Several months ago I learned of a monument erected on Vine St. just north of Hollywood Blvd. for a movie that was actually the first movie made in Hollywood. I drove to where its location was, and after getting out of my car I was impressive. I did research and discovered this was a Latino storyline film made in 1910 and that it was the first movie ever made in Hollywood. I was amazed and very happy. I had heard of a dedication last year of this as well, but never knew it had to do with Latinos. On further investigation I discovered the company (Biograph) is still in business, and after going to a couple of websites, found out the format was a melodrama depicting early California Latinos as people, rather than stereotypes. I told my associates and friends, "GO SEE THIS!" Now, truly the Latino culture is recognized, and that our culture had a MAJOR part of the beginning of Hollywood back in the day.
But, I just recently drove down Vine to see it, and it was GONE! I could not believe my eyes. There are two buildings on either side, one is a Chinese restaurant (Forbidden City), and the other is another building with a steak house on the bottom floor. Where the monument WAS, is right next to the patio of the Chinese restaurant. To make you aware, this monument had the names of Mayor James Hahn, Henry Waxman - Congressman, and the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on it. How can such a valuable part of Hollywood and Latino history just disappear? I have made several phone calls to the city of LA and I even tried to contact the Chinese restaurant, though I think the monument was a city thing. I also contacted Biograph, and they were as shocked as I was.
My conclusion is that either it was stolen, or was purposely removed. Why, I have no idea, but I have called all of my entertainment associates and friends to call the City and those involved to find out.
This mystery needs to be solved, and the monument needs to be returned to its proper place. If it was stolen, the criminals need to be found, and punished. If it was removed, who removed it? Biograph didn't. Was it the City? No return calls from them. Whose property is it on? Is that City property, or does it belong to the Chinese restaurant or the steak house?
I will keep you posted on my findings. In the meantime, please help me and contact James Hahn's office (MayorHahn@mayor.lacity.org) also Henry Waxman the Congressman (http://www.house.gov/waxman/contact.htm) or the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce (email@example.com). Maybe the Forbidden City or the steakhouse next door knows. I will also contact Biograph again. Their e-mail is (firstname.lastname@example.org)