Saturday, February 28, 2015

Marion Byron

Marion Byron in 1929

From the Laurel and Hardy Archive on facebook.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Todd Family Cabin In The Snow

Michael Williams, who owns the Todd family cabin at Forest lake Methuen in Massachusetts, sent a few pictures with this caption:

Thought you might enjoy these pics of the Todd family camp. The building  is still standing after 100" of snow so far this winter. Yikes.



That is a lot of snow.


Jean Parker



Sound Truck At The Hal Roach Studio

From the Hal Roach studio page on facebook.

Another picture of Elmer Raguse's sound truck at the Hal Roach studio, with Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, and Pete the pup.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe

From Adam Tunney on facebook.

A memento signed by Loni Anderson who played the role of Thelma Todd in the film, "Hot Toddy."


The stairs leading up to the grill of the restaurant, still intact, currently serving as a tool shed.
That wall used to be a dumbwaiter. 


The garage where Thelma Todd died of carbon monoxide poisoning in 1935. 

One of the original refrigerators. Above the refrigerator are windows where clams and oysters would be served to beachgoers. The refrigerator has been there since 1934, despite not having been used and still smelling like seafood




The entrance to Thelma Todd's Roadside Café. It was eery to see the door open after driving around it for years and knowing the history behind the building. I walked in, called for my contact a few times, and heard nothing. It was an amazing experience. For a moment, I was alone in Thelma Todd's Roadside Café and it was awesome.

Director Roland West's "quarters". When I read about him and Thelma Todd, I assumed that because they shared "separate quarters," that he lived on the opposite side of the upstairs. Nope. Same room, with a slideable partition. Gotta love morality clauses in the days of old Hollywood.


From the outside courtyard, looking down upon the entrance of Thelma Todd's Roadside Café.


 Upstairs, above the restaurant.

The door that Thelma Todd banged upon in vain after a night of partying at the Trocadero. Her roommate, Roland West, refused to let her in on that cold December evening because he was sick of her coming home late and drunk. What happened after that night remains a mystery, but it resulted in the untimely death of Thelma Todd.
Upstairs, between Thelma Todd's bedroom to the right and the offices to the left.

Thelma Todd's bathroom. Not quite what I expected.

Outside second floor patio on top of what used to be Thelma Todd's Roadside Café.

Thelma's room is the right portion. Roland West, her still technically-married on-and-off-again boyfriend, lived in the "separate quarters" on the left.

Thelma Todd's bedroom

The view from Thelma Todd's bedroom.

View from Thelma Todd's window



The haunted stairway. According to some psychics, Thelma's spirit constantly, and vehemently tells them, "I was murdered! I was murdered!" The official cause of death was ruled a suicide. It appears she is adamant that people know otherwise.


Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Cafe Sold

Here is a story about the sale of Thelma Todd's Sidwalk Café.

Storied PCH Property May Be Resurrected

By Jonathan Diamond Monday, February 23, 2015
A storied property along Pacific Coast Highway that has seen its share of monkey business is about to take on a new role.
The former home of a café owned by Thelma Todd, a 1920s-era actress who starred in Marx Brothers movies, has been sold for $6 million, $2 million below its listing price. It came on the market in October.
The property, at 17575 Pacific Coast Highway, was most recently home to Paulist Productions, a producer of religious programming affiliated with the Paulist Order of the Catholic Church. Todd, who died in 1935 under mysterious circumstances, left the property to her business partner, whose widow in turn left it to Paulist Productions on her death.
Christopher Donahue, president of the production company, was out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
The property was purchased by a limited liability corporation registered to Hayman Properties, a Brentwood real estate investment and management company. Michael Treiman, its chief operating officer, did not respond to a request for comment.
The deal closed earlier this year, and Paulist remains headquartered at the site. It was not clear what the future holds for the beachfront property.
Todd, a silent-film era actress, appeared in the original 1931 version of “The Maltese Falcon” as well as the Marx Brothers’ “Monkey Business” and “Horse Feathers.” She had a romantic relationship with director Roland West, who cast her in his 1931 film “Corsair,” and later became her partner in the café, which opened in 1934. In addition to Todd’s café, the second floor of the 15,900-square-foot building housed a nightclub for many years.
In December 1936, Todd was found dead in a car in the garage of West’s ex-wife, Jewel Carmen. Her death was determined to be an accident, “with possible suicidal tendencies.”
In its second life, it was home to the production offices for the Rev. Bud Kieser’s “Insight” television program.
Though the offering sheet on the property highlighted a big downside – there is no on-site parking – it is just feet away from a bridge crossing PCH to the beach.
The property was listed by Jeff Pion, vice chairman at CBRE Inc. and Tracy Rasmussen of Rasmussen Ventures.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Here is the press sheet for HOLLYWOOD LIGHTS, which was posted by Richard Finegan on facebook.



HOLLYWOOD LIGHTS was the last of the six "Hollywood Girls" Educational shorts, released in May 1932.

From the Laurel Ad Hardy Archive on facebook:

Thanks to Richard Finegan for providing this photo.


Thelma Todd Table

Adam Tunney on facebook:

 Paulist Studios* was just sold and it's unknown what's going to become of the building (supposedly the new owner is going to turn it into an office building). They had three items for sale from Thelma's personal collection and I purchased her kitchen table.




The table appears similar to the one in this picture with Thelma Todd.

*Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Café was given to the Paulists by Lola Lane, the widow of Roland West. They used it as a center for the production of religious films for years.

Thelma Todd's Sidewalk Café:

Rudy Schafer Returns To The Sidewalk Café:


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Laurel And Hardy With Jimmy Durante

Here is a picture of Jimmy Durante with Laurel and Hardy from the same Christmas fund benefit in 1932.


Hollywood Victory Caravan With Laurel and Hardy, Joan Blondell, And Cary Grant

From the Laurel and Hardy Archive on facebook.

Press text: Motion picture stars Joan Blondell, Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel, (left to right, kneeling) Cary Grant, Rise Stevens, Charles Boyer and Desi Arnaz (left to right, standing) were among the troupe of the Hollywood Victory Caravan which left Los Angeles, California, by train to tour the nation's largest cities to give benefit performances for the Army Emergency and Navy Relief Societies.
April 27, 1942:


Laurel And Hardy With Helen Kane

A couple of pictures of Laurel and Hardy with Helen Kane, the original "Boop-Oop-A-Doop" girl, at a Christmas benefit in 1932.

From the Laurel and Hardy Archive on facebook.

 The irresponsible antics of STAN LAUREL and OLIVER HARDY plus HELEN KANE's singing helped to put over a Christmas fund benefit in Los Angeles, Calif. - Here's the amusing threesome picture backstage at the benefit
Dec. 18th 1932

 Film folk at Benefit Show. Oliver Hardy, Helen Kane, Boop originator; and Stan Laurel (right) are seen here at the Christmas Benefit Show, staged by a Los Angeles newspaper, at the Shrine Civic Auditorium in Los Angeles. Radio, screen, and stage luminaries attended and participated in the festivities
December 19, 1932: