Welcome to Vintage Los Angeles

Alison Martino is a Los Angeles-based television producer, documentarian, columnist for Los Angeles Magazine and lifelong resident of the city. Alison’s current social media reach is over 800,000 and growing. Her zeal for history and lifelong penchant for collecting has resulted in one of the largest collections of restaurant memorabilia, photographs, postcards, and matchbooks. Her deep knowledge of Hollywood history and personal acquaintances throughout the industry has resulted in features about Alison on ABC’s Eye on L.A., The Travel Channel, NPR Radio, The Huffington Post, CurbedLA, The New York Times, and the nationally syndicated show, The Insider. In December of 2015, she also landed on the cover of West Hollywood Magazine. 2017 was a banner year for Alison as she co-produced and stared in a film about the life of Jayne Mansfield (called “Mansfield ’66/’67”) which was featured in 17 film festivals worldwide. Alison also had the honor of hosting an event at the Aero Theatre where she interviewed Rose Marie, Dick Van Dyke, Peter Marshall and Carl Reiner. On top of all that, she was also featured in a commercial for Turner Classic Movies. 2018 is continuing right where 2017 left off with Alison busy as ever.

Check out Alison’s latest Blog entries here.

For Alison’s recent article in Curbed LA on Quentin Tarantino’s transformation of Hollywood Boulevard for his latest movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, click here.

Martino’s affection for old Hollywood and her hometown’s architecture led her to create the wildly popular Vintage Los Angeles (VLA)— an ever growing photo-centric Facebook page dedicated to highlighting L.A.’s physical transformation during the 20th Century, as well as its history as the center of the entertainment industry and community. Vintage Los Angeles not only focuses on sharing photos, but also on creating an active online community. Vintage Los Angeles has over 325,000 followers on Facebook, and has become a go-to site for commentary and conversation on the entertainment industry and Hollywood history.

Before starting VLA, Alison Martino produced television shows for Bravo, TV Land, A&E, VH1, Lifetime and Ryan Seacrest Productions. She spent five years at E! Entertainment Television producing the classic cult series Mysteries & Scandals, a Hollywood Babylon-esque show which focused on the flip side of fame. For her TV productions and live events, Alison has interviewed dozens of movie star legends and pop culture icons including Dennis Hopper, Jack Lemmon, Cliff Robertson, Steve Allen, Phyllis Diller, Dick Cavett, Betty White, Janet Leigh, Glen Campbell, Nancy Sinatra, Valerie Harper, The Smothers Brothers, Casey Kasem, Roger Corman, Bryan Cranston and the cast of “Dukes of Hazzard.”

The entertainment industry is taking note of the enormous audience Alison has built for VLA and her other social media outlets. To gain access to what Alison has built, Lionsgate engaged her to promote La La Land on the Vintage Los Angeles page, including red-carpet interviews at the film’s premiere. For the 2013 film Gangster Squad, Alison provided Warner Bros. her own vintage Los Angeles memorabilia. She generated a ton of buzz for the Tower Records documentary, All Things Must Pass, directed by Colin Hanks. In 2017, Martino was invited to attend the TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL. Her coverage was so extensive it led her to partner with the network for future programs, events and movie releases. Alison’s extensive collection of personal memorabilia even caught the eye of Oliver Stone back in 1991 for his movie The Doors, where she supplied many of her rare relics and artifacts for the production.


 

‘West Hollywood’ magazine feature

Alison Martino's Vintage Los Angeles Alison Martino
Alison teamed up with the Ebersole Hughes Company to create the web series VLA TV. She is also media director for Dan Tana’s, a West Hollywood Italian eatery popular with celebrities and locals since 1964. Her passion for this historic restaurant landed her a full-time position promoting its 52 years in business.

Martino is an advocate for historic preservation of the architecture that makes Los Angeles and its surrounding communities like West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica unique, and for the buildings that are iconic representations of the entertainment industry. She worked to bring back the original Chasen’s Chili, helped save vintage signs on Sunset Strip and to preserve the original caricatures on the walls of The Palm Restaurant, and advocated removal of vendor carts that blocked public access to the historic Chinese Theater in Hollywood — a crusade that was spotlighted in the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter.


Welcome to Vintage Los Angeles

Alison Martino Alison Martino is a Los Angeles-based television producer, documentarian, columnist for Los Angeles Magazine and lifelong resident of the city. Alison’s current social media reach is over 800,000 and growing. Her zeal for history and lifelong penchant for collecting has resulted in one of the largest collections of restaurant memorabilia, photographs, postcards, and matchbooks. Her deep knowledge of Hollywood history and personal acquaintances throughout the industry has resulted in features about Alison on ABC’s Eye on L.A., The Travel Channel, NPR Radio, The Huffington Post, CurbedLA, The New York Times, and the nationally syndicated show, The Insider. In December of 2015, she also landed on the cover of West Hollywood Magazine. 2017 was a busy year for Alison as she co-produced and stared in a film about the life of Jayne Mansfield (called “Mansfield ’66/’67”) which was featured in 17 film festivals worldwide. Alison also had the honor of hosting an event at the Aero Theatre where she interviewed Rose Marie, Dick Van Dyke, Peter Marshall and Carl Reiner. On top of all that, she was also featured in a commercial for Turner Classic Movies. 2018 is continuing right where 2017 left off with Alison busy as ever.

Check out Alison’s latest Blog entries here.

For Alison’s recent article in Curbed LA on Quentin Tarantino’s transformation of Hollywood Boulevard for his latest movie “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”, click here.

Martino’s affection for old Hollywood and her hometown’s architecture led her to create the wildly popular Vintage Los Angeles (VLA)— an ever growing photo-centric Facebook page dedicated to highlighting L.A.’s physical transformation during the 20th Century, as well as its history as the center of the entertainment industry and community. Vintage Los Angeles not only focuses on sharing photos, but also on creating an active online community. Vintage Los Angeles has over 325,000 followers on Facebook, and has become a go-to site for commentary and conversation on the entertainment industry and Hollywood history.

Before starting VLA, Alison Martino produced television shows for Bravo, TV Land, A&E, VH1, Lifetime and Ryan Seacrest Productions. She spent five years at E! Entertainment Television producing the classic cult series Mysteries & Scandals, a Hollywood Babylon-esque show which focused on the flip side of fame. For her TV productions and live events, Alison has interviewed dozens of movie star legends and pop culture icons including Dennis Hopper, Jack Lemmon, Cliff Robertson, Steve Allen, Phyllis Diller, Dick Cavett, Betty White, Janet Leigh, Glen Campbell, Nancy Sinatra, Valerie Harper, The Smothers Brothers, Casey Kasem, Roger Corman, Bryan Cranston and the cast of “Dukes of Hazzard.”

The entertainment industry is taking note of the enormous audience Alison has built for VLA and her other social media outlets. To gain access to what Alison has built, Lionsgate engaged her to promote La La Land on the Vintage Los Angeles page, including red-carpet interviews at the film’s premiere. For the 2013 film Gangster Squad, Alison provided Warner Bros. her own vintage Los Angeles memorabilia. She generated a ton of buzz for the Tower Records documentary, All Things Must Pass, directed by Colin Hanks. In 2017, Martino was invited to attend the TCM CLASSIC FILM FESTIVAL. Her coverage was so extensive it led her to partner with the network for future programs, events and movie releases. Alison’s extensive collection of personal memorabilia even caught the eye of Oliver Stone back in 1991 for his movie The Doors, where she supplied many of her rare relics and artifacts for the production.

Alison Martino

Alison teamed up with the Ebersole Hughes Company to create the web series VLA TV. She is also media director for Dan Tana’s, a West Hollywood Italian eatery popular with celebrities and locals since 1964. Her passion for this historic restaurant landed her a full-time position promoting its 52 years in business.

Martino is an advocate for historic preservation of the architecture that makes Los Angeles and its surrounding communities like West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica unique, and for the buildings that are iconic representations of the entertainment industry. She worked to bring back the original Chasen’s Chili, helped save vintage signs on Sunset Strip and to preserve the original caricatures on the walls of The Palm Restaurant, and advocated removal of vendor carts that blocked public access to the historic Chinese Theater in Hollywood — a crusade that was spotlighted in the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter.

‘West Hollywood’ magazine feature

Alison Martino's Vintage Los Angeles 
Vintage Los Angeles is a labor of love,” Alison said. “It is a daily celebration and a historical resource that draws people from all over the world. It’s the next best thing to a time machine.”

What's Happening with Vintage Los Angeles

What’s Happening with Vintage Los Angeles?

9 hours ago

Vintage Los Angeles

Sharing this from Jeffrey Sherman (son of Robert B. Sherman of the famous Disney song writers, the Sherman Brothers). This was posted this past Friday and it’s too beautiful not to share....

“In the 60's, working for Walt Disney, Dad and Dick wrote two songs for Disney pavilions at the New York World's Fair; "Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow" for the GE "Carousel of Progress" Pavilion and "It's a Small World" for Bank of America.

As I've posted before, Dad and Dick wrote Small World while the Cuban Missile Crisis was going on. If you listen to the lyrics, it's the Sherman Brothers reminding us all that...

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears,
It's a world of hopes and a world of fears,
There's so much that we share that it's time we're aware
It's a small world after all.

There is just one moon and one golden sun and a smile means friendship to everyone...

You know the rest.

Part of Dad's great inspiration for this song was Martin Luther King. Dad thought he was magnificent and was surely influenced by MLK's speeches and wisdom.

Because of his closeness with the Sherman Brothers and to thank them for writing these iconic songs, Walt flew my mom and dad and Dick and his wife out to New York on his private plane.

While they were there, Dad and Mom were driven on a golf cart through the yet-to-be opened fairgrounds. Dad spotted Martin Luther King walking through the park and tapped his driver to abruptly stop.

To mom's horror, Dad leapt out of the golf cart, limped with his cane (he was shot in the knee while a US GI in Germany toward the end of WWII) as fast as he could to go over and shake the hand of the great man he so admired. Dad was like that.

As he approached Dr. King, out of nowhere, according to my mom, a team of huge bodyguards merged on this apparently crazy man with a stick who looked to be assaulting the great civil rights leader. Mom jumped off the golf cart and shouted, "It's okay! He's a songwriter!"

Dad was restrained a moment, till the truth came out. Shaking Dr. King's hand was one of Dad's most cherished memories.

At 19, my father, you see, had been the first US GI in to liberate the Dachau prison camp. He was also the only Jew in his squad. Dad saw firsthand what prejudice and bigotry wielded and for the rest of his life devoted himself to righting that wrong, and other darkness through his uplifting creativity. "To bring happiness to people."

This weekend, as we honor and remember the great Dr. Martin Luther King, I feel his message, and the Sherman Brothers words are more pertinent than ever before in this country.

"I have a dream..."

"There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone..."

We should build bridges, not walls. We should welcome not repel. We are all humans who can help each other and coexist on this planet. There's no reason for hate.

Smile at a stranger this weekend. Lend a hand where you can. Be kind. Forgive.

And then we will heal. Then we find peace.

Have a lovely weekend.

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

- Jeffrey Sherman
... See MoreSee Less

Sharing this from Jeffrey Sherman (son of  Robert B. Sherman of the famous Disney song writers, the Sherman Brothers). This was posted this past Friday and it’s too beautiful not to share....

“In the 60s, working for Walt Disney, Dad and Dick wrote two songs for Disney pavilions at the New York Worlds Fair; Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow for the GE Carousel of Progress Pavilion and Its a Small World for Bank of America.  

As Ive posted before, Dad and Dick wrote Small World while the Cuban Missile Crisis was going on. If you listen to the lyrics, its the Sherman Brothers reminding us all that...

Its a world of laughter, a world of tears,
Its a world of hopes and a world of fears,
Theres so much that we share that its time were aware
Its a small world after all.

