BOOKS & VENICE IN MOVIE LAND by marty liboff-
Venice California: “Coney Island of the Pacific”, by Jeffrey Stanton (1993 & 2005)
Death is a Lonely Business, by Ray Bradbury (1985). The famous writer brings his descriptive powers to a novel set in Venice circa late 1940s
If The Dead Had Email, by Jim Smith (2011). Available at Beyond Baroque and Amazon.
Hour of the Moon, by Hillary Kaye (2009). Available at Beyond Baroque.
The Holy Barbarians, by Lawrence Lipton (1959). Chronicle of the Beat Generation in Venice.
Venice West: The Beat Generation in Southern California, by John Arthur Maynard (1993)
Beats, Hipsters, and California Cool: Essays on the Literary Life,Writing, and Other Trifles by Penny Skillman. A Memoir. Amazon Kindle Edition
Memoirs of a Nun on Fire, by Philomene Long (2001). Available at Raven-Productions.com.
The Collected Poems of Philomene Long (2010). Available at Raven-Productions.com
The Selected Poems and Prose of John Thomas (2011). Available at Raven-Productions.com
Voices of the Lady: Collected Poems of Stuart Z. Perkoff (1998). Available at Beyond Baroque.
The Kid in America, by Tony Scibella (available at Beyond Baroque)
Frank T. Rios:
• Love From The Darkside (1994)
• The Long Way Home
• She And Everything Else That Holds It Together (2004)
• Please Don’t Tread On The Bread (1969)
• Please Don’t Sit On The Left-Overs (1965)
• Please Don’t Stumble Over The Brunch (on your way to lunch)
• Please Don’t Step on the Bacon
• Please Don’t Step on the Eggs Either (1964)
Bruno in Venice West & Other Poems, by Lawrence Lipton – Venice West Publishers (1976)
Venice of America: The American Dream Come True, by Sweet William (1976)
Call Someplace Paradise (2000) and Ghost Town (2004), by Pat Hartman. Venice in the late 70s, early 80s. Also available online at Xlibris (includes more information about the book).
Venice California, by Carolyn Elayne Alexander (2004). Pictorial history of Venice.
Homeless in Paradise, by William G. O’Connell (2010)
Arthur L. Reese, “The Wizard of Venice”, by Sonya Reese Davis with Jewell Lupoma.
Venice, California: An Urban Fantasy, by Horst Schmidt-Brummer (1973)
Number Our Days, by Barbara Myerhoff – Simon and Schuster (1978)
windowlight, by ann nietzke (1981)
The Circle Bar And Grill, by Joseph P. Farnan (2003)
North Beach 90291, by Rich Mann(1983)
A Sea Shore Memoir, by maryjane (2005)
Fantasy by the Sea, by Tom Moran & Tom Sewell (1979)
The Colorful History of Venice, California Coloring Book, by Emily Winters and S.E. Mendelson (1978)
Venice Thru the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, by Bob Farrington
A History of the Venice Area – Dept. of City Planning, Los Angeles (1969)
100+ Year History of the Japanese American Community of Venice, by Perry Miyake Jr., with Tiffany Yoshikawa Sato & Alexa Giffen – Published by the Venice japanese Community Center (2010)
The Lure of a Land by the Sea – Venice Vignettes, by Delores Hanney (2012)
Venice, California – A Centennial Commemorative in Postcards, by Delores Hanney (2005)
Venice – A Contested Bohemia, by Andrew Deener (2012)
Venice Beach Heart and Soul, by Rich Wysockey (2008)
Cottages in the Sun: Bungalows of Venice, California, by Margaret Bach and Melba Levick (2010)
Venice Beach, by Claudio Edinger (1985)
Venice, CA: Art and Architecture in a Maveric Community, by Michael Webb and Juergen Nogai (2007)
Venice Beach: California Carnivale, by Helen Kolikow Garber (2005)
Venice, CA – A City State of Mind, by John O’Kane (2013)
Art Tiles at Venice Beach – A Graphic History: 1904 – 2001, by Noel Osheroff, Tamie Smith, and the Venice Arts Council
The Witches of Windward Circle. https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/c-mcfadden/love-or-the-witches-of-windward-circle/
*Can be purchased at Beyond Baroque, Small World Books, or www.amazon.com
Since we are next to Hollywood there have been many movies and TV shows filmed here over the years. Because of this we have a very unique look at LA history in that we can see our city’s evolution in film. I usually mention to people interested in our beach history a few old movies to watch. This is a partial list of shows filmed here at our old beach in Venice and Ocean Park. Jeffrey Stanton the author of the wonderful history book, VENICE CALIFORNIA, has a list of Venice movies. The site, Virtual Venice also has a movie list. The book, PACIFIC OCEAN PARK, by Merritt and Priore, also gave me some leads for movies to watch. Some of you nice readers have given me tips. Also I have been spending many, many long hours just watching old movies to see if there is any shots of our beach. I have even been buying movies so I can see the local scenes. I have heard of several other movies and TV shows that I haven’t seen yet that are not on this list. This list is ONLY films I’ve seen. This list will always have new additions and will never be done. So get yourself a box of popcorn and a soda and sit back and go to the movies.
+PART ONE- THE SILENT MOVIES+
The early days of the movies were a time of innovation, trial and error and invention. Cameras and all sorts of techniques were being tried. In the late 1880s film as we know it was developed and by 1895 the first commercial short films were made. Unfortunately many movies haven’t survived into the present. It is estimated that 7200 movies are lost and many more have only parts of them still known to exist. When the talkies came in nobody cared anymore about saving the obsolete silents. Some were later edited and shortened for that new medium called TV. Quite a few have missing scenes. Many deteriorated over time. Nitrate film was very flammable and many burned in fires. Some were just trashed or melted for the war efforts. A few we have been lucky to rediscover in other countries. We still have hopes that some missing old movie may show up. A couple lost movies we know had scenes in Venice. According to Venice historian Jeffrey Stanton a lost 1917 cowboy movie starring Tom Mix showed him jumping off one of our piers. We are lucky we have the movies that still exist. Some of these movies only have a quick glimpse of our beach but I listed them anyway.
*NEVER AGAIN. 1910 Mary Pickford silent short. I’ve only seen a clip and it has some fantastic film of the early Venice canals with some of the little beach cottages. Mary was one of films biggest early stars as popular as Charlie Chaplin. Mary was called, ‘Hollywood’s Sweetheart’ and played kids, teens and adults. She demanded equal pay with other male stars and was Hollywood’s first million dollar female star, getting a guaranteed million bucks over two years. She later married another of the great early stars, Douglas Fairbanks. Mary and Douglas started Pickford Fairbanks Movie Studio. Then in 1919 Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith joined together to form the United Artists Movie Studio.
*WATER NYMPH.1912 Also called the ‘BEACH FLIRT’ with Mabel Normand. Supposedly filmed in Venice and canals but it is hard to tell. Most of these early comedies were shot very fast on a low budget and were from 8-26 minutes long. They did begin making some full length movies in America in 1912 but most movies made were shorts. The shorts continued all the way until the 1940s. You might get a short comedy and maybe a cartoon between two feature films.
*OH THOSE EYES. 1912 All men fall in love with beautiful Mabel Normand as she strolls along the Ocean Front Walk in Venice with the Ocean Park Pier in the distance. They fight and shoot each other for her hand but she winds up instead choosing a bear in the woods.
*MABEL’S NEW HERO. 1913 Mabel Normand and Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle were two of the earliest and biggest comedy stars. Fatty was accused of murdering an actress at a wild party and was in the O.J. trial of the time. Mabel was also involved in a Hollywood murder mystery. The news pictured them in wild, drunken sex parties that ruined their careers. This silent Keystone-Mack Sennett comedy short has Fatty taking his girlfriend to the seaside. They look like they are north of the Nat Goodwin Pier or possibly the Chrystal or Bristol Pier which were north of the Ocean Park Pier. Then she gets stuck up in a hot air balloon. Fatty owned one of his homes in Ocean Park near Venice that is still there.
*THE WATER DOG. 1914 Fatty Arbuckle again takes his gal to the beach. A little girl gets stuck out on a rock in the ocean and Fatty, the police, and everyone tries to save her. Fatty runs onto a pier that looks like the Venice Pier. Finally only her dog swims out and rescued the girl.
*KIDS AUTO RACES. 1914 Early Charlie Chaplin short filmed a few blocks from the Venice Pier. You can only see the roller coaster from the distance and it is a pretty stupid movie for Charlie. Chaplin was considered the biggest of the silent comedians. Some believe he may have built the Gingerbread Court on the Ocean Front and another house on Rose Ave. They say he also spent time at the hotel on Rose Ave. at the beach. He went on into the talkies and made a small number of great sound movies over the course of his long life.
*HIS NEW PROFESSION. 1914 Charlie Chaplin stars with Charley Chase. Chaplin takes care of a man in a wheel chair and gets drunk at a pier and gets in trouble with women and the police. It is probably one of our piers. It may be the Kinney Pier that was just south of the Venice Pier.
*TILLIE”S PUNCTURED ROMANCE. 1914 Charlie Chaplin in an early full length silent comedy with him in a love triangle with Marie Dressler and Mabel Normand. Marie also did well in the early talkies. The movie ends with a chase on a pier that could have been the early Ocean Park Pier? It could have also been the Bristol Pier which was north of the Ocean Park Pier.
*BY THE SEA. 1915 Charlie Chaplin comedy short with him getting in trouble with women and their boyfriends and police. Filmed by Venice Pier and Pacific Palisades Park. You can see the north side of the Venice Pier and the roller coaster and auditorium. Abbot Kinney’s Venice Pier was by Windward Ave. They switch from the pier to the park although they were a couple miles apart.
*LOVE, LOOT AND CRASH. 1915 silent short with a scene towards the end on what may be an early Ocean Park Pier? It looks like the Bristol, Crystal Pier or Nat Goodwin’s Cafe Pier in the distance? Originally the Ocean Park Pier only had fishing.
*THE ITALIAN. 1915 Full length silent movie about an Italian gondolier in love with a pretty gal. He hopes to make his fortune in America and bring her here but he finds the streets of America are not paved with gold. There is a scene of him as a gondolier in what is supposed to be Venice Italy but may be our Venice canals.
*SETTLED AT THE SEASIDE. 1915 Early Charley Chase comedy short. Charley gets married and they go to the seaside which is the Ocean Park Pier and Venice Beach. Film of merry go round. See the roller chairs you could rent or have someone push you around on at the Ocean Front Walk. There is the grand Ocean Park Bath House in the background that would now be in the north side of Venice. The Ocean Park Bath House was built to look like a big Mosque. Charley Chase (Charles Parrott) is now almost forgotten but he had been almost as famous in the early comedies as Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. His brother was one of the main directors for the early comedies. Charley started in the movies around 1914 with the Keystone Movie Company which became the Mack Sennett-Keystone Company and then worked for the Hal Roach Studio for many years and then Columbia Studios. He made movies until his early death in 1940. Many actors had drinking problems and this may have contributed to his early death at the age of 46. The Hal Roach Studio put out an amazing number of short comedies. Their most popular were the duo with Laurel and Hardy and also the Little Rascals-Our Gang comedies that stared kids. They also tried a comedy duo starring women with the popular Thelma Todd and Zazu Pitts.
*AMBROSE’S FURY. 1915 Mark Swain was an early popular silent star and he played a walrus moustached Ambrose in a few silent shorts. Part of this one is shot at a beach that looks like it may be in north Santa Monica and also a quick ride on a roller coaster and a boardwalk in Venice or Ocean Park?
*MABEL’S WILFUL WAY. 1915 Mabel Normand and Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle in another comedy short with them at a merry go round and slide. I hear this may have been at the San Diego Exposition and not Venice or Ocean Park.
*MISS FATTY’S SEASIDE LOVERS. 1915 Fatty Arbuckle dresses as a woman and takes her boyfriends to the beach. You can see a pier in the distance that may be the Santa Monica Pier? Not much to see.
*FATTY’S PLUCKY PUP. 1915 Fatty Arbuckle takes his dog and is supposed to meet his girlfriend at the pier. She is kidnapped and he and his dog rescue her. The roller coaster is in one scene and the ‘Underground Chinatown’ at the Venice Pier.
*HER FEATHERED NEST. 1916 Comedy short with a little girl in a runaway speed boat and a couple goofs trying to save her by riding a roller coaster after her. It probably was on one of our piers.
*THE MYSTERY OF THE LEAPING FISH. 1916 Douglas Fairbanks in a strange comedy. Fairbanks was one of the biggest silent stars usually playing swashbuckling heroes like Robin Hood, the Thief of Baghdad and pirates. In this crazy comedy he is Detective Coke Ennyday snorting and shooting tons of cocaine and chasing after an evil crook and his gang of Chinese smugglers. This was supposed to be a joke based on the popular Sherlock Holmes mysteries where Holmes was shooting and maybe smoking coke in the Conan Doyle stories. The smugglers bring in their illegal stuff in rubber fish at the beach. The evil gang leader tries to force the pretty girl to marry him. Detective Coke saves the gal and captures the gang using coke! Cocaine was made illegal in 1914 mainly from raciest lies of crazed coked up Black men raping White women. So this is strange they made this movie right after it became illegal. Before this coke was used in a wide variety of products such as Coca-Cola, wine, elixirs and medicines. Even today coke is still in Coca-Cola as a flavoring with the active ingredient removed. A bouncing, coked up Douglas Fairbanks in a silly disguise like Sherlock Holmes hunts for the smugglers at the beach. They are by some pier with a roller coaster but I don’t recognize it? May be Long Beach?
*THE ADVENTURER. 1917 Charlie Chaplin is an escaped convict being chased by the police. He jumps into the ocean and swims away near the Venice Pier which was by Windward Ave. He saves a couple drowning people and he is a hero. Film of the south side of the Venice Pier from the distance. You can see the roller coaster running and the auditorium. I think they are on a small pier that was south of the old Venice Pier. This may be the little Kinney Pier?
*BY THE SAD SEA WAVES. 1917 Harold Lloyd at the beach with cutie Bebe Daniels. Harold puts on a life guard swim suit and is in trouble again with bathers and a cop. They are north of the Santa Monica Pier below Palisades Park by a bath house. Our beach once had many bath houses along our shore. You can see the Santa Monica Pier in the distance with an old roller coaster and the merry go round building that is still there. At the end Harold and Bebe ride the Venice miniature train. Harold Lloyd was one of the most popular silent comedy stars. He went on into the talkies but lost much of his popularity although I love all of his talkies. Bebe Daniels began as a kid in the early silent movies. She continued in the movies as she grew up. Bebe and Harold made several movies together. She started making talkies in the 1930s and also did radio then moved to England where she continued in radio and theater. Part of the reason why she and her husband moved overseas may have been because a mad admirer kept stalking her for a few years. He went to an asylum a couple times but when he got out he continued stalking her. Bebe and her husband took him to court and he went to jail but when he got out he still bothered her. Sometimes it is not easy being a star.
*GERTIE’S GASOLINE GLIDE. !917? Comedy short. A man tries to steal other guy’s girl and he kidnaps them in a car while the cops chase them. They drive on a pier with a roller coaster and fall in the water. I assume it was one of our piers but it is only a few seconds at the end of the long chase.
*WHY PICK ON ME? 1918 Harold Lloyd takes his honey Bebe Daniels to the beach again for another funny time. Harold with bathing beauties and chased by the cops all around our beach from Venice to Santa Monica. Some amazing film of old Santa Monica Pier and around Venice! See the Venice Ocean Front Walk and beach packed with people. Ride the spinning wheel ride on Venice Pier. Canoe around the Venice canals. See the lagoon where the Venice Circle is now. Quick glimpses of Rose Ave., Dudley Ave., the Breakers Hotel and the Ocean Park Bath House. Great early views of the Santa Monica Pier with the merry go round and an old bowling alley. A must to watch!
*THE COOK. 1918 Comedy short with Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton working at a seaside restaurant. On their afternoon off Fatty goes fishing with his dog by a pier and Buster takes his gal to the pier. They ride goat wagons on the pier and you see the roller coaster and other rides. I’m not sure what amusement pier this was? It may be Venice but it could be Long Beach. Long Beach once had an amusement pier similar to Venice and Ocean Park called Nu-Pike and I understand the Redondo Beach Pier also had a roller coaster at one time.
*THE SCHOLAR. 1918 Charlie Chaplin had been such a big success that early movie companies tried to copy him. Billy West was a Chaplin impersonator and made a few movies that some thought really was Charlie. Today he would be sued for this but back then Charlie seeing Billy shooting a scene commented that he was the best impersonator of him. In this one Billy meets a pretty new teacher and he and the school’s superintendent played by Oliver ‘Babe’ Hardy have a crush on her. They battle each other all the way to a seaside amusement park where she finally runs off with another guy. They ride a merry go round that looks like the one on the Santa Monica Pier and an airplane ride. You see two different piers in the distance so some of it may have been filmed on two piers.
*JUST RAMBLING ALONG. 1918 Stan Laurel had been staring in silent comedies for a few years before joining Oliver Hardy in their famous team of Laurel and Hardy. This is one of his early movies before joining with Hardy. In this one he is broke and hungry on the Ocean Front. He tries to steal money from a cop’s son and then bums food at a restaurant and gets in trouble with all. There is short scene of bums sitting on a Venice Beach bench with the south side of the Ocean Park Pier sometimes called the Lick Pier in view. You can see the early Rosemary Theater. Many of the silent comedies have silly police chasing the main character. There was even an entire comedy series called the Keystone Cops with a bunch of bungling police. This movie ends with the cop whacking poor Stan repeatedly on top of the head with his club. It was thought of as hilarious then but today we would have visions of Rodney King and George Floyd.
100% AMERICAN. 1918 Mary Pickford goes to the Venice Pier but there is a war bond rally for our troops in WW1 and she is made to feel guilty for spending money at the pier. Nice film of the main drag on the pier with the Ferris wheel and signs for the auditorium and aquarium. Amazing few seconds of Mary walking along the columns on Windward Ave.
*ALL AT SEA. 1919 Harry ‘Snub’ Pollard was another Hal Roach Studio comedian. In this comedy short he goes to the beach and plays with some bathing beauties. Of course a cop chases him and he steals some Navy clothes and joins the Navy to save the gals from pirates in a submarine. They are all along our beach and you see the Santa Monica Pier and merry go round building, roller coaster, the boardwalk and another pier.
*PERILS ON THE BEACH. My DVD says 1921 but I hear it was 1916. Silent short starring Napoleon and Sally the chimps and two bathing beauties running around Venice Beach. A few nice background shots of the early Venice and Ocean Park piers, Windward Ave. and the Ocean Front Walk. Ride the roller chairs on the beach front.
*NUMBER PLEASE. 1920 Harold Lloyd loses in love and instead of turning to drink, gambling or joining the Foreign Legion he goes to the Ocean Park Pier to ride the roller coaster. He runs into the gal who dumped him with another man at the pier. He chases her and her dog while the cops chase him all around the pier and the Ocean Front Walk. Great early film of old Ocean Park and the north side of Venice. You see the merry go round and Ferris wheel. Nice shots of the early Ocean Front Walk in Ocean Park and a view of the south side of the Ocean Park Pier once called the Pickering and Lick piers. After losing the girl again he decides to take a train to get away. It is the Venice miniature train that once ran from Windward Ave. around the canals. A good one.
*BE REASONABLE. 1921 The Mack Sennett-Keystone Comedies were one of the many early movie companies putting out numerous silent shorts. They were famous for their pretty gals called the Mack Sennett bathing beauties. Men flocked to the theaters just to see the pretty girls in bathing suits. This one finds one of their stars, Billy Bevan at the beach chasing a pretty girl in a bathing suit and the cops chasing him. Billy is by the Santa Monica Pier. You see the outside of the building with the merry go round. You can see the tram in the background going by. The Mack Sennett bathing beauties were in several movies and I’ve seen clips of them by the Venice Pier and boating in the Venice canals. One of the movies with the bathing beauties I haven’t seen yet is called, Fun, Thrills and Girls-1917 and maybe this has the scenes from the clips I’ve seen in Venice?
*THE BALLOONATIC. 1923 Buster Keaton comedy that begins with him at what may be Venice? He is in a fun house then goes on a tunnel of love ride and you can see a roller coaster and a trolly in the background. However I don’t see the beach or canals around Venice and Ocean Park so maybe it could be somewhere else? After that it is balloons, bathing beauties, bulls and bears.
*THE HIGH SIGN. 1921 A Buster Keaton comedy short with Buster working at a shooting gallery by Venice Pier with great film of Windward Ave., the Speedway, Ocean Front Walk, roller coaster and merry go round. Some claim this merry go round was the one at Long Beach and the roller coaster was from Redondo Beach. However, it makes no sense why they would film most of it in Venice where there was a roller coaster and merry go round and then travel to film the same rides. The movie begins with Buster being kicked off the train near the beach. Both the Pacific Electric Railroad and the trolly had once ran near our beach. Wild chase scene at the end in a stage house. Buster Keaton was one of the silent comedy greats. He went on in the talkies but never regained his popularity. He stared in some talkies in the 1930s then kept doing small parts and had a TV show for awhile.
*HIS NEW MAMMA. 1924 Harry Langdon was another popular silent comedian. In this silent short a gold digger takes Harry’s dad for his money. Harry gets a job as a cab driver and he drives the Mack Sennett bathing beauties to the beach. Harry and the gals play at the beach. You can see the Nate Goodwin Cafe Pier, the Ocean Park Pier and the Santa Monica Pier in the background.
*PICKING PEACHES. 1924 Another Harry Langdon with him going to the beach and playing with the Mack Sennett bathing beauties. They have a beauty contest and the girls dive off a pier. They are down on the boardwalk but it is hard to tell if they are in Venice or Ocean Park so there is not much.
*THE CIRCUS. 1928 Charlie Chaplin full length silent comedy. It starts with Charlie running from the cops around the Venice Pier with great film of him in the Noah’s Ark attraction. The rest of the movie he is in a circus. Good story.
*THE CAMERAMAN. 1928 Buster Keaton in a full length silent with one scene the inside of the Venice Bath House built by Abbot Kinney. I have a couple postcards of it and it looks the same. Buster tries being a newsreel cameraman and tries to win his girl Sally. Amazing Chinese tong war scene. His little monkey is so cute and even is the hero.
*OH WHAT A DAY. !923 The Gumps starring Andy Gump was a popular early cartoon strip in the newspapers. This was a try to get the cartoon characters into the silent movie comedies. Andy and his family drive to the ocean to go fishing. It looks like it could be San Pedro or? Then they go to an amusement pier. The amusement pier is definitely the Ocean Park Pier or on the south side of the pier it was sometimes called the Pickering and also the Lick Pier. I know this because you can see the famous Ocean Park Bath House on the Ocean Front that is now in Venice. Andy rides the Dodger Ride, an early bumper car and then he rides the roller coaster. They go home on a trolly.
*TIRE TROUBLE. 1923 silent Little Rascals comedy with them going to the Venice Pier. They are by the Noah’s Ark Fun House, a ballroom, and they go in another fun house and go on the same spinning floor that is in several other movies. They ride the roller coaster and you see the airplane ride. First called Hal Roach Presents His Rascals or Little Rascals and in a couple they were the Century Comedy Kids and then the Our Gang comedies. They were very popular to both kids and adults. They continued with different kids over many years through the silents to the talkies. They again became loved when they were brought back for TV. They were some of the first movies featuring and staring Black people and children. The Rascals always had at least one Black kid in their gang. Sometimes they were somewhat raciest or stereotyped. One of the most famous of the Black kids was Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas who I got to hang out with before his early death at age 49. He told me about the problems he had with alcohol and drugs that unfortunately has been the trouble with actors since the beginning of the movies.
*SPEED BOYS. 1924 The Rascals (Century Comedy Kids) silent short. One of the gang’s father is the engineer for the Venice miniature train that ran from Windward Ave. around the canals. He gets sick and his son takes over running the train with the Rascals. Amazing films of the old train and a shot by Windward Ave.
*WALL STREET BLUES. 1924 Mack Sennett’s star Billy Bevan in a madcap comedy with lots of special effects. Billy is the janitor for a stock broker with a pretty daughter who gets in financial trouble by scheming crooks trying to force him into making his daughter marry one of them. Billy tries to save the day with the evidence and there is a car chase that winds up with one car dangling over the Pacific Palisades. You can see down the coast looking south to a couple jetties and the Santa Monica Pier but other than this there is little to see. Billy Bevan was a major silent comedy star but when the talkies came in he lost his star status. However he began a new career in the talkies playing small rolls in dozens of movies sometimes with no credit.
*A TEN MINUTE EGG. 1924 Charley Chase comedy short. Con man tries to swindle Charley’s gal and a long chase and fight ensues. They drive by oil wells and then wind up at what looks like the Palisades overlooking the ocean maybe north of Santa Monica? Very little to see.
*NO FATHER TO GUIDE HIM. 1925 Charley Chase silent comedy short. Charley takes his son to the beach and loses his swim suit in the ocean with hilarious results. Cops, bathing beauties and chases. Filmed along the beach from the Ocean Park Pier to Santa Monica Pier. Scene of the Bon Ton Ballroom that later became the Aragon Ballroon and finally the Cheetah Club on the Ocean Park and later POP Pier. Also the Nat Goodwin Pier that was between the Ocean Park and Santa Monica Pier.
*BIG RED RIDING HOOD. 1925 Another Charley Chase comedy short with him falling off a pier in the end. Probably the Ocean Park Pier or one of our other little piers but not much to see.
*HIS BOYFRIEND. 1925 Larry Semon was another famous silent comedian who made many silent shorts. In this one he is a detective after a gang of murderers who kidnap a beautiful undercover, female detective and the chase is on. The gang is led by Oliver Hardy playing a heavy heavy. The gang is on a pier and there is a fast scene of a Black guy jumping off with what looks like either the Ocean Park or Venice Pier in the background. Very little to see.
THE RED KIMONA. 1925 Full length silent melodrama about a young gal falling for a cheating skunk and shooting him. After going to jail and trial she gets a second chance at happiness with another nice man who takes her to the Venice Pier. They go by a couple old amusements and then ride the Giant Dipper roller coaster.
*IT. 1927 Clara Bow in a full length, silent romance. About 2½ minutes are shot in the Venice Pier Fun House that is in some of the other silent comedies. Clara and her boyfriend having fun. Wow, Clara couldn’t keep her dress down on the barrel roll ride! Clara was called ‘The IT Girl’ and was a big silent star but got lost with many others when the talkies came in. Her early talkies were a success but she said it made her nervous and she wound up in a sanitarium. She got married and made a couple more well received movies then retired.
*SUGAR DADDIES. 1927 Early Laurel and Hardy silent comedy short. Hardy plays the butler of a millionaire and Laurel is his lawyer. The rich guy marries a gold digger when he was drunk and tries to run away from her and her murderer brother and sister. Laurel dresses as a woman sitting on the millionaire’s back to get away and fool the crooks. They run to what looks like the Venice Pier. They walk along the main drag by amusements and go into the dance hall to dance. They go into the same fun house that was in several other movies with the barrel turning ride and the slide. You see the station for the miniature trains and other stuff.
Stan Laurel and Oliver ‘Babe’ Hardy had been in the silents as separate characters for years before being teamed together. Once teamed they became the most adored comedy team of the time and maybe all time. Instead of losing out when the talkies came in, Laurel and Hardy got better and funnier with sound. Later there were other comedy teams like the Ritz Brothers and the Three Stooges. When Stan and Oliver began getting older the comedy team of Abbott and Costello began following in their footsteps and became the big comedy team. Also Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were a huge hit when they teamed up to make their comedy ‘Road’ movies. In the 1950s we saw Dean Marin and Jerry Lewis continue the comedy duo formula. Stan when he was elderly lived in a small apartment facing the Palisades Park in Santa Monica near where they had filmed a couple of their old movies.
*THE BEACH CLUB. 1928 Max Sennett short is an excuse to put his bathing beauties in a silly comedy. Scenes shot north of the Santa Monica Pier seen in the distance. Then they are in Crescent Bay Park by Bay St. in Ocean Park. They are by the old pergola in the park and you get a glimpse of the Casa Del Mar Hotel that are both still there.
*SKYSCRAPER. 1928 William Boyd stared in silent movies until he began making a career in the talkies playing Hopalong Cassidy or ‘Hoppy’ in popular cowboy movies. He made over 60 Hoppy movies and then Hopalong Cassidy became the first big cowboy show on TV. In the early 1950s he opened the Hoppyland amusement park in Venice. I met him there. In this full length silent movie he is a construction worker on skyscrapers. He takes his gal on a date to an amusement park that looks like either Ocean Park or Venice Pier. They go to a fun house and get on the spinning wheel and barrel turning ride.
*THE CROWD.1928 King Vidor’s classic, silent, full length drama set in the maddening crowds of New York City. Amongst the millions of ants in the big city a man finds love,”Love me and the world is mine.” He takes his gal to the Luna Park amusement park but I understand again they used a couple shots of the Luna Park entrance but filmed it here at the Venice Pier. They go in the fun house and ride the spinning wheel and slide. They are on the merry go round and tunnel of love. They also go on the sand on the beach. They go from great happiness with love and winning money to great sadness and madness when their daughter is hit by a truck.
*BARE KNEES. 1928 full length silent comedy about a young liberated gal who returns to a small town to stay with her old fashioned sister and her husband. Wow, she wears dresses above the knees! The movie is enjoyable even today with some good lines. They go to the Pom Pom Pleasure Pier and the Ship Ahoy Cafe which is really the Venice Pier and the Ship Cafe. Quick shot of the Venice Pier and Ship Cafe and scenes inside the Cafe. They ride the roller coaster supposedly while the pier was on fire.
*SPEEDY. 1928 Harold Lloyd full length silent. Harold (Speedy) takes his gal to the Luna Park amusement park in Coney Island, New York for some madcap adventures. There is stock film of the entrance to Luna Park and they ride an airplane ride and they go on a chutes ride and a barrel and a fun house. They look like the one’s at the Ocean Park and Venice Pier but Jeff Stanton says that they actually went on location to Luna Park.
*SOCK AND RUN. 1929 Snub Pollard in another Hal Roach comedy. In this one he is supposed to be at Coney Island but it looked like Venice or Ocean Park Pier in a quick shot. Hal Roach Studios was here in LA. The rest of the movie he is in a boxing match. Every male comedian seemed to do a funny boxing scene. Like many silent stars, Snub had a hard time transitioning to the talkies. However he continued doing small bits sometimes uncredited for many years.
VENICE IN MOVIELAND +PART TWO- THE TALKIES+
The first attempts at sound in film were in Paris in 1900. Sound was bad and hard to produce in film. The Vitagraph company was able to synchronize sound on film by 1923 and the upstart Warner Brothers Studio bought them in 1925. Warner Brothers renamed them Vitaphone as the sound unit of their company. In 1926 and 1927 Warner Brothers was having financial problems and tried experimenting with making a few short sound features with music. In 1926 a 10 minute sound film came out with the long time singing star Al Jolson where he sings 3 of his popular songs and even speaks a couple lines. In 1927 Warner Brothers took a big gamble and invested in making a full length sound movie with Al Jolson. Al was singing since 1887 and became a big star in 1911 in a popular show. He helped write many famous songs and his records were big sellers. On October 6, 1927 Al Jolson premiered in the Jazz Singer to a loud applause after every song and the crowd chanting out,”Jolson, Jolson…” It was released in the USA on Feb.4, 1928. Although the movie the Jazz Singer wasn’t completely all sound, it had Al singing several songs and had sound effects and he did speak. His famous line in the Jazz Singer echoed the end of the silent era,”Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothing yet!” This was the end of the careers of many silent stars but some like Laurel & Hardy, Gary Cooper, Ronald Coleman and Jean Harlow became even more popular in the talkies. Venice and Ocean Park’s own Myrna Loy was a small time silent star but became a major star in the talkies. Myrna even had a small part in the Jazz Singer. Her statue is in front of Venice High School.
*GIRL CRAZY. 1929 Comedian Andy Clyde is at the beach with lots of the Mack Sennett bathing beauties. He saves a gal drowning by diving from a pier into the ocean. They are by the Santa Monica Pier and you can see the merry go round building and roller coaster.
*ALL FOR MABEL. 1930 Funny comedy short that was supposed to be at college but was really Venice High School. They walk around the front of Venice High and you see the original statue of Myrna Loy. The old statue has been recreated and replaced and is beautiful.
*ON THE LOOSE. 1931 Thelma Todd and Zazu Pitts team up in a comedy short that take them on a date to Coney Island but was really Ocean Park Pier and maybe a bit of Venice Pier. They go in the same fun house as Laurel and Hardy did in their movie Sugar Daddies. Very funny but the best scene is at the end with a cameo with Laurel and Hardy. The Laurel and Hardy comedy team did so well that the Hal Roach Studio experimented with a women duo with the popular Thelma Todd and Zazu Pitts. Thelma owned a beach side restaurant and home on the Pacific Coast Highway north of the Santa Monica Pier. She was mysteriously found dead in her parking garage at age 29. The site of her restaurant is still there.
*YOUNG IRONSIDES. 1932 Like Laurel and Hardy, Charley Chase transitioned well from the silents to the talkies and here he is in a funny comedy short filmed along our beach. It may be one of the small piers that once were along our beach or the Santa Monica Pier. There were the Bristol and Crystal Piers and the Nat Goodwin restaurant pier and a couple others. You can see the Ocean Park Pier in the distance looking south. He walks down the Ocean Front Walk chased by a cop.
*FISH HOOKY. 1933 The Little Rascals-Our Gang kids went from the silents to the talkies. In this one some of the boys play hooky and the class go to the Venice Pier to ride the rides. They go unknowingly to the pier with the truant officer and they are chased around the pier. Nice views of pier and an old pagoda on the Ocean Front Walk. Funny and a cute young Spanky who later became one of the main stars.
*MUSH & MILK. 1933 The Little Rascals are in a poor boarding house and all they ever get to eat is mush. Their nice, old teacher comes into some money and he takes them to the Ocean Park Pier to ride the rides. Fast shots of the Chutes, roller coaster, steeple chase, airplane and other rides.
*ARABIAN NIGHTS. 1933 Funny Charley Chase short with him joining the Foreign Legion. Sexy dancing girls and a couple seconds towards the end he’s at the Ocean Park Pier with the Chutes and airplane rides.
*STATE FAIR. 1933 Will Rogers was an amazing actor and comedian in the movies, radio and newspapers. His ranch house is in the hills nearby and some of the beach with his name was once owned by him. All the lands he owned were donated by his wife after his untimely death in a plane crash. This love story is supposed to be at a state fair but some of this may have been filmed here at Venice Pier including the roller coaster.
*DANTE’S INFERNO. 1935 The great star Spencer Tracy works at the Ocean Park Pier. A wild movie. Go on a couple old rides like the airplane and Chutes. The Dante’s Inferno attraction I hear was only for the movie. A gorgeous teen Rita Hayworth (Rita Cansino) dances in one of her early films.
*LIFE HESITATES AT 40. 1936 Charley Chase takes another blonde this time to the Venice Pier fun house. See the slide, barrel, and spinning wheel rides. Look for little Alfalfa from the Little Rascals eating ice cream.
*WHAT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY. 1937 Joe E. Brown comedy. He is a washed up boxer who studies astrology. He gets a job as a busboy and fails then goes to the Ocean Park Pier and becomes an astrologer, fortune teller. Nice film of the pier by the Toonerville fun house and a couple other quick shots. Only a few seconds of the pier.
*DANCING MASTERS. 1943 Laurel & Hardy dance and goof around and in the last couple minutes end up on a bus at the Ocean Park Pier. Ollie rides the roller coaster on the bus!
*DARK CITY. 1950 Charlton Heston is mixed up with criminals and dames. He takes one of the gals and her son to what looks like the Ocean Park Pier on an airplane ride and the chutes. It is very brief. He also takes her to the observatory and then he goes to an early Las Vegas.
*I LOVE TROUBLE. 1948 film noir has Franchot Tone as a detective driving around the oil wells at the beach south of the Venice Pier. He chases a car along the beach and canals with the oil wells. He winds up just south of Windward Ave. where you can see in the distance the Saint Marks Hotel and the roller coaster from the Venice pier. The movie begins with a scene in Westwood Village.
*HOLLYWOOD STORY. 1950 Richard Conte wants to make a movie about an old, unsolved murder and gets caught up in a who done it. Couple nice shots of Hollywood. He goes to Jack’s at the Beach restaurant which was on the north side of the Ocean Park Pier. You could eat a fish dinner and get drinks there and watch the waves crashing. It stayed there until after POP closed then moved to Wilshire Blvd. It wasn’t ‘at the beach’ anymore and finally closed. There was also Jack’s hot dogs on the Ocean Front Walk at Pier Ave. that had nothing to do with the one on the pier. They had 25 cent foot long hot dogs and a 5-10 cent soft ice cream cone. I went there all the time.
*THE BREAKING POINT. 1950 John Garfield is the skipper of a small fishing boat and is in need of money and keeps getting in trouble. His boat is supposed to be at the docks in Newport but his house looks like it was in the Venice canals?
*TOUCH OF EVIL. The 1958 film noir classic by Orson Welles. Instead of going to Mexico where the movie was supposed to be at, Welles filmed it in Venice mostly at night around Windward Ave., the oil wells and canals. Charlton Heston drives his car down the old Speedway past Venice Blvd. by the oil wells. Great film of Venice and a good movie.
*MAN IN THE DARK. 1953 film noir with Edmund O’Brien originally in 3D has O’Brien being chased by cops and hoodlums around the old Ocean Park Pier. Ride the High Boy roller coaster (sometimes called the Hi Boy) and the Whip. Nice shot of the Bug House fun house and the mechanical, laughing lady ‘Sal’ above it laughing at the movie. It was recently remade in a 3D blu-ray DVD but they only made about 300 copies and now a copy sells for around $200!
*M. The 1951 remake of the 1931 Peter Lorre classic film noir movie M from Germany. It is not nearly as scary as the original, but the Ocean Park Pier was a great place for the pervert to pick up little girls to murder. Nice film of the back of the Dome Theater and a shot of Zucky’s deli before it moved to Wilshire Blvd. Now Zucky’s deli on Wilshire Blvd. is a bank.
*WOMAN ON THE RUN. 1950 film noir has Ann Sheridan on the run from a murderer and they wind up at the Ocean Park Pier. Great film of the Dome Theater and Club Monaco that were on the Ocean Front Walk. Also ride the High Boy roller coaster that later became the Sea Serpent when the pier was transformed into POP (Pacific Ocean Park). The ‘Sal’ laughing lady also laughs at us for watching this movie! Actually Ann is pretty good in this one but you will probably figure out the mystery before the end.
*QUICKSAND. 1950 film noir has Mickey Rooney in trouble with the cops on the Santa Monica Pier and Peter Lorre running a dingy arcade in Ocean Park. Great film of the Santa Monica Pier in 1950.
*GUNS DON’T ARGUE. 1957 The G-men chase gangsters back east but it is really LA and Venice with a couple phony signs. Ma Barker, John Dillinger and Baby Face Nelson on a rampage robbing and killing around Venice. A few nice shots of Windward Ave. I think Dillinger is killed in front of the Fox Venice Movie theater. One gangster is caught on the Santa Monica Pier. Ma Barker is shot in an old beach shack probably in Venice.
*CRIME AND PUNISHMENT USA. 1959 A young George Hamilton in an interesting noir murder mystery filmed around the Venice and Santa Monica beaches. Some great scenes at the canals with the oil wells. See the Santa Monica Pier with the merry go round and old Muscle Beach south of the pier. George walks around POP and you see the Mr. Octopus ride, roller coaster and glass house. Some film shot of POP from the Sky Ride Bubbles. Also some scenes around old Ocean Park and Venice including a look down on the Speedway by Dudley Ave. He lives in the Thornton Towers on Thornton Ave. in Venice.
*ONCE UPON A KNIGHT. 1961 and the Beatniks still hang out at Venice. Very silly movie with quite a bit of tits has our stupid hero in search of a nude painting. He is allergic to nude women and sneezes whenever naked breasts are shown. In search of the painting he, ”Traveled down to that strange enchanted land called Venice.” Some great scenes of Venice and the Ocean Front Walk by the Gas House. The Gas House was a Beatnik art place. Some film on the beach with the boardwalk in the distance. A couple fun scenes of the canals and beach with oil wells.
*NIGHT TIDE. 1961 Dennis Hopper in a strange mystery. Just a little at Venice but a lot of great scenes on the Santa Monica Pier and Nu Pike Amusement pier in Long Beach.
*YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN. 1950 dramatic musical finds Kirk Douglas tooting a trumpet inside the Aragon Ballroom with Doris Day singing. Great scenes inside the old Aragon Ballroom. Doris Day sings some beautiful popular songs. The Aragon Ballroom was first called the Bon Ton Ballroom then the Aragon Ballroom and later it became the Cheetah Club.
*THE MONEY TRAP. 1965 Glenn Ford is married to Elke Sommer with Rita Hayworth around too in a tangled police detective story. Glenn Is looking for stolen money and follows a bad guy around POP. See several of the POP rides like Mr. Octopus, the Dolphins, Merry go round, diving bells, Mystery Island, Sea Serpent roller coaster and others.
*PSYCH OUT. In 1968, Jack Nicholson pretends to play guitar with the Strawberry Alarm Clock Band in the Cheetah Club next to POP although it is supposed to be in San Francisco. Pretend, hippie farce and unfortunately not enough of the Cheetah Club. A couple good songs and some bad ones too. The Cheetah Club had most of the big bands of the time including Venice’s own, the Doors.
*WILD ANGELS. 1966 Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra and Bruce Dern are Hells Angels and love motorcycles, fights, rape, and Nazis flags. Bruce lives by Venice Beach and a fast shot of the Ocean Front Walk. Also a scene in the canals. Peter looks cool in his leather jacket and sun glasses but the movie stinks since it glorifies violence and rape. Peter and his gang trash a church and he says,”We are not children of God but Hells Angels!” I wonder what Peter’s dad Henry Fonda and Nancy’s dad Frank Sinatra thought of their kids in this garbage?
*I LOVE YOU ALICE B. TOKLAS. 1968 Peter Sellers pot spoof has Peter around Venice Beach. Conservative Peter falls for a cute hippie gal who makes pot brownies and he becomes a hippie too. He walks down the Ocean Front Walk. Look for Peter talking in front of the old bakery by Dudley Ave. that my mom managed.
*HOLD ON. In 1966 the band Herman’s Hermits romp around POP (Pacific Ocean Park) which had been made out of the old Ocean Park Pier in the late 1950s. Silly but fun. Herman has to ‘hold on’ to the Sea Serpent roller coaster as he falls out. Nice film of the front entrance and the Sea Shell ride.
*TWO ON A GUILLOTINE. 1965 A sexy Connie Stevens must stay in a haunted house but takes a break to have fun at POP. Take a ride on the Sea Serpent roller coaster, go in the glass house or mirror maze and ride the Sky Ride ‘bubbles’ over the ocean (I worked on the Sky Ride and the glass house). They watch go-go dancers in what looks like the Cheetah Club? Wow, Connie in a haunted house in her nighty! Also starring Dean Jones and Cesar Romero.
*THEY SHOOT HORSES DON’T THEY. Made in 1969 in the closed Cheetah Club (Aragon Ballroom) by POP with Jane Fonda trying to win money in a dance marathon. Good but depressing story. The Cheetah Club or previously the Aragon Ballroom was on the south, Venice side of the POP pier at 1 Navy St.
*JIM MORRISON’S Film HWY-An American Pastoral. 1969 Jim must had lots of drugs & booze when he made this and you need them to watch this 50 minute film. Jim around the Mojave desert and then driving back to LA. He drives up the Santa Monica Pier and walks around Venice and the Ocean Front Walk. Most of the pier and Venice film is shot much too fast but some nice film of the old beach if you can slow it down. It might have been much better if they had put in the Doors music although there are a couple interesting songs with a woman and children singing.
*CISCO PIKE. 1972 with Kris Kristofferson as a guitar player and Karen Black his gal mixed up with drugs and a crooked cop. Much of the last 10 minutes is at Venice Beach mostly at night. Nice shot of the old Israel Levin Senior Center.
*MODEL SHOP. 1969 Starring Gary Lockwood of 2001 Space Odyssey. They want to repossess his MG car and he drives all through much of the movie around the west side of LA. He lives by the beach in Venice by the oil wells and drives down the Speedway. Quick film of Windward Ave. and a great look of south Venice Beach with old homes and oil wells. In one scene he hangs out with the band Spirit and talks about LA and says,”It’s a fabulous city. To think that some people think it’s an ugly city when it’s just plain poetry.” The movie is slow and could have used more plain poetry.
*BLACK EYE. 1974 Starring Fred Williamson. Romance by the beach and around the Marina and murder and car chases on the canals. A couple shots of a broken down POP and a fight inside the ruins of POP.
*MOTHER, JUGS & SPEED. 1977 Bill Cosby and Raquel Welch and other actors are ambulance drivers around LA. Even if you’re dying you are better off crawling to a hospital than to have these jerks drive you! Did Bill need to make this tasteless movie for money to buy drugs to rape women? A couple scenes shot in the canals and Venice and on Rose Ave.
*MIKE’S MURDER. 1984 Debra Winger gets mixed up with a couple young drug dealers trying to get away from rival drug dealers trying to get them. A couple shots of the Ocean Front Walk and the canals. A nice shot of the Music Machine on Pico Blvd. where me and my pals went all the time for live music and dancing.
*BLACK GIRL. 1972 Leslie Uggams has family and job problems in what looks like the Oakwood area in Venice. Quick shot by Windward Ave. Is that the First Baptist Church of Venice in the distance in one scene and is that Oakwood Park they hang out in?
*HARRY and TONTO. 1974 Touching story of an old man and his old cat being evicted from their apartment by greedy developers. “Capitalist bastards!” Art Carney and his cat then travel across America going west. “Life is confusing” even when you’re old. They finally wind up in LA. He plays chess at the now gone chess area by the Santa Monica Pier. He sits at the pagoda near Dudley Ave. in Venice and you can see the Cadillac Hotel with the bakery from a distance. He goes on the beach and you see POP in the background.
*ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13. !976 John Carpenter’s bloody movie of gangs getting guns and going on a murdering rampage around LA and Venice. The gang corner a couple cops in the old police station on Venice Blvd. next to Beyond Baroque and fight it out. A cult classic, Carpenter tried to do Night of the Living Dead with mindless gang thugs instead of zombies and our old cop shop instead of the farm house.
*SPAWN OF SLITHIS. 1978 Oh no, a monster in our canals!
Radioactive slime leaks into the canals and an ugly brother of the Creature from the Black Lagoon is born. He starts eating dogs in the canals then begins eating people. Some great film of the old run down canals. Yes, the canals were once smelly and run down with cheap rents. The monster begins eating people in the Marina too. Also some great scenes around Windward Ave. with the old shops and around the Ocean Front Walk. A little glimpse of Venice Beach from 1978.
