Press Releases

Discover the History: Santa Monica’s Gold Coast

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On Sunday, May 18th, 2014, the Santa Monica History Museum will be hosting Discover the History: Santa Monica’s Gold Coast, a lecture by noted film historian Marc Wanamaker. The lecture will follow the history of the Santa Monica Beach north of the Santa Monica Pier to Santa Monica Canyon.  Wanamaker will trace the development of the beach from tents to house to beach clubs on the beach to this day. The social life of the Hollywood Colony, with beach parties hosted by Norma Talmadge, Bebe Daniels and Marion Davies, will be highlighted during this lecture.

Wanamaker has worked in many facets of film production, exhibition, and research for several decades. He is a published historian, lecturer, and teacher who taught film history at UCLA Extension for five years.  Bison Archives, a research and informational archive on the history of the motion picture industry as well as a fine art library, was founded by Wanamaker in 1971. He later formed Bison Productions as a film production arm. He co-produced a commercial documentary on Hollywood history entitled, Ticket To Hollywood and worked on more than one hundred documentaries and feature films since 1971. Using his research expertise he has consulted with many museums and archives specializing on the history of the motion picture and television industries. He is an associate with the Los Angeles County Museum, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, California State Library in Sacramento and is a history consultant with over twenty Southern California Historical Societies.

Being a film and Los Angeles area historian, he has presented countless historical programs on many aspects of historical perspective. In recent years he has been past president of the Los Angeles City Historical Society and has been archivist/museum consultant for the Culver City, Westwood, Santa Monica and Beverly Hills Historical Societies. Wanamaker was also President of the Hollywood Heritage Organization and one of the curators for the Hollywood Heritage Museum. He has been working on production and research projects for all the major and minor film and television studios in Los Angeles and New York as well as consulting on film and television related archives around the country. Marc Wanamaker is also a writer working freelance on book, newspaper, magazine and film projects, having written for Architectural Digest, Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times, American Cinematographer, Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety among others and is currently working on an encyclopedia of the American Film Studios and has authored and contributed to several books.

Discover the History: The Gold Coast will take place on May 18th, 2014, from 2pm – 4pm at the Santa Monica History Museum, 1350 7th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401.  Admission to the lecture is FREE to the public. Doors open at 1:30 pm and parking is available in the adjacent parking garage. Refreshments will be served following the lecture.

For more information, contact Danielle at 310-395-2290, dlewis@santamonicahistory.org

Stop by and see us at LA Heritage Day

We will be participating in this year’s LA Heritage Day in downtown LA on April 27th. Stop by and say hi!

 

L.A. HERITAGE DAY CELEBRATES
SOUTHLAND’S COLORFUL, DIVERSE HISTORY
Free Event Includes 500 Years of Fascinating Facts, 250 Organizations, and 7 Museums
Sunday, April 27, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, Downtown Los Angeles

 

LAHD 2014 Release

Discover the History: The Gold Coast

Speaker Flyer marc

Speaker Flyer marc

DISCOVER THE HISTORY: THE GOLD COAST

Join us Sunday, May 18th, 2014, for a lecture on Santa Monica’s Gold Coast by noted film historian Marc Wanamaker. In the 1920s, the beach north of the Santa Monica Pier was known as the Gold Coast, because the residents along this stretch of beach were rich AND celebrated.  Noted Hollywood personalities such as Irving Thalberg, Norma Shearer, Douglas Fairbanks, Cary Grant, Charlie Chaplin and Marion Davies called this beachfront property home.

Wanamaker has worked in many facets of film production, exhibition, and research for several decades. He is a published historian, lecturer, and teacher who taught film history at UCLA Extension for five years. He has been instrumental in the founding of the American Film Institute facilities in Beverly Hills, the creation of the Los Angeles International Film Exposition (FILMEX), and a leading consultant to the Pordenone Silent Film Conference in Italy.

Discover the History: The Gold Coast will take place on May 18th, 2014, from 2pm – 4pm at the Santa Monica History Museum, 1350 7th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401.  Admission to the lecture is FREE to the public. Doors open at 1:30 pm and parking is available in the adjacent parking garage. Refreshments will be served following the lecture.

 

For more information, contact Danielle at 310-395-2290, dlewis@santamonicahistory.org

Immeasurable Contributions

Immeasurable Contributions: Santa Monica Women during World War II

 

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American Women were crucial to the war effort- especially in Santa Monica. With so many men away at the front, women joined Douglas Aircraft in droves to build, test, and deliver necessary aircraft, patrolled the beaches on civil defense patrols, spearheaded and supported war bond efforts, served in service organizations that provided entertainment and goods to the troops, and even joined the armed services.