There is just one moon and one golden sun and a smile means friendship to everyone...

You know the rest.  

Part of Dads great inspiration for this song was Martin Luther King.  Dad thought he was magnificent and was surely influenced by MLKs speeches and wisdom. 

Because of his closeness with the Sherman Brothers and to thank them for writing these iconic songs, Walt flew my mom and dad and Dick and his wife out to New York on his private plane.  

While they were there, Dad and Mom were driven on a golf cart through the yet-to-be opened fairgrounds.  Dad spotted Martin Luther King walking through the park and tapped his driver to abruptly stop.  

To moms horror, Dad leapt out of the golf cart, limped with his cane (he was shot in the knee while a US GI in Germany toward the end of WWII) as fast as he could to go over and shake the hand of the great man he so admired.  Dad was like that.

As he approached Dr. King, out of nowhere, according to my mom, a team of huge bodyguards merged on this apparently crazy man with a stick who looked to be assaulting the great civil rights leader.  Mom jumped off the golf cart and shouted, Its okay! Hes a songwriter!  

Dad was restrained a moment, till the truth came out.  Shaking Dr. Kings hand was one of Dads most cherished memories.  

At 19, my father, you see, had been the first US GI in to liberate the Dachau prison camp.  He was also the only Jew in his squad.  Dad saw firsthand what prejudice and bigotry wielded and for the rest of his life devoted himself to righting that wrong, and other darkness through his uplifting creativity.  To bring happiness to people.

This weekend, as we honor and remember the great Dr. Martin Luther King, I feel his message, and the Sherman Brothers words are more pertinent than ever before in this country.  

I have a dream...

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone...

We should build bridges, not walls.  We should welcome not repel.  We are all humans who can help each other and coexist on this planet. Theres no reason for hate. 

Smile at a stranger this weekend. Lend a hand where you can.  Be kind.  Forgive.  

And then we will heal.  Then we find peace.

Have a lovely weekend. 

Happy Birthday, Dr. King 

- Jeffrey Sherman

 

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Then your Dad liberated my Uncle!

“Feed the Birds” is one of the most poignant and beautiful songs ever written. I can’t listen to it without shedding a tear or two every time.

Beautiful. I will never ride Small World without thinking of this story and the wonderful man behind the song.

I am a huge Disney fan and love It's a Small World, but am so saddened by the fact that they have priced themselves out of bounds for so many families. As a California native my childhood is filled with the joy and wonder of Disneyland. Today the admittance and parking rates are out of reach of too many families. So incredibly sad.

Helpful hint- I discovered this a few years ago. If you have a song in your head, any song, and you can't get rid of it, nothing helps, your days become waking nightmares and the last thing you hear before going to sleep and the first thing you hear upon waking up is that accursed song, just start singing "It's a Small World"- it's power will destroy the song tormenting you, but they will basically cancel each other out and you won't replace one song with another. Works every time. 😉

What an absolutely beautiful story Thank You for sharing

Carousel of Progress is still my favorite exhibit at Disney World.

It was a brilliantly successful ride and song . The song will stick in your head . When I worked for Flying U Rodeo Company “ Thank You Very Much “ a Disney tune was our closing music, equally sticky . My boss was a self described “ Jew from the ( Long Beach ) Pike “ .

Small World is my favorite Disney song. At Disneyland Anaheim I would sing along and embarrass the hell outta my kids.

That is a fantastic story and thank you for sharing! But...I am kind of on the fence for the "small world" song...created one of the biggest earworms known to man. (A little side note...I paid the front desk lady at a company I worked for years ago to play the full version of the song on a Disney CD I had over the company wide loudspeakers. Yea...a lot of people were mad at me...LOL)

That's powerful stuff, right there.

I love stories about the ‘64 Worlds Fair- I grew up right there in the 60s and only vaguely recall going!

Thank you for sharing, very touching.

Thanks for the share....perfect for the day....

