We are convieniently located in the heart of Hollywood.
2100 North Highland Avenue,  90068

Directly across from the Hollywood Bowl

 

The Hollywood Heritage Museum is housed in the beautifully restored Lasky-DeMille Barn (c. 1895). The Museum features archival photographs from the silent movie days of motion picture production, movie props, historic documents and other movie related memorabilia. Also featured are historic photos and postcards of the streets, buildings and residences of Hollywood during its heyday.

 

On December 27, 1956 the Lasky-DeMille Barn was designated a California State Historic Landmark No. 554 representing the birth of the Hollywood motion picture industry. Since 1985 Hollywood Heritage Inc. has funded the preservation, restoration and maintenance of this early Hollywood treasure.

 

Ample free parking. Adults: $7, Members and children under 12: Free.

 

The Hollywood Heritage Museum makes a unique and exciting location for wrap parties; book signings, movie premieres, Holiday parties and many other special events. To request rental information sent via email click here.

As the Museum is occasionally closed due to events at the Hollywood Bowl, or other occurrences, you may wish to phone the Museum before your visit to make sure we will be open at (323) 874-2276.

The museum is now open 5 days a week, Wednesday - Sunday
from Noon until 4:00 pm.

 

 

 

Click the door to enter our gift shop

Highlights from the Archives

Hollywood Heritage Museum Archive & Collections

One Year, Two Brothers, Two Films, a Dog....and a Man in a Kilt.

Cecil B. DeMille's older brother William met immediate success as a playwright with his first play, "Strongheart" in 1906. A tale of a native American, played by Robert Edeson who is studying law at college but also becomes a football hero on campus, it pleased audiences greatly and after its New York success, toured the country. Above and at right is the program cover and cast page for a performance at Cincinnati's Grand Opera House which also starred Harrison Ford and Mary Boland.

At the very same time Cecil, Jesse Lasky and Sam Goldwyn were preparing their "Squaw Man" film, "Strongheart" was being filmed by theatre empresarios Klaw and Erlanger. Atonio Moreno would play the Native American hero of William DeMille's play on the screen and would be assisted by Lionel Barrymore. First released in March of 1914, a month after "The Squaw Man", the movie was not a success as a 5-reeler. Released through Biography, who reassembled it as a 3-reeler, it was rre-released in 1916.

The appearance of canine star "Sttrongheart" in 1921 made a title change necessary when Cecil decided to reshoot "Strongheart" in 1925 for his own Culver City Studio, this time with Rod La Rocque playing the role of the chief's son who becomes an adept lawyer and saves his tribe's land from encroaching land-grabbers. 

"Braveheart" would become the title of  1995 award-wining film about Scottish hero, William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, seen below, alas neither a lawyer, nor an Indian chief.

Two other DeMille studio films would also share titles with later films - "Risky Business" with Vera Reynolds" and "Stand and Deliver" with Lupe Velez and Rod LaRocque, again, the earlier films having nothing to do with a dancing Tom Cruise or James Edward Olmos teaching school.

Robert Edeson, star of the first "Strongheart"  got to play his own father in the latter version known as "Braveheart, and Harrison Ford (the first one, unrelated to the second one) who played in the stage version, became a stock player with the DeMille Studio company from 1925 until 1928..

For Valentines Day - Love from "The Squaw Man"

The Hollywood Heritage Museum has always been a place for beginnings. Not only are we both the first major film studio in Hollywood and the site of the first feature in cinema history to be shot in Hollywood, but we're also a place to fall in love—from the very beginning.

 

Dustin Farnum, star of both the stage and screen versions of "The Squaw Man" was clearly a romantic as see by the letter he penned to Winifred Kingston, his leading lady in the landmark Jesse L. Lasky Feature Play Company debut film in 1914.

Farnum had previously married two of his leading ladies, Agnes Muir Johnson and Mary Conwell, when four days after Christmas, on the morning of Monday, December 29th, 1913, the stalwart and handsome Farnum met the graceful and beautiful gray-eyed London-born lead actress Winifred Kingston for the first day of production on rookie director Cecil B. DeMille’s debut picture The Squaw Man: Hollywood’s first feature film. 

