Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hollywood Mosaics

With all the hoopla surrounding the 50th anniversary of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, this seems appropriate. This is the far right panel of the huge mosaic ornamenting the front entrance of the Chase Bank (formerly a Home Savings and Loan) and Sunset and Vine.

Millard Sheets created the building and the mosaics, and this particular branch was his favorite. Besides the large mosaics on the front, displaying the names of hundreds of movie luminaries, there are also mosaics on the back of the building (including Mary Poppins) which I'm going to save for another entry.

Howard Ahmanson, who owned Home Savings and hired Sheets to design his bank buildings, died about the same time this branch opened in 1968.

The black marble that alternates with the pictures panels contains 480 names. If you click on the photo at right, you should be able to read some of those names on a much larger image. The movie star names are of Academy Award winners between 1937 and 1968, and of pre-1937 actors selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

When the building opened, the original Pathe camera used by Cecil B. DeMille to shoot The Squaw Man--the first full-length Hollywood movie--was on display. I honestly don't know if it's still there, because I arrived after the bank closed. However, The Squaw Man was shot at Sunset and Vine in 1913, when there was nothing but an empty field on the spot.

Nearby--at Vine and Selma--was the barn rented by DeMille and his partner Jesse Lasky as an office for their new film company. The barn was moved from the Vine and Selma location in 1926. Today the barn houses the Hollywood Heritage Museum, across the street from the Hollywood Bowl.


DJ Bozo said...

I'll have to check it out next time I'm in the area.

LisaNewton said...

Although I haven't commented before, I love all of your mosaics posts.

Vix said...

Thank you both for stopping by. I'm going to feature the back of the same bank next Monday!