Making Movies

During the silent era, Santa Monica was not just an ideal locale for shooting pictures: It was an ideal locale for the stars of the era to build their "summer cottages." However, these were not so much cottages in the traditional sense as they were second homes that just happened to be on the beach. Before it was the Pacific Coast Highway, it was Ocean Front Drive, home to the multi-million dollar dwellings of the beach colony. Built in neo-Georgian (Marion Davies), neo-Hispanic (Louis B. Mayer) and neo-French Provincial (Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg), these were summer places on a grand scale. Damask curtains, fine wood paneling, antique silver…these were homes that reflected the status of their owners.

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