One hundred vivid color images by architectural photographers Robert Berger and Anne Conser record in lavish detail the spectacular, sumptuous and often whimsical interiors of 16 of LA’s most important movie palaces built during the ’20s and ’30s. Architecturally themed, with expensive silks, imported marbles, gold leaf, and crystal chandeliers, these precedent-setting theaters laid the ground work for the look and feel of movie palaces in the rest of the United States.
How did the tradition of stars setting their footprints in concrete at Grauman’s Chinese begin? What celebrated chanteuse was signed to her studio contract after performing at the Orpheum (where the chandeliers cost $45,000 each in 1926)? Imagine the illuminated bridge festooned with bouquets spanning Wilshire Boulevard where 100,000 fans watched the opening of the famous Wiltern Theater.
Lively text by noted film historian, Stephen M. Silverman, brings to life the characters who created the theaters and the era in which they were built. The reader will experience the sense of awe the photographers felt upon first discovering these hidden treasures and the mission they undertook to preserve-at least on film-the last of this vanishing building type. This breath-taking book will thrill anyone interested in Hollywood’s rich past and become a treasured cornerstone in the library of every movie buff.
Photography by Robert Berger and Anne Conser