Thursday, June 2, 2016

On Location

This story seems right out of a Hollywood Movie.....cue the music, pan the cameras (not sure if that is really a term, but it sounds good!), ready, set, action......
In 1936 Joe Pelkofer, owner of Hollywood Cabinet Company, came up with a project to keep his employees busy during slow times. Not simply employees, Master Craftsmen cabinet makers.  He had them building a detailed recreation of Hollywood landmarks in miniature titled On Location.  The detail is described in an LA Times article in 1986.  Oh how I would have loved to witness this creation which seems to have been built with passion and respect; not to mention hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Here are a few excerpts from the LA article which can be read in it's entirety here: A Little Magic Returns: Miniatures Re-Create Hollywood of the 1940s

In Pelkofer's own words regarding the display:

"I met a lot of stars because of it," Pellkofer said of his display. "But I didn't build the damned thing to see a movie star. I built it just because I felt like it. And because Hollywood is Hollywood. It's magic. You could pick any other city and who would care? But Hollywood in the '40s was still a live city. It was really alive. That's why we built Hollywood. Hollywood was known all over the world. It still is."

This description truly intrigues me:

"We even had a man sitting down at the ocean (in Malibu) with a stopwatch timing the waves, so that in the miniature they would be just right, not too fast, or too slow," Pellkofer explained. "There are about a dozen hand-carved rolls of wood with steel rods through them that turn to show the waves rolling. That was tricky."

Here is the part that sounds as though this was a movie in the making all on its own.  According to an auction catalog from 2010 (on where I took the photos from to share with you), 'Pellkofer's Series of Miniatures toured the country from the East Coast to the West Coast to help raise funds for charitable organizations and at one time they were stolen from a location in Oregon and then found in a police station in South Carolina. After many years of being stored in a barn in La Habra the Miniatures went on display for the public to view in a Hollywood location in the 1980's. The Miniature Movie Studio is a very detailed composite of Hollywood's Movie Studios of the late 1930's and early 1940's. Due to storage, the age and the history of the Miniature there is restoration work that does need to be done to make the Studio Come Back to Life, once again. {L 70" x W 50" x H 15"}'

This is one of those miniature stories that has me curious on so many levels.  Simply reading the LA Times article and finding the listing on the auction site, I now want to know who bought it, did any of you see it, what scale is it considered (the article states it is a scaled model), where is it, oh so many questions!

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