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The Broadway-Hollywood: 1942

April 1942. "Hollywood, California. Girl on the street." Note the aspirational hat. Photo by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information. View full size.

April 1942. "Hollywood, California. Girl on the street." Note the aspirational hat. Photo by Russell Lee for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Poignant Picture

This is the real story of the girl who comes to Hollywood to become a star. Not a clue; no look of excitement or adventure. I wonder if this is at the beginning of her journey or waiting for the bus to take her back home.


Similar feminine headwear worn by posh ladies in the UK are known as "fascinators" - all the rage especially with the ladies of the royal family.

One of those that sticks with you

Some Shorpy images capture a place and a time -- a story -- so effectively that I keep coming back to them, weeks, months, years later.

Feels already like this will be one of those.

Previously on Shorpy

The Admiral Theatre has been seen before on Shorpy, with me in the shot, yet.

Golden age of department stores

Gone are all of the great LA department stores beginning with "B." Bullocks, Buffums and Broadway are mere memories of my youth. Gone, too, are May Company and "Monkey" Ward, leaving only Sears, Macy's and Penney's, tired relics of a bygone era. I guess there is also Bloomingdale's, But that was a San Francisco thing back then and way too rich to register on my radar.

Several of the California stores date to the goldrush.


tterrace - RGMBill is referring to the marble facade of the building. Indeed, they seem to have replaced that panel and removed the filler strip between the two buildings.

Oddly enough, I was in Los Angeles not two weeks ago, and walked right past there. I wish this post had come up first, I would have taken some detailed survey photos to see any remaining signs of 1942!

It was the Admiral Theatre then

Originally opened as a restaurant, the Admiral across Hollywood Blvd. was remodeled and became a movie theater in 1940. What appears to be a cross above the marquee clock was apparently supposed to be an anchor, but perhaps the design could have been a bit better.

Per Aspera Ad Astra

"Aspirational" hat: brilliant!

On the one hand, it indicates her aspirations for life, love, career.

On the other, it indicates that (vainly) the little mass of detritus on her head apparently aspires to be a hat.

The second feature

Buy Me That Town, with Lloyd Nolan.

And the movie theater is still there!

According to Streetview, it's now the "Vue".

Area has gone down hill, though, with a strip club directly across the street; maybe that's what she's trying not to look at (the picture would have been taken from nearly directly in front of it!

Surprisingly, though, you can't see any evidence of where the old fire hydrants were in the modern picture; it looks like the marble never had those holes in it.

[It's the Vine Theatre, not "Vue," and has recently taken on new life. The Hollywood Walk of Fame surface is terrazzo. -tterrace]

Waiting for her big break.

I believe our budding starlet is standing here, in front of the B-H 1939 addition (right behind where the garbage can is).


I have a set of the same style but in cream/tan.


One can't help wonder about the story here: who is she waiting for? Does it all turn out well? She looks more than a little anxious -- the suitcase says she's traveling and perhaps starting a new life. I'd love to know how it all came out.

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Zane Grey's Last of the Duanes.

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