The Ambassador Hotel was a hotel in Los Angeles, California, and location of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub until it was demolished in 2005. The hotel began operation formally on January 1, 1921. It was the site of the Academy Awards six times (the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 12th, and 15th) and the June 1968 assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. The hotel closed to guests in 1989.
Ambassador Hotel, 2004.
Location within the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Ambassador Hotel (California)
Ambassador Hotel (the United States)
|Location||3400 Wilshire Boulevard|
Los Angeles, California
|Design and construction|
|Number of rooms||500|
The Ambassador Hotel was located at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, between Catalina Street and Mariposa Avenue in what is now known as Koreatown. It was designed by Pasadena architect Myron Hunt in an eclectic Mediterranean Revival style with Art Deco elements and signage.
The Ambassador Hotel was frequented by celebrities, some of whom, such as Pola Negri, resided there. From 1930 to 1943, six Academy Awards ceremonies were performed at the hotel. Perhaps as many as seven U.S. presidents stayed at the Ambassador, from Hoover to Nixon, along with chiefs of state from around the world. For decades, the hotel's famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub hosted well-known entertainers, such as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Lena Horne, Nancy Wilson, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Liza Minnelli, Martin and Lewis, The Supremes, Merv Griffin, Dorothy Dandridge, Vikki Carr, Evelyn Knight, Vivian Vance, Dick Haymes, Sergio Franchi, Perry Como, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, Sammy Davis Jr., Little Richard, Liberace, Natalie Cole, Richard Pryor and Shirley Bassey.
During the 1920s, the Ambassador Hotel's nightclub Cocoanut Grove was frequented by celebrities like Louis B. Mayer, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, Howard Hughes, Clara Bow, Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Anna May Wong, Norma Talmadge and others. According to Photoplay, Joan Crawford and Carole Lombard were frequent competitors in the Charleston contests held on Friday nights; Lombard was discovered at the Grove.
The names of the hotel and its nightclub quickly became synonymous with glamour; "Cocoanut Grove" would become a trendy name for bars and clubs across the United States.
During the 1930s the Cocoanut Grove was frequented by celebrities of cinema such as Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg, Errol Flynn, Jean Harlow, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Lana Turner, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Lucille Ball, Ginger Rogers, Gary Cooper, Loretta Young, and countless others. On February 29, 1940, the 1939 Academy Awards Ceremony was held in the Cocoanut Grove, with Bob Hope hosting.
Loyce Whiteman, singer for the Cocoanut Grove Orchestra, recalled, "the most beautiful thing about the Grove is that they stood in front of you when you sang and just swayed to the music. Joan Crawford would stand at the stand and sing a couple of choruses with the band. It was a house full of stars."
An early MGM color movie short, Starlit Days at the Lido (1935), was filmed at the Lido Spa in the Ambassador, of a lunchtime tea dance featuring the Henry Busse band and vocalists, novelty acts with Arthur Lake), Cliff Edwards and Ben Turpin, chorus girls and reaction shots of "guests," including Francis Lederer, Buster Crabbe, John Boles and MC Reginald Denny.
During World War II the Ambassador Hotel was used for war fundraisers in Cocoanut Grove and when the war ended, the Cocoanut Grove became a retreat for servicemen, servicewomen, and many movie actors.
The Ambassador Los Angeles was built as part of the Ambassador Hotels System. At the time the hotel opened in January 1921, the chain consisted of the Ambassador Los Angeles, the Hotel Alexandria in Los Angeles, the Ambassador Santa Barbara, the Ambassador Atlantic City and the Ambassador New York. The Santa Barbara property burned down soon after on April 13, 1921, and the Alexandria left the chain in 1925, while the Ambassador Palm Beach joined in 1929.
The chain was eventually dissolved in the 1930s. The Ambassador Los Angeles was sold to Schine Hotels. The Ambassador New York was sold and operated independently until 1958, when it was sold to Sheraton Hotels and renamed the Sheraton-East. It was demolished in 1966 for the construction of 345 Park Avenue. The Ambassador Atlantic City was gutted in the late 1970s and converted to the Tropicana Casino & Resort. The Ambassador Palm Beach was sold in 1933 and became the Palm Beach Biltmore, before being converted to condos.
