Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentino's Suite at the Alexandria Hotel

There is a suite of rooms on the 12th floor of the Alexandria Hotel that is supposed to be haunted by Rudolf Valentino. The story is that before he became a famous movie star, he lived at the Alexandria on Fifth and Spring. He was a dance instructor at the time.

No proof, of course--no lease agreement or signature on a register. I hate to poo-poo a good story, but the suite of rooms is rather spacious and the Alexandria a first class hotel back then.

Could a dance instructor have lived there?

I got to see the suite during the tour led by Harry Medved last Saturday, when the Metropolis Bookstore hosted a book-signing event for Location Filming in Los Angeles (Images of America Series)
by Medved, Karie Bible, and Marc Wanamaker. Great fun.

The reason these pictures show no more than the view out of windows in two different rooms in the suite is that there were no working lights in the room, and my camera's flash wouldn't function. That has never happened before.

Oohhh, maybe there is a ghost!

BTW, filming for the new Spiderman movie was going on just a couple of blocks away, at Spring and 3rd. Apparently all the Spiderman films have used old downtown Los Angeles to stand in for New York, at least in some parts of the movies.


Anonymous said...

Great post.

David Wicall said...

Valentino was Norman Kerry's guest while staying at the Alexandria. It would be Kerry's name you would find on the registry. Valentino arrived in Los Angeles in autumn of 1917. He was broke. Kerry put him up in his own room and loaned him money. Kerry and Valentino were old friends, and caught up with each other in San Francisco. Kerry was filming what would be his breakout performance in The Little Princes with Mary Pickford and convinced Valentino to come to Los Angeles to give acting in silent pictures a try.. The rest is history I suppose.. But I too wonder about the 12th floor suite being the actual room they stayed in.
.. Trying to find a registry to confirm.

David Wicall said...

Valentino was a guest of Norman Kerry when he stayed at The Alexandria. Rudy arrived in LA in autumn of 1917. Norman Kerry and Valentino had been friends for quite some time and ran into each other in San Francisco where Kerry was filming what would be his breakout performance in "The Little Princess" with Mary Pickford. He convinced Valentino to come back to Los Angeles with him to try his hand at acting in silent pictures. Kerry already had a room at the Alexandria and allowed Valentino (who was broke) to stay there and loaned him money.. Still, Kerry wasn't a major star at the time, so I too wonder if the 12th floor suite is where Kerry and Valentino actually stayed.. Remember, it would be Norman Kerry on the register. I would love to get a look at the register! Let me know if you have any luck..