*WALK PROUD. 1979 Chicano gangs fight over Venice and Santa Monica turf and teen falls for a rich White chick. The best line is, ‘Venice ain’t the Marina!’ The beginning has some film of cool low rider cars by Windward Ave. and the old Venice Pavilion Recreation Center. Great scene of Mexican music being played at the outside stage at the recreation center by Windward Ave.
*THE CHAMP. 1979 Remake of the classic boxing movie with John Voight as the Champ jogging in a scene on the bike path. Also him on the Santa Monica Pier by the arcade. Skip this and watch the 1931 original with Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper.
*SKATETOWN USA. !979 Dumb rip off of Saturday Night Fever on roller skates with Patrick Swayze in a dance contest. ‘Put on your dancin wheels’ and skate in a few shorts scenes down the bike path in Venice. Most of it is filmed in roller rinks.
*GREASE. 1979 John Travolta and Olivia Newton John dance & sing at Rydell High School which is really Venice High. Filmed around the Venice High campus with a glimpse of the original Myrna Loy statue in front. West Side Story meets Rebel Without a Cause and Happy Days. There wasn’t one Black, Asian or Latino student or teacher at the whole school! They needed Will Smith to slap the director.
*AMERICATHON. 1979 John Ritter with a lot of cameos by stars and musicians in a silly spoof. America is broke and we are out of gasoline and we have telethon to raise money. The movie was before it’s time and today it is more believable! Some scenes around LA and couple shots of side streets in Venice but not much.
*WILLIE & PHIL. 1980 Paul Mazursky’s film of two old pals and their ladies and their love and differences. Willie is a ”Jew boy” teacher with a wife and little girl and Phil is a ”Dago” Italian who directs commercials. Willie goes through his life angst and becomes a hippie for awhile and speaks of LA, ”This is a ridiculous excuse for a city.” He grows a beard and rides his bike along the Ocean Front Walk in Venice with his daughter and you see the paddle tennis courts, weight lifters, and a pagoda by the basketball courts. Later they all roller skate by a mural near the boardwalk. There is only a few short shots of Venice. The movie is O.K. but a bit too long.
XANADU. 1980 Olivia Newton John sings her hit, ‘Magic’ in a musical with disco, dancing and roller skates. A couple scenes on the Venice Ocean Front Walk and roller skating by a pagoda. Also film in Palisades Park. Not even the bands the Tubes, Rush and ELO could save Xanadu doo doo. Gene Kelly should have retired before this.
*THE JAZZ SINGER. 1980 Neil Diamond remake of the 1927 Al Jolson movie with all new songs by him. Great if you’re a Neil Diamond fan. Laurence Olivier plays his Jewish cantor dad. OY! A couple scenes shot along the Ocean Front Walk around the Venice Pier.
*MAX DUGAN RETURNS. 1983 Matthew Broderick in a nice but unreal Neil Simon story of a poor boy and his mom who live in an old shack in Venice. He plays baseball at Venice High and mom gets her car stolen on Abbott Kinney Blvd. They drive over the canals and around Venice.
*BREATHLESS. 1983 Richard Gere gets his philosophy from reading Marvel comics but the comics are better than this movie. Yes I know some people loved it. Acting like an adolescent punk he steals cars and babes hearts. He chases the girl and the cops chase him all over LA. Scenes around Ocean Park Blvd., Main St. and Venice Beach. A shot of the Mishkon Tephilo synagogue on Main St.
*BREAKIN’. 1984 and Break Dancing is in. Dancers try and mimic Michael Jackson but they and the music are not Michael. The only thing Michael didn’t do better was rolling on your head like a top. One dancer jokes with his pal,”Who do you think you are, Fred Astaire?” ”Who?!” Couple scenes at Venice Beach near Windward Ave. around where the skate park is now. Glimpse of the Venice Pavilion Recreation Center and the oil well that was right on the beach just north of the recreation center.
*HOT MOVES. 1984 Horny teens looking to get laid during summer vacation including chasing bikini babes at Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier. Some roller skates, skateboards, surfers, break dancing and dumb humor. Some fast glimpses of Venice Beach including Annie’s hot dogs, weight lifting area, the chainsaw juggler and the mime who used to do his act in front of the Sidewalk Cafe.
*THE OUTSIDE MAN. 1972 Who is chasing who, the cops, gangsters or innocent people? They chase around a half demolished POP and the canals. With Roy Scheider, Ann Margret and Angie Dickinson. Quick shot of the Beach House rock & roll club that opened for a time near the closed Cheetah Club.
*COBRA. 1986 Bad ass cop Sylvester Stallone lives near Venice Beach and picks on a gang dude by a beach pagoda. You lose count how many punks he kills with a machine gun and grenades as he chases and is chased in his old car all over LA including the canals. It should have been called Rambo in LA.
*STREETS. 1990 Christina Applegate of Married With Children fame is a homeless hooker on Venice Beach with a psycho cop trying to kill her. It should have been called, Kelly Bundy Grows Up. Some scenes shot at dusk on the Ocean Front Walk with nobody around.
*TED AND VENUS. 1991 Dark comedy starring Bud Cort as a Venice poet obsessed with a beautiful girl who just wants him to get lost. Sometimes funny but mostly depressing. Many scenes around the Ocean Front Walk and the canals. See the Shul on the Beach, Gingerbread Court, Venice Pier, Venice Pavilion, Windward Ave., Dudley Ave., Palisades Park. Also a couple shots of Jerome the dancing midget. Hey Jerome, we haven’t seen you in Venice in a long time. Hope you are well.
*LA STORY. 1991 Steve Martin in a funny, romantic fantasy filmed around LA including him and Sarah Jessica Parker getting an enema on the Ocean Front Walk.
*THE DOORS. 1991 Story of Jim Morrison partly shot at Venice Beach. Val Kilmer is fabulous at channeling Jim. They even hired a couple locals for extras on the Ocean Front Walk.
*WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP. 1992 A street basketball movie starring Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson with some games played in the parking lot by Rose Ave. and Dudley Ave. and also the basketball courts south of Windward Ave. They used a couple Venice locals for extras.
*POINT OF NO RETURN. 1993 A cute Bridget Fonda is a convicted murderer to be executed but is given a government reprieve to go undercover and take out the bad guys. She rents a place on Venice Beach and there are scenes on the Ocean Front Walk and beach. Some good action but it should have been called, Pointless and No Ticket Returns.
*SPEED 1. 1994 A demonic Dennis Hopper blows up a bus at Main St. and Rose Ave. Much of the movie is in a bus on freeways or roads with Keanu Reeves tying to save the bus with passenger Sandra Bullock.
*CLEAN SLATE. 1994 Dana Carvey plays a bungling detective that forgets everything every time he goes to sleep. Scenes around Venice Beach and side streets while he is being chased by killers he doesn’t remember and also beautiful girls he forgets and we can also forget this movie. Should we laugh at a poor one eyed dog banging his head?
*STRANGE DAYS. 1995 Should have been called Strange Movie. James Cameron science fiction story. We have become a military police state and the cops murder a Black activist singer. The government has invented a device to record memory on tape and a tape gets out showing the police murdering the singer and the chase is on to recover the tape. One of the memory tapes shows a sexy Juliet Lewis in a bikini on roller skates at Venice Beach. Just a few glimpses of our beach near Windward Ave.
*ROMY AND MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION. 1997 Mira Sovino and Lisa Kudrow doing lots of dumb blonde jokes most of them stupid but sometimes funny. They go to the Venice Ocean Front Walk and drive their junky car down the walk. How come only movie stars get to drive and park on the Ocean Front Walk? Why are there only gorgeous, sexy women walking around our beach in these movies and TV shows?
*AMERICAN HISTORY X. 1998 Adolph Hitler still lives on with Nazis in Venice! Edward Norton in a powerful and very scary movie about Nazis and hate. Parts of it were more disturbing than a horror movie. Some of the story takes place in Venice and at a mythical Venice Beach high school. Nazis play basketball against Blacks at Venice Beach. Several shots of the Ocean Front Walk from the distance. Fat ass Nazi drives down Rose Ave. One great deleted scene of skinheads picking on a poor old Black lady on the Ocean Front Walk.
*BRINK. 1998 and Disney made a roller skating movie with teen racers. It would’ve held up in time if they were skateboarders. They skate by Venice Beach but you don’t see much. Also they are on the Santa Monica Pier.
*MIXED NUTS. 2003 Steve Martin works and plays at Venice Beach with a host of crazy characters. He rides his bike along the bike path and we see the old street pianist Barry the Lion and other boardwalk stuff. Funny and unusual.
*MONKEY TROUBLE. 1994 Harvey Keitel is an organ grinder with his pickpocket monkey at Venice Beach. They get mixed up with crooks and jewels and the cops. The monkey runs away and adopts a little girl. Some scenes at Venice Beach, bike path and Ocean Front.
*ROLLER BOOGIE. 1979 and roller skating is BIG. Linda Blair of the Exorcist fame doesn’t throw up green slime even though the story could use some! Good dance skate scenes at Venice Beach. Nice shots of the old Venice Pavilion Recreation Center by Windward Ave.
*DOWN AND OUT IN BEVERLY HILLS. 1986 Nick Nolte and Richard Dreyfuss made an ad for the world’s homeless to come to LA and Venice Beach. Of course the super rich in Beverly Hills will let the homeless live with them in their mansions. BULLSHIT!!! They take a stroll down the Ocean Front Walk and get drunk at the pagoda at Dudley Ave. and sing, ”We are the bums, we are the homeless.”
*VENICE UNDERGROUND. 2005 Drug gangs in Venice and young, rookie cops sent out to stop them. It should have been called the Mod Squad at Venice Beach. They are seen on the Ocean Front Walk, canals, the beach and side streets of Venice.