In the pantry area of the hotel's main kitchen, soon after midnight on June 5, 1968, and after a brief victory speech in the Embassy Room ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel, the winner of the California Democratic presidential primary election, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, was shot along with five other people. Palestinian immigrant Sirhan Sirhan was arrested at the scene and later convicted of the murder. Kennedy died one day later from his injuries, while the other victims survived their wounds. During the demolition of the Ambassador Hotel in late 2005 and early 2006, portions of the area where the 1968 shooting occurred were eliminated from the site. The section of Wilshire Boulevard in front of the hotel has been signed the "Robert F. Kennedy Parkway".
The death of Robert F. Kennedy coincided with the beginning of the hotel's demise, hastened by the decline of the surrounding neighborhood. By the 1970s, the gang and illegal drug problems in the area near the hotel were already becoming severe, and worsened. Despite a renovation of the Cocoanut Grove in the mid-1970s, with the creative control of Sammy Davis, Jr., the property declined.
The Ambassador Hotel was closed in 1989 to guests, but remained open for filming and private events. A liquidation sale of the hotel's contents was conducted in 1991.
The hotel was a popular filming location and backdrop for movies and television programs, starting with Jean Harlow's 1933 film Bombshell. As business declined and was eventually shuttered, it provided a convenient filming location for hotels and restaurants in The Graduate, Beverly Hills, 90210, L.A. Story, Pretty Woman, True Romance, The Wedding Singer and many other films and television shows. A living time capsule of the period, it was a perfect location to represent any 1950s through 1970s period hotels, as in Almost Famous, Apollo 13, Catch Me If You Can, Hoffa, and That Thing You Do.
The last project to specifically film in the infamous kitchen was "Spin the Bottle", a 2004 episode of the TV series Angel. The 2006 film Bobby was the last project to physically film on the hotel property, gaining access in late 2005 to film crucial establishing shots even while portions of the hotel were already in the process of being demolished.
Following its closure, the Los Angeles Police Department used the property to train for large scale operations requiring the coordination of many officers. The 2003 film SWAT recreated such training, in scenes shot at the hotel.
The Ambassador itself has been memorialized as a "character" in films. The Cocoanut Grove was recreated for the 2004 movie The Aviator, while the 1999 film The Thirteenth Floor recreates the hotel when the main characters visit 1937 Los Angeles.
The Cocoanut Grove also hosted musician Roy Orbison and several performers in September 1987 for the television special Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night, first shown on Cinemax in early 1988. Rock band Linkin Park also held their press photo shoot for their 2003 album Meteora at the hotel. Guns N' Roses filmed the music video for their song, "Patience", in the hotel in 1989. R&B singer "Chuckii Booker" filmed the music video for his song "Games" from the album Niice 'n Wiild at the hotel in 1992. The hotel also served as the filming location for the music video of the 1997 Marilyn Manson single "Long Hard Road Out of Hell" off of the soundtrack for the Todd McFarlane motion picture Spawn.
From 2004 to 2005, the Ambassador Hotel was closed completely and became the topic of a legal struggle between the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), which wanted to clear the site and build a school; Sirhan Sirhan, who, through his lawyer the late Lawrence Teeter, wanted to conduct more testing in the pantry where Robert F. Kennedy was shot; and the Los Angeles Conservancy and Art Deco Society preservationists, who wanted the hotel and its various elements saved and integrated into the future school.
The Location Managers Guild organized an event together with the Jefferson High School Academy of Film and Television in March 2005, entitled Last Looks: The Ambassador Hotel. They mentored students in script breakdown and location scouting, using the hotel as a potential location to be scouted, documenting the property one last time. The images taken by both the students and the professionals were then exhibited side by side at Los Angeles City Hall.