Beautiful...that made me misty...l

Best thing I’ve seen written about Dr. King today. Thank you for sharing. HBD MLK

WoW

Beautiful.

Man has a dream,and that’s the start. He follows the dream with mind and heart. And when it becomes a reality, it’s a great big world for you and me.

Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. Their songs mean so much to me and Disneyland is one of my addictions. What a blessing they all are to humanity!

Beautiful post! Thank you! 🙂

Oh yes, Big Beautiful Monsanto.

❤️❤️❤️

What a moving tribute on this sacred day!

We never know whos lifes we will or haved touched

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14 hours ago

Vintage Los Angeles

Today would have been Wolfman Jack's 81st birthday! ... See MoreSee Less

Today would have been Wolfman Jacks 81st birthday!

 

Comment on Facebook

My uncle gave me a handheld transistor radio when he left for the Vietnam war. He told me he would send me messages through the radio so that I would know he was okay. I was about 5 years old, so I believed him. The station he set it to had Wolfman Jack as a dj at night. As long as I could hear that howl, I knew my uncle was coming home...and he did.

Uncle Bob... you are missed. <3 (here we are back in 76 or 77)

He was one of a kind and the likes of him will never be seen again RIP

I was in radio back in the ‘90s and my boss was a former LA radio big-shot. He said he spent a couple years as Wolfman Jack’s handler. He told me about a coke-fest that featured the Wolfman and Robert Plant. I found this to be a pretty unbelievable pairing. My boss thumbed through his pictures, pulled a couple out and there it was in living color: Wolfman Jack, Robert Plant and my boss with a horrible ‘70s perm!

I was listening one night to The Wolfman and some girl called and Wolfman answered, "What song you wanna hear, baby?" The girl said, " 'This Is Dedicated To The One I Love' " and Wolfman replied, "I know, baby but what SONG you wanna hear?" The girl said, " 'This Is Dedicated To The One I Love' " And Wolfman screeched, "I KNOW, BABY BUT WHAT SONG YOU WANNA HEAR???" And the girl hung up. Some people just didn't get his weird humor!

In the dorm in 1966 my roommate and I listened to the Wolfman on Mexican station XERB, very echoey and otherworldly sounding. We speculated on what he looked like. Walking on the Subset Strip in 1967 with my date, we saw a drawing of Jack in an office window, which solved the mystery. Nice memories.

So sad there is so very little decent radio anymore.

A Funny guy. I met him years ago in a dark studio on Melrose in Hollywood doing his radio show from "Texas". A real legend.

Never forget listening to XERB in the 60's as a 12 year old hearing The Wolfman doing his crazy stick at the top of his lungs at someone on the phone then zooming in close to the the mic for that big full low voice and sayin'; "Are you naked baby?" My head exploded Loved him on the radio

Boss Radio! Wolfman Jack on 93 KHJ.

My dad worked at Knotts in the late seventies. I was a kid but loved Wolfman Jack since AG. I remember my dad telling me he met him at work. This is one of the things he kept from his days at the farm.

I saw him once in a restaurant in Colorado. Nothing exciting happened but I thought I would share.

Wolfman Jack was my music guru when I was a pre-teen

Clap for the Wolfman!

He Was the Coolest Guy , Never Be Another Wolfman Jack 💓✌

Fun fact. The wolfman lived on a street called Ferrari drive.

Grew up with you young man ... your the best! Happy Birthday

Wolfman Jack lived near me when I was at East Carolina University In North Carolina. Local TV would interview him every so often. He seemed like a great guy. Amazing that he’d only be 81. Yikes

Listened to him every day/night for years. He was the best!

I remember listening along with my mom to him late at night on some station that I think said Del Rio, TX? Only as an adult did I realize that was Wolfman Jack!!! 😲

He was so in 70’s when he was local you call his hotline and he would answer put your name on the air with song you wanted to here

Loved Wolfman Jack! I was in acting class in my teens and became close friends with his daughter-we sadly lost touch. Message me if you see this, xo!

It’s still his birthday Wolfman Jack Forever ❤️

I listened to him on XERB. What a startling surprise for my young ears.

