Ancient Relics and Heirlooms from a 100 year old Makeup Trailer

An Aerial view with Gone With the Wind sets from when David O. Selznick was leasing out the Studio and backlot. Sudio compound and Makeup trailer is located in the bottom right corner of the intersection of Lucerne and Higuera.

Lets take a drive to this corner studio compound! The Studio Compound can be seen here in the show The Real McCoys. Notice the water tower which will later be used in the television series Hogan’s Heroes. This barn was also in early episodes of Andy Griffith.

We’ll keep that water tank!

We arrive at the compound. The Batmoblie has been seen parked in front of this house, Hogan’s Heroes camp, Stalag 13 was built behind this estate that had two private walkway fences into the 40 acres backlot. Hal Roach Studios is a short walk. An Our Gang relic was inside..

We enter the backyard and arrive at the Marion Davies Makeup Trailer, which was farmed out to RKO, then Desilu Studios-for 40 years.

Let’s see what’s inside.

A camera dating to 1933. King Kong was made at RKO here in Culver City in 1933. Also in this picture is a Star Home Electric Massage Vibrator. The owners tell us Fay Wray once used this room for make-up.

1921-stuff was built to last.

Yes, I plugged it in”…I plugged it in and it purrs and reverberates like it’s suppose too.

Ideal indeed! Best 5$ ever spent! A way to relax during long hours in the chair…

The stories this item overheard…

1937 American Magazine Advertizement for the Scott Atwater Photopal Camera with camera found in trailer.

Like the trailer, this camera succumbed to the elements. For all I know there’s still a roll of film inside. The lever on the side of the housing is the shutter. It works- click!

This camera most likely used in King Kong for Fay Wray continuity in make-up. This room and compound is a very short walk to the Skull Island Sets.

8″ by 10″ Kodak film paper was kept inside. This could double as a dark room and probably did. A make up artist needs a visual to work off and create the desired look and style.

This appears to be an Our Gang (Spanky) light. This series was filmed a short walk from here at Hal Roach Studios.

Reflection in the make up mirror. Extremely old item. Everything inside here works.

A sample of stuff…the lights are original and color tones can be adjusted with red and blue bulbs. A soap bar sits waiting to clean off the next star. A Star Maker Massager . Wine bottles imported from Italy and mints from England are part of the ambiance inside…

This chair was centered between 3 mirrors. One left of chair was square mirror, the main mirror was canter and wide oval for wide dress costumes, the thirds mirror on the door to see backside.

Marion Davies entertainment was this music box mounted on the wall inside her trailer entrance.
Marion’s music…
Tonight You Belong to Me…

Panatron Radio-custom built inside this trailer by Desi Arnez. This trailer became a T.V show make-up factory when television began. The cast of Hogan’s Heroes was the last to receive make-up inside. Batman was seen by neighbors going back and forth to this room and the Batmobile.

This trailer had waterlines and gas lines installed linking it to shore power. Electric power ties to the house panel. Shingles were added at this point to the exterior to preserve longevity. Had not a tree branch busted through the roof- this would still be in immaculate condition…Ready for use!

Ince’s 3rd Triangle beholding produced this resting place, the room sits at the crux of yet another triangle... “Notice”– the pathways leading inside the studio from this compound.
Below the red arrow tucked behind The Tara Plantation. The corner of Higuera and Lucerne. This make up room continued on in this star compound after Marion moved to MGM. The owners said this room was loaned out during the production of Gone With the Wind. A camera dating to 1933 is inside. Fay Wray used this dressing room for King Kong. Gone With The Wind would also use this entire compound behind the Tara set.

In this picture taken in 1959, you can see the telephone poles and palm trees located on the corner of the intersection of Lucerne and Higuera, which are ocassionally seen in the background of the TV series Hogan’s Heroes.

100 hundred years later, disguised as a gardening shed. The roof and trailer sit beneath an avocado tree, that lived and died in the presence of this ancient mobile Hollywood dressing room. It’s that old. It sat locked, tucked away, in a corner where spirits could frolic. As a kid, I played here, I think Mr. Ince had his eyes on me. We think the same, we’re movie Pioneers!

Mirror, mirror on wall…The top of the mirror winked at me to be save her, a lot of gardening supplies hid the the prize inside.

If this room could talk- it’s ground zero for legendary film stars.

