Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween in Los Angeles - 1920s Part Five

Halloween 1928 - While most Los Angeles restaurants and clubs entice patrons with 'gamboling hobgoblins', 'fun, frolic and noisemakers!' and a 'confetti dance at midnite' - one locale gave a thumbs up to bad taste. Cliff Dwellers Cafe on Beverly promised 'Squaws and braves go on warpath tonight. It will be a massacre!'. The Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood held their annual 'Hallowe'en' party with all the 'ghosts, goblins and Jim cracks that go with an old fashioned Hallowe'en'. I'm still scratching my head on the 'Jim crack' reference. The definitions for Jim crack/gimcrack that I've found refer to cheap and showy objects of little or no use (the thesaurus lists: gawdy, tawdry, trashy, tacky and tasteless). I assumed the Roosevelt (which would host the first Academy Awards in May 1929) was a little classier than that but perhaps movie stars preferred to 'slum' in beautiful surroundings. More mischievous merriment included a group of about 80 school children hurling a supply of eight cases of tomatoes at motorists passing by the intersection of Fairfax and Melrose. Just off of Melrose in the 600 block of Kingsley Drive, there was a report of a hose inserted under the front door of a home and turned on. Neighbors hearing a noise investigated and found a flooded living room, the water was turned off and the police were called.

Halloween 1929 - Blossom Room at the Roosevelt Hotel classes things up finally. Their Halloween Frolic features the music of George Olsen and 'It' Girl Clara Bow in attendance to present a trophy to the winners of the dancing contest. The Elite features special menus for Halloween - stuffed filet of sole au vin blanc, broiled French lamb chops, veal Porterhouse saute, sirloin steak a la minute, prime ribs of beef au jus, etc. Frankly, the only Halloween-like thing on the menu looks like its orange sherbet. The hygienic Green Lantern Fountains (more on them later) went all out for their first Halloween, creating a special combination of vanilla and orange ice creams that when you slice it 'each serving shows the golden pumpkin center'. The day after Halloween saw Santa's elves descend on the toy department at The Broadway on Fourth and Hill. The children (still probably high on sugar) were told that 'Santa has been so busy getting his toys ready this year that he can't possibly reach Los Angeles before Thanksgiving Day, so he sent just hundreds of his little Merry Workers to look after things until he arrives.' This bit of news taught me two things.
1. That its not just a recent phenomenon that the public has been pushed into the Christmas season earlier in the year.
2. That Santa is perfectly capable of making all the toys himself and needs a little chatter-free time to gear up for the holidays.