 

The match was popular, the picture was a hit, and Farnum and Kingston would go on to play romantic leads together in 12 more successful pictures.

 

Oscar Wilde remarked that 'Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.' Farnum and Kingston proved him right—when they married in 1924.

​This handwritten love letter, which was donated to Hollywood Heritage by Dustin Farnum and Winifred Kingston’s granddaughter, is on display at our museum. May it provide us all with a bit of romantic inspiration, and hope for new beginnings!

Winifred Kingston, top left, leading lady of "The Squaw Man". Dustin Farnum, celebrated stage actor who starred in both the stage and screen verisons of "The Squaw Man" is at right, above. The comic romantic letter regarding a planned dinner is at bottom, with the text printed in the accompanying article below.

EATABUS -  DRINKABUS - BUSTABUS


BLOODSAUSAGE TOWERS   


To Her Imperial Majesty, Winifred, Queen of Women, by the grace of God, and her own natural graces. 


His Grace, The Lord Viscount Willpickle instructs me, his private quill in chief, to acknowledge her Majesty's most gracious command to give a performance in state with the knife and fork, in company with certain others of Her Majesty's Court.


Further, I am instructed to humbly proffer His Lordship's most profound thanks to Her majesty, and in the same writing to assure Her Majesty of His Lordship's presence at her table on the eleventh day of November, at the hour of seven and one half. 

Again, The Lord Viscount instructs me to crave Her Majesty's permission to bring His Lordship's private pepper mill with him, together certain other table requisites - the former request will be regarded, if granted, in the light of an indulgence - the latter is made necessary by reason of His Lordship having on several former occasions cut his mount with the knives provided.


Lastly, His Grace instructs me to assure Her Imperial Majesty of His Lordship's undying devotion, and perfect readiness to, at all times and in all matters serve her slightest whim, and begs that he be permitted to subscribe himself her most humble and devoted servant. 


By Special Courier into the hand of
The Lady Stel, Chief Lady in Waiting
to Her Imperial Majesty the Queen 'Winifred'
Sir Albert Nutting (Secretary)


Cordially,
Viscount Willpickle"

1920-1921 Realart Film Corporation Brochure

The Hollywood Heritage Museum is honored to receive donations from visitors, members, sponsors and from individuals who search the internet and other resources looking for an appropriate site to donate treasured artifacts acquired by family members who either participated in the industry or who were dedicated movie goers and kept personal mementos.  Such is the case of a recent donation by Mr. Tony Vigue, of Standish, Maine, of an Realart  exhibitor brochure. The brochure was in the collection of Mr. Vigue's late mother, a movie fan.

Exhibitor's programs in the silent - early sound period, were beautifully printed and illustrated books, often with lavish illustrations, informing exhibitors of upcoming or in-progress films that were available to them for booking at their theatres. This was a device to attract booking for films before they were released and hopefully, to place a particular distribution company's product ahead of its competitors. 

This brochure was published in 1920 for the upcoming 1920-1921 season by the Realart Pictures Corporation, established by Adolph Zukor in 1918. Zukor had earlier founded the Artcraft Pictures Corporation. Both companies were established to separate distribution of specific productions in order to enable the studio to charge a higher rental price for these films. 

The beginning of this practice is attributed to Mary Pickford. Miss Pickford is said to have monitored both the attendance and the rental fees for her latest film "Rags". She noted that the attendance at her film was far greater than the Famous Players film that followed it at that same theatre and that despite the clearly greater popularity of her film, there was only $200 difference in rental fees for her film than the less well-attennded film. Adolph Zukor's solution was to create Artcraft Pictures as a separate production and distribution film and in doing so would allow him to disassociate the Pickford production from the other Famous Players productions then being distributed by the Paramount Distributing Company, which was not yet part of any studio. The ploy worked and exhibitors who were compelled to rent all of Famous Players film production would now pay a higher price for the "special" Mary Pickford films. Zukor then duplicated the process, founding the Realart Picture Corporation, which produced and released films primarily starring Mary Miles Minter, being gtoomed by the now amalgamated Famous Players-Lasky Pictures Corporation as the "new" Mary Pickford following Pickford's departure from FPL to start her own company United Artists.

