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Pierce Brothers Hollywood Mortuary

What better location for a funeral home … than directly across the street from Hollywood Cemetery, now known as Hollywood Forever.

The Pierce Brothers Hollywood Mortuary, 5959 Santa Monica Boulevard, was situated on a block that conveniently also included two flower shops and headstone manufacturer Victor Granite Co.

the 5900 block of Santa Monica Boulevard (USC)

Pierce Brothers prided themselves on low-cost funeral packages, starting at $70 in 1931 ($1,366 today with inflation) and averaging under $400—without sacrificing beauty and comfort. Death, noted advertisements, “is the one occasion when lack of money should never interfere.”

Services included use of the mortuary and chapel, casket, Pierce Arrow hearse (pictured in gallery below), organ and vocal music from the Pierce Brothers Chapel Quartet, private family rooms, newspaper notices, “and all the usual features of a perfect final tribute.”

To ease the burden for grieving loved ones, Pierce Brothers recommended everyone select their funeral director “in advance of need.” To facilitate, a feature of every location was a Public Advisory Department, “where the facts about funeral customs, methods, and prices are given to everyone without obligation.”

Those unable to stop by in-person could send away for a free copy of “Before Sorrow Comes”—essentially a handbook for the not-yet-deceased. Published by Pierce Brothers, its information was explained in “such a tactful manner that even the most sensitive person will find it easy to read.”


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