Pages Silver Mints- indigestion was the thing that we hear killed…Thomas Ince.

Green Paint is the signal you’ve arrived at R.K.O.
RKO -Pathe’…The studio went into receivership as a result of the depression, even the box office success of King Kong couldn’t pull it through.
The backside of the living room looks squarely inside 40 acres. It was connected with two pathways with its own gated fences. One connects the house, the other the make-up trailer.
Fountain for pond…fit for a mega star
A statue from antiquity, sat center of Koi Pond.
Not your average art piece…

Statue from antiquity relocated to my Star Compound…I absolutely adore this extremely heavy item. I would speculate this was one of Randolph Hearst’s ornaments, and it was stationed in the Koi Pond.

This pond and statue are original to the house completion in 1924. Just beyond the Ivy covered fence are two palm trees often talked about in several episodes of Hogan’s Heroes. “Why are there palm trees outside a Luft Stalag?”…The corner house was once occupied by a squatter named- Charles Manson. Three neighbors shared that same memory. Tex Watson provided transportation. This is -“that corner.”

Koi existed inside this pond when this property changed hands when annexed. Earthquakes cracked the lining and it’s sat dry for decades.
Koi Pond tiles…
This flagpole monument dates pre-Gone With the Wind and all the activity that took place in the year 1938/39. If we could only ID these prints…This is a Hollywood history puzzle I’m determined to connect these dots. This was done in the David O. Selznick era when Gone With The Wind took over this entire lot. Whose dogs, whose hands and initials-we need to connect these dots…

Make-up is right behind Scarlett in this legendary photo…

Stills are needed for make -up artists to be consistent.

Filming GWTW- This dress could barely fit in this room. Most likely put on after the make-up. Costumes could be stored inside the home. Here is a matching scene to test.

40 acre backlotThe bungalow structure on the left, behind Vivien, -is the backlot bathrooms.You could watch this movie filmed and probably met some actors along the fence lines that look straight inside.

Out of frame“-Expand the background and you will see parked cars- that section would be- in the futureGomer Pyle’s Camp Henderson.

Everything needed to make a movie is present in this scene…

This room was busier than a phone booth outside Central Casting.

Clark Gable looking dapper as ever, Rhett Butler not needed in this scene…

Clarke Gable had his own bungalow on this film on the RKO main lot. But backlot “star make-up” would make this trailer and compound extremely active.

This star is my mother…Betty Lou Norden.I wish she could have seen this discovery herself.Photo-shopped image into the mirror of course. My moms all time favorite actor is Clarke Gable.

Top of entry door, the outside used to say Marion Davies on it, the interior of this door is entirely mirrored. The green on this door includes the entire compound. It’s the color of choice by RKO. It was not green when used only by Marion. A cloth is attached around the door entrance as an insulator to repel the cold air. The nails securing it are exquisitely installed.
The Green Connection…
RKO, Paramount, Desilu and Laird International are all represented in the history green studio lineage.
Quiet please!….

Knock -first…

The floor these ladies are standing on is pictured below…

This pattern is the floor as you enter inside our star chamber…

Wipe your shoes off before entering…

Shelves were added everywhere.

The history continued long after Marion relocated to MGM. Shelves, a sink, and a modern Panatron Stereo would be added when Desilu took over from RKO. I got that on record from Panatron Corporation. It still exists. The biggest films ever made used this trailer…

Every bulb is a different style including blue and red bulbs to dial in skin tones.

The mirror and original bulbs came to life when power was applied.

The porcelain fixture hung overhead the make- up chair.

Cornucopia of history…

Yet another can of indigestion mints-loaded with fasteners. This would be to hang the trinkets alongside the mirror when that phase of make-up is ready. Also pictures are put up for the artist to match up. Not a lot is available information wise on old Hollywood location make up artists.

This rigid brush most likely was to remove debris of thick coats used often in the day.

Ancient cabinet handles, My guess on the disconnected switch is that could be activated to signal the star inside. Tape measure from the Desilu era.

These are curtain rods that cover shelfs with jar after jar of solutions.

Imported wine from Italy.

Who drank these?…

Reflections of the way life use to be. The moon- as it’s done for a hundred years, adds calmness with its reflection.

This wonderful photo shopped photo captures what this room was part of. The glass door was as close to this blaze as the horses and carriages. Animals and rodents of every kind hastily exited the backlot during the filming of this scene. I adore this picture just because of it’s realism to the events that took place here.

