Larry Edmunds – A Tradition Continues
February 4, 2015
Once upon a time, long before stars lined the Walk of Fame, the area around Hollywood & Highland was known as “Booksellers Row.” From the early 1930s to the late 1970s, Hollywood Boulevard was home to more than 20 shops that sold new and used books to Hollywood’s elite. One of the most famous was Stanley Rose’s, a hole-in-the-wall located next door to Musso and Frank’s.
Open from 1930 to 1939, Stanley Rose’s was a gathering place for some of Hollywood’s leading writers including Raymond Chandler, John Fante, Budd Schulberg, William Saroyan, Nathaniel West and William Faulkner. The store owed its popularity in large part to its hard-drinking, larger-than-life owner who entertained them all. Stanley’s partner in the store, and in boozing, was a guy named Larry Edmunds who went on to open his own store down the street. Larry Edmunds, the last of the great Hollywood Boulevard bookstores, is still in business at 6644 Hollywood Blvd almost 80 years later, specializing in movie books, movie posters, lobby cards, photographs and scripts.
Boasting an inventory of more than 500,000 movie photographs, 6,000 original movie posters and 20,000 motion picture and theater books, Larry Edmunds is the leading source for Hollywood memorabilia and reference materials. Owner Jeffrey Mantor, a protégé of the store’s later owners, Milt and Git Luboviski, keeps the tradition alive buying up one-of-a-kind collections from movie and TV fans around the world and selling them both in-store and online.
The first store, which was located on the northwest corner of Cahuenga and Selma (where Aventine is today), originally sold the classics and, it is said, more than a little pornography as well. In the early 1950s, retired motion picture publicist, Ted Taylor, sold a major collection of film related books, photos, scripts, clippings and historical studio memorabilia to Milt. Git, his wife, realizing this collection was unique, decided it should form the basis for a special catalog of movie research and collectible materials. This soon became the focus of the store.
Larry Edmunds moved to 6658 Hollywood Boulevard in 1955 (next to the Pussycat Theatre and the Hollywood Magic Store) to provide more space. At the time, very few places specialized in movie books and memorabilia, so Larry Edmunds became THE place to go for everything Hollywood. Over the years, others jumped on the bandwagon, but the store retained its place as a favorite place to go film/book-shopping for such celebrities as Quentin Tarentino, Drew Barrymore, Pierce Brosnan, Bridget Fonda, Diane Keaton, Faye Dunaway and more.
Today, Larry Edmunds is located at 6644 Hollywood Boulevard and offers all kinds of wonderful events including book signings, like the recent appearance of Hollywood historians Marc Wanamaker and E.J. Stephens for their new book, “Early Poverty Row,” about the micro-studios that once stretched along Sunset Boulevard. Larry Edmunds also sponsors special movie screenings at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, and live talks at the Moss Theatre in Santa Monica.
For more info on Larry Edmunds’ extensive catalog and ongoing event series, visit larryedmunds.com.
Kim Sudhalter has worked with the Hollywood Entertainment District since its early years, helping to attract investment and revitalize the area. Originally from Europe and New York, she is an architecture and history buff who has a deep and abiding love for Hollywood and its past.