Ann Dvorak’s Los Angeles Pt 1 – Orpheum/Palace Theatre, 630 S. Broadway
Year of Ann Dvorak: Day 236
The summer is winding down and the kids are back at school (at least in L.A. they are). But, before it’s gone I thought we could take a road trip around this fair city that Ann Dvorak called home for a good deal of her life and where I have spent all my days.
I have always had a love/hate relationship with Los Angeles, though the love usually wins out. One of the main reasons I have always appreciated living here is because so much of Hollywood’s history is still tangible. Where else can you find a self storage that was once a Mack Sennett sound stage, drive past the studio that Chaplin built, our wander down the same alley that Buster Keaton did?
There are also many sites connected with Ann Dvorak that I thought we could explore. When I first conceived of doing this months ago, I envisioned driving around the city with my SLR camera and documenting all these places. Then reality set in – I have a full-time job, an awesome but exhausting toddler, and there’s this thing called Google Street View, so I am making life easy on myself.
So, sit back and enjoy some posts exploring Ann Dvorak’s Los Angeles.
Our first location is in the Historic Broadway Theatre district Downtown. It was in the spring of 1914 that Anna Lehr performed on the stage of the Orpheum Theatre in a vaudeville show called “Little California.” Lehr had been travelling all around the Orpheum circuit with her daughter Ann, who was only two at the time. When the show came to L.A. in March, there is no doubt that little Anna McKim was set up in a crib backstage while her mother performed.
Fortunately, the theater, located at 630 S. Broadway is still standing though it ceased being an Orpheum venue in 1926 when a snazzy new building was constructed a few blocks south. Now known as the Palace, it’s still gorgeous and I was fortunate enough to see a screening of Sunset Blvd. in 2011 and it really is a magnificent movie palace. Fingers crossed that this minor Ann Dvorak “landmark” will be open to the public on a more regular basis soon.