This stunning re-creation of 1930s Hollywood is fast becoming a favorite stop on the walking tours! The Hollywood in Miniature Diorama was the passion project of Joe Pelkofer, owner of the Hollywood Cabinet Company.
The Great Depression hit Hollywood a bit later than the rest of the country, thanks to the success of the film industry. However, it did catch up to Tinseltown, and it was quite a blow. Pelkofer knew it was important to keep the master craftsman employed by the Hollywood Cabinet Company busy and inspired during the slow periods of the late 1930s. So he dreamed up the Hollywood in Miniature project, and his workers created detailed street scenes of Hollywood with its landmark theatres, churches, billboards, businesses, and neighborhoods.
Thousands of hours were spent creating a miniature version of Hollywood. Pelkofer commissioned detailed photographs of all the locations before they were constructed in miniature. Surrounding the entire city is a painted cyclorama mural of the Hollywood Hills and nearby areas. In addition, there is a miniature of Paramount Studios as it looked circa 1937-38.
The Hollywood in Miniature diorama toured the country between 1946-1948 to give a glimpse of famous Hollywood locations to movie fans across the nation. But after the section depicting the Brown Derby on Wilshire Boulevard was damaged beyond repair during a cross-country tour, Pelkofer pulled his miniatures from circulation. He wanted a permanent home for the miniatures, and it was Pelkofer’s wish that his work be displayed in Hollywood. We are proud to now fulfill his dream by adding the Hollywood in Miniature Diorama to the tours in partnership with Hollywood Heritage.
The miniatures are hand-made, constructed of wood, paper, plastics, and plaster with faux finishes depicting the actual finishes of each structure. Nothing compares to seeing this amazing work in person, but take a look at the photos below for a glimpse of the miniature. To see it in person, contact me or check the Hollywood Heritage Event calendar.