Monday, January 09, 2012

A Day at the Beach

Annenberg Beach House, Santa Monica

The weather has been GORGEOUS in Los Angeles....70-80 degrees! You'd barely think it was the middle of winter! Yesterday I was invited to a screening and party at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica.

A friend since childhood, Phil Savenick, was celebrating his birthday with a preview of his new film, "Matisse's Ghost and Moi." Phil's a verrrrry creative guy. The film was truly memorable, especially for fans of Matisse's work. You can view an earlier film in Phil's artist series here. Happy Birthday, Phil!!! Thanks for the swell party!

Phil Savenick in "Matisse's Ghost and Moi"

I hadn't visited the Annenberg Beach House yet. It's really a beautiful place. This was formerly the site of actress, Marion Davies' mansion, built by her paramour, William Randolph Hearst. The architect for the beach house and guest house was Julia Morgan, who also designed Hearst's castle at San Simeon. I do remember during the 50's, 60's and 70's when this was the Sand 'n Sea Beach Club. We all have many fond memories of hanging out at Tee's Beach, next to the Club and sneaking over to use the swimming pool in our youth. The original mansion was damaged beyond repair after the Northridge earthquake, but the Guest House has been restored in all it's 1920's glory. In place of the mansion, there is a fantastic public space including the original swimming pool, cabanas, patio area, conference and meeting rooms, a sandy play area for kids and a beach cafe.

The venue is open to the public. You must visit!The Restored Guest House

There also happened to be a celebration for Marion Davies birthday yesterday in the Guest House, next to the Annenberg Venue. There were people dressed in 1920's garb, speakeasy music playing and the video cameras were rolling. After Phil's event, I sauntered over to the Guest House for a look. Wow! this is some guest house! I'd love to be a guest forever. The furniture is not particularly period, but it's comfy, plenty of room for people. The bathrooms have been restored to their divine tiled glory. It would be so much fun to have a party here!

Marion Davies' Guest House
Restored Tile Bathrooms
Marion's Original Mansion
Marion Davies at the Beach in Santa Monica

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At 4:41 PM PST, Anonymous Jo Anne said...

Are you busy today?? It is so late for your post! Looks like another fun day for Ellen & Co. I have not been to the Annenberg Beach House yet. For someone that spent every summer day at the beach I NEVER go anymore!! I used to eat at Back on the Beach on a fairly regular basis. Go there on my roller blades. Not so sure I like those bathrooms....have to go and check them out myself?

At 5:39 PM PST, Anonymous fredde said...

and I LOVE the bathrooms, they remind me of our homes, or at least mine in B.H. growing up!!!! and I LOVE Phil!!! Happy Birthday to our mutual old friend and how exciting it is that his movie is in festivals!!!! very creative person!!!!

At 5:41 PM PST, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Me too, Fredde. The Spanish tiled bathrooms are in the Guest House, not for the public! There are very modern bathrooms in the Annenberg Bldg.

Phil S. is amazing. I loved the movie!

At 9:31 AM PST, Blogger Mom Walds Place said...

Wow, if that was the beach house, imagine what the mansion was like. Thank you for sharing vintage photos with your story. They are like the frosting on the cake!


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