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L.A. in Focus: "The Corner" - Ground Zero of Hollywood's Golden Age



Saturday, May 03, 2014


2:00pm to 3:30pm


Mark Taper Auditorium



Reservations not required. Doors open approximatelty 15 minutes before start time. 


Join Los Angeles historian Marc Chevalier for a slideshow presentation on "the Corner", the social nexus of Hollywood's movie industry throughout its golden age. Gone today and practically forgotten, the Corner's heart was the Sunset Medical Building, a marbled 1931 'chateau' on Sunset Boulevard that stretched from Laurel Avenue to Crescent Height Boulevard, right next to the popular celebrity hideaway, "The Garden of Allah". 

A wild cast of characters and incidents fill the Corner's history to the brim. Meet America's notorious "international adventuress and love pirate"; visit a grocery market that was a perpetual movie star party (Robert Mitchum played stockboy there for fun); and step inside a unique little pharmacy that grew to be a Tinseltown legend: Schwab's.

At the Corner, Howard Hughes treated his girlfriends to makeovers by a Jane Russell lookalike; writer F. Scott Fitzgerald nearly died on its sidewalk, and mobster Mickey Cohen pummeled soda jerks behind its doors. It's the greatest Hollywood place you've never heard of.

Marc Chevalier stumbled across “the chateau that held Schwab’s” while doing research for his upcoming biography of James Oviatt, the man behind L.A.’s Oviatt Building.  In 2008, in partnership with filmmaker Seth Shulman, he researched/wrote/produced a feature-length documentary on the Oviatt Building's history. An English teacher by profession, Chevalier calls Los Angeles history his passion/addiction, and credits the Los Angeles Central Library for feeding it regularly.