The Sowden House

A concrete den of sex, scandal, and intrigue. A stunning example of Mayan Revival American architecture. A glamorous Hollywood haunt. And perhaps where Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, met her deadly demise. For more than 90 years, the Sowden House has captured the morbid curiosity of true crime fiends, Old Hollywood lovers and architecture admirers alike….

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The Great LA Air Raid of 1942

On February 25, 1942, the city of Los Angeles awoke to a startling and terrifying scene: “powerful searchlights from countless stations stabbed the sky with brilliant probing fingers while anti-aircraft batteries dotted the heavens with beautiful, if sinister, orange bursts of shrapnel.” To Angelinos―already on edge from the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor just a few months earlier…

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Chinatown's Golden Dragon Parade

Since the early days of LA’s Chinatown, the Golden Dragon Parade has remained the main event of New Year celebrations. One 1927 article recalls: "The great, green Chinese dragon which has been hibernating somewhere in the mysterious precincts of Chinatown…

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The Dunbar Hotel and Club Alabam

The Dunbar Hotel and Club Alabam were once the crown jewels of the thriving Jazz Corridor of Central Avenue beginning in the 1920s. These cultural and racial safe havens, where patrons found both connection and entertainment, represented a flourishing center of African American life in Los Angeles. Today, life on Central Avenue is markedly different…

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Hollywoodland

Initially reading “HOLLYWOODLAND” and emblazoned brightly above the City of Angels, the Hollywood Sign is one of LA’s most recognizable landmarks, and possibly the most famous advertisement in the world. Today, the sign is as synonymous with the television and film industry as Hollywood itself….

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The Hollywood Center Motel

Imagine for a moment some quintessential images of any noir film or novel—an unsolved murder; cops with questionable motives; starry-eyed Hollywood hopefuls on the wrong path; the moonlight shining through horizontal blinds and a puff of cigarette smoke; the dull humming of a glowing neon sign outside; and of course, a dark, seedy motel at the center of it all….

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Earl Carroll Theater

Those famous words, "through these portals pass the most beautiful girls in the world,"  emblazoned in bright neon above Sunset Boulevard, once beckoned people from across Los Angeles to come to see one of the most glamorous, risque, and tantalizing shows the world had ever known. This was the famous Vanities at Hollywood’s Earl Carroll Theater; a revue known as much for the soaring music, infectious comedy, and elaborate costumes as it was for the scantily-clad performers themselves. Yet today, the now-empty theater shows no signs of the grandeur that attracted a packed house of moviegoers and movie stars alike during its brief, but unforgettable mark on Los Angeles during Hollywood’s heyday.

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The Ambassador Hotel & Cocoanut Grove

The former site of the Ambassador Hotel and its fabled Cocoanut Grove nightclub, today sit behind bars like a fortress on Wilshire Boulevard. The once inviting motorist’s entrance seems like an out of place remnant to the unsuspecting eye, and there are few other clues that this site was once the location of the essential Ambassador and its Grove….

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