Pioneers...My goal is to produce the best TV series ever, Hole in the Fence. We will go back and forth through time, giving credit to top film makers. I played where they worked. I learned to love film making from these very studios I write about. It’s all I ever lived.
Quality is my number one goal, I truly feel my stories would be sensational as both content and visual experience.
Wait until you give book 2 a ride…The Uninvited Visitor. “It’s a movie inside a movie” –Coming Soon!
Wish me Luck- I have lofty goals!

Going mobile!This room has it’s wheels hidden inside the trailer walls, for this discovery-checkout my YouTube posting. We spin the wheel for the first time many decades.

The Patsy...Three stars with director King Vidor, seated right. Mr. Vidor felt strongly Marion should be in comedies-Like Lucille Ball long before Lucy. Some clowning going on here. Randolph Hearst had other ideas.

Go west young man!…

That was the path chosen by film pioneer Thomas Ince when he arrived in Southern California. He first set up shop at the beach at Inceville. Unfavorable weather conditions brought him inland, where the La Ballona creek and the Baldwin Hills provided rustic locations perfect for his westerns, without constant windy, gray skies. It was while filming at the tree lined natural creek he met Mr. Harry Culver. Mr. Culver was all about luring business to a city that was just becoming incorporated with his name attached.

Harry offered Thomas Ince a deal of a lifetime, and soon Ince’s Studio sprung up on a short street named after him. The properties are surrounded by Hollywood bungalows, many of which will house the city of technicians and craftsmen needed for the state-of-the-art studio to operate. All this coincided while two homes were being built on the corner of Lucerne and Higuera. The yards are connected to the studio’s backlot.

Research is indicating that this property was a studio compound for actors making films. Luxuries exist such as a Koi Pond, push button switches and glass door knobs are inside the home. These same luxuries existed in the make-up rooms that sat at the top of the stages used in classics such as Gone with the Wind. Room after room were lined up like an assembly line. The door handles were glass, push button switches, a mirror, a toilet, a place to sit or lay. Amazon tore all this down. These rooms no longer exist, but they did, similar to what exists on this corner. But the home attached to this room and koi pond are for Hollywood’s elite, when filming in this area. Once Opulent sliding stain glass doors sit covered yet discarded. Everything to do with this property has a lime green color attached. Even the door of this ancient Make -Up room has green tint.

It seems apparent that green was the identifier for RKO. Even the walk path to the front door of Chris’ home has green.

Please understand, this is a work in progress for me, connecting dots, intelligently. Over one- hundred years of film history has evolved since this star-make up room rolled into town. It was making movies before Culver City was incorporated. The sign on the hill overlooking this future film community dates back to Hollywoodland.

I find it possibly more than coincidence that each Ince Property involving studios was a Triangle.

Triangle Ranch greeted you at Inceville. The name Triangle carried on to Culver City was the studio name before it became MGM. Finally, this make-up trailer ended up being parked at the hypotenuse of a property shaped like a triangle. Ince’s world was all about…Triangles

Inside this house, glass handles and push button switches are what you touch. Two gates once attached to this Triangle from the rustic backlot ranch just outside the homes back doors. One gate was dedicated to this dressing room. In 1964, Stalag 13 was built where the Tara Plantation from Gone With the Wind once stood. The kitchen window of this house once looked at the King Kong’s Skull Island walls, the the Tara Plantation. Then finally Stalag 13 from Hogan’s Heroes.

You could pop corn and watch actual filming take place as the corn pops. It’s that house, like a Twilight Zone. You could be in the movie depending on what door you exit. Reality shape shifters…

Watch a rerun of Hogan’s Heroes here, you can still hear Klink and Schultz call roll call. It’s here, I snuck into this Stalag, just like Bob Crane leading his merry men in and out of this camp by means of a tree stump. Well, I picked up that stump 50 years ago and rolled it cross town on a steel wheel cart.

50 years later, I’ve discovered another heirloom that attaches as a horse drawn trailer, by means of a steel wheeled hitch.

I’m honored to take you inside to explore inside this ultimate- Hollywoodland– time capsule. Mr. Ince and Marion want the world to see and experience this heirloom-a hundred years later…

Written and lived by Donnie Norden…

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