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A walk in the park
#1
 The popular Laurel and Hardy short Men O' War was - as most fans know - filmed in Hollenbeck Park, a favourite haunt in Los Angeles as a respite from the frenzied city area. The movie's climax is the mayhem on the boating lake, everyone ending up in the water. James Finlayson is at his most wonderful boiling point as the boat-owner on the promenade. Alas the boating has long gone. along with the boat house, and the park has been transformed with bridges and rebuilding. But its former glories are visible in many movies of the golden age of cinema.

Harold Lloyd's bitter-sweet scene when he jumps from a bridge into the river in Haunted Spooks as one of his many "suicide jokes" was filmed there, and the bridge can also be seen in Men O' War in the early scenes when the ladies are talking and the boys find the stray undies.
It was during the making of Haunted Spooks in Hollenbeck Park that Lloyd lost his right index finger and thumb, when a prop-bomb with a small explosive charge accidentally detonated in his hand. His face and body were also injured, but after a time in hospital he returned to Hollenbeck to finish shooting the movie. In the interim, Sam Goldwyn - who had worked in the glove industry - devised a cunning skin-tight glove with fake finger and thumb that could be activated by clever stitching, and it was typical of Harold Lloyd that he soon developed the skill to use it for best advantage. He also made the move Girl Shy partly in Hollenbeck Park.
The pool sequence in Snub Pollard's 1923 classic It's A Gift was also filmed in Hollenbeck Park, as were parts of more serious films, like the Bette Davis scene in Three On A Match.
The park was opened in 1892 as a memorial to John Edward Hollenbeck, who had founded the First National Bank.
Today Hollenbeck Park is described as an "oasis" in the LA urban desert. The landscape has changed somewhat since the early movie days, not least with a massive bridge carrying the Golden  State Freeway. Alas there are no boats on the lake any more, and in 2004 it was closed for major restructuring and was re-opened in 2008 in much-transformed nature. It's a treasured feature of the Los Angeles district and popular for picnics, informal outdoor sports and skateboarding in a designated area.
Here's how it looks now:
[Image: hollenbeck.jpg]
More in photo gallery: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/hollenbec...y6zKlZg6BA
 
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#2
Nicely researched, thanks!

Here's a "then and now" presentation I put together on Laurel and Hardy's MEN O' WAR, showing the sites used in the film as they were in 1929 and in 2015:

https://youtu.be/da34Yx3MGdo

In addition, THE PAJAMA GAME filmed the number "Once a Year Day" at Hollenbeck too. You can see that clip here:

https://youtu.be/LkdWgMFzVNE
 
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