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Frigidaire’s Hollywood Showroom

The corner of Hollywood Boulevard and McCadden Place got a modern makeover in 1930 when Frigidaire established its Hollywood showroom. Ornamental plaster converted the 1917 brick building into an Art Deco gem, complete with neon signage that when illuminated “made the store particularly attractive.”

Frigidaire’s grand opening was attended by 2,000 locals, who enjoyed ice cream served from the company’s latest in “scientific refrigeration” featuring specialized cold control. Home economist Evelyn Bishop also demonstrated the Hydrator for crisping vegetables and preserving them for days.

Next door was another example of technology: Downyflake Doughnuts, which utilized machinery to turn the famous Downyflake flour into “real cake doughnuts that melt in your mouth.” The scientific baking method cut the doughnut into an exact size, fried it on one side in pure Crisco, mechanically turned it over to fry the other side, then ejected the golden brown deliciousness.

Downyflake Doughnuts (California State Library)

Around the corner up McCadden, the building kept its original facade—and catered to more practical needs.

Known as Brick Row Studios, the boutiques included Ruth’s Bead Shop, Marie Iverson Childrens Lingerie Shop for playsuits and sunsuits, Jane Gibson Hat Shop, even Hollywood Private Investigators owned by noted “woman sleuth” Olive Anthony.


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