Monday, March 15, 2010

The Golden Age

The picture above is the old Bronson Gate at Paramount Studios, which is now contained within the campus of the studio. It's the model for the new gates on Melrose Avenue, another project by Smith and Williams that I vastly enjoyed working on in 1980. The design of the new gates was adapted from the old original design, obviously some reworked operational changes in the ironwork as well as the double in-out purpose of the gates, which included a security entrance shack and the enclosure of the parking inside the property. The Bronson Gate is now inside the property, and isn't a public entrance any more. But that's where everyone checked in for work in the old days.

Paramount kept a lot of people working during the Depression, including my father, who worked in the photography studio, developing the stars' black & white photo prints that were autographed and issued by the studios. It was quite a publicity machine. He also ended up with a bit part in "The Great Waltz" after being a part of the hired cavalry run by Richard von Opel for the western movie genre. After WWII, he went into a "proper" career like so many other vets, moving out of Hollywoodland and into the real world.