A visit to the Hollywood Heritage Museum

After making a trip to the Hollywood Heritage Museum (also called the Lasky/DeMille Barn), I look back and wonder how I existed as an old Hollywood fan before.

It’s been moved twice from its original location at Selma and Vine, but early on it became the gymnasium for Paramount, and then in the 1950s, it was moved to Highland, right near what is now the 101 freeway.

I absolutely loved this place. It sounds a little woo-woo, but when I walked in, I felt the most incredible combination of extreme peace and nerve-thrumming excitement. If I have to get absolutely technical, I felt like I had been there before, but I’ve never visited it. OK…enough of that.

The front area is a small reception desk and a bookstore (uh-oh. I’m in trouble). Just to the right of the entrance is the area that used to be Cecil B. DeMille’s office. They have it decorated with period antiques and memorabilia to give it just the right look.

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Cecil’s office, looking toward the screening room area in the back

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More shots of Cecil’s office 

Sorry for the blurriness. Still learning to wrangle my cellphone camera.

Supposedly, Cecil was quite fond of his wastebasket. He could simply lift his feet up, lay his boots across it, and when they hosed out the stables in the back, he could keep his boots clean.

As you progress toward the back, you see a middle room with lovely wall hangings that have been created to look like the fronts of famous Hollywood landmarks. I’ve posted some of them below.

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Did I mention the gorgeous old makeup kit?

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Here’s an old bottle of spirit gum, for adhering beards, moustaches, etc.

One of the displays was a tribute to the Garden Court Apartments (RIP). Their destruction was what first fired up historical preservationists in Hollywood. Included under glass is one of the old caryatids that used to decorate the exterior.

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Garden Court caryatid and pictures of the building

In the very back, where the horses used to hang out, there are tons of antiques pertaining to old Hollywood. Old cameras, programs, playbills, posters, props, etc. Get a load of this stuff.

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Old home screening camera

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Old poster for Universal Studios (before it got Disney-fied)

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Old menu for the Paramount Italian Kitchen

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Price list for home kinetoscopes

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Incredible old movie camera

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Case full of incredible history

Thank God those in charge back in the early formative years had the foresight to preserve this incredible building and the history it contains.

Here is more information on the museum:

http://www.hollywoodheritage.org/