Thursday, December 01, 2005

4037 Coldwater Cyn., To-day

Costello must’ve gotten one hell of a paycheck for 1948’s…Meet Frankenstein. (1947's $7,000 has 2005's purchasing power of $62,529.) This, despite Bud Abbot famously signing lousy contracts while liquored to the gills (he was combating epilepsy—it was medicinal).

So…did Costello skim from the Lou Costello Jr. Foundation? Not likely. Costello bordered on the Christlike, as he—after his 3-yr-old son drowned in daddy’s Los Angeles pool—became obsessed with building churches and sending terminally ill children to world-class doctors. Every child a potential Lazarus.

Valley landmark, the LCJF:

(As for Bud Abbot, by Costello’s death in ’59 [there was no resurrection], Abbot had become penniless and forgotten, excepting some work voicing himself in the 1966 Hanna-Barbera A&C cartoon.)


Roger Alford said...

So, has the Ambassador been torn down yet? I was just reading how Emilio Estevez managed to shoot his Bobby Kennedy movie there before it met the wrecking ball. Are they going to save any part of the hotel for posterity? Any chance you could get some photos?

I visited last summer and was hoping to go inside one last time, but, unfortunately, wasn't able to work it out. It's a shame they're finally tearing the thing down. I was really hoping it could have been saved.

Kim said...

I hear the bloggers at Franklin Avenue are chronicling the death of the Ambassador. I can't bring myself to look.

Nathan said...

Some years ago my ladyfriend and I were at the Ambassador as extras in the HBO Rat Pack movie. We were waiting around between set-ups, which always takes forever, and said screw it, we're going across the street for drinks at the Bounty. So we walked through the ghostly Ambassador, across the lawn, and out onto Wilshire in our early 60s garb. Behind us the Ambassador was shrouded in mist. It freaked out more than a few people, who were terrified of our Shining-esque visage. We had a whole bunch of cocktails that morning, and went back to shoot some more around noon, and I ran all around the place, exploring every inch. The HBShmoes weren't happy, because they like to keep their extras in a basement holding pen, but it's a memory I'll cherish forever.

Roger Alford said...

I made my first trip to Hollywood in the summer of 1997. I went down to the Ambassador to check it out, and they were setting up to film for Why Do Fools Fall in Love. I asked a crewmember if I could look around and she said she didn't care. I was careful not to get in the way or look too conspicuous as I wandered around the lower shopping level, the hallway outside the Grove (peeked in but couldn't get a good look), the lobby, and out by the pool. If I'd had put more money in my parking meter, I'd have wandered around some more. I really wanted to go upstairs and to find the tunnel that connects to the bungalows, but didn't have the nerve to venture that far. to the Great experience, though, and I'll never forget it. I'll treasure the photos I took forever.