Lost Hollywood Victrola Dealer Remembered
A friend alerted me to a YouTube video taken on Hollywood Blvd in 1957. Very briefly a Victor logo is visible on the side of a building. I decided to see if I could identify the dealer that placed it there.
Fortunately the video was annotated to identify some of the intersections as the car traveled down the street. Once I had an approximate address, I was able to find some information on the store.
Thanks to the wonders of Google, I was able to learn that the store at 6614 Hollywood Blvd had been opened around the turn of the century as the Walter R. Gage Music Company. Mr. Gage's primary interest was in pianos, especially in the tuning and rebuilding of same. The family lived on the second floor. The showroom was on the street level, of course, and soon featured musical instruments and talking machines as well as pianos.
In 1920, Mr. Gage sold the business and moved around the corner and established a new business dealing in pianos only. The buyer of old music store was Leon F. Douglass, Jr., son of the first Vice President and General Manager of Victor, Leon Forrest Douglass. By this time Mr. Douglass Sr. had long been gone from Victor, but he maintained a lasting friendship with Eldridge Johnson, the President of Victor. Douglass announced that he would improve the facilities and expand the stock of records and Victor instruments. The new business was named the Forrest Victrola Studio.
He kept the business only a few years, and sold it in January 1924. This was a good time to exit the talking machine business, as radio was quickly capturing the interest of the public. The buyer of the business was the Platt Music Company which now had a total of seven Los Angeles area stores with the addition of this Hollywood address. By the end of the decade Platt would have 22 stores in the city. Unfortunately the Depression forced the company to liquidate in 1931.
I can't determine when the Victor logo was painted on the building, but it is remarkable that it remained intact though the 1950s at least.