Jimmy Durante at the Coconut Grove December 12, 1964

Jimmy Durante at the Coconut Grove

December 12, 1964

 

The Ambassador Hotel was a hotel in Los AngelesCalifornia, and location of the Cocoanut Grove nightclub until it was demolished in 2005. The hotel began operation formally on January 1, 1921. It was the site of the Academy Awards six times (the 2nd3rd5th6th12th, and 15th) and the June 1968 assassination of presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. The hotel closed to guests in 1989.

 

Jimmy Durante – Truly one of a kind. Loved by all

The Ambassador Hotel was located at 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, between Catalina Street and Mariposa Avenue in what is now known as Koreatown. It was designed by Pasadena architect Myron Hunt in an eclectic Mediterranean Revival style with Art Deco elements and signage.

 

Jimmy Durante & Sergio Franchi together

The Ambassador Hotel was frequented by celebrities, some of whom, such as Pola Negri, resided there. From 1930 to 1943, six Academy Awards ceremonies were performed at the hotel. Perhaps as many as seven U.S. presidents stayed at the Ambassador, from Hoover to Nixon, along with chiefs of state from around the world. For decades, the hotel’s famed Cocoanut Grove nightclub hosted well-known entertainers, such as Jimmy Durante, Frank SinatraBarbra StreisandJudy GarlandLena HorneNancy WilsonBing CrosbyNat King ColeLiza MinnelliMartin and LewisThe SupremesMerv GriffinDorothy DandridgeVikki CarrEvelyn KnightVivian VanceDick HaymesSergio FranchiPerry ComoDizzy GillespieBenny GoodmanSammy Davis Jr.Little RichardLiberaceNatalie ColeRichard Pryor and Shirley Bassey.

 

Jimmy Durante and Bobby Darin

As business declined and was eventually shuttered, it provided a convenient filming location for hotels and restaurants in The GraduateBeverly Hills, 90210L.A. StoryPretty WomanTrue RomanceThe Wedding Singer and many other films and television shows. A living time capsule of the period, it was a perfect location to represent any 1950s through 1970s period hotels, as in Almost FamousApollo 13Catch Me If You CanHoffa, and That Thing You Do.

 

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