Chateau Marmont

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Chateau Marmont
Chateau Marmont logo.png
ChateauMarmont 01.jpg
View of the Chateau from Sunset Boulevard
Chateau Marmont is located in the Los Angeles metropolitan area
Chateau Marmont
Location within the Los Angeles metropolitan area
General information
LocationLos Angeles, California
Address8225 Marmont Lane and 8221 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, California
Coordinates34°5′53″N 118°22′07″W / 34.09806°N 118.36861°W / 34.09806; -118.36861Coordinates: 34°5′53″N 118°22′07″W / 34.09806°N 118.36861°W / 34.09806; -118.36861
AffiliationAndré Balazs Properties
Design and construction
Architect
Other information
Number of rooms63 (rooms, suites, cottages, and bungalows)
Number of restaurants1
Number of bars1
Website
www.chateaumarmont.com
Built1929
Governing bodyPrivate
Designated1976[1]
Reference no.151

The Chateau Marmont is a hotel located at 8221 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The hotel was designed by architects Arnold A. Weitzman and William Douglas Lee and completed in 1929.[2][a] It was modeled loosely after the Château d'Amboise, a royal retreat in France's Loire Valley.[4]

The hotel is known as both a long- and short-term residence for celebrities[5][6][7][8][9] – historically "populated by people either on their way up or on their way down"[10] – as well as a home for New Yorkers in Hollywood.[11][12][13][14] The hotel has 63 rooms, suites, cottages, and bungalows.[7]

In 2020, the hotel announced plans to become a members-only hotel.[15][16]

History[edit]

Design and construction[edit]

In 1926, Fred Horowitz, a prominent Los Angeles attorney, chose the site at Marmont Lane and Sunset Boulevard to construct an apartment building. Horowitz had recently traveled to Europe for inspiration and returned to California with photos of a Gothic Chateau along the Loire River. In 1927, Horowitz commissioned his brother-in-law, European-trained architect Arnold A. Weitzman, to design the seven-story, L-shaped building based on his French photos. When deciding upon a name for the building, Chateau Sunset and Chateau Hollywood were rejected in favor of Chateau Marmont, after the small street running across the front of the property.[17]

On February 1, 1929, Chateau Marmont opened its doors to the public as the newest residence of Hollywood. Local newspapers described the Chateau as "Los Angeles's newest, finest and most exclusive apartment house […] superbly situated, close enough to active businesses to be accessible and far enough away to insure quiet and privacy." For the inaugural reception, over 300 people passed through the site, including local press.[18]

Conversion to hotel[edit]

Due to the high rents and inability to keep tenants for long-term commitments during the Great Depression, Horowitz sold the apartment building in 1931 to Albert E. Smith, co-founder of Vitagraph Studios, for $750,000 in cash (equivalent to $12,760,000 in 2020).[19][20] Smith converted the building into an hotel, an investment which benefitted from the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.[21] The apartments became suites with kitchens and living rooms. The property was also refurbished with antiques from depression-era estate sales.[18] During the 1930s, the hotel was managed by former silent film actress Ann Little.[22]

During World War II, the hotel served as an air-raid shelter for residents in the surrounding area.[22] From about 1942 to 1963 the Chateau was owned by Erwin Brettauer, a German banker who had funded films in Weimar Germany, and was noted for allowing black guests, breaking the long-standing color line in Hollywood and Beverly Hills hotels.[23]

Designed and constructed to be earthquake-proof, Chateau Marmont survived major earthquakes in 1933, 1953, 1971, 1987, and 1994 without sustaining any major structural damage. Nine Spanish cottages, as well as a swimming pool, were built next to the hotel in the 1930s and were acquired by the hotel in the 1940s. Craig Ellwood designed two of the four bungalows in 1956, after he completed Case Study Houses.[24]

Acquisition by Sarlot-Kantarjian[edit]

