The Hollywood Ranch Market

Alison Martino Hollywood

It wasn’t unusual to see personalities like Frank Sinatra, Ava Garnder or Red Skelton at the Hollywood Ranch Market’s snack bar. Steve Allen used to broadcast his shows from his studio close by. Kim Novak was seen shopping there twice a week when she lived at the Studio Club which was very close by in 1955. This market was located …

The Glorious Disco Days of Flipper’s Roller Rink

Alison Martino Hollywood

The skate center was L.A.’s answer to Studio 54—on wheels It’s hard to believe but roller-skating was practically a national pastime once. It was so trendy during the ’70s, in fact, skating often figured into film and TV plots. Stars rode around on eight wheels in Xanadu, Roller Boogie, Skatetown USA, Charlie’s Angels, and ChiPs. I once skated my way …

Sy Devore: Hollywood’s Swankiest Tailor

Alison Martino Hollywood

In 1944, a tailor named Sy Devore moved to Los Angeles from New York to open a 900-square-foot shop at the glamorous intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, in Hollywood. The shop, which sold handmade custom suits, was next to Wallichs Music City and down the street from the world-famous Brown Derby restaurant. Just five years later, Devore was …

Remembering the Old Beverly Hills’ Public Library

Alison Martino Hollywood

If I could go back in time and return a single L.A. building to its former state, I would pick the old Beverly Hills Public Library. I sat happily with other children on the floor of its screening room, listening to the impeccably tailored Suzanne Pleshette read “Hansel and Gretel” in the late 1970s. A unique light reflected off the …

The Godmother: Alison Martino Preserves the History of Old LA and the Sunset Strip

Alison Martino Hollywood

When Alison Martino enters a room, it’s as if someone flipped the switch on a spotlight. Maybe it’s her creative energy, which has been channeled into television, music, writing and interior design. Maybe it’s the shiny blonde locks, sun-kissed skin and boho chic style that give her away as the ultimate native Angeleno. Or maybe she’s just refracting the years …