Hollywoodland in Pasadena

Yes, you heard me right. I can’t be too far off either since it’s my male intuition Pasadena gets more film production work than any other city in the world per human head population. This is the land of Hollywood when it comes to filming TV, films, commercials, videos, and whatever else seems worthy to the film recorders. I’m constantly running into these folks around town, AM, PM, In or Out.

And in this specific case I need to mention a “Hollywood” event here in Pasadena for those of you interested in Hollywood/Los Angeles history. It’s happening tonite (Tuesday, 12/6, 7:30pm) at the Pasadena Museum of History. Better late than never is my motto whether I like it or not.

Someone I happen to know – Mary Mallory – will giving a lecture, book signing, and just confirmed yesterday, her Powerpoint presentation, in support of her new book: Hollywoodland.  The book covers, primarily in old photos, the history of the real estate development now known as the Beachwood Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles, the sign created to promote it and then survived to become the world famous symbol for the whole Hollywood entertainment industry. 


hollywoodland cover1


Or as the Pasadena Museum of History would explain it:

Part of the Arcadia Publishing Images of America series, Hollywoodland illustrates the history of Los Angeles’ upper Beachwood Canyon,  the first hillside themed development in the United States. The neighborhood promoted an elegant European influence, featuring such unique elements as granite retaining walls and stairways, along with elegant Spanish, Mediterranean, French Normandy, and English Tudor-styled homes thoughtfully placed onto the hillsides. The community contains one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks, the Hollywood Sign, originally constructed as a giant billboard for the development and reading "Hollywoodland." Representing Hollywood Heritage, Inc, author Mary Mallory tells the story of the neighborhood, homes, famous residents, and movies shot on location there. Books will be available for purchase.  Reception to follow.

This event is part of LA230, Celebrating Los Angeles’ 230th Birthday.

Tickets: Members $10; Non-Members $15.  Reservations suggested; please call 626.577.1660, ext. 10



Mary is a writer, author, researcher, film critic, archivist, and film historian with a Masters in Film History. She sits on the Board of Directors of Hollywood Heritage, works for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, worked for Walt Disney Studios, and even has a few years to show as an archivist for our Pasadena Museum of History!  Plus she’s also a sweetheart with a sense of humor, and for this writer I’ve personally witnessed her love for eating!

Now that you mention food…to think of Beachwood Canyon (BC) would only bring a smile to my face. Now my first thought will be sadness after the closing last week of The Village Coffee Shop on north Beachwood Drive. It lasted about 40years. I first checked in about a dozen years ago. Although I only visited a handful of times, it was a place to return to and bring others for their first taste.  Yet another piece of local history which used to be here.  However…there might be some Good News on the horizon.  A BC resident says there are plans to reopen in a few months under the name of Beachwood Cafe! Lettuce hope that’s true & it’s only the name on the building we’ve lost.


Source Lapl a

From the LA Public Library collection: Entrance into Hollywoodland, now BC, 1923. On the hill in the center is what I believe is the first/original Hollywood(land) sign. To it’s right, approx. 200yards, is currently located the now shuttered Village Coffee Shop, and to it’s left is the still standing Hollywoodland Realty office.


I doubt the Hollywood sign will ever fade into history but the current residents of the BC community do have a love/hate relationship with that famous sign looking down on them from behind. Ahem, tourists?!  So the area continues to make its history.

Admittedly I’m not much into Hollywood/Film history compared to my prime interest in our Pasadena history. However, I know some of you are. Besides, I am from “Hollywood”, so I should know at least “something” for tourists sake.  Therefore I have attended things like film festivals, tours, etc., and now I’ve got Mary’s book on Hollywoodland! 

And so should you! Especially since your interest in Hollywood & films is likely greater than mine. And you’re in the Pasadena area.  But don’t wait & be shut out!



Hollywoodland @ The Pasadena Museum of History

Tickets: Members $10; Non-Members $15.  Reservations suggested; please call 626.577.1660, ext. 10



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