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White Structure
White Structure
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Hollywood Behind the Lens:
Treasures from the Bison Archives

By Marc Wanamaker & Steven Bingen

“Los Angeles is a city that runs from its own past” explains historian and Bison Archives owner Marc Wanamaker. Many of Hollywood’s legendary sets and props, mansions, theaters, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, and even the studios and the films they produced are now either gone or have been redeveloped, repurposed, or remade beyond recognition. Even more disarmingly, the physical ephemera associated with such items is often MIA as well. Photographs, files, maps, documents, menus, production paperwork, records, manuscripts, everything from matchbooks to movie magazines and entire movie backlots have now been lost in the backwash of dubious progress, short-sighted corporate mindsets, and civic indifference. Fortunately, for the last fifty years, in the very epicenter of Hollywood, thanks to Wanamaker, there has existed a haven where over 70,000 of these items, physically or photographically, have been collected and protected. These artifacts tell the story of Hollywood’s glorious past, as well as its uncertain future as the hub of filmmaking in America.

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