After much litigation, a settlement was attained at the end of August 2005, allowing the demolition to begin in exchange for the establishment of a $4.9 million fund, reserved for saving historic school buildings in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
On September 10, 2005, a final public auction was held for the remaining hotel fittings and work soon began on demolition of the Ambassador Hotel. On January 16, 2006, the last section of the Ambassador fell, with most of the demolition being done during 2005, leaving only the annex that housed the hotel entrance, a shopping arcade, the coffee shop, and the Cocoanut Grove, all of which were promised to be preserved in some manner and used in the new school.
A wake attended by hundreds of people was held for the Ambassador Hotel on February 2, 2006 at the Gaylord Apartments and adjoining restaurant H.M.S. Bounty, both part of a historic building built during 1924, directly across the street from the Ambassador Hotel; Diane Keaton, who was one of many who fought for the preservation of the hotel, was among the speakers of the ceremony.
The Cocoanut Grove was renovated several times before, destroying much of its architectural integrity, and it was promised that it would undergo yet another major transformation before becoming the auditorium for the new school. Also promised was preservation of the attached ground floor coffee shop, designed by noted architect Paul Williams.
Due to claims of poor structural integrity, however, the LAUSD decided to demolish most of the Cocoanut Grove, retaining only the hotel entrance and east wall of the Grove.
The six schools were named as the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. The K–3 facility opened on September 9, 2009 and the 4–8 and high school facility began operation on September 14, 2010. The north side of the new school has a slightly similar appearance to the original facade of the hotel and north lawns will remain much the same, as seen from Wilshire Boulevard.
A feature-length documentary film by Camilo Silva, After 68: The Rise and Fall of the Ambassador Hotel, is being made with an estimated release date in 2014. In a 2013 interview Silva reported that the film was "about half" shot.
The 10th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film for 1952 films, were held on February 26, 1953, at the Ambassador Hotel (Los Angeles) in Los Angeles.14th Golden Globe Awards
The 14th Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film for 1956 films, were held on February 28, 1957, at the Cocoanut Grove, Ambassador Hotel (Los Angeles).15th Academy Awards
The 15th Academy Awards was held in the Cocoanut Grove at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles honoring the films of 1942. Best Picture honors went to the film Mrs. Miniver. The ceremony is most famous for the speech by the film’s Oscar-winning actress Greer Garson. Garson’s acceptance speech as Best Actress ran nearly 6 minutes and is generally considered to be the longest acceptance speech at an Academy Awards ceremony.
Mrs. Miniver was the second film (after My Man Godfrey in 1936) to receive nominations in all four acting categories, as well as the first film to garner five acting nominations.
Also notable at the ceremony, Irving Berlin presented the Academy Award for Best Song, which he ended up winning for "White Christmas".
Voting for the Best Documentary category resulted in a four-way tie, an outcome that has not happened before or since.
A portion of the ceremony was broadcast by CBS Radio.2nd Academy Awards
The 2nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films released between August 1, 1928, and July 31, 1929. They took place on April 3, 1930, at an awards banquet in the Cocoanut Grove of The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
Radio coverage began with this ceremony, with a local broadcast by KNX, Los Angeles.As the ceremony was being held more than eight months after the end of the eligibility period, it was decided that the 3rd Academy Awards would be held in November 1930, so as to bring the awards ceremony closer to the relevant time period. As a result, 1930 was the only calendar year in which two awards ceremonies were held.
The second ceremony included a number of changes over the first. Most importantly, it was the first presentation for which the winners were not announced in advance. Additionally, the number of categories was reduced from twelve to seven.
The 2nd Academy Awards is unique in being the only occasion where there were no official nominees. Mary Pickford, a founding member of AMPAS and the wife of its first president, lobbied to be considered for the Best Actress award, inviting the judges over for tea at her home, while other actresses who were considered for the same award were not made aware of their consideration. Subsequent research by AMPAS has resulted in a list of unofficial or de facto nominees, based on records of which films were evaluated by the judges.
The Divine Lady is the only film to ever win Best Director without a Best Picture nomination, excluding the first year where there was an award for comic director.