In honor of Women’s History Month and in collaboration with the City of Santa Monica’s Commission on the Status of Women, the Santa Monica History Museum is honoring Santa Monica Women of World War II in our Discover the History program.  Immeasurable Contributions will include a slide show of historical photographs, a corresponding short talk and focus exhibit.

The celebration of women’s Immeasurable Contributions to World War II will take place on March 16th, 2014, from 2pm – 4pm at the Santa Monica History Museum, 1350 7th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Doors open at 1pm and parking is available in the adjacent parking garage.

Tarzan and the Santa Monica Connection

DISCOVER THE HISTORY TARZAN AND THE SANTA MONICA CONNECTION

Tarzan the Centennial Celebration jacket art

Join us Sunday, January 26 from 2pm to 4pm for a lecture and book signing on Tarzan.  Tarzan of the Apes (1914), by author Edgar Rice Burroughs, launched a phenomenon, with the ape man swinging from literature into film, radio, television, merchandising, and other media, to become a 20th Century pop-culture presence. Flush with success, Burroughs established Tarzana Ranch in 1919, which was later incorporated as Santa Monica’s neighbor to the north. Scott Tracy Griffin will examine the numerous connections between the novelist Burroughs, the character Tarzan, and the City of Santa Monica on the centennial of the first Tarzan book publication.

 

About Scott Tracy Griffin

Scott Tracy Griffin is the author of Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration (Titan Books, 2012), the only authorized commemorative visual history of American author Edgar Rice Burroughs’s famed ape man. Tarzan: The Centennial Celebration is a 2013 Locus Award finalist in the Art Book category. Griffin, who has been reading, researching, and writing about Burroughs since childhood and appeared in numerous documentaries and news programs discussing the author, has been a Santa Monica resident since 1990.

 

The lecture will take place at the Santa Monica History Museum, 1350 7th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401. Doors open at 1pm and parking is available in the adjacent parking garage.

History will be served

 History will be served: Santa Monica History Museum celebrates silver anniversary with gala honoring founders

Posted September 4, 2013 by The Argonaut in News By Michael Aushenker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s only fitting that the Santa Monica History Museum will hold its silver anniversary gala fundraiser, celebrating 25 years, at Casa del Mar on Sunday, Sept. 15.

The venerable Santa Monica hotel has a lengthy history that goes back to the building’s original incarnation, Club Casa del Mar, a beach club that opened in 1926. Casa del Mar became a hotel and recreation service for the military during World War II, and post-war, the Italian Renaissance Revival-style building went through a succession of usages, including the headquarters of Synanon and Pritikin Longevity Center.

Local history, after all, is what Santa Monica History Museum has been all about in its past quarter-century.

On Sept. 15, the gala dinner event will honor museum founders Louise and Bob Gabriel, museum architect Kris Andresen, and longtime supporter Mary Ann Powell, CEO of Pacific Park at Santa Monica Pier. The casino-themed gala will echo the Rex gambling ship anchored offshore in Santa Monica Bay back in 1939 , with music of the epoch by singer Savi Labensart.

“The first day I saw Santa Monica, I knew I wanted to spend my life here,” Louise Gabriel told The Argonaut.

“We started with nothing,” Gabriel said. “In three years, my husband and I were drafted to start the museum.”
Santa Monica, after all, is where destiny played its hand in 1946, when Gabriel was visiting California with her mother from their native Detroit.

“This was like heaven,” she recalled. “This was like God’s country.”

Sweetening the deal is the fact that she met Bob Gabriel, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy who had fought in the Pacific theater during World War II, right on Broadway and Third Street in the middle of downtown Santa Monica.

Gabriel said she is proud of “what we have accomplished (at the museum). Now we have tens of thousands of original documents and memorabilia.”

Among them were documents and ephemera scored when Santa Monica Bank went out of business and a treasure trove from the Santa Monica Outlook, the newspaper of record since 1875 that printed its final edition in 1998.

“We acquired over 600,000 photographs, most of them are originals, plus negatives,” Gabriel said.

That also includes the personal collection of founding Santa Monican Sen. John B. Jones that descendent Arcadia Bandini had attained. Outlook photographer Bob Smith is another local from whom the museum gleaned mementos, including 25 years worth of his local photography.