*DOGTOWN and Z-BOYS. 2001 Documentary on skateboarding. Has some great history of Venice and Ocean Park. Fabulous stuff if you love skateboarding and our beach history. RIP Jay…
*LORDS OF DOGTOWN. 2005 After the great Dogtown documentary they made a silly teen movie using the documentary to go by with teen actors. They tried recreating some of the scenes from the documentary and in some cases did a good job because some of the pier scenes are really a set.
*TENACIOUS D AND THE PICK OF DESTINY. 2006 Jack Black tries to do a Who style rock movie with a couple beach scenes. A scene near the Santa Monica Pier and one along the Venice, Ocean Front Walk. Sometimes crazy, stupid or fantastic, Jack searches for Satan’s magic guitar pick and has to battle him in a rock & roll sing off.
*THE CUTTING EDGE: Going for the Gold. 2006 Teen love fantasy with teen ice skater falling for surfer boy who can also roller skate. She teaches him to ice skate and of course they quickly get into the Olympics. Maybe if you are 3 you might believe this! He roller skates near Windward Ave. with quick shots of the Ocean Front Walk and a glimpse of ‘The World’s Greatest Wino’ who used to hang out near Windward and would tell a joke for drinking money. Also a shot of the Santa Monica Pier.
*17 AGAIN. Zac Efron and Matthew Perry are seniors at Hayden High and they get in arguments, fights and love. It is really Samohi and there are a couple shots of the now demolished history building.
*STAR STRUCK. 2010 Disney teen movie of a young singer making it big but in the end he,”I’m 17 years old & just wanna have fun & make music”. He and his honey go sightseeing around LA and go to Venice Beach for around 30 seconds. Unfortunately most of few seconds was fast forwarded. Harry Perry roller skates but they don’t play his music and you hear a song from the movie through the scene.
*BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN. 2015 Lonely psychologist meets homeless Venice gal and they fall in love. A bit of the Cuckoo’s Nest in Venice. Some nice thoughts but the truth is most homeless women are stalked and raped by nut cases like him. ”We all have broken pieces” and so does this movie. Still the homeless gal is very likeable and several scenes shot at Venice Beach.
*THE LAST CASE OF AUGUST T. HARRISON. 2015 Very cheap and disappointing movie about a retired detective getting mixed up with witches and H.P. Lovecraft monsters around Venice. Night shots of canals and Abbot Kinney Blvd. and a bit of Windward Ave. Are there other dimensional creatures in our canals?!
*ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENICE. 2017 Bruce Willis gang farce set in Venice. Pretty dumb but fun and entertaining. Filmed around Venice and a scene by Windward Ave.
++This list is mostly Venice and Ocean Park beaches and I left out a lot of the Santa Monica Pier which was in many movies such as; The STING-1973, SYNANON-1965, INSIDE DAISY CLOVER 1965, A THOUSAND WORDS-2011. Also the now demolished Samohi history building in, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE-1955
=OTHER STUFF and OLD HOME MOVIES=
*NUMBER OUR DAYS. 1976 Academy Award short documentary filmed at the now demolished Israel Levin Senior Center that was in Venice on the Ocean Front Walk. I was a member. A couple good shots of Rose Ave. and the benches that used to be all along the walk. It is now the new BAR Community Center that hasn’t opened yet.
*HOPALONG IN HOPPY LAND. Cowboy star Hopalong Cassidy (William Boyd) had his amusement park at 400 W. Washington St.(Blvd.) and filmed the opening in a promo in 1951. I met Hoppy at Hoppy Land.
*FEATURE #16 Pacific Ocean Park Home Movie 1958. There are several home movies of Pacific Ocean Park, the wonderful amusement pier that ran several blocks from the north border of Venice into Ocean Park or Santa Monica. I worked on some of the rides. This is one of the best although some shots are dark. Around 14 minutes.
*Feature #2 Pacific Ocean Park Home Movie 1959. Another good home movie around 4 1/2 minutes.
*FEATURE #9 Pacific Ocean Park Home Movie 61′. Another good POP film about 5 minutes.
*CIRCA 1960 8mm FILM Home Movie-Pacific Ocean Park Santa Monica Ca. Another fun POP film about 2 minutes.
*BABY BOOMERS Tribute ‘Let Me Live Again’ Pacific Ocean Park 1958-1960. Composite pictures of the park with music and the ruins.
*PACIFIC OCEAN PARK 1959-1960. Another short home movie.
*PACIFIC OCEAN PARK IN THE FIFTIES WALKING TOUR. 2014 Photos with music of POP about 13 minutes.
*PACIFIC OCEAN PARK: The Rise and Fall of Los Angele’s Space- Age Nautical Pleasure Pier. Merritt and Priore wrote a great book with this title with the history of POP and they did a few talks. This a fantastic talk with pictures. I gave them some info. 1 hour 10 minutes.
*WHERE THE MOUNTAINS MEET THE SEA. A 1959 advertising promo for Santa Monica. Now it is a historical snapshot of Santa Monica. I include this because they have some nice shots of POP. Some great footage of Santa Monica and the piers.
*VENICE BEACH CIRCA 1960. Leland Auslander’s 5 minute home movie of kids playing at Venice Beach in around 1962. Some great film of my old hangout (and still is) by Dudley Ave. and the Ocean Front Walk. The Cadillac Hotel, Arnold the Kosher butcher, Angelo’s Hot Dogs. It is too bad he didn’t film the Venice West beatnik coffee shop and the bakery just a few feet away.
*VENICE BEACH MEMORIES-part 1 & 2. 1971 Home movie about 21 minutes at one of the ‘love ins’ free music shows they used to have on the storm drain just north of Rose Ave. Hippies having fun. Film of a deteriorated and partially demolished POP. Also other places on the Ocean Front Walk that are gone like the L & A Market by Rose Ave. and the old synagogue by Brooks Ave. that recently burned down. Nice film of a concert in the outside stage with the tables next to the Pavilion that used to be by Windward.
*GOLDIE GLITTERS- Short news feature by George Schlatter on ‘Real People’ around 1980 about Michael Easy (Goldie Glitters). Goldie ran for homecoming queen in 1975 at Santa Monica College and won as a cross dressing ‘queen’ but they wouldn’t give him the crown. So people in Venice crowned him Queen of Venice at the old Lafayette Cafe. Film of the cafe and some shots outside and OFW.
*ROLLER SKATE FEVER. 1881 Short music video with roller skating. ‘Venice skating capital of the world’. Roller skaters all along the Ocean Front Walk, Windward Ave., the Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Palisades.
*VENICE BEACH CA-August 1993. Two young dudes just strolling along the Ocean Front Walk with their video camera looking at the babes and crowd in a poorly filmed 39 minute video. Quick shots of some of the old entertainers who are gone like the One Man Band and Jerome the dancing midget. Also see old shops, the Venice Pavilion and Jack Herer’s Hemp for Victory stand.
*1970s,80s VENICE BEACH- 8 minute home movie of Venice Beach with film of skaters by the Venice Pavilion, the chain saw juggler and pretty girls.
*VENICE BEACH CONFIDENTIAL. A documentary from the 80s filmed by Jeff Jackson. Short clips, interviews and music along the Ocean Front Walk. See Robert Gruenberg the Chainsaw Juggler, Harry Perry singing with an old acoustic guitar, Huba Huba Perry Hernandez the glass walker do the limbo and other Venice denizens from that era.
*VENICE BEACH 1985. Captain Cloud made a 45 minute film of Venice Beach. Great interview of Peter Demian and his music. Peter we love you! Also an interview of Jingles. Shots of Harry Perry, the chain saw juggler, muscle men and skaters. Wonderful bit in the beginning with old Miss Daisy singing with her ancient Gibson guitar. We miss you Miss Daisy…
*TED HAWKINS at VENICE BEACH. 1990 Old Venice icon sings a song on the Ocean Front. Ted sang the Blues for years in Venice for change. When he got older he went to Europe and made a big success. He returned here famous and unfortunately died soon after.
*TED HAWKINS VENICE BEACH. 1990 Ted sings another song on the Ocean Front Walk.
*TED HAWKINS. 2011 A much older Ted sings another song at the beach.
*JACK HERER-EMPEROR OF HEMP. 1999 Documentary on the life of pot guru Jack Herer who opened a hemp-pot stand on Venice Beach for many years and had pro pot literature and hemp goods. Jack fought to legalize pot for years while our police chief was saying pot smokers should be taken out and shot and President Reagan was saying it was the most dangerous drug. There is some fast shots of his hemp booth and the Ocean Front Walk including Annie’s hot dog takeout. God bless you Jack. We pray the clouds in Heaven are made of pot smoke.
*RUBBER TRAMPS. 1999 Full length documentary about hippie van-o-leers living in their vans and some traveling up our coast. A few minutes in Venice of Abraham playing drums and singing, “Nobody Can Stop Love” and Patty showing her ceramic mugs. We miss you Abraham and Patty.
*THE RHYTHEM OF VENICE. 2000 copyright for DVD in 2005. Documentary with much of it shot in Venice. The drum circle, Harry Perry, Dr. John, the One Man Band, and other cool stuff.
*THE PARK-IN LOT. 2004-2005 Documentary filmed mostly in the parking lot at Rose Ave. Music and short interviews of the denizens of the parking lot many living in their vehicles. Nice bit with Happy singing and playing guitar. Some views of the Ocean Front Walk including the now demolished Levin Center.
