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CELEBRITIES

CHASEN’S – The world-famous Hollywood Celebrity restaurant opened in the late 1930s and lasted into the 1990s. 

Chasen’s was a glamorous world – “Celebrity chefs” will never replace stylish hosts and personalities such as Dave Chasen or Vincent Sardi or Mike Romanoff. The “chefs” were in the kitchen. Not greeting you at the front door! Now the once famous eatery is a supermarket catering to the newly rich and what Dave Chasen would call the déclassé. No ... Read More »

Movie stars were aboard the fatal voyage of the SS Andrea Doria

SS Andrea Doria, Ruth Roman,Betsy Drake, Cary Grant, Nantucket, MS Stockholm, SS Ile de France, Tennessee Williams, Anna Magnani, Elizabeth Taylor, Kim Novak, Christine Jorgensen (the world's first transsexual woman), Clark Gable, and comedian Gracie Fields.

In July 1956, the SS Andrea Doria sank on the last night of its voyage from Italy to New York City. With over 1,134 passengers aboard, including Hollywood movie stars Ruth Roman and Betsy Drake, barely 100 short of her passenger capacity of 1,241. There were 190 first class passengers,  267 cabin class passengers and 677 tourist class passengers, which ... Read More »

San Francisco’s fabulous Fox Theatre was a lesson in the city’s tenuous loyalty and devotion.

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When the Fox Theater was built in 1929, it seemed as if there weren’t enough adjectives to describe the movie theater’s magnificence. The San Francisco Chronicle called the opening “a spectacle of such beauty and magnitude that it seemed rather a fancy of one’s mind rather than the inaugural night of another commercial enterprise.” OPENING NIGHT But the life of ... Read More »

In the 1950s SUDDEN FEAR film star Joan Crawford heads to San Francisco on the famed California Zephyr.

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The streamliner California Zephyr was featured in Columbia Pictures 1952 thriller SUDDEN FEAR starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance. Included were exterior and interior scenes aboard the train. Grand Central Station and the Oakland Mole were highlighted where Crawford respectively boards and disembarks to head across the bay to San Francisco by ferry boat. After playwright and wealthy heiress, Myra ... Read More »

The Italian Line’s S.S. REX and Cary Grant’s S.S. REX…

Rex, Cary Grant, Gambling Ship, Los Angeles, Cruising The Past, Michael L Grace

Besides the fabulous Italian ocean liner S.S. REX launched in 1931, there was another S.S. REX. The gambling ship off the coast of California in the 1930s and 1940s. The far lesser (but profitable)REX was operated as a gambling ship off Los Angeles by Anthony Cornero. Gary Grant made a movie in the early 1930s based on the gambling boats. ... Read More »

FRANK SINATRA starring in PAL JOEY heads to San Francisco on a Southern Pacific train and ferry boat…

In the 1957 musical film Pal Joey, Frank Sinatra gets off a Southern Pacific train and then heads across the bay to San Francisco aboard one of the SP Ferry Boats. Oakland Long Wharf was the western terminus of the Southern Pacific Railroad. From there, ferries carried both commuters and long-distance passengers between the Long Wharf and San Francisco. FRANK ... Read More »

Celebrating America’s all-time American Musical – Oklahoma!

North Carolina School of the Arts’ “OKLAHOMA!” Recreation of the 1943 original production of the most produced American in history proved that the UNC had the hand on presenting great theater. National known conductor John Mauceri served as musical director and artistic supervisor of the stage production. Oklahoma! – Looking back… By the early 1940s, Rodgers and Hammerstein were each ... Read More »

ELIVS PRESLEY at the Paramount…

ELVIS PRESLEY, PARAMOUNT THEATRE, LOS ANGELES

The Paramount Theatre opened in January 1923 as Grauman’s Metropolitan Theatre. It was the second largest movie palace in California, San Francisco’s fabulous Fox Theatre was the first. Both were demolished in the 1960s. Elvis Presley appeared in person at the Paramount in the 1950s. Tab Hunter and Natalie Wood were featured on the gigantic screen in “The Girl I ... Read More »

Canadian Pacific’s EMPRESS OF JAPAN had four lives.

RMS Empress of Japan

First as the trans-Pacific record holder liner, then serving during World War 2, followed by being renamed the Empress of Scotland on the trans-Atlantic run and then finally sailing under the German flag. It was ironic, the allied ship used during WW 2 to fight the Nazis, was sold to Hamburg America Line and rebuilt as the Hanseatic for cruise ... Read More »

ELVIS PRESLEY on the train to Memphis in 1956

ELVIS PRESLEY, TRAIN, SOUTHERN RAILROAD

“Elvis who?” Photographer Alfred Wertheimer recalls uttering that very question in early 1956. A publicist from RCA Victor Records had contacted him, asking if he was available to photograph a young singer named Elvis Presley. “I’d never heard of the man,” Wertheimer told TIME Magazine in an article 40 years later. “He didn’t have a gold record yet.” (By the ... Read More »