Monday, April 23, 2007

The Famous COCONUT GROVE at the Ambassador Hotel

When it opened in 1921, the Coconut Grove instantly became a mecca for movie stars and star-gazers. The famous artificial palm trees which decorated the club's interior were left over from Rudolph Valentino's 1921 movie "The Sheik." The Grove was virtually synonymous with Hollywood glamour - actresses such as Joan Crawford ("Mildred Pierce"), Carole Lombard ("My Man Godfrey"), and Loretta Young ("The Bishop's Wife") were reportedly discovered while dancing at the popular nightclub.

The Coconut Grove was also the site of many of the early Academy Award ceremonies. Oscar statuettes were handed out here on several occasions during the 1930's and early 1940's.

With its Mediterranean styling, tile floors, Italian stone fireplaces and semi-tropical courtyard, the Ambassador enchanted guests for over six decades. Long time residents at the hotel included Howard Hughes, Jean Harlow, John Barrymore and Gloria Swanson, and every U.S. President from Herbert Hoover to Richard Nixon stayed there, as did British royalty. Nixon wrote his Checkers speech here in 1952.

But the hotel had its dark moments as well. It was in the pantry of the Ambassador Hotel that Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, following Kennedy's victory speech following the California primary election of 1968. We will never know what might have been...

In a movie Bobby (2007)
A few scenes were filmed at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, the real-life location of the Robert Kennedy assassination, during its demolition. The wing of the hotel they were using hadn't been touched by the demolition crew yet, in order to preserve items from the pantry where Kennedy was shot.

In February 2006, the Ambassador Hotel was torn down after the film crew shot on the property

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