Director William Desmond Taylor is mentioned on the first page of the brochure, having directed four Pickford features. Following that are full page tinted photos of the performers in Realat films beginning with Mary Miles Minter and followed by pages for Alice Brady, Justine Johnstone, William Desmond Taylor, Constance Binney, Wanda Hawley, and Bebe Daniels.

Realart had distribution offices in 21 cities and was perceived as an independent production company, although Zukor and Jesse Lasky were both majority stockholders in the corporation. When an anti-trust suit was filed against Zukor and Lasky, it was revealed that Artcraft and Realart were controlled by Famous Players - Lasky as a device to charge higher rental fees for specific films. At that point, the films of both companies were added to Paramount distributing, which had become part of the Famous Players-Lasky Company in 1917.

Zukor and Lasky were found in violation of antitrust regulations and were ordered to cease and desist block and blind bidding (renting large number of films as a single unit in a "take it or leave it manner" and forcing exhibitors to bid on unseen films). They were required to file a report of compliance, which they failed to do. A subsequent suit named all the major studios in violation of antitrust laws. They found shelter in the establishment of business protection policies during the depression and then were able to delay compliance even longer due to World War II. Not until 1947 was compliance with the lawsuits completed when the studios sold off their theatres and ceased block-booking practices. 

It has been suggested that Realart was used as a "testing" studio for young, attractive actresses, with Taylor as a director who could help enhance and increase their popularity in film with his skills. When William Desmond Taylor was shot in 1922, the scandal surrouding his death also helped bring about the end of the career of Mary Miles Minter and the Realart company. Additional scandals involving Paramount stars Wallace Reid and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle occupied Paramount's studio management redirected the studio's attention to the threat of federal censorship. Avoiding this possibility became the studio's primary focus instead of flawed booking practices.

 

In 1947, another distribution company with the Realart name was formed to distribute older films, as well as newer films and select new films, especially those of the Universal Pictures Corporation.

Pages from the Realart Pictures Corporation. top and center above left, William Desmond Taylor, director, portrait and text.. Above left Mary Miles Minter, portrait and text, and Bebe Daniels, portrait and text. Several years after Taylor's passing, Minter retired from films, while Bebe Daniels went on to success in sound films, radio, and television.

Hollywood Heritage maintains an archive which includes documents,  photographs and other paper ephemera relating to the history of both Hollywood and the film industry. We also maintain an object collection which includes costumes, equipment and props used in films.

Our archive contains building survey records assembled since the 1980s of buildings in Hollywood.  In some cases, no records have survived for any number of buildings, but the records we do maintain can include construction, repair and remodeling permits, newspaper clippings, and photographs. Our visual records for buildings in Hollywood include various types of local publications and materials produced by those businesses for promotion, such as brochures, menus, postcards, advertisements, club or organizational newsletters and programs.

We have select special collections, such as our material on the Hollywoodland housing development and its founder, S.H. Woodruff.

Our entertainment industry archives contain photographs, programs, and heralds promoting films from the beginning of the industry. We do loan items from our collection and have contributed to exhibits and displays at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Autry Southwest Museum, The Jewish Museum in Vienna, and the House of History Museum in Wurttemburg, Germany. 

The archives are accessible through appointments made through our collections manager, 

Richard Adkins. To contact us, email your requests or inquiries HERE.

Hollywood Heritage Museum + Archive + Preservation Society

2100 N. Highland Ave.

Hollywood, CA 90028

Museum Hours:

closed until further notice

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Telephone:  (323) 874.2276  

Email: store@hollywoodheritage.org

© 2021 Hollywood Heritage, Inc.