Archive for the Category »Movie Memorabilia «

Edgewater Beach Hotel Chicago: A Magnet for Hollywood Celebrities

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I have a fascination with hotels that started at a very young age. Growing up, we didn’t have the money to take expensive trips to places like Disneyland, but my sisters and I were perfectly happy going on smaller trips to places nearby. Often times we would just stay at a hotel to enjoy all its amenities, which for us kids meant mostly the swimming pool!

I grew to love staying in hotels during our trips, and my favorite hotel which we stayed at several times was the Leilani Hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Sadly it is no longer there and it’s hard to find information about it, but I did find an article that shows an illustrated picture of the hotel’s layout, which was quite unique. The article mentions that Frank Sinatra may have even entertained there at one time, which would have been cool to see.

Anyway, to this day I love staying in hotels, looking at pictures of hotels, and reading about hotels old and new. So when I read an article about the former Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago and found out it had strong ties to the classic film community, I was intrigued!

I immediately headed to eBay to see if I could find a postcard of the hotel, which I love to do on occasion when the inspiration strikes. I purchased the following postcard, which shows an actual picture of the hotel, but there were many illustrated postcards that I thought were really cool and would like to buy someday.

Edgewater Beach Hotel Chicago

In researching the history of the hotel, I discovered that it was once an extremely popular destination for classic movie stars, which I never would have guessed about a hotel in Chicago, far from the bright lights of Hollywood. The more I read about it, the more I wish I were alive when it was in its heydey, just like I do when I hear about the Copa Room in the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Well, it did still exist for a few decades after I was born, but the exciting days of the Rat Pack performing there were over.

Here are few facts about the history of The Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago:

  • Built in 1916 and designed by famed architects Benjamin H. Marshall and Charles E. Fox, the hotel was built in the form of a Maltese Cross so that as many rooms as possible would have a view of Lake Michigan.
  • The hotel boasted a 1,200 foot private beach where guests could sunbathe during the day and dance at night. It also had its own barbershop, beauty parlor, drugstore, liquor store, photographer’s studio, and gift shop along with many other amenities. Continue reading »
Collecting Vintage Movie Magazines: Featuring Photoplay

One of the things I’d like to do to complement my love of old movies is to start a movie memorabilia collection. I have to admit though that I’ve been dragging my feet on that lately. Eager to get started in some way, I decided to start by collecting a few vintage movie magazines.

There were many movie fan magazines published during the golden age of Hollywood including Photoplay, Silver Screen, Modern Screen, Motion Picture, and Movie Mirror Magazines, and you can still find copies of many of them on eBay. Magazines sold for as little as 10 cents when they were first published, but today can sell for as much as $100 or more depending on who is on the cover or how rare the magazine is.

The first magazine I decided to buy is a copy of Photoplay magazine from February 1946 featuring Ingrid Bergman on the cover. Although verifying whether the magazine is in mint condition before buying is important for serious collectors or for those who may want to sell their collections in the future, I wasn’t as concerned about condition this time. I thought it might be a good idea at first to check out a few different magazines to compare the type of content in each before buying issues that are worth more. I purchased this particular issue for $9.99, which is on the lower end for vintage movie magazines. Continue reading »