Business was good for the hotel,[25] although by the 1960s, the building was in disrepair, and the owners attempted to sell it multiple times.[26][27] News articles about the hotel from the 1960s and '70s described it as an "elderly castle",[28] a "dowdy hotel",[8] "rundown",[29] and "shabby-genteel".[6]

Chateau Marmont, June 1988

After sitting on the market for two years, the Chateau was sold in 1975 to Raymond R. Sarlot and Karl Kantarjian of Sarlot-Kantarjian, a real estate development firm, for $1.1 million.[9][13] Sarlot-Kantarjian planned to expand the hotel with a new wing.[2][3] They repaired and upgraded many elements of the hotel, but tried to stay true to the hotel's character and history.[9] In 1976, after their acquisition and improvements began, the Chateau was named a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.[1][9] In The New York Times, writer Quentin Crisp praised the Chateau's "avoiding undue modernization and stayed deliberately in the romantic past."[30]

Restoration and operation under Balazs[edit]

The hotel was acquired in 1990 by André Balazs.[31] Balazs needed to modernize the hotel, while also preserving Chateau Marmont's character. For the restoration, Balazs strove to create the illusion that the hotel had been untouched, notwithstanding renovations. The entire facility was re-carpeted, repainted, and the public spaces were upgraded.[24][32]

In order to preserve the privacy of the hotel and bungalows, higher fences plus coverings were used to discourage the public from looking into the grounds.

On July 28, 2020, the Chateau Marmont announced plans to convert to a members-only hotel, although at least one restaurant would remain open to the public.[15][16]

On September 16, 2020, The Hollywood Reporter published a report involving accounts from more than 30 former hotel employees, accusing the hotel's management and Balazs of fomenting racial discrimination and sexual harassment practices at the hotel; they also accused Balazs of neglecting to provide them with adequate health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic and suspected the hotel's members-only conversion as an attempt to prevent unionization among the hotel's employees.[33] Despite the denial of the allegations by the hotel management and Balazs, multiple employment discrimination lawsuits were filed against the hotel, with the hotel facing picketing from labor union UNITE HERE and boycotts from numerous celebrities; in support of the boycott, a night shoot at the hotel for Aaron Sorkin's Being the Ricardos was canceled on April 22, 2021, just hours before the intended start of production.[34]

Dining[edit]

The hotel restaurant terrace features market-fresh California cuisine from chef Dean Yasharian.[35] The restaurant Bar Marmont closed in 2017.[36]

In July 2018, Chateau Hanare, a new restaurant, opened in a former residential building on the eastern edge of the property.[37][38] Balazs had spent five years courting the restaurateur, Reika Alexander of New York City's EN Japanese Brasserie.[38]

In popular culture[edit]

View of the Chateau Marmont from below

Throughout the years, Chateau Marmont has gained recognition.[39] Anthony Bourdain,[40] Tim Burton,[39] Death Grips,[41] F. Scott Fitzgerald,[39] Anthony Kiedis,[42] Annie Leibovitz,[39] Courtney Love,[4] Jay McInerney,[39] Helmut Newton,[39] Dorothy Parker,[39] Nicholas Ray,[43] Terry Richardson,[44] Quentin Tarantino,[45] Hunter S. Thompson,[39] and Bruce Weber,[39] among others, have produced work at the hotel.

On film[edit]

Director Sofia Coppola shot her film Somewhere at the hotel in 2010.[39] The hotel also appears in the Academy Award-winning films La La Land (2016)[46] and A Star Is Born (2018),[47] as well as The Night Walker (1964),[48] The Strip (1951)[49] Myra Breckinridge (1970),[8] Blume in Love (1973),[6] The Doors (1991),[50] Dangerous Game (1993),[51] Laurel Canyon (2003),[52] and Maps to the Stars (2014).[53] The opening scene from The Canyons (2013) was shot at the now-closed Bar Marmont.[54]

The Doors (1991) film by Oliver Stone, depicted a scene where Jim Morison almost threw himself out of a high window at the hotel, based on the real life antics of Morrison who fell two stories while living at the Chateau Marmont in 1970.[55]

