Tonight is the 85th Academy Awards aka The Oscars aka The Big Night For The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences aka These Are The Stupid People Who Gave An Oscar To Gwyneth Freakin’ Paltrow. Anyway, long before Hollywood was Hollywood, it was a citrus ranch. In 1895, a barn was built on what is now Selma and Vine Streets that housed horses, carriages, hay and other farm supplies. Nearly twenty years later in March of 1913, the Burns and Revier Studio and Laboratory was established inside the barn. That same year, Cecil B. DeMille* and Jesse Lasky, leased the barn and studio facilities for $250.00 a month and began production of The Squaw Man, the first feature film to be produced in Hollywood. After being moved around a lot, this landmark building was boarded up and abandoned until a permanent site could be found. Today the restored barn is home to the Hollywood Heritage Museum, now located at the southern end of the Hollywood Bowl parking lot. Open since 1985, the museum features archival photographs, film props, historical documents, postcards and even a recreation of Mr. DeMille’s office complete with a typewriter, film canisters, movie posters and of course booze. And on special occasions called “Evenings at the Barn,” visitors get a chance to see silent films. “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up”…Sunset Boulevard received 11 Academy Award nominations, and won only 3. And that there’s your Oscar trivia, folks!
*Did you know Richard DeMille, son of Cecil, was the personal assistant of Scientology founder of L. Ron Hubbard? The cult, I mean religion, is a Hollywood thing so if it wasn’t for that barn maybe Battlefield Earth would never have been made.