This is the only year in which no movie won more than one Oscar. The Broadway Melody became the second of seven films (Wings, Grand Hotel, Cavalcade, Hamlet, The Sound of Music, and Titanic are the others) to win Best Picture without a writing nomination, and the first of three to win Best Picture and nothing else (Grand Hotel and Mutiny on the Bounty are the others).2nd Primetime Emmy Awards
The 2nd Emmy Awards, retroactively known as the 2nd Primetime Emmy Awards after the debut of the Daytime Emmy Awards, were presented at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California on January 27, 1950. Like the 1st Primetime Emmy Awards, Emmys were primarily given out to Los Angeles-based TV shows and stations.
Several new award categories were introduced, including "Best Sports Coverage". However, it would be a few decades later until that category would become a permanent fixture in the Sports Emmys.3rd Academy Awards
The 3rd Academy Awards were awarded to films completed and screened released between August 1, 1929, and July 31, 1930, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
All Quiet on the Western Front was the first film to win both Best Picture and Best Director, a feat that would become common in later years. Lewis Milestone became the first person to win two Oscars, having won Best Director – Comedy at the 1st Academy Awards.
The Love Parade received six nominations, the greatest number of any film to that point. However, it did not win in any category.
Best Sound Recording was introduced this year, making it the first new category since the inception of the Oscars. It was awarded to Douglas Shearer, brother of Best Actress winner Norma Shearer, making them the first sibling winners in Oscar history.3rd Primetime Emmy Awards
The 3rd Emmy Awards, retroactively known as the 3rd Primetime Emmy Awards after the debut of the Daytime Emmy Awards, were presented at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California on January 23, 1951.
This would be the last year that the Emmys were primarily given out to shows that were produced or aired in the Los Angeles area. Starting with the 4th Annual Emmy Awards, nominations were considered on a national television network basis.5th Academy Awards
The 5th Academy Awards were conducted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on November 18, 1932, at a ceremony held at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. The ceremony was hosted by Conrad Nagel. Films screened in Los Angeles between August 1, 1931, and July 31, 1932, were eligible to receive awards.Walt Disney created a special animated short film just for the banquet, Parade of the Award Nominees.Grand Hotel became the only Best Picture winner to be nominated for Best Picture and nothing else. It was the last film to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination until Driving Miss Daisy (1989), and the third of seven to win without a screenwriting nomination.This was the first of three Oscars in which two films not nominated for Best Picture received more nominations than the winner (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Guardsman). This happened again at the 25th and 79th Academy Awards.
This year also introduced short films to the Oscars, with Flowers and Trees being the first color winner and first animated short winner.This was the first and, to date, only ceremony in which there was a tie for Best Actor, as well as the last ceremony to date in which no film won more than two Oscars.Ambassador Hotel
Ambassador Hotel may refer to:
Ambassador Hotel (Los Angeles), California
Ambassador Hotel (Jacksonville, Florida)
Ambassador Hotel (New Delhi), India, built in 1945, now part of the Taj Vivanta chain
Ambassador Hotel (San Francisco), California
Ambassador Hotel (Atlantic City), building gutted and converted to the Tropicana Casino and Resort Atlantic City in 1981
Ambassador Hotel Historic District, Kansas City, Missouri, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Ambassador Hotel (Tulsa, Oklahoma), listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Ambasador Hotel, Niš, SerbiaAmelita Baltar
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Hocine Khalfi (January 7, 1928 – August 27, 2011) (commonly misspelled, "Hoacine") was an Algerian-American boxer from Oran, Algeria. He was orphaned at the age of seven and raised by his aunt. Khalfi, who started boxing at the age of 17, quickly rose through the ranks. He was the featherweight champion of Algeria in 1945. Named "Golden Glove," Hocine found himself in Paris where he began to deliver his first professional battles; He was only 18 years old. Over his 9-year career (1948–1957), Khalfi scored 16 knockouts. His final record was 47-22-7.Marlborough-Blenheim Hotel
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