Tuesday, March 27, 2012

1947project and Esotouric rediscover the Black Dahlia April 14

1947project rediscovers 1946 film of Beth Short's last walk in Downtown L.A.

WHAT: Time travel blog 1947project rediscovers the color b-roll footage shot
in downtown Los Angeles in 1946 for Rita Hayworth's "Down To Earth" and
newly posted by the Internet Archive. The route is identical to the steps
taken by Black Dahlia murder victim Beth Short from the Biltmore Hotel to
the last place she was seen alive.

LINK: http://www.1947project.com/downtoearth

RELATED TOUR: Esotouric's Real Black Dahlia Crime Bus Tour rolls again on
Saturday, April 14, 12pm-4pm, and repeats on July 28. Tour departs from The
Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 5th & Olive, L.A., tickets $58/person Info from
http://www.esotouric.com , 323-223-2767

The history of downtown Los Angeles just got an injection of
energy with the discovery of a previous unknown eleven-minute, full-color
night b-roll clip, filmed from a moving car equipped with a spotlight,
created in May 1946 for the 1947 Rita Hayworth musical DOWN TO EARTH. The
clip was digitized and uploaded by the Internet Archive, the non-profit
public domain repository of cultural artifacts.

And 1947project, the time travel blog that spawned Esotouric's popular crime
bus tours through historic Los Angeles, is on the case, with a blog post
announcing the existence of the film clip, and putting it in context as an
artifact increasing the understanding of Beth Short, the notorious Black
Dahlia murder victim. Her killing remains unsolved, and is the subject of a
new, James Ellroy-presented exhibition at the Los Angeles Police Museum
(http://www.laphs.org ). See the blog post at

Several times in the rediscovered film clip, the driver follows the exact
path that Beth Short took on January 9, 1947, when she left the Biltmore
Hotel (the second-to-last place she was seen alive, time-stamp 2:22), walked
south on Olive Street passing United Airlines and Western Airlines offices
(time-stamp 2:33-2:36), Clifton's Pacific Seas Cafeteria (demolished 1960,
time-stamp 4:57), The Oviatt Building (time-stamp 6:59) and the Los Angeles
Athletic Club (Pelta Furs shop, time-stamp 5:08), then turning east on
Eighth Street, where she entered the Crown Grill bar on the corner
(time-stamp 5:26 and 5:34), and vanished. Six days later, her bisected
corpse would be discovered in a vacant lot in Leimert Park.

FUN FACT #1: The driver takes a route that is now impossible to replicate,
due to Olive becoming a one way street during 1960s redevelopment.

FUN FACT #2: Eerily, the long-closed Crown Grill's stylized logo, prominent
above the door on both sides of the building, more like a human skull than a
crown (see screen grab below):

FUN FACT #3: Journalists won't want to miss the stunning image of the
fully-stocked newsstand (time-stamp 3:47) advertising TRUE STORY and LIBERTY

The film clip, which goes on to provide a stunning view of the Broadway
theater district-- including marquees announcing Rita Hayworth in GILDA,
Howard Hughes' production of THE OUTLAW and Nat "King" Cole live--reveals
the vibrant, neon-drenched and populated post-war downtown scene that was
the backdrop for Beth Short's disappearance. Anyone with a passion for
vintage cars, classic fashion, historic signage, architectural, true crime
and film history will be captivated by this lost piece of Los Angeles found.

Someone has posted the complete 1947 film DOWN TO EARTH to YouTube,
revealing how this b-roll footage was used. At the time-stamped link below,
Rita Hayworth's cab is passing the Crown Grill, the last place Beth Short
was seen alive. Over Hayworth's shoulder, very briefly, are seen signs for
two surviving businesses, the Bristol Hotel and Golden Gopher bar.


To learn more about 1946 Los Angeles, climb aboard Esotouric's crime bus for
their most popular tour, THE REAL BLACK DAHLIA on April 14 (repeating July
28). The tour dedicates itself to revealing who victim Elizabeth Short
really was by exploring her life in Los Angeles from mid 1946 to her January
1947 murder through examination of the police investigation and news
coverage. The various theories of who-done-it are up for discussion during
the onboard Q&A sections, and the hosts share their idea of who the killer
might have been, but the focus is firmly on the 22-year-old woman whose
death continues to fascinate. Along the way, passengers will explore the
social history of postwar Los Angeles and its lively downtown scene and
learn the role the city played in Short's mysterious death.

Passengers on this eye-opening and informative tour will leave with a new
understanding of the Black Dahlia case and what it was like to be a single
woman in 1940s Los Angeles. It is highly recommended for natives and
newcomers, crime and history buffs and anyone who likes to seek out the

Upcoming Esotouric bus tour and special event schedule
Sat April 7 - Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles (weekend pass available)
Sun April 8 ­ John Fante's Dreams from Bunker Hill (weekend pass available)
Sat April 14 - The Real Black Dahlia crime bus tour
Sat April 21 - Crawling Down Cahuenga: Tom Waits' L.A.
Sun April 22 - FREE! Open House at the historic Stendahl Galleries (info at
Sat April 28 - Maja's Mysteries: Rapture & Release
Mon April 30- The LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank featuring John Buntin (info at
Sat May 19 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Sun May 20 ­ Blood & Dumplings crime bus tour
Sat June 2 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: The Lowdown on Downtown
Sun June 3 - Crime lab seminar: The Killer Behind the Camera (info at
Sat June 9 - Hotel Horrors & Main Street Vice
Sat June 16 - The Birth of Noir: James M. Cain's Southern California
Sat June 23 - Weird West Adams
Sat July 14 - Pasadena Confidential (weekend pass available)
Sun July 15 - Eastside Babylon (weekend pass available)
Sat July 28 - The Real Black Dahlia
Sat August 4 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Route 66 (weekend pass
Sun August 5 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: South LA (weekend pass
Sat August 11 - Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles
Sat August 18 - Haunts of A Dirty Old Man: Charles Bukowski's Los Angeles
Sat August 25 - Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles: Boyle Heights & The San
Gabriel Valley

Esotouric's Richard Schave, Kim Cooper and Joan Renner are proud members of
LAVA - The Los Angeles Visionaries Association.

For more info on Esotouric, visit http://www.esotouric.com

No comments: