YCES in Quarantine Episode #136: The Larry Edmunds Bookshop & the (Nearly) Lost World of Hollywood Book & Memorabilia Dealers

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You Can’t Eat the Sunshine returns with an all-new Quarantine format, inviting folks who are passionate about Los Angeles history and historic preservation to join us for a conversation about the places that matter more than ever, as much of Los Angeles shelters in place under Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer At Home ” directive.

Our special guests on May 8, 2020 are rare book dealer and historian Howard Prouty, Vintage Los Angeles curator Alison Martino and Jeff Mantor, proprietor of the historic Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Hollywood Boulevard.

The episode takes us through Hollywood’s literary and retail history to highlight the importance of the Larry Edmunds Bookshop, which is today the last store standing on what was once a legendary Bookseller’s Row. The shop is the beneficiary of a flood of worldwide goodwill since the recent launch of its GoFundMe campaign.

We begin with Howard Prouty’s reminiscences of his 1970s visits to Hollywood bookstores, as a wide-eyed kid from Nebraska who had already built a relationship with the Larry Edmunds Bookshop as a mail order customer. He hops in the time machine to give us a sense of 1930s Hollywood bookland, populated with legendary characters like Louis Epstein (Pickwick Books), the genial salon host and rotten businessman Stanley Rose, and Rose’s one-time partner Larry Edmunds, plus cameos from celebrated patrons like Nathanael West and Raymond Chandler.

Then check in on Jeff Mantor, proprietor of the Larry Edmunds Bookshop, a Hollywood landmark now in its 82nd year. Jeff shares his personal history with the shop and other lost bookstores on the Boulevard, lets us know how the GoFundMe campaign is going, and shares plans for bringing “The Lare” into the 21st century to create a virtual community where film fans around the world can mingle until the lights come on again, and afterwards.

And we talk with Alison Martino of Vintage Los Angeles about the Larry Edmunds Bookshop’s role as a key location in the recreated urban landscape in Quentin Tarantino’s, “Once Upon A Time in… Hollywood,” some of the other legacy businesses featured in the film that are currently struggling to survive, and memories of being a pre-teen memorabilia collector, sneaking into Hollywood to score rare posters and books from Larry Edmunds, and to the great Westwood shops, too.

Links to learn more about our guests, the episode’s topics, and us:

Jeff Mantor is the proprietor of the Larry Edmunds Bookshop. The store has a GoFundMe campaign, two Instagram accounts (LarryEdmunds1938, the_larebrary and a website. Join Leonard and Jessie Maltin for Cinephile Game Night in support of the bookshop on Saturday, May 9, 2020.

Howard Prouty is a dealer in rare and cool books, trading as ReadInk, Specializing in Unusual, Uncommon and Obscure Books in many (but not all) fields, with particular interest in American Culture [Popular and Unpopular], Art, Literature, Life and People from the 1920s through the 1960s. (ReadInk on Facebook. He has a pretty interesting day job sleuthing and reeling in acquisitions for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library.

Alison Martino manages the Vintage Los Angeles Facebook page, where Angelenos have strong feelings about thedemolition ofLACMA’s Bing Theatre and theloss of Stan’s Donuts. You’ll also find her celebrating historic L.A. landmarks on Spectrum’s weekly SoCal Scene. Her website is AlisonMartino.com

Hollywood Reporter: “Quentin’s Really Into Margaritas” – A Guide to Tarantino’s L.A. Secrets in ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’

The Way it Was: Fifty Years in the Southern California book trade with Louis Epstein of Pickwick Books, including his last memories of Stanley Rose.

Video from our debut LAVA Literary Salon at Musso & Frank Grill with Dan Fante.

Esotouric is our historic Los Angeles tour company, presently not operating due to the pandemic. We have a newsletter, a YouTube channel, and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

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