A night view of the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel. Hay Whidden & His Orchestra is on the marquee for the Cocoanut Grove.
Dancers on the grounds at the Ambassador Hotel. No date given, but could be around 1930.
Fashion show on the hotel grounds, circa 1930.
The Dancing Sunbeams (from the Bud Murray Dancing School) share the Lido swimming pool with a trained seal named Charley. I think the idea was that the dancers were supposed to race the animal. Photo taken in June of 1930. (LAPL: 00055444)
Patio dining at the Ambassador Hotel, taken sometime between 1923 and 1933.
A rare candid taken inside the legendary Los Angeles night spot, the Cocoanut Grove, in March of 1936. The people seated at the table are Mary Brian, Cary Grant and Wendie Barrie. The two men standing behind them are Ben Lyon and Ben Bernie.
Poolside in 1937. Photographer: Herman J. Schultheis / LAPL 00072128
The Ambassador Hotel in 1939. (LAPL 00104321)
A Conga line forms after the main show ends at the Cocoanut Grove on June 22, 1940. (LAPL: 00055459)
The Navy Relief Ball held at the Cocoanut Grove on June 12, 1943. (LAPL: 00055460)
Postcard reads: Save 50% on Ambassador Lido’s Special Course. 16 complete treatments for $25. Includes posture corrective exercise, Reducing Ring Roller, Baths and full body massage – also use of plunge and Suntan Beach on day of treatment. This offer may be withdrawn without further notice, so please let me hear from you. This card entitles you to a complimentary treatment – not transferable. Free Parking…Louise Brown, Directress.
Another view of the Lido Pool Club.
“Model Mothers” with the Blue Book Model Agency lounge with two children at the Lido swimming pool in 1945. (Photo: Ralph Morris/LAPL)
Although the Cocoanut Grove started its “Night in Hawaii” as early as 1928, it became a regular Tuesday evening event from 1951 to at least 1954.
Mrs. Herbert A. Hitchins modeling the “Butterfly Aerialist” headdress during the 17th Annual Las Foristas Floral Headdress Ball at the Cocoanut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel, April 23, 1955. (LAPL)
House bandleader Freddy Martin recorded a live album at the Cocoanut Grove in 1957. He also provided the launching pad for one of his crooners, Merv Griffin. Martin returned to the Ambassador in the 1970s.
Too bad the Ambassador Hotel was edited out of this news photo, but here are two women asking JFK for an autograph during his breakfast. Photo was taken in September of 1960, shortly before election time. (LAPL 00105435)
A Kodachrome taken outside of one of the Ambassador Hotel bungalows. Photo is undated.
The east side entrance to the hotel, circa 1963.
Partying at the Cocoanut Grove in 1964. (LAPL 00001759)
“Miss Boat Show” Bi Egnell in 1964. (LAPL 00124786)
Ted Kennedy campaigning for brother Bobby inside the Embassy Room at the Ambassador Hotel on May 7, 1968. (LAPL: 00105591)
On June 5, 1968, Robert “Bobby” Kennedy was fatally shot inside the hotel’s pantry. Juan Ramero, a hotel employee, knelt beside him seconds after the shooting. Although Kennedy did not die in the hotel, his shooting erased much of the hotel’s storied past in the minds of many Angelenos.
Photo taken in 1978 by Anne Laskey. By this time, the Ambassador was definitely rumored to be a haunted by more than one ghost. LAPL 00090134.
A great shot of the art deco bas relief sculpture near the outer entrance pylon of the (demolished) Ambassador Hotel. The photo was taken in 1978 by Anne Laskey. (LAPL 00090142)
The Embassy Room in 1987.
The Palm Bar near the lobby.
The Cocoanut Grove in 2003. The palm trees were for the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, who staged the last performance before the building’s destruction.
A beautiful shot of the Ambassador Hotel’s registration desk, circa 2005. (Photographer: Tom Zimmerman / LAPL 00085035)
An east side entrance to the hotel in 2005 with an empty fountain is in the foreground. Photographer: Tom Zimmerman. LAPL 00084984
The hotel’s east facade in 2005. (Photographer: Tom Zimmerman / 00084980)
A hallway of the hotel’s Casino Level in 2005. (Photographer: Tom Zimmerman / LAPL 00085078)
The hotel’s shopping promenade on the Casino Level. Date: 2005. Photographer: Tom Zimmerman. (LAPL)
The interior of one of the retail spaces inside the Casino Level in 2005. (Photographer: Tom Zimmerman / LAPL 00085086)
Entrance to the Cocoanut Grove, circa 2005. (Photographer: Tom Zimmerman / 00085039)
A hallway that once ran from the main ballroom to the kitchen, circa 2005. (Photographer: Tom Zimmerman / LAPL 00085098)
The infamous pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in 2005. Photographer: Tom Zimmerman / LAPL 00085100
An empty suite at the Ambassador, circa 2005. Photographer: Tom Zimmerman (LAPL 00085056)