In literature[edit]

The Chateau is featured—often as a setting—in many books, including Eve Babitz's Eve's Hollywood (1974)[56] and Slow Days, Fast Company (1977),[57] James Ellroy's The Big Nowhere (1989),[58] Dominick Dunne's An Inconvenient Woman (1990)[59] and Another City, Not My Own (1997),[60] Charles Bukowski's Hollywood (1995),[61] Lauren Weisberger's Last Night at Chateau Marmont (2010),[62] and Michael Connelly's The Drop (2011).[63] It is also the office of fictional paparazzo Patrick Immleman in the Panel Syndicate web comic The Private Eye.[64][65][66] In 2019, Doubleday published Shawn Levy's The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, Art, and Scandal at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont (2019) ISBN 978-0385543163. John Self, the narrator and main character of Martin Amis's Money (1984) stays at the 'Vraimont' on Sunset Boulevard, room 666.

In music[edit]

The hotel has also been referred to in many songs, including the title track “Plastic Hearts” by Miley Cyrus’ from her 2020 album, "chateau" by blackbear from his 2017 album digital druglord, [1] Panic! At The Disco's "Dying in LA", the Grateful Dead's "West L.A. Fadeaway" from the album In the Dark,[67] Lana Del Rey's [68]) 2011 single "Off to the Races" from Born to Die. [69] Father John Misty's "Chateau Lobby #4 (in C for Two Virgins)" from I Love You, Honeybear (2015),[70] Angus & Julia Stone's 2017 single "Chateau" from Snow,[71] Lily Allen's 2017 single "Trigger Bang" from No Shame,[72] and Joshua Radin's 2020 single "Chateau."[73] In 2017, Jarvis Cocker and Chilly Gonzales collaborated on a concept album of music inspired by the hotel, named Room 29, after one of the rooms with a piano.[74] This is also the hotel where the infamous No Love Deep Web album art cover by Death Grips was taken. In the 90's the Last Chanteuse from Paris Anne Pigalle performed a special live concert in front of many Hollywood stars, organised by producer Aleim Johnson's side project, wearing a John Galliano dress

In art and fashion[edit]

Actor James Franco created a replica of the Chateau's Bungalow 2 for his Rebel Without a Cause exhibit at MOCA in 2012.[75] The hotel's stationery has featured in work by artists André,[76] Gary Baseman,[77] Robert Gober,[7] Martin Kippenberger,[7] and Claes Oldenburg,[7] among others. The Chateau's branding was featured in a capsule collection from fashion label Gucci in 2018.[78]

Deaths[edit]

Memorial plaque at site of Helmut Newton's accident, marking the spot where his car hit the wall