“The museum exists today because of Louise’s leadership, determination and especially her enduring love of Santa Monica and guiding passion for preserving its rich, vibrant history to share with everyone,” said Andrea Engstrom, who has worked with Gabriel at the museum since 1998.

“Louise has made a great lasting contribution to the city of Santa Monica by founding the museum and working tirelessly to secure an elegant and permanent home for its history,” Engstrom said.

Originally an appendage of the local historical society with the unwieldy title of Santa Monica Historical Society Museum back in 1975, the Santa Monica History Museum spent 13 years of collecting artifacts before opening its doors in 1988, inside an industrial building on Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica which Sony occupies today.

“They gave us free rent,” Gabriel recalled after a $30,000 investment had established the museum.

Since October 2010, the museum has been located on Seventh Street, housed within the same building as Santa Monica Main Library. Before that, Santa Monica History Museum floated around several locations, including a temporary location on Euclid Street.

“Every day, it’s a great pleasure to be part of the stimulating atmosphere at the museum where visitors, volunteer and staff all thoroughly enjoy the many different ways we become immersed in the fascinating history of Santa Monica,” Engstrom said. “We really like to talk history with everyone.”

Local television personality Stephanie Edwards served as honorary chair of the museum’s silver anniversary and annual gala tribute dinner. Edwards, who began her career as an actress, is best known as longtime co-host of the Annual Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena with Bob Eubanks.

“I was at the original gathering when the museum opened 25 years ago and it seems like yesterday,” she told The Argonaut.

The correspondent, a longtime Santa Monican who today lives in the San Fernando Valley, still has a crush on the Bay City.

“My husband and I lived there for 17 years some while back now,” she said.

“The museum is a lovely one,” Edwards continued. “It continues to grow because of the efforts of people who know how loved it is.”

Engstrom, who works as the museum’s image archive manager and development director (financial management), offered her professional highlight: “The implementation of our online photograph archive with over 3,000 historic images of Santa Monica that the public can access from their home.”

In fact, aside from some shared imagery from the very beginnings of Santa Monica’s history in 1769 (and since its incorporation in 1886), the museum’s online imagery varies (and complements) the images offered by Santa Monica Historical Society and Santa Monica Library. The Bill Beebe collection, comprised of the work of another Outlook photographer, informs a great deal of Santa Monica History Museum’s online inventory, Engstrom added.

Gabriel said she is proud of what Santa Monica History Museum has accomplished in its first official quarter-century for the Bay City, home to some 90,000 citizens today.
“It shows the accomplishments of the city as it developed,” Gabriel said of her museum. “And it brings the community together.

As for Edwards, she can not attend the gala because of a family and class reunion in her native Minnesota. However, she says her heart will be in Santa Monica on that night.
“I love the town,” Edwards said. “I wish I was still living there, frankly.”

The Santa Monica History Museum is located at 1350 Seventh St. Hotel Casa del Mar is located at 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica.

Tickets for the silver anniversary gala are $150 per person. For information and tickets, Danielle Lewis at (310) 395-2290, or dlewis@santamonicahistory.org; santamonicahistory.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Museum awarded $4,000 Grant from ECF of Boeing CA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Santa Monica History Museum has been awarded a $4,000 grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing CA for its Magic of History: Youth Programs. Robert Acherman, a Systems Analyst for Boeing, and contributor to the employee-owned and operated nonprofit organization, recommended the Museum for the grant and made the presentation to Museum Chair, Eddie Guerboian, on August 3, 2013. Robert’s father, Anton, who worked on the Skylab project for McDonnell Douglas (later acquired by Boeing) was also present. The Museum’s youth programming includes free, docent-led tours for school classes and youth groups, student volunteer opportunities, internships, educational programs, research projects and children’s history workshop. A special feature of the Museum’s permanent gallery is the Douglas Aircraft Company Interactive Exhibit, a replicated portion of a C-47, the World War II airplane assembled by “Rosie-the-Riveters” in Santa Monica and other locations.

Museum awarded grant from ECF of Boeing CA

Photo for the ECF grant news story (SM Mirror): In the photo are, left top right – Anton Acherman, retired Douglas/Boeing employee, Eddie Guerboian, Museum Board Chair, Robert Acherman, Boeing employee.

