WHAT: The first publication in fifty years of lost 3-D color photographs of historic Los Angeles restaurant signs and exteriors, taken by vaudeville star George Mann in the 1950s and 1960sWHERE: Part One in a series of historic L.
A. restaurant-themed blog posts published today as "From the George Mann Archives: Cruising the Coast Highway" at http://www.onbunkerhill.org/manneats1LOS ANGELES- George Mann just might be the most interesting Los Angeles photographer you've never heard of. His color scenes of the lost Victorian neighborhood of Bunker Hill, taken just before it was demolished fifty years ago in a misguided urban renewal project, have transformed our understanding of downtown. And now a newly discovered set of incredible color photographs of historic Los Angeles restaurants and bars is sure to have local history buffs all a-buzz. They're featured only on L.A.'s time travel blog, On Bunker Hill.Hundreds of striking color photos were taken between 1954 and 1963 by former Vaudeville star George Mann (half of the comedy acrobatic dance troupe Barto & Mann) for placement in the 3-D viewing machines he manufactured and distributed to Southland bars and restaurants. The thematic sets included original images of Chinatown, Catalina, Big Sur, Las Vegas, San Pedro, Death Valley, UCLA, the Salton Sea and a great many more.Today, the On Bunker Hill time travel blog published the first in a series of posts celebrating George Mann's bar and restaurant series, with a virtual 1950s-era road trip on the coast highway from Santa Monica to Malibu. Featured are ten stunning color photos of such lost establishments as The Albatross, The Malibu Inn, The Point, Jacks at the Beach and the old Las Flores Cafe (aka The Sea Lion Restaurant) with its gorgeous figural neon seal-themed sign. In addition to George Mann's historic photos, social historian Kim Cooper provides the stories of the restaurants, and the colorful personalities that ran them.Upcoming On Bunker Hill blog posts celebrating George Mann's lost restaurant photos will focus on Restaurant Row, the Sunset Strip, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles and upscale Long Beach establishments. Included in the images to be published soon are photos of the legendary (and seldom photographed) 1950s hot rod cruising centers The Clock and The Wich Stand.George Mann's Los Angeles photos were discovered in his archives by daughter-in-law Dianne Woods in 2010. While researching the images, she found the On Bunker Hill time travel blog, and offered to let the blog feature Mann's Bunker Hill images, online and in archival prints for sale. Since then, Mann's family has also shared with On Bunker Hill some of the short films he made featuring fellow Vaudevillians like The Three Stooges and W.C. Fields. The new post about Malibu restaurants continues the ongoing process of sharing Mann's important photographic legacy with interested historians and the general public.To see George Mann's rediscovered Los Angeles photographs and learn about his fascinating career that took him and his diminutive sidekick Dewey Barto (real-life pop of TV's "Rhoda's" mom Nancy Walker) from the stages of west coast vaudeville to the Great White Way, including a featured place in the smash show "Hellzapoppin'" and rare film of their act, visit all the On Bunker Hill blog's George Mann pages at http://onbunkerhill.org/taxonomy/term/507For the newest post, "From the George Mann Archives: Cruising the Coast Highway" visit http://onbunkerhill.org/manneats1 ABOUT BUNKER HILL and the ON BUNKER HILL blog: Bunker Hill in the 1870s was early Los Angeles' most distinguished address, an enclave of grand Victorians, gorgeous gardens and clear-skied views out to Catalina and beyond. By the 1910s the wealthy had moved on, and the Hill's mansions became rooming houses. Up on the Hill, life moved at a different pace. Writers Raymond Chandler, John Fante and Charles Bukowski came and were captivated by the place. Painters Leo Politi, Kay Martin and Millard Sheets made its rotting hotels and sad-eyed residents the subject of their art. And down at City Hall, planners schemed about how Bunker Hill could be declared a slum, its old houses pulled down, its people moved along, leaving a blank slate where skyscrapers could grow. By 1970, Bunker Hill was a field of dirt. In 2008, the time travel bloggers of 1947project turned their attention to Bunker Hill. Over a year, the blog grew into a house-by-house survey of the great old downtown residential neighborhood that was demolished to create the high rise district that shares its name, but none of its charms. The blog's contributors, including authors, historians, librarians and tour guides, delved deep into historic archives to uncover the most fascinating tales of more than a century of life on Bunker Hill. 1947project is the brainchild of Kim Cooper, pop music historian ("Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth"), tour guide (Esotouric bus adventures) and preservation activist (Save the 76 Ball). She was joined ON BUNKER HILL by author Nathan Marsak, LAPL history librarian Mary McCoy, Esotouric's Joan Renner, LAPL photo collections manager Christina Rice, Esotouric's Richard Schave and author John Toomey.For more info about ON BUNKER HILL, please visit http://www.onbunkerhill.orgExplore lost Los Angeles history on these upcoming Esotouric bus adventures: Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits' L.A. (4/21), Maja's Mysteries: Rapture & Release (4/28), Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles (5/19), Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown (6/2), Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice (6/9), The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare (6/16). More info at http://www.esotouric.comOn Bunker Hill founder Kim Cooper, as are George Mann's archivist daughter-in-law Dianne Woods and his son Brad Smith. To schedule interviews, contact Kim Cooper, amscrayATgmailDOTcom, 323-223-2767.