John Belushi died of a drug overdose in Bungalow 3 on March 5, 1982.[79][80] Photographer Helmut Newton died on January 23, 2004 after crashing his car when pulling out of the driveway.[39][81]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ An unbuilt annex to the Chateau was designed by architect W. Gayle Daniel.[2][3]
Citations
  1. ^ a b Los Angeles Department of City Planning (February 28, 2009). "Historic-Cultural Monuments (HCM) Listing: City Declared Monuments". City of Los Angeles. Archived from the original on November 7, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2017. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ a b c "PCAD – Chateau Marmont Hotel, West Hollywood, CA". pcad.lib.washington.edu. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "$1.5 Million Wing Planned for Chateau Marmont". Los Angeles Times. June 29, 1975. p. G22.
  4. ^ a b Goodwin, Christopher (November 28, 2010). "Hollywood Babylon". Sunday Times Magazine.
  5. ^ Seidenbaum, Art (May 27, 1977). "Renaissance of the Marmont". Los Angeles Times. p. G1.
  6. ^ a b c Navasky, Victor S. (May 5, 1974). "It's Shabby-Genteel But the Stars Love It". The New York Times. New York, N.Y. p. XX1.
  7. ^ a b c d e Rozzo, Mark (February 4, 2019). "Secrets of the Chateau Marmont". Vanity Fair.
  8. ^ a b c Haden-Guest, Anthony (September 12, 1971). "Castle Kitsch". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. p. r19.
  9. ^ a b c d Behrens, David (November 6, 1979). "A Home to the Stars Makes a Comeback". Newsday. Long Island, N.Y. p. A1.
  10. ^ Parker, Jerry (August 12, 1979). "Checking in Among the Stars". Newsday. p. H1.
  11. ^ Gindick, Tia (October 23, 1977). "Marmont's 50 Years as Hotel: Reaping Memories of a Heyday". Los Angeles Times. p. E1.
  12. ^ Champlin, Charles (March 7, 1985). "L.A.'s Sense of Promise Endures". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. p. 1.
  13. ^ a b Hodenfield, Chris (September 14, 1986). "Tales of the Chateau". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. p. U10.
  14. ^ Baker, Carroll (1983). Baby Doll: An Autobiography. New York: Arbor House. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-87795-558-0.
  15. ^ a b Karmin, Craig (July 28, 2020). "Hotelier to the Stars Plans to Make Some Properties Private Clubs". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Adler, Dan (August 13, 2020). "The Chateau Marmont Won't Go Private, It Will Just Have an "Inner Sanctum"". Vanity Fair. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  17. ^ Balazs 1996, p. 19.
  18. ^ a b Balazs 1996, p. 20.
  19. ^ "Times Square: News from the Dailies: Coast". Variety. Vol. 104 no. 6. Los Angeles. October 20, 1931. p. 48.
  20. ^ "New Owners in Possession of Multiple Unit". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. October 25, 1931. p. D3.
  21. ^ "Apartments Justify Faith: One Heavy Investor Satisfied". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. May 1, 1932. p. D2.
  22. ^ a b Driscoll, Molly (May 1, 2013). "'Life at the Marmont': 6 stories of Hollywood stars at the famous hotel". The Christian Science Monitor.
  23. ^ Cozort, Sarah (September 13, 2019). "Behind the Celluloid Dream: A Conversation with Shawn Levy". Los Angeles Review of Books. Los Angeles Review of Books. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  24. ^ a b Webb, Michael (December 1996). "Chateau Marmont Revisited". Architectural Digest. Vol. 53 no. 12. pp. 76, 82, 88, 92.
  25. ^ Glueck, Grace (April 6, 1969). "Peepshows and Put-Ons". The New York Times. New York, N.Y. p. D24.
  26. ^ "Chateau Marmont to Be Auctioned". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, Calif. December 11, 1966. p. n10.
  27. ^ Wilkins, Barbara (January 22, 1967). "Hollywood's Chateau Struggling to Maintain Its Former Grandeur". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. p. G4.
  28. ^ "Cleveland Amory's Celebrity Register". The Sun. Baltimore, Md. October 20, 1968. p. TW2.
