Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Campanile's Tramp History

First off, Campanile is celebrating 20 years in business from June 15 through the 20th.

Charlie Chaplin built the place as an office complex in 1929, according to Campanile's own website. He never used it, though--Lita Grey won it in her divorce settlement. She was all of 19 and had been married to Chaplin for three years, producing two children.

I was a bit confused because the divorce was granted in 1927--two years before Campanile's building supposedly went up, and the split was front page news. In fact, all of Chaplin's California property was placed in receivership on January 11, 1927. Lita's salacious complaints accused her husband of no less than seven dalliances with named women. Subsequent headlines hinted that Charlie considered suicide, that his career was over, that Lita indulged in her own share of affairs, not all with men...all that 80 years ago. Makes Brittany and K-Fed look kinda tame, huh?

Chaplin had built his first studio and offices in 1917, in the 1400 block of North LaBrea (which became A & M Records and then Jim Henson Productions), but Campanile is at 624 South. I'm more confused.

It's a beautiful place and I like the idea of Chaplin building a lovely office with a tower, just to escape a (by all reports) hellacious union...but I'd really like to know for sure.

1 comment:

LAkompany said...

I'm not too fond of Campanile as a restaurant, but I adore the building.