Wild Times at the Safari Inn

Alison Martino Hollywood

Burbank’s landmark hotel is a piece of the past and the pop-culture present. The Safari Inn is one of Burbank’s most famous historical landmarks, and still open to the public. This Googie-style oasis has maintained its original retro décor, the recently restored neon sign has been shining its kitschy lights on Olive Avenue since 1955, and the shield-and-spears motif repeats …

The Viper Room Turns 24

Alison Martino Hollywood

It’s been 24 years since the Viper Room—a place famous for great drinks, legendary music performances, and being where actor River Phoenix tragically overdosed—opened its doors on August 14, 1993. To celebrate the anniversary, let’s look further back in time. The square-shaped marquee that graces the Viper Room today once listed the names of three previous establishments, all equally as …

How the Beatles Really Ended Up at a Garden Party in Brentwood

Alison Martino Hollywood

Unpublished photos of the Beatles are increasingly hard to come by, but I found a few to twist and shout about! My friend Laura Fleming and I were teenagers when we first pored over images of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in her family’s photo albums back in the ‘80s. I remember fixating on a snap …

Vintage LA: Mosaic Tiles at LAX

Alison Martino Hollywood

To Angelinos, nothing says “Welcome Home” more than the iconic mosaic tiles at LAX. For six seasons, Matthew Weiner’s Emmy-sweeping Mad Men used the stark chicness of mid-century Manhattan as its backdrop, but things got groovier when they headed for Los Angeles. The promotional campaign for the final installment of the AMC hit featured Megan Draper and other cast members …

Living Across the Street from Edward G Robinson

Alison Martino Hollywood

I recently found the above vintage Polaroid photo when my mom was packing up our old house. That’s Edward G. Robinson standing in his driveway, directly across the street from where we lived on Rexford Drive in Beverly Hills. My mother snapped this from my upstairs bedroom window shortly after I was born, and it’s the only photo that we …