Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The Hollywood ROOSEVELT Hotel

Looming over the corner of Hollywood Boulevard opposite the famed Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is an unmistakable influence on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror found in the Disney resorts of Anaheim, Orlando and Paris. Completed in 1927, this Spanish Colonial Revival hotel was financed by some of the luminaries of Hollywood's golden age, including Hollywood's first couple - Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford - and producer Louis B. Mayer. By 1929, it's fame was such that it hosted the first Academy Awards banquet in the Blossom Ballroom on May 16 of that year. Far and away from the modern spectacle, the first ceremony was a more intimate gathering of 270 industry professionals and lasted a whopping 15 minutes. Charlie Chaplin was granted a special award that evening, but the top honours went to Wings for "Outstanding Picture" (now the "Best Picture" category) and Sunrise: A Tale of Two Humans for the now-defunct "Unique and Artistic Production."

At a time when hotels would take extended stays of months, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (named for Theodore Roosevelt) was home and home-away-from-home for such cinematic legends as Shirley Temple, Elizabeth Taylor, Gloria Swanson, Clara Bow, Charlie Chaplin, Judy Garland, David Niven, Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Al Jolson, Harold Lloyd, Mary Martin, Will Rogers, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Marilyn Monroe's first photoshoot was on the diving board of the hotel's pool while she was a resident. It is also said to be home to her ghost and other assorted hauntings.

In the hotel lobby.
The lobby from above. 
Detail of the lobby ceiling. 
A corner of the Public Kitchen and Bar restaurant. 
The Blossom Ballroom, venue of the first Academy Awards.
Entrance to the Blossom Ballroom, just off the lobby. 


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