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Sunday, March 14, 2021


Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has recently updated its legendary logo. The roaring lion featured at the beginning of its pictures had always been a living, breathing lion who was carefully filmed by a team of brave filmmakers. 

The lion logo was originally used by Samuel Goldwyn for his Goldwyn Pictures. When Marcus Loew acquired Goldwyn Pictures and merged it with Metro and Mayer pictures, the iconic logo became the trademark of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.

The MGM logo became a symbol of excellence, often greeted with cheers and applause by audiences. The lion meant high quality, the biggest and best stars and award winning excellence. 

While later years would tarnish MGM’s reputation and lower its importance in Hollywood, its mythical lion would still roar proudly, a sign that the once mighty studio might be down, but not out. While the famed lion would be regularly changed out during MGM’s Hollywood reign, its most recent incarnation would remain unchanged since 1957. Almost as if the studio remained frozen in time to the moment it went from industry titan to irrelevant.

MGM recently announced that it was finally changing out its logo sequence after 60+ years. The 4K era made the old lion footage look its age- and with the poor shape of the original film elements it was impossible to make it look much better. The new MGM lion is now fully CGI and optimized for high definition viewing. Could the new MGM lion signal a new era for one of Hollywood’s oldest studios?

Monday, February 15, 2021

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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021

Monday, January 11, 2021

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Hollywood’s Golden Age: Haunted Hollywood, Part Four

One of the most haunted locations in Southern California is the Queen Mary. The ship was built in the 1930’s and was used to shuttle travelers from the U.K to New York City in luxury. A who’s who of Hollywood elite would take the trip aboard the elegant ship.

During the dark days of World War II, the ship became a saving grace for Jews trying to escape from Nazi Germany’s clutches. While the ship always tried to do its best at pampering its guests, the ship faced several treacherous voyages through U-Boat infested waters, which often forced it to travel with its lights turned off. During one particularly grim trip, Bob Hope did his best to entertain the guests who were facing possible death. By the time the ship was decommissioned, it had hosted thousands of guests, a handful of which didn’t survive the trek due to illness. The ship had a full surgery that would (most of the time) be used to provide medical care to its guests. Occasionally it might be used to store the bodies of unlucky guests who didn’t survive the trip. While their bodies might have been removed from the ship, some of the unlucky spirits didn’t disembark.

The ship ended up in Long Beach, California after it was decommissioned. Hollywood luminary Jack Wrather, who had heavily invested in the DISNEYLAND Hotel at the urging of his friend Walt Disney, renovated the ship and turned it into a unique hotel and attraction, offering tours and hotel rooms aboard the ship. While the ship had always had a reputation for hauntings, it was at this point that the ghosts seemed to become more active.

The most haunted room is said to be visited by a little girl who tugs at the blankets on the bed, providing a chilling “wake up call” to hotel guests. She is believed to be a child who died on the ship and is forever looking for her family. The room was never rented out for years, but has recently been re-opened for brave guests.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Hollywood’s Golden Age: Haunted Hollywood, Part Three

The Cecil Hotel wasn’t actually in Hollywood, but it was meant to take advantage of the show business gold rush that was streaming into town in the late 1920’s. Unfortunately, the Great Depression intervened. While Hollywood wasn’t affected as much as other sectors of the economy, some belt tightening was needed and the money streaming into Hollywood was just a trickle by the time it got to the Cecil. The hotel quickly went into decline, no longer hosting the who’s who of Hollywood. Instead, the hopefuls and the cast offs found their way to the Cecil Hotel.

One of the Hollywood wannabes who frequented the Cecil Hotel bar was Elizabeth Short. Ms. Short had arrived in Los Angeles hoping to get a job in Pictures. During World War II, she helped out at the Hollywood Canteen, hobnobbing with brave soldiers and the Hollywood elite. None of these opportunities ever panned out and by 1947, Ms. Short was still crashing on couches, meeting gentlemen in seedy places like the Cecil Hotel and trying to make ends meet. Sadly Short would gain the fame she sought in life due to the horrific circumstances of her death. Her mutilated body, bisected in half, was found several blocks away in an empty field. She reportedly still haunts the hallways of the Cecil Hotel, her ghost looking for the fame and stability that eluded her in life.

As the Cecil fell into disrepair, so did its surroundings. Los Angeles had undertaken a cruel citywide sweep of the homeless, shoving them into an area unofficially known as skid row. The Cecil Hotel was right in the middle of it all and began getting a reputation as a place you’d want to avoid. The LAPD began referring to the place as the “Suicide Hotel” because it became the place to end one’s life among the locals. The ghosts of those who committed suicide still allegedly roam the halls of the hotel at night. One suicidal woman actually became a murderer on her way out; she landed on top of a poor bystander who was crushed under her body.

The hotel would continue to House some infamous people like serial killer Richard Ramirez whose “Night Stalker” murders would terrify Southern California in the mid-1980’s. Jack Unterweger, a serial killer who operated under the noses of the LAPD, stayed in the hotel while he committed a series of prostitute murders.

Do some of these stories sound familiar? If you’re an avid watcher of American Horror Story, the Cortez Hotel was based on the Cecil Hotel and many of its stories were based on incidents that occurred there. Today, the current owners of the Cecil are trying to distance it from its haunted, shady past. Would you stay in a haunted, seemingly cursed hotel?