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."
Florence was paid $2 a day plus tips which could be as much as $12.50 a night, more than a week’s wages ( ref: http://www.reminisce.com/1930s/brown-derby-was-a-hot-spot-for-hollywoods-elite/)
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)
Two good books to evoke the era - must have for anyone interested in the golden years of Hollywood: