Behind the Scenes
In the 1930s a writer described Hollywood as “the creature and the wishfulfillment of the mob on which Hearst has played all his life.” William Randolph Hearst, he said, “will not be understood by those who miss his personal preference for the gaudy features that sold his papers along the Fourteenth streets of the land, and who suppose that he consciously and sardonically stooped to a plane below that which he lived.”
When these observations were made, Fourteenth Street was still fondly remembered by many New Yorkers as its first Great White Way, a gaslight rialto, the cradle of the modern entertainment industry. For several decades before the turn of the twentieth century, this long wide street at the edge of the Tenderloin district and overlooking Union Square was home for the city's most important music and stage periodicals, its most popular actors' hotels, and even show business's most celebrated legends: the offices of the William Morris Agency, located between Third and Fourth Avenues. Some of the “gaudy features” of Fourteenth Street most likely recalled were the embarrassment of brothels, pool halls, and saloons often owned by ex-prizefighters or local politicians. The street—dubbed “the line” because it stood at the junction of the densely immigrant populated Lower East Side—was also famous for its beer gardens. Its most popular were on the south side of the street: Theiss's music hall and Luchow's restaurant and hotel, a ren
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Publication information: Book title: Hearst over Hollywood: Power, Passion, and Propaganda in the Movies. Contributors: Louis Pizzitola - Author. Publisher: Columbia University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 2002. Page number: 1.
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