Theirs is no better place in the world for classic movie locations than Los Angeles. I got a chance to sneak down there for a couple of days this week.
Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where the Stars leave their mark in cement:
The El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Blvd.: Clark Gable played on the stage there before breaking into the movies. “You can see all the Stars in my sunglasses as you walk down Hollywood Boulevard.”
Somehow, I just don’t match up. Cary’s square in the picture doesn’t match up to the one that’s there today, either; I guess they redo those later sometimes.
Tucked away on Vendome Street not far from Downtown Los Angeles are the stairs Laurel and Hardy used in their Academy Award winning short comedy ‘The Music Box’, made in 1932. The plot is simple; Laurel and Hardy are two delivery men attempting to carry a player piano up a long flight of stairs to a customer. After a series of hilarious mishaps, (you know Hardy is going to fall down these stairs at least several times because of bumbling mistakes made by Laurel) and encounters with quarrelsome people, they get the piano to the top of the stairs. There is a plaque dedicated to the film on one of the steps near the bottom of the stairs. (brentononfilm.com)
Ah, sacred ground. Several miles from the stairs where Laurel and Hardy filmed scenes for ‘The Music Box’ are the stairs where the Three Stooges filmed the icemen scene in ‘An Ache in Every Stake’ from 1941. We’re parked where the Stooges parked their ice wagon in the opening of the scene.
In those days, not everyone could afford a refrigerator and some had an ice box, supplied regularly by deliveries from the iceman. When the Stooges arrive, they see that the lady ordering the ice is at the top of a ridiculously high flight of stairs. No matter how hard they try to get the ice up to her, the ice blocks melt by the time they’re at the top. It doesn’t get any better than this! My picture is looking down from where the lady was waiting at the top of the steps.
I can’t go down to Los Angeles without going to Disneyland. I’ve been doing that since I was a kid, which, on last Thursday, was just yesterday. Here’s a little Disneyland trivia you may already know. Vice President Richard Nixon and Patricia were there along with Walt for the opening of the Monorail in 1959. (They were there for the opening of BART too; there’s seems to be a pattern here!) The nose of the trains stop beyond the exit gate, so I couldn’t get an exact then & now unless I walked out on the track, and they probably would have said something to me. I’m glad that was running this time because it’s one of my favorite Disneyland attractions and far less scarier than It’s a Small World!
One of us got older!