Almost 100 local history buffs gathered in historic Fremont Place at one of the neighborhood’s most important and historic homes, 56 Fremont Place, the one-time residence of actress Mary Pickford, for tea and a fascinating talk by film historian Marc Wanamaker.
“The history of Los Angeles is in all these old movies because they used the city as their sets,” said Wanamaker, a film historian with one of the most extensive photo archives on the history of LA’s film industry. Wanamaker brought the hosts, Lani and Edwin Raquel, a board displaying historic photos of their house and actress Mary Pickford and family, who lived in the house for a year in 1918, just three years after the home, then known as the Helen Mathewson Home, was built.
“Only a handful of movie people lived in Fremont Place, but they used it as a set,” said Wanamaker, who also brought a photo of the neighborhood’s Wilshire Boulevard Gates from the 1921 Charlie Chaplin film “The Idle Class.”
“It’s so exciting to be here in Fremont Place exactly because it’s still here,” said Wanamaker, who frequently collaborates with the Los Angeles Conservancy and Hollywood Heritage to preserve neighborhood history.
Wanamaker spoke, without notes, for almost two hours, telling stories drawn from his extensive research and dozens of books over the years. While the talk was billed as stories of scandals, Wanamaker ended up debunking several long-standing Hollywood scandal stories, including several “murders” that were most likely accidents. The stories were just as interesting, though less scandalous, when filled in with facts provided by Wanamaker. His encyclopedic knowledge of the movies and the people who made them – many of whom Wanamaker knew personally – left the group wanting to hear more.
Wanamaker started his career as a filmmaker, founding the Los Angeles International Film Exposition, known as FILMEX, in 1971, and was involved in forming The American Cinematheque. In a unique position to collect materials from studios and realizing the importance of the film industry’s collections to telling the story of Los Angeles, Wanamaker created Bison Archives, a unique photographic collection that specializes in the history of the motion picture and television industry in the United States. Wanamaker is passionate about LA history, the movies and sharing his knowledge. (He also generously donated photos to this writer for the pictorial history, “Larchmont” for Arcadia Press.)
“I am thrilled to support anyone or any group that is trying to preserve local history. It’s so important and so much fun,” said Wanamaker.
Party begins with caroling lead by Suz Landay with Fluff McLean at Piano
$25.00 per person Proceeds will benefit the Society
RSVP by December 1 Reservations are limited
Make a Joyful Noise
Please Reserve #____________________
Enclosed is my check for $_____________
Make checks payable, and send by December 1, to:
WSHPHS: 137 North Larchmont Blvd., #135
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Parking Instructions: Street parking is by PERMIT ONLY on both sides of the street on the 700 North Las Palmas block (from Melrose Ave to Waring). Parking permits will be provided for this block only, and may be picked up at the house. Parking north & south and on surrounding streets is available without a permit. Handicap placards may park anywhere on the street; no parking permits are required for handicap.
The Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society
has arranged a private talk and tour of the International Bird Rescue Facility in San Pedro. This is an organization that helped to save the oiled birds from the Exxon Valdez spill, the explosion of Deepwater Horizon as well as many other disasters. They have rehabilitated many birds that have needed desperate help. You will hear about all this on our special day.
Saturday, October 14, 2017 @ 10:30 in the morning
3601 S. Gaffey Street – San Pedro, CA 90731
Free parking at the site – there is a long drive down the driveway
The WS/HPHS will be making a donation to the Facility. They do not need any Dawn soap but could use your old towels, pillow cases and sheets for bedding. No holes in them please – so the birds will not get their feet stuck.
If you wish to wander over to the Marine Mammal Rescue site next door – please do. They have baskets on the outside of the enclosures for donations. This is where you will see rescued seals and sea lions.
We will provide suggestions for places to have lunch at the site.
For questions send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Tickets $20 per member, children $10 – non-members $25. Checks must be received by October 9th
I/We will attend. Enclosed is my/our check(s) for $_______for #___members #___ non-members #___children