Developed along a street car line (always ripe for slapstick antics), Larchmont Boulevard has been a popular movie location for nearly 100 years. Harold Lloyd filmed there as early as 1917. During my luncheon talk at the Ebell Club on Monday, November 16, I will provide a multi-media tour of how the great silent comedians filmed their classic movies on the streets of Hollywood, focusing both on Larchmont where Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon, and even the Three Stooges once filmed, and Fremont Place, where Charlie Chaplin and others filmed just steps from the Ebell Club itself.
The “yellow car” Los Angeles Railway Line No. 3 ran from Melrose at Larchmont to downtown. Since Larchmont was quite wide, the trolley power line poles were perilously installed down the middle of the street, a tempting target for comedians. Above, Harry Langdon survives crashing sideways into one of these poles.
The Larchmont commercial block between Beverly and 1st was an attractive setting for early movies. Yet, as shown above, Harold Lloyd filmed long before commercial development began in 1921. This scene from February or March of 1917 shows the homes at the NE corner of Clinton and Larchmont (see street sign), a block south of Melrose. The corner today is unrecognizable.
Above, one of several early movies filmed at Fremont Place, adjacent to the Ebell Club on Wilshire. Several grand mansions, now lost, are preserved in early cinema. Below, Harold returned to Larchmont nine years later to film For Heaven’s Sake on the main commercial block. Buster Keaton and Harry Langdon filmed here as well.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, I hope you’ll consider attending my talk and book-signing at the Ebell of Los Angeles this coming Monday November 16.
Ebell of Los Angeles: 743 South Lucerne Boulevard, Los Angeles 90005 323-931-1277.
HAROLD LLOYD images and the names of Mr. Lloyd’s films are all trademarks and/or service marks of Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc. Images and movie frame images reproduced courtesy of The Harold Lloyd Trust and Harold Lloyd Entertainment Inc.