Sennet company makes lighter demands on the nearby beaches and heavier demands on the wardrobe department…

Old Hollywood: The movie town, as seen from the sky during the 1920s

So this is Hollywood

Studioland! (1922)

The strange border between dreams and reality. That Yukon of the lipstick league and languishing literati. Two miles of board fences and barbed wire with two entrances, where hard-eyed gatemen yield to magic words of the employed.

Below us it lies — a diamond-shaped panorama of the famous United and R-C studios, with the one portal to United hidden beneath the trees where first base ought to be.

120+ gorgeous, glamorous actresses of the 1920s

Old Hollywood: The movie town, as seen from the sky during the 1920s (1922)

At the very moment that the photographer snapped this sky view of Universal City, Erich von Stroheim, creator of that million-dollar Foolish Wives, was holding conference with Carl Laemmle in the cutting room.

You may think that the cutting room is a queer place for Stroheim to confer with his director general. They had an adding machine between them. With this, the great Stroheim was doing his cutting. He didn’t want, in his next production, any economy that could be dispensed with. My careful management, he knew that picture profits could be cut down to almost nothing…

So this is Hollywood

So this is Hollywood (1923)

A white shaft of light shot up against a starless Hollywood sky, flickered, died away, and flared again, this time steadily, remorselessly.

“They’re shooting night stuff on the Fox lot again,” commented a passerby as we paused before the shadowy entrance to the home of so many virile dramas of the great open spaces where men are men. “Don’t those guys ever sleep?”

It wouldn’t seem so. With eleven companies grinding out screen entertainment, the Fox studio has Mark Twain’s fabled one-armed paper-hanger with the hives looking like an IWW [labor union] by comparison.

And most of the companies are working day and night, we found, passing through the “front office,” chastely decorated with huge, enlarged crayon portraits of William Fox, strangely reminiscent of the portraits of Uncle Abner and Aunt Azrael that we used to park on easels in the parlor, next to the waxed funeral wreath in the glass case.

On almost every stage, the great arcs poured their blinding light upon laboring companies. The fortunate players temporarily out of the camera’s eye, huddled themselves in steamer-rugs and extra wraps, for the night air is chilly in Southern California, after the well-advertised sun has knocked-off work, while those who were “working” tried to apply their coué to convince themselves that sleeveless evening gowns or bathing suits were just the thing for a brisk winter evening.

So this is Hollywood

Old Hollywood: The movie town, as seen from the sky during the 1920s

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