Constance Bennett plays a star-struck waitress in a scene at the original Wilshire Brown Derby restaurant in the 1932 movie What Price Hollywood? The story line is loosely based on the experiences of actress Colleen Moore and her husband, alcoholic producer John McCormick.
The above clip opens with a view of the exterior of the derby hat shaped restaurant.
The following clip takes place on a set based on the interior the very first Brown Derby building that soon had to move to another Wilshire location to make way for construction of the women’s village for the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games .
A photo of the interior of original brown Brown Derby for comparison above ( Thanks to the commenter below - Link to Source).
. The Brown Derby initiated the use of phones for guests at the restaurant tables as can be seen in the clip below.
Constance Bennett is seen wearing a Brown Derby waitress uniform in the movie. This was the famous starched bell shaped short dress that showed off the waitresses legs.
Florence Knapp a former waitress at the Brown Derby recalled applying to an ad, “Waitress Wanted,” in the newspaper for the position at the Brown Derby in 1936. The manager selected 18 women out of 263 applicants for interviews, and she was one of them.
“The first thing we had to do was raise our skirts so he could see if we had shapely legs, as the uniform skirts barely came to our knees,” she said.
"It was hard work, 5-1/2 days a week. The uniforms had to be spotless, and waitresses could wear no jewelry. They had to be polite and do everything just right because of the shining stars frequenting this famous eatery."
The Brown Derby restaurant seen on the movie was the very first one in the shape of a derby located on Wilshire between Alexandria and Mariposa It had to move when the land was requisitioned for the women’s village for the 1932 L.A. Olympic Games. So the Brown Derby moved to a temporary location at 3927 Wilshire (photo: http://bit.ly/1thC7Fg) until a new hat shaped building was constructed at the famous location at Wilshire and Alexandria next to the Gaylord. The original site of the first Brown Derby was later used for the Chapman Hotel (http://www.martinturnbull.com/?p=4788) Recommended Reading
Two good books to evoke the era - must have for anyone interested in the golden years of Hollywood:
"Lucy is quite a girl. She's been my
wife for ten years and I should know."
IT DOESN'T surprise me at all that so many people seem to
love Lucy. After all, Lucy — also known as Lucille Ball Arnaz
— is quite a girl. She's been my wife for over ten years now
and I should know.
Lucy and I have had a strange kind of life together. It's been
full of laughs — and some disappointments. But we wouldn't have
wanted it any other way. We're both glad, however, that a
certain TV show called "I Love Lucy" came along and was
lucky enough to be a hit, for it was this that finally gave us the
chance to be a family. Continue reading I Love MY Lucy by Desi Arnaz 1952→
The Skotch Kooler which has become an icon of the 50s, was made by Hamilton Metal Products Co., Hamilton, Ohio. copyrighted in 1952. Petra Cabot is credited with the design of the Skotch Kooler. It could hold 4 gallons of food and kept cool by meand of its fiberglass insulation, air, and its heat-reflecting outer surface.
Priceless color footage taken by an audience member.
This short 8 mm Color film Footage was filmed by an audience member of "I Love Lucy", on the evening of October 12, 1951, at Sound Stage #2 of Desilu Studios, Hollywood, California.
The episode being filmed was Episode 6 of Season One, "The Audition".( It was a remake of "I Love Lucy" pilot episode, which was presumed lost until 1990.)
Although many people who tried to capture the filming, Jess Oppenheimer, the producer and writer of "I Love Lucy", prohibited it, because of the risk of leaking it. Because of this, this footage is the only surviving material of "Behind-the-Scenes" of this legendary sitcom. (It is said that Desi Arnaz filmed some filming scenes using his own 8 mm movie camera, but it is not proven.)
Of all four main stars, Vivian Vance does not in this footage. Jess Oppenheimer, and renouned cameraman, Karl Freund, are seen briefly.
Now... for your home, the lovely "I Love Lucy" Suite!
Lucy and Desi wear matching "I Love Lucy" pajamas by Textron.Here's the beautiful fashion trend bedroom suite created especially for Lucy and Desi and their sensational television show. "I Love Lucy" -- chosen for their Hollywood home too! Brought to you by thousands of fashion trend dealers coast to coast.
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Johnson-Carper Furniture Co., Inc. Roanoke, Virginia.