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14 hours ago

Vintage Los Angeles

Rexall "Owl" Drugs on the corner of La Cienega and Beverly Blvd then and now. The sleek, huge, ultramodern drugstore with its curved facade opened in the fall of 1947. It WAS one of the most the glamorous pharmacies in the world including Art Deco cosmetic displays, a food counter, a separate liquor & cigar section, and wooden phone booths. In april 1952, Marilyn Monroe shot photos here for Life Magazine. The structure was also double the size back in the day. It was referred to by residents as the big giant drug store. It was also the best place to find funky items and gifts and old show biz encounters was an every day occurrence. Tragically, all the original features were removed when CVS took over. Now it looks like any other drug store across America. (You also might remember when it was Long’s & Walgreens - but even they kept the original features) ... See MoreSee Less

 

Comment on Facebook

I saw Liberace buying wine glasses there one night I bought his estate auction catalog hoping to buy them But alas they were not there...

Upstairs from Rexall was Kaiser Permanente clinic in the late 50's - early 60's. My father was an ENT doctor there and I had my first job there as a file clerk in Medical Records. We had many meals in the Rexall coffee shop.

There is a special place in Hell for CVS.

In May 1953, Aldous Huxley took mescaline for the first time. That afternoon, he walked seven blocks to Owl/Rexall to experience the air-conditioned comfort-among other experiences! (Source: Huxley in Hollywood.)

Now as CVS it looks lifeless and very shabby, The interior with dirty carpet and dreary lighting .

I enjoyed burgers, fries and shakes there as a kid.

Don’t know why we always have to change everything! Beautiful store before!

Saw Jerry Seinfeld there a couple times. There was a lovely transgender woman work in front and I believe one of Seinfeld episodes about Jerry dating a woman with man hands was from his experience in Rexall

Alison, another outstanding post for all of us who love the City of Angels. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your page,

I thought preservationists protected iconic buildings. This is horrible.

...and available parking!! Miss all the great items they use sell.

Would love to see a photo of the lunch counter.

Yep ! Loved loved the back room .. magazines - school supplies- 45s etc etc

My grandfather was a pharmacist for Owl Drugs but not at that one.

It used to be my pharmacy. I remember picking up a prescription there and being concerned about the cost. But the guy ahead of me was picking up prescriptions for Elizabeth Taylor. The size of her pharmacy bill made mine look insubstantial.

That big damn, red target bullseye is everywhere there is inhumanity.

So cool! We had an Iwl drugs in Fullerton when I was a kid. Not as fancy as this but they had beautiful gift section etc.

Spent alot of my childhood in that place. Ate dinner in the resturant that was attached to it. Best banana splits ever! Look's awful these days..

We used to go in the early 90s, I remember a clerk behind the counter saying “Just look at that...” I turned around and there was nothing unusual behind me. “...look how beautiful this place is.” He was so proud of working there.

In the mid-70s, the music group I was with was managed out of the Greif-Garris building at 8467 Beverly, which was right across the street. It was still Rexall then.

'47-48 Buick, '46-48 Olds.

Shame on CVS for destroying the historical interior of this icon of LA of the 50s and 60s. Each week after getting my allergy shots at the Kaiser Permanente clinic next door to the Rexall my mom would take me to lunch at the counter at the Rexall (or across the street for a bar-b-q beef sandwich at Smokey Joes). After moving from LA to the east coast in the 1970s I'd visit this shrine on each return to my hometown and would head straight to the candy counter to buy UNO candy or Mountain Bars which were unavailable in the east. What great memories!

This was my first Los Angeles pharmacy (when it was Long’s.) Meeeeemories!

CVS destruction of the original architectural features were probably allowed for by zoning, or lack thereof. There is a section of Alexandria, VA, having several art moderne buildings. A CVS there at 1521 Quaker Lane uses the original design and actually posts a large neon sign in red rather than use LED and red plastic covers. It looks great and is in keeping with the neighborhood.

Is it still there?

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