Photo for the ECF grant news story (SM Mirror): In the photo are, left top right – Anton Acherman, retired Douglas/Boeing employee, Eddie Guerboian, Museum Board Chair, Robert Acherman, Boeing employee.

SANTA MONICA MIRROR

Santa Monica History Museum Receives $5K Grant From Boeing Nonprofit

POSTED NOV. 13. 2012, 8:45AM

MITCH JAMES I MIRROR CONTRIBUTOR

The Santa Monica History Museum has received a $5,000 grant from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing CA, an employee-owned and operated nonprofit organization that requires an employee recommendation for its community grants program.

Robert Acherman, a contributor to the fund, and a Systems Analyst for Boeing, said he saw a perfect fit for the Museum. The extraordinary legacy of the Douglas Aircraft Company, one of Boeing’s heritage companies, is showcased at the Museum in a fascinating interactive exhibit in the permanent gallery and complemented with the research library’s outstanding Douglas collection of artifacts, documents and photographs.

Acherman’s interest in the Douglas Aircraft Company’s legacy in Santa Monica is a personal one. His father, Anton Acherman, was living in Santa Monica when he was hired by McDonnell Douglas for the Skylab project and had the pleasure of working with Donald Douglas Jr. Now living in Torrance, Robert maintains strong ties locally, having served as President of the Santa Monica Jaycees in 2007.

Robert presented the ECF grant award of $5,000 in person to the Museum’s Board of Directors, with Chair Eddie Guerboian and President Louise Gabriel very pleased to accept the generous donation. Board members and Operations Manager, Mary Pat Cooney, enjoyed hearing about the Skylab and missile projects from Anton who attended the presentation along with Robert’s wife, Chris. Afterwards, the Acherman family toured the Museum’s galleries and research library.

Museum awarded grant from Southern California Edison


Museum awarded grant from Southern California Edison

Photo for the Edison grant news story (SM Daily Press): In the photo are, left to right – Susan Gabriel Potter, Museum Board Member, Mark Olson, Regional Manager of Local Public Affairs for Southern California Edison, Eddie Guerboian, Museum Board Chair, John Bohn, Museum Board Treasurer, Kris Andresen, Museum Architect and Board Member.

SANTA MONICA DAILY PRESS

History Museum gets $10K grant

January 7, 2013 6:56 PM

Author: Kevin Herrera

In recognition of its youth programs, the Santa Monica History Museum recently received a $10,000 competitive grant from the Edison Company.
“The Magic of History” youth program at the museum seeks to engage and involve young people in the history of their community, educating them with stories and events from the past that also have relevance to the world today, museum officials said in a news release. The museum reaches out to a broad spectrum of young people through elementary and high school classes, Santa Monica College, youth groups and families.
The museum also collaborates with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, museum officials said.
The grant was recommended by Mark Olson, regional manager of Southern California Edison and member of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s environmental affairs committee.

SM History Museum Board Member Mary Ann Powell


Mary Ann Powell is the CEO/General Manager Of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier that plays host to 6.5 million visitors annually.

Mary Ann Powell is the CEO/General Manager Of Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier that plays host to 6.5 million visitors annually.

Up Front With Mary Ann Powell: CEO/General Manager Of Pacific Park

POSTED MAY. 27, 2012, 11:00 PM

BRENTON GAREN / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Mary Ann Powell has spent more than 15 years taking Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier, LA’s only admission-free amusement park, to new heights. As CEO, her sights set on improved profitability, streamlined operations, and exceptional guest service, she has led the way for 16 new amusement rides and attractions, complete midway games refurbishment, creation of a new “Family-Share” rides area, and the renovation and branding of the oceanfront food plaza.

Powell’s strategic vision and creative marketing skills have generated record setting EBITDA growth for the organization since she joined the team in 1997. She also implemented an industry leading customer service program for Park employees.

The Santa Monica Pier, home to Pacific Park, plays host to 6.5 million visitors annually.

In 1994, Powell was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Paramount’s Great America in Santa Clara, CA. She was responsible for all advertising, public relations, promotions, and group sales. Paramount’s Great America enjoyed its largest single season attendance to date of 2.5 million visitors during Powell’s tenure.

For more than eight years, she served as Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament. Under Powell’s direction, the themed dinner attractions were successfully launched in Dallas, Texas; Meadowlands, N.J.; and Schaumburg, IL.

Prior to joining Medieval Times, she held the position of public relations manager for Six Flags Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park, CA, from 1981 to 1983.

Read the rest of the article and her interview here.