Archivist-Authors Stephen X. Sylvester, Mary Mallory and Donovan Brandt Show and Dish with Hollywood at Play

Wednesday, April 12th at 7:00 p.m.

Before celebrity twitter feeds and TMZ, Hollywood stars were watched and admired in their recreational hours at a more graceful remove. In Hollywood at Play: The Lives of the Stars Between Takes, three master archivist-historians of classic Tinsel Town share their fabulous new book about celebrity culture in a seemingly more innocent – but perhaps just as canny – era. Gaze at the stars of yesteryear with the authors Steven X. Sylvester, Mary Mallory and Donovan Brandt. Projection, talk and signing.

HollywoodtPlayGeneration after generation of movie fans from around the world continue to be fascinated by classic-era Hollywood (1925-1960) and its larger-than-life stars.  Why?  Nostalgia for this simpler, more glamorous time offers a safe and temporary escape from our complex modern lives. Hollywood at Play, features unique and rarely seen images of such legendary stars as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Judy Garland, W.C. Fields, and Tyrone Power . Iconic B/W and color images reveal the  classic stars taking time out to enjoy dancing, bike-riding, roller skating, bowling, and playing tennis. The photos contained in Hollywood at Play all come from the collection of Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee, Hollywood’s first and oldest family-owned photo archive.  From the 800,000 images available in their collection the authors have chosen over 150 fascinating and rare photos to include in this book.

“Boris Karloff playing baseball dressed like the Frankenstein monster!  Groucho Marx doing the hustle with Diana Ross!  Orson Welles on the town with Charlie Chaplin!  The famous caricatures on the walls of the Brown Derby!  It’s all here–and more–in a delightful return to the Golden Era of the silver screen, when life was fun, and everyone was beautiful and glamorous, without even trying. “–Rex Reed

“If you share my affection for candid shots of the stars you’ll love (this book)…They know a rare image when they see one and have gathered scores of great examples… Humphrey Bogart playing chess with his pet Scotty…Lon Chaney Jr. in full Wolfman make-up with his German Shepard…Elizabeth Taylor bestowing a kiss on Judy Garland… to cite just a few.” –Leonard Maitlin

SteveSylvesterStephen X. Sylvester is a filmmaker, historic preservationist, program producer and lecturer.  He is the co-author of M-G-M: Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot and 20th Century Fox: A Century of Entertainment and  the former Executive Director of the Wattles Mansion and Gardens, Hollywood’s last remaining original intact estate.  

Mallory 100715 278 Web SizedMary Mallory is a respected researcher, author, and film historian.  She is the author of Hollywood Celebrates the Holidays , Hollywoodland , and Hollywoodland: Tales Lost and Found . Her weekly posts for the Los Angeles themed history blog The Daily Mirror attract a wide readership, and are re-posted by blogs such as Curbed LA, LA Observed, and The Daily Deception, as well as by KFWB and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival.

Donovan BrandtDonovan Brandt is the owner and operator of Eddie Brandt’s Saturday Matinee, Hollywood’s oldest and largest family-owned photo archive.  He has contributed to numerous Hollywood themed books and documentaries and has appeared on American Movie Classic and Turner Classic Movies.