*VENICE BEACH CALIFORNIA WORLDS CRAZIEST BEACH. 2010 Short 9:45 video with quick shots and interviews of entertainers at Venice Beach. See King Solomon the Snake Man, Perry Huba Huba Hernandez ”put my ass in the glass”, the World’s Greatest Wino, Harry Perry, Mr. Animation, acrobats and a fight and other crazy stuff.
*ANYTHING FOR BUMS AT VENICE BEACH. 2011 Short video with interviews with the old muscle guy (he used to have a twin brother) and the World’s Greatest Wino at Venice Beach.
*VENICE OF AMERICA. 2012 Great history of Kinney building his Venice of America. It goes from the building of Venice until after Kinney’s death. Around 17 minutes. Made by Tom Sewell and Tom Moran.
*THE PEOPLE OF VENICE BEACH (A Documentary of Venice Beach, CA) 2012 A 15 minute film with quick shots of Venice people and entertainers. A nice interview of Peter Demian (Street Smart).
*HIGHWAY (KOOKIN’ at VENICE BEACH) 2013 A 22 minute documentary or home video along the Ocean Front Walk with Harry Perry singing and a little of King Solomon on a ladder holding rubber snakes.
*VENICE BEACH,THE SPIRIT OF VENICE. 2013 Short film with interviews of Venice artists showing their paintings. My pals RA RA and Chris Ouk before he grew his hair long.
*VENICE BEACH. 2014 Home movie about 20 minute long with a nice interview of Abraham who was the leader of the the Venice Drum Orchestra and a scene of Perry Huba Huba Hernandez, the glass walker,”Throw your ass in the glass!” Also other entertainers and the weight lifting area.
*SUN CHIPS. 2022 short ad for chips with roller skating babes on the OFW.
> In addition there were many TV shows- These are only the ones I’ve seen-
*BAY WATCH filmed at our beach and canals all the time from 1989-99. Mich (David Hasselhoff) lived on the canals in some of the seasons. Lots of shows filmed along Venice Beach including one episode I was in. If anyone sees me on the show I was in please get the episode name or the season it was from? In the same scene they also had a shot of Dr. John who had a table by Windward Ave. with his big American peace flag. If you watch this show you would think there are only gorgeous bikini babes allowed on our beaches!
*ROUTE 66 had an episode filmed at POP in 1962 called, ‘Between Hello and Goodbye’. Great film of the main entrance, inside Neptune’s Kingdom and Sky Ride bubbles. The film of Neptune’s Kingdom are some of the only inside shots of POP I’ve seen other than the glass house.
*77 SUNSET STRIP. 1959 Jay North of Dennis the Menace fame sees a murder and he is chased by the murderer around POP in an episode called, ‘Eyewitness’. Lots of very quick shots of rides, but unfortunately filmed at night. Nice views of the front entrance and a fun ride on the Sky Ride bubbles over the ocean.
*I SPY. In a 1966 episode called, ‘Little Boy Lost’, a young Ron Howard with Bill Cosby and Robert Culp are chased by foreign agents at POP. Nice shot of Mr. Octopus ride and Aragon Ballroom.
*GET SMART. Maxwell Smart and 99 are chased by Chaos spies around POP in a 1965 episode called, ‘The Wax Max’. You see the outside of the Sea Tubs and a look at the Midway with the Dome Theater in the back.
*THE MAN FROM UNCLE. In 1966 secret agents David McCallum and Robert Vaughn are running around POP by the Sky Ride and Midway in an episode called, ‘The Concrete Overcoat Affair’.
*THE FUGITIVE finally finds his one armed man at a closed POP in the final episode in 1967. David Janssen fights him on top of the sadly broken Mahi Mahi ride. Quick shots of the front of Sea Tubs and other closed rides.
*THE INVADERS. Space aliens invade a closed POP in a 1968 episode called, ‘The Pit’. Not much but a little scene of the entrance to the closed Mystery Island banana train ride.
*MOD SQUAD. Also filmed in a closed POP in 1968 with a couple shots of some of the closed and broken rides in an episode called, ‘Bad Man on Campus’. They go into the Deepest Deep ride. Good film of the Midway. They talk about the closed and derelict POP as,”the ghosts of fun city.”
*THE TWIGHLIGHT ZONE. In a 1959 episode called, ‘In Praise of Pip’, Jack Klugman is at POP with a young Billy Mumy playing his son. Billy Mumy later was a star on the TV show Lost in Space. They ride the merry go round and go in the glass house.
In another 1959 episode called, ‘Perchance to Dream’, Richard Conte is haunted in his dreams by a sexy cat girl at POP with quick shots of the merry go round, glass house and Mr. Octopus rides.
*THREE’S COMPANY. The opening credits and theme song play,”Come and knock at our door…” with John Ritter riding a bike along our bike path. As the seasons went by they changed the locations for the beginning credits to the Santa Monica Pier and then the zoo.
*CHIPS. It’s the 70s and Disco and roller skating is in. Ponch and Jon leave their Highway Patrol motorcycles and go to Venice Beach to watch cute gals skate to the music by the old Venice Pavilion by Windward Ave. Nice skate girls with sexy ass-stronomy! The episode I think is called, ‘Party Disco’ or ‘Roller Disco’?
*SEINFELD. 1992 Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer all argue about who will keep their spare keys. Kramer gets pissed about giving Jerry back his keys and decides to go to LA where he roller skates near Windward Ave.
*THING THAT ARE’NT HERE ANYMORE. 1995 Two part PBS KCET TV show with Ralph Story telling the story of ‘the good old days’ of LA. Ralph talks about old Venice and Ocean Park with a brief history of POP by our own Jeffrey Stanton. Both parts are wonderful.
*CALIFORNICATION. 2007-2014 David Duchovny made this series after the X-Files. He is a drunk writer always chasing gals all around LA including several shows filmed around Venice Beach and the canals. He sometimes walks on the Ocean Front Walk or drives around our streets like Rose Ave.
*LOST LA. PBS KCET series that goes around LA showing the past and present. This is a fine TV series and these episodes are real cool. Season 1, Episode 3, 2016 had the story of the Venice canals. Season 3, Episode 5,2018 had a fun history of VENICE-Kinney, oil wells, Black history, the Beatniks. Season 4, Episode 3, Bootlegger Tunnels, featuring the Townhouse Bar on Windward opened around 1915 and ran during Prohibition with a few great film scenes and photos of old Venice.
*Tom Hatten and ‘Skipper Frank’ Herman hosted local cartoon TV shows in the 1950s until the early 1960s. Occasionally they filmed at POP. Tom Hatten showed Popeye cartoons and made quick drawings. Me and my cousin went to POP and got on Tom’s show with other kids. I’d love to see that again! I doubt if many of those old local kid shows were saved.
*MOVIN’. Nancy Sinatra shot a music special and sang the song called, “Who Will Buy” at a closed POP in 1967. She stands on top of the roller coaster and rides on it and a couple other rides. Dancers dance around the entrance and the park. Was this also an ad for, ‘Who will Buy’ the bankrupt POP?
*LENNYBRUCEMAS, or BLACK PEARL at the Cheetah Club. 1968 The LA Free Press hosted a free music festival for Christmas to celebrate Lenny Bruce and it was called Brucemas. It was held above the beach where the Cheetah Club was. There is a 4 minute video of the band Black Pearl playing with hippies dancing and some very quick shots of the Cheetah Club and some of the buildings nearby.
*THE DOORS AT VENICE BEACH. Around 1969, Henry Diltz the Doors photographer shot a 5 minute video of the Doors tripping down the Ocean Front Walk. Jim is even carrying a beer, or is it whiskey? They stroll by the Gingerbread Court and Cadillac Hotel where the bakery was on Dudley Ave. You see the old benches and then they walk by the beach and under the pier. A little too much film of the birds, dogs and ocean, but it is still good to see the Doors at Venice Beach.
*UNDER THE COVER. 2005 Documentary of shooting the covers of the Doors albums with some of the same film of Henry Diltz from 1969 and interviews of him and Ray Manzarek of the Doors. Go with Henry to some of the photo sites around Venice and LA.
*SHINDIG! In 1965 Dick & Dee Dee sing, ‘Where Did All the Good Times Go?’. Not much to see except they ride one of the old trams that used to run along the Ocean Front Walk.
*ROLLER SKATE FEVER. 1981 and it looks like everyone is roller skating! Short film with music of roller skating. Some shots of Venice Beach with the old Venice Pavilion Recreation Center by Windward Ave. and the walk. Also the Santa Monica Pier and Palisades Park.
*THE GAP BAND. In 1983 the Gap Band sang ‘Party Train’ at Venice Beach in their music video. Venice’s own Harry Perry starts the train rolling and then the Gap Band gets everyone on board this fantastic dance number. Don’t miss the party having good fun along the Ocean Front Walk.
* WINK MARTINDALE’S DANCE PARTY. Shot at POP in the Sea Circus in the 1960s, they had many famous singers and bands of the day with teens dancing and sometimes even a seal or dolphin. For a while it was rocking TV 6 days a week.
*LAWRENCE WELK SHOW. Welk filmed his music variety show for many years in the Aragon Ballroom and occasionally filmed his entertainers outside at POP. One special show had musical numbers at POP with several singers including Venice’s own Lennon Sisters singing on and around the rides. One song is on the Mystery Island banana train.
++There also have been many TV ads made at our beaches.++
Did you find your favorites here? Please let me know which ones I missed? >-marty liboff-<
+Thanks to; Richard Orton, Martha Cheresh, Jon Wolff, Jerry Lafayette, Rose Dayan, Jackie Witherspoon, Gerry Fialka, Greta Cobar, VIRTUAL VENICE movie list, Jeffrey Stanton’s movie list, book- Pacific Ocean Park (Merritt & Priore)