Alla Nazimova was a silent screen star who lived large in Hollywood. One day in film class we were threading up the projector to screen Garbo’s CAMILLE – when what we saw was this:

Fascinating screen vamp Nazimova beguiling Rudolph Valentino. When the roles dried up Nazimova turned her home, already reputed to be a party house into a complex she dubbed, The Garden of Allah – a place where everybody stayed. F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Greta Garbo, Marlene Deitrich, Humphrey Bogart, etc.

Subscribe to Podcast


  1. November 9, 2012

    There is a plaque or something on Sunset where it once stood. I remember it from my teeny ears on Sunset. Did you know she played Tyrone Power’s mother in “Blood and Sand” gorgeous technicolor movie ….ah the closeups are to die for…and what a cast! Ty, Rita Hayworth, Linda Darnell, and Anthony Quinn….just to name a few….oh and John Carradine!

    • November 9, 2012

      A plaque in a mini-mall, blech.
      Must take another look at “Blood and Sand”.

  2. November 9, 2012

    Teeny ears!!! Damn iPad …teen years!

    • November 9, 2012

      Yours truly,
      Teeny ears

  3. November 12, 2012

    I am writing a series of novels set at the Garden of Allah during Hollywood’s golden age. Anybody interested in knowing more about this famously infamous place might want to check out all the information and photos I have posted on my website –

    By the way, Vickie Lester, I’m a new fan of yours site. The name alone gets TWO BIG THUMBS UP from me! I’m about the post a link to your Cocoanut Grove/Ratpack page to my Facebook page (“gardenofallahnovels”) as I think my followers would love to see it. Keep up the good work!

    • November 12, 2012

      You are very kind Mr. Turnbull, and I can’t wait to read your books! Heading over to your site now…

  4. June 5, 2013

    What a great,great shame that the old place has gone.The chance of it being preserved in Britain would have been so much higher.My blood boils that this amazing and historic place should be reduced to a plaque in a mini-mall.Its a sort of final insult.

  5. June 5, 2013

    I adore Alla Nazimova. Always have, always will. That is all.

    • June 5, 2013

      I have never seen any of Nazimovas films,but found the still images of her that I have seen quite amazing.

    • June 6, 2013

      Just looked at some portions of Salome.Quite lovely.

      • June 7, 2013

        She is divine, isn’t she? A different kind of creature, certainly, not like us or even other performers.

      • June 7, 2013

        No not at all like others although I think she may have had an influence.I noticed in Salome that she took influence from A. Beardsley in terms of the costume and sets.He was very well known and controversial in his day for some of his images, although celebrated later as well.Oddly enough he lived in my home town and there is now a plaque on his house in Brighton Sussex England.

        He was also an-old boy-as we Brits say of my school in the 19th Century.He may have been expelled,although I am not sure about that.At he time they would not have been that proud of him as he was regarded as quite decadent and part of The Aesthete Movement,although other related Art Movements of the day could have claimed him also.

        I do hope that i am not telling you something you already know.Regards Edward

      • June 7, 2013

        Actually, in real life I am a writer on silent cinema (and pre-1960s literature)…and Beardsley is one of my favourite artists. I love his work for The Yellow Book, and have a framed print of one of his covers hanging in my studio. So, although it is strictly speaking nothing new to me, I enjoyed reading your comment. I like to read others’ ideas and takes on things. It is pretty cool that he lived in your hometown.

      • June 7, 2013

        Maedez,Thank you.My God is everyone here either a writer or a visual artist?It was The Yellow Book that I had in mind in fact.Have you perchance seen the blue plaque that adorns his Brighton house?If not its quite easy to find on the net.Its quite standard issue as I recall..Jimi Hendrix has one on a house he once lived in over here in London.Regards Edward.

  6. Daniel Godoy
    April 16, 2020

    Vickielester! I’m a bit of fan of your site AND your incredible information about all those things that we love and that some others couldn’t give a flip about!!
    You’re DEVOON!!

    *when La Nazimova opened for the biz, she fittingly named it…
    The Garden OF ALLA ~

    • April 16, 2020

      Daniel, how very DEVOON of you! Where Alla’s garden was, just a few blocks down from the Chateau Marmont, there is now a whole lot of development of the concrete sprawl kind. Not exactly Ms. Nazimova’s style. You stay well, and come back and visit any time.

Comments are closed.