Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles 1958
The iconic Palladium theater in Hollywood, California, opened in 1940 with performances from the Tommy Dorsey Band and Frank Sinatra.
Here’s a post from the LA Times, talking about the stars who attended the premiere:
‘Dorothy Lamour was there to snip the ribbon, spangled with orchids, and as Jack Benny, Judy Garland and Lana Turner looked on, hundreds of couples danced the jitterbug on a 11,200-square-foot dance floor made of maple wood. With its coral and chromium interior, Streamlined Moderne swoops and shimmering chandeliers, the Palladium that night must have seemed like a dreamy refuge in a world that was growing darker by the day.’
The newspaper was referring, of course, to WWII which was raging in other parts of the world. American entered the war in December of the following year after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.
So, with the future looking uncertain, no wonder couples flocked to the famous venue on Sunset Boulevard, built on land that had been part of the Paramount Studio lot, to enjoy themselves while they could.
The atmosphere must have been electric – the dance floor was one of the biggest in the world - and up to 4,000 people could be accommodated. Old black and white photographs show smartly dressed couples crammed onto the dance floor and having a marvelous time. the had six bars serving liquor, two more serving soft drinks and a $1 cover charge and a $3 cover charge for dinner.
By the 1950s, Big Band acts were declining in popularity and the Palladium began hosting charity balls and political events. President John F Kennedy attended an event in his honor organized by the California Democratic Party in 1961.
In the following years, Tito Puente, the American musician and bandleader of Puerto Rican descent who was famous for dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions – his most famous song is Oye Como Va – played to sold-out houses.
Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Wonder performed there and in the 80s and 90s punk, rap and heavy metal concerts were in favor.
After the building underwent a restoration in 2008, Jay-Z performed on the opening night.
The Hollywood Palladium has been featured in many TV shows and films including The Blues Brothers (1980) and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
This menu is dated 1958.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.