You’re so crazy about Hollywood, you’d live in a movie theatre if you could. Staying at the budget-friendly Hollywood Historic Hotel is kind of the next best thing, seeing as it was built by iconic motion picture theatre designer S. Charles Lee, architect of the mesmerizingly baroque Los Angeles Theatre, not to mention more than four hundred other theaters built throughout California and Mexico in the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s.
You drop your bags in one of the 62 character-filled rooms, and think about what it was like to live there in the late 1920s, shortly after the property opened as the Hollywood Melrose Hotel to house aspiring stars of the silent screen.
They loved the building for its proximity to Paramount Pictures - you ask yourself, "What would Louise Brooks have thought of Stranger Things?" as you stroll the hallways of this sprawling, quirky property, which extends along a whole city block. This might not be the most luxurious, up-to-date hotel you’ll ever stay at, but it’s certainly among the most unique.
You while away a few hours at The Edmon, the hotel’s bar-restaurant, where the bartender mixes you several Citizen Kane cocktails—tequila, rhum agricole, avocado, sage, lime—and tells you tales about the property’s history.
Turns out the first floor was always rented out to businesses, and in the 1970s one of them, Edmon’s Unique Furniture & Stone Gallery, began expanding over the entire block. Owner Edmon Simonian, a fourth-generation woodworker and the namesake of the bar you’re sitting in, bought the whole building outright in 1998, six years after it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Simonian began the long and arduous task of single-handedly restoring the entire hotel, including the original red brick exterior, back to its former 1920s glory.
Whether or not his labor of love is finished is a matter of opinion. Either way, as you step out the door to stroll the upscale boutiques and restaurants of charming Larchmont Village, you have a feeling S. Charles Lee would be happy knowing that movie-besotted kids just like you and your friends are still making this place their home sweet home, if only for a night or two.
Hollywood Historic Hotel
5162 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles 90038