Friday, February 5, 2016

Catalina Coast

Catalina Island is rich with Old Hollywood history, located just 22 miles off the Los Angeles Coast. Not only was it Norma Jeane's home for a few years while she was married to her first husband, but the Island also served as a location for many of the movies filmed in the early days of Hollywood. During World War II, the island also served as a military training facility and was closed to tourists, which was why Marilyn Monroe and her husband lived on the island of Catalina. 

Catalina has had a unique relationship with Hollywood’s filmmakers for almost a century. The Island has been immortalized on the silver screen hundreds of times and remains a choice location for filming. The Island was an especially popular spot among Old Hollywood elite during the 1930's, 40's and 50's, which is our favorite eras of film and fashion. It was also a very popular spot for filming, as many silent films were filmed here, and continues here to this day. 

Beginning as early as 1911 and continuing through the Silent Film era, and the introduction of sound or "talkies" in motion pictures, the Island served as location for more than 225 films in the Golden Age, and over 500 today. Paramount, Fox, and Metro-Goldwyn, were just a few production companies to use the Island. Avalon, Little Harbor, and the Isthmus were the most common locations used for many of the films (which I'll show you below). Charlie Chaplin and his wife, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Betty Grable, Norma Shearer, and Esther Williams were all frequent visitors. 

Catalina Island c. 1950's
Vintage matchbook from the Island

A young Norma Jeane, aka Marilyn Monroe


After graduating from high school, Jim Dougherty entered the Merchant Marine at the height of World War II, and took his young wife (Monroe) with him when stationed on Catalina Island during 1943.

Marilyn was seen in photos rowing with girlfriends and posing before the island`s most famous landmark, the Avalon Casino. Pictured here is the Theatre 


In 1944, months after leaving Catalina, Norma Jeane was discovered by a photographer whose photos catapulted the career of Hollywood's most famous blond.


Today
Catalina Island c. 1940's

Pink Collar Palace - Hotel St. Lauren
Chaplin filming in Catalina

Chaplin and wife Paulette Goddard








Vintage Map of Island

<3 Tara

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