Posted by vp19 on 2015.02.26 at 19:40
Current mood: happy
The site where Carole Lombard honed her comedy chops while making “The Bicycle Flirt” and other shorts for Mack Sennett — following in the footsteps of numerous legends — today received its accurate recognition in film history, more than sixty years after a mistake regarding the proper location of the site.
And here are pics of today’s event commemorating the revamped marker, including folks in period gear (the lady second from right in the top pic is Karie Bible of Hollywood Forever Cemetery):
That’s Stan Taffel speaking; he was among those getting this project going.
The plaque is (and was) on Glendale Road in the Edendale district of Los Angeles. The top part was presented to Sennett in 1954, when he was honored on the “This Is Your Life” television series, and he was told it was to be part of an obelisk commemorating the site of his studio for the 1910s and much of the 1920s. There was just one problem…it was put on the site of the Selig studio lot up the street. (Film history research wasn’t much in those days, folks.) I have no idea whether Sennett actually visited the site before his death in 1960.
Anyway, the elements contributed to the deterioration of the obelisk — and the plaque. (According to Bob Birchard, one of today’s speakers, the plaque could easily have been removed, such was the flimsiness of the original.) Thankfully, it wasn’t: Taffel put together this montage on the history of the obelisk and plaque::
Now the plaque, as well as a recent one commemorating the studio’s history, are where they should be — 1712 Glendale Boulevard. The studio is long gone, of course, and the site now hosts a Public Storage. Give the company credit for recognizing the history and enabling the city and Hollywood Heritage to get this done after seven years of work.
Oh, and the site isn’t completely long gone. One of the buildings Sennett used is still up, converted into storage facilities. If you go up to the third (top) floor, you can see some of the studio ceiling, including space for pulleys and other technical necessities:
I rent space from a Public Storage — but I use the one on Sixth Street, not far from where I live. Had I known of the historical sense of this site, I’d have stored my things there (and perhaps could have psychically contacted Carole’s spirit).
Finally, I couldn’t resist having my photo taken with the plaque. It’s wonderful to see a mistake righted.