Hollywood's Hitching Post Theatre – Fond Memories From 1948-49
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Los Angeles, California
In BDA I write that some of my fondest childhood memories from the late 1940s were playing with my brothers in Fern Dell Park just up the street from our Franklin House, where we hunted for crawdads and frogs or played Cowboys and Indians.
High on that same list was- Hollywood’s Hitching Post Theatre, where my brothers and I got our inspiration from watching Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers and Tim Holt out-ride and out-shoot the bad guys who you could always recognize from the Black Hats they wore. (The Good Guys wore white.)
Almost every weekend during the summer, my brothers and I would put on our cowboy boots, chaps, gunbelt complete with cap-gun and holster and our cowboy hats (white of course) and mother or dad would drop us off out front of the Hitching Post where we could watch a double-feature complete with newsreel and two cartoons for -twenty-five cents. (If memory serves me right, popcorn was a nickel.)
In today’s L.A. Times, “Then and Now” reporter, Steve Harvey has written a very nice piece remembering those bygone days. Here it is:
Note that the 1949 Hitching Post billboard is showing a double feature: “Outlaw of the Rockies” and “Indian Agent” starring, Tim Holt. Tim Holt was not only one of our favorite cowboy stars, but, he was also a regular visitor to our home as his girlfriend, actress Carol Foreman, lived with us and rented a room at the Franklin House. Here is an anecdote I wrote in one of my earliest FAQs about six-years back, which is appropriate to today’s blog.
Kelvin Hodel- Tim Holt Anecdote
My younger brother, Kelvin “Kelly” Hodel was born in October, 1942, just eleven-months after the birth of my twin John and I. He would be Dorothy and George’s, fourth, and final son. Kelly from an early age “loved the girls” and believe me–the girls LOVED him. A 1949 Franklin House Kelvin anecdote is appropriate:
In 1948 -1949 our father rented out many of the rooms at the Franklin House to creative types, generally, artists and actors. During that time, one of the “roomers” was a beautiful actress named, Carol Forman. (Photo below) At the time she was living with us she was dating film star, Tim Holt, who naturally, came and went on a regular basis.
Brother Kelly, then age- 6 or 7 had a terrible crush on Carol, and whenever Tim showed up to take her on a date, Kelly would object, informing Holt in no uncertain terms, “she’s my girlfriend.” Finally, Holt could take it no longer and took Kelly into the center courtyard, mano-a-mano and came up with the following suggestion:
“Look Kelly. You’re too young to be with Carol now. I will date her only until you get old enough and then you and Carol can get married, and I will get on my horse and ride off. Fair enough?”
Kelly agreed, Holt & Hodel shook hands, and the battle for Carol’s heart was ended.
Franklin House tenant and Tim Holt girlfriend, Carol Forman, “The Black Widow” Carol Forman as “Spider Lady”
Tim Holt & Carol Forman starred together in this 1949 Western “Brothers in the Saddle”
Kelvin “Kelly” Hodel (left) and Brother Steve at Franklin House circa 1949
Steve: THE BLACK WIDOW (1947) is online now. It’s reminiscent of CHARLIE CHAN AT TREASURE ISLAND, with Foreman playing a phony psychic bent on world domination, mysterious figures in front of a Zodiac wheel at the end of each episode, oriental trappings, urban terrorism, a battle of wits with the press, giant newspaper headlines, etc. Another Republic chapter play of the era was entitled THE CRIMSON GHOST (1946). Makes me wonder if your dad ever snuck into these shows himself. -LW
LW: Great. I’ll check it out. Thanks for the heads up. skh
Steve: I see Man Ray did his own “Spider Woman” — a nude with a spider’s web superimposed on her pubis. The 1929 work was reproduced in a limited edition for an exhibition at the Copley Galleries in 1948. Fits perfectly into the thicket of allusions within the Halloween Card. -LW
So that means that Man Ray’s “Spider Woman” was hanging at the Copley Gallery in Beverly Hills at the same time the real “Spider Lady” (Carol Forman) was residing at the Sowden/Franklin House, dating Tim Holt and making the Superman serials with Kirk Alyn. Cute. skh