  29. ^ Christy, Marian (February 5, 1973). "Fragile Beauty Is a Sober Realist". The Home News. New Brunswick, New Jersey. p. 6.
  30. ^ Crisp, Quentin (May 16, 1982). "Visiting Lotusland: Quentin Crisp surveys Los Angeles and its hotels". The New York Times. New York, N.Y. p. XX55.
  31. ^ Dunlap, David W. (April 14, 1991). "Commercial Property: SoHo Hotels; Moving Beyond the Talking Stage". The New York Times. New York, N.Y. p. A.13.
  32. ^ "L.A.'s Chateau Marmont Is Becoming a Members-only Club". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  33. ^ Baum, Gary (September 16, 2020). "Rot at Hollywood's "Playground": Chateau Marmont Staff Allege Racial Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct and Neglectful Management". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  34. ^ Baum, Gary (April 22, 2021). "Aaron Sorkin's Lucy-Desi Movie Scraps Chateau Marmont Shoot Amid Boycott (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 23, 2021.
  35. ^ Virbila, S. Irene (February 4, 2004). "The Review: Romancing the castle on the hill". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  36. ^ Elliott, Farley (April 5, 2017). "Bar Marmont Exits the Sunset Strip for Extended Food and Drink Overhaul". Eater.
  37. ^ Kang, Matthew (July 16, 2018). "Chateau Marmont's Secret Japanese Restaurant Opens Tonight in Hollywood". Eater.
  38. ^ a b O'Connell, Michael (May 8, 2018). "Hot NYC Restaurateur Bringing Haute Japanese Cuisine to LA's Chateau Marmont". The Hollywood Reporter.
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Brown, Janelle (December 3, 2010). "The Chateau Marmont Is Ready for Its Close-Up". The New York Times. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  40. ^ Harris, Jenn (June 8, 2018). "From In-N-Out to Chateau Marmont, Anthony Bourdain understood what makes L.A. great". Los Angeles Times.
  41. ^ Martins, Chris (January 4, 2013). "Death Grips Film Unsettling 'Come Up and Get Me' Video at Posh Chateau Marmont". Spin.
  42. ^ Brannigan, Paul (July 15, 2014). "How Red Hot Chili Peppers Conquered the World with By the Way". Louder.
  43. ^ Eber, Hailey (May 9, 2019). "90 Years of Secrets Live Inside the Chateau Marmont's Famed Walls". LA Mag.
  44. ^ Snead, Elizabeth (June 26, 2012). "Lindsay Lohan Poses With a Gun for Controversial Fashion Photographer Terry Richardson". The Hollywood Reporter.
  45. ^ Smith, Emily (September 19, 2016). "Quentin Tarantino retreats to Chateau Marmont to write film". Page Six.
  46. ^ Chandler, Jenna (April 13, 2017). "'La La Land': The ultimate filming location map". Curbed. Retrieved June 14, 2017.
  47. ^ Sandberg, Patrik (September 10, 2018). "Lady Gaga arrives as a movie megastar in her new film". Dazed.
  48. ^ Orwig, Gail; Orwig, Raymond (January 12, 2018). Where Monsters Walked: California Locations of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films, 1925–1965. McFarland. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-4766-2797-7.
  49. ^ "AFI|Catalog".
  50. ^ Combs, Richard (April 1, 1991). "The Doors". Monthly Film Bulletin. London. 58 (687): 103.
  51. ^ Nathan, Jean (August 1, 1993). "What's Up in the Old Hotel?". The New York Times.
  52. ^ Hart, Hugh (March 2003). "Production Slate: Refuge and Risk". American Cinematographer. Hollywood, Calif. 84 (3): 24, 26, 28.
  53. ^ Long, Camilla (September 28, 2014). "Hooray for Hollywood?: Julianne Moore gives a tour de force in the overblown satire Maps to the Stars". The Times. London (UK). p. 12.
  54. ^ Pope, Braxton (August 2, 2013). "In Lindsay's Stardust Orbit". Variety.
  55. ^ Kim, Leena (May 24, 2019). "When Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski Stayed at the Chateau Marmont". Town & Country. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  56. ^ Babitz, Eve (1974). Eve's Hollywood. Los Angeles, Calif.: Delacorte Press/S. Lawrence. pp. x, 132, 133. ISBN 978-0-440-02339-5.
  57. ^ Babitz, Eve (1977). Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, the Flesh, and L.A.: Tales by Eve Babitz. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 110, 112, 120, 153–4, 160, 171–2, 177. ISBN 0-394-40984-1.
