“I found that the best way to handle filmmakers was to hang medals all over them. If I got them cups and awards they’d kill themselves to produce what I wanted. That’s why the Academy Award was created.” Louis B. Mayer

organizing banquet 1927

This week a series of posts about the Academy Awards, but I thought we’d start at the inception, the organizing banquet at the Biltmore on May 11th, 1927.

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  1. February 15, 2013

    This is great! My grandpa was ten days old…

    • February 15, 2013

      85? That is a venerable age – cheers for your grandpa!

      • February 15, 2013

        Yes, he will be 86 in May! My grandparents will celebrate 61 years of marriage in May, as well. It is cute and funny to think that he was a wee newborn when this photograph was snapped.

  2. February 15, 2013

    How ever did you know Ms Lester?
    The Biltmore is the hotel I stayed at the one and only time I visited The City of Angels.
    It was recommended me by an elderly relative who had stayed there many years before.
    It was a Palace of Ghosts and Dreams (if a little drafty).
    Quite unforgettable as was old Broadway just nearby.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • February 15, 2013

      A friend of mine used to be a cocktail waitress there when she was studying fashion design (now she’s a costume designer) and if you let her she’ll rattle off all the beers on tap, and if you want to be really spooked (speaking of ghosts and… nightmares) she’ll tell you about sneaking down into an underground passage with only a flashlight and a good friend and nearly fainting when she saw a RIVER of rats coursing just a few feet below her…
      Oh my!
      Sorry about that Dandy!
      Let’s see, I have one solitary rose blooming in my garden and masses of fragrant yellow flowers, and the citrus trees are heavy with fruit.
      That’s better!
      Hugs from here,

      • February 15, 2013

        oh my …what a story…everything but the blood hounds snapping at her rear end!
        I loved it!

      • February 15, 2013

        “The atmosphere is very MacBeth-ish…”
        Night, Mister!

  3. George Kaplan
    February 16, 2013

    “(…)I have one solitary rose blooming in my garden…and the citrus trees are heavy with fruit”, beautiful imagery, what a window onto a fine world!
    Did your friend meet Lon Chaney down there? “A river of rats”? Ugh. Could they have been bad agents?! See Sammy (and friends) Run.

    • February 16, 2013

      Not to get too creepy, but… There are underground passages all over downtown LA… they’re closed now. They were built with a mind to foot traffic and to keeping people cool in the glaring sun. During Prohibition there were speakeasies below where portraits of the police chief hung and people partied through the night. Now, it’s just rats and dust.

  4. George Kaplan
    February 16, 2013

    “Now, it’s just rats and dust”. Eerie. And sad. Thanks for that information, it’s strange to imagine that once the walls down there absorbed the sounds of frantic merriment and now…there’s naught but silence. This reminds me of the “city” beneath the city in San Francisco, or the catacombs of Rome. Spooky.

  5. March 22, 2013

    Underground tunnels now thats very interesting and has quite caught my imagination.

    • March 22, 2013

      It is fascinating, although to go exploring would be a very dusty adventure.

  6. February 20, 2015

    That’s one hell of a revelatory LBM quote you found there, Mz Lester!

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