Studio Club Café, Universal Studios 1939
In 1914, Carl Laemmele purchased the 230-acre Taylor Ranch, five miles north of Hollywood, and began construction on Universal City, the largest and most advanced filmmaking facility in the world at that time.
The German American immigrant, who got his start in the movie business in Chicago, envisaged a factory-based, assembly-line mode of film production, with an annual output of some 250 films.
Universal City was not only a gigantic working studio, it also had its own police force, mayor, post office, bank, school and zoo. The general public was invited to see the movie-making action for an admission fee of five cents, but these groundbreaking studio tours were discontinued around 1930 due to the advent of ‘talkies’ and stages not being sufficiently soundproofed.
The studio’s trademark genre in the 1930s were horror films such as Dracula and Frankenstein ( (1931) The Invisible Man ( 1933) and Bride of Frankenstein( 1935) and a remarkable range of film-making talent started at Universal including the actor Rudolph Valentino and director John Ford.
Other famous films made there include To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds (1963) The Blues Brothers ( 1980) Scarface ( 1983) Field of Dreams ( 1989) and Steven Spielberg’s Jaws ( 1975) and Jurassic Park ( 1993), among many others.
The luncheon menu image is from October 1939 when B-list movies such as Legion of Lost Flyers, One Hour To Live and First Love were in production. Note that a Director's Special lunch costs 50c and, for actors watching their weight, a Diet Plate costs 65c.
Laemmele’s dream of allowing the general public access to film-making took flight again in 1961 when Universal recommenced tours of the studio.
Today, Universal Studios and its theme parks across the globe host millions of film fans every year.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.