  58. ^ Ellroy, James (1988). The Big Nowhere. New York: Mysterious Press. pp. 143, 176, 183, 186, 274, 315, 344, 347. ISBN 9780892962839.
  59. ^ Dunne, Dominick (1990). An Inconvenient Woman. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 978-0-517-57763-9.
  60. ^ Dunne, Dominick (1997). Another City, Not My Own. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-609-60100-8.
  61. ^ Bukowski, Charles (1995). Hollywood. Santa Rosa: Black Sparrow Press. pp. 106–108. ISBN 978-0-87685-764-9.
  62. ^ Weisberger, Lauren (2010). Last Night at Chateau Marmont. New York, NY: Atria Books. ISBN 978-1-4391-3661-4.
  63. ^ Connelly, Michael (2011). The Drop. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-06941-0.
  64. ^ Roe, Mike (March 21, 2013). "Pay-what-you-want comic book 'The Private Eye' looks at Los Angeles in 2076". scpr.org.
  65. ^ "The Private Eye – Issue 1 Previews". Panel Syndicate.
  66. ^ "The Private Eye – Issue 2 Previews". Panel Syndicate.
  67. ^ "The Annotated 'West L.A. Fadeaway'". Retrieved July 8, 2015.
  68. ^ "Lana Del Rey's Tattoos & Their Meanings – Body Art Guru". Retrieved July 10, 2020.
  69. ^ Ghrist, Taylor (July 31, 2018). "The Ultimate Lana Del Rey Reference Guide". i-D.
  70. ^ Weiner, Jonah (February 19, 2015). "The Gospel of Father John Misty". Rolling Stone.
  71. ^ Williams, Tom (August 24, 2017). "Hear Angus & Julia Stone's Silky Smooth New Song 'Chateau'". MusicFeeds.
  72. ^ "Damn, Lily Allen's Back, and She's Got a Giggs Feature". Vice. December 12, 2017.
  73. ^ "Joshua Radin - Chateau Lyrics". Genius. November 13, 2020.
  74. ^ Sayej, Nadja (May 2, 2017). "Jarvis Cocker on Writing an Album in Room 29 of the Chateau Marmont". i-D.
  75. ^ Vankin, Deborah (May 14, 2012). "James Franco grabs another role with MOCA show on 'Rebel Without a Cause'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 10, 2012.
  76. ^ "André Saraiva – Mr. and Mrs. A. (drawing on paper, 2018)". Danysz.
  77. ^ Baseman, Gary (June 23, 2019). "Sunday Brunch at the Chateau Marmont". Facebook.
  78. ^ Friedman, Vanessa (May 31, 2018). "Gucci Has a Rave in a Cemetery". The New York Times. New York.
  79. ^ Pedersen, Erik (July 29, 2020). "Chateau Marmont Owner Looks To Convert Landmark L.A. Hotel Into Private Club By Year's End". Deadline. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  80. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (March 6, 1982). "John Belushi, Manic Comic of TV and Films Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved September 25, 2007. John Belushi, the manic, rotund comedian whose outrageous antics and spastic impersonations on the Saturday Night Live television show propelled him to stardom in the 1970s, was found dead yesterday in a rented bungalow in Hollywood, where he had launched a film career in recent years.
  81. ^ McKinley, Jesse (January 24, 2004). "Helmut Newton, Who Remade Fashion Photography, Dies at 83". The New York Times. Retrieved May 14, 2011. Helmut Newton, the prolific, widely imitated fashion photographer whose provocative, erotically charged black-and-white photos were a mainstay of Vogue and other publications, died yesterday after a car crash in Hollywood. He was 83. The Los Angeles police told The Associated Press that Mr. Newton lost control of his Cadillac after leaving the Chateau Marmont Hotel and climbed up a wall across the street. He died at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the agency reported.
Works cited
Further reading
  • Levy, Shawn (2019). The Castle on Sunset: Life, Death, Love, and Art at Hollywood's Chateau Marmont. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-54316-3.
  • Sarlot, Raymond R.; Basten, Fred E. (1987). Life at the Marmont: The Inside Story of Hollywood's Legendary Hotel of the Stars – Chateau Marmont. Santa Monica, Calif.: Roundtable. ISBN 978-0-915677-23-8.

External links[edit]