A Documentary Film by Camilo Silva


The Most Famous Hotel In The World

Ambassador Hotel Los Angeles – A Brief History


Timeline of Key Events at the Ambassador Hotel…


1870 :: Gottfried Schmidt acquires the 160 acres

1902 :: Schmidt sells twenty-three acres of his property

1919 :: Ground is broken and construction on the hotel begins

1920 :: Ambassador Hotel Corporations buys 187 acres of land

1921 :: The Ambassador Hotel opens

1921 :: The Cocoanut Grove opens

1922 :: The first 3D film shown to a paying audience debuts

1925 :: The Dalzell Hatfield Gallery opens in the hotel. The gallery went on to represent big names in art including famed Mexican muralist Alfredo Ramos Martinez.

1926 :: The Brown Derby restaurant opens and the Cobb Salad is invented

1927 :: Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is created

1927 :: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and Zelda move into the bungalows

1928 :: Olympic swimmer, Farid Simaika, practices at at Ambassador Swimming Club

1930 :: 2nd annual Academy Awards

1930 :: 3rd annual Academy Awards

1932 :: S.W. Straus and Co. goes under

1932 :: 5th annual Academy Awards

1933 :: Amelia Earhart checks in

1934 :: 6th annual Academy Awards

1935 :: J.E. Benton becomes new managers of the hotel

1940 :: 12nd annual Academy Awards

1940 :: Hattie MacDaniel wins best supporting actress

1943 :: 15th annual Academy Awards

1945 :: Marilyn Monroe signs with Blue Book Modeling Agency

1946 :: Ambassador Hotel is up for sale – The Schine family prevails

1952 :: Richard Nixon composes his “Checkers Speech”

1954 :: Lunch with the Emperor of Ethiopia

1957 :: Plan to redevelop Ambassador Hotel site emerges

1963 :: The first Piatigorsky Cup chess tournament held

1964 :: The Scopitone jukebox debuts at the Ambassador Hotel

1964 :: The Beatles are denied from staying at the Ambassador Hotel

1968 :: Robert F. Kennedy assassination

1968 :: Eartha Kitt and the Vietnam war controversy

1969 :: Fela Kuti meets Sharon Izsadore after a gig at the Ambassador

1971 :: Charles Manson murder trial jury stays in hotel for 9 months

1981 :: $50,000 painting by Georges Rouault is stolen from the hotel

1983 :: Plans to rejuvenate the “most historically significant areas of Los Angeles’ ‘main street’” take are announced. Meanwhile, the “once grand 65-year-old” Ambassador Hotel, is up for sale.

1986 :: The Ambassador Hotel is back for sale once again

1986 :: The Los Angeles Unified School District initiates Project X with plans of making a school as a joint-venture

1987 :: Hotel reports interest from three potential buyers

1988 :: Wilshire Center Partners presents offer to buy the Ambassador

1989 :: LAUSD meeting held to discuss ways to circumvent state regulations and other legal problems associated with the Ambassador school project

1989 :: The Ambassador Hotel officially closes it doors.

1989 :: Wilshire Center Partners purchases the site for $64 million with plans to develop the land

1989 :: LAUSD tries to persuade Wilshire Center partners to jointly develop the land

1990 :: Wilshire Center Partners partners with Donald Trump to form Ambassador Asscoiates

1990 :: LAUSD requests and receives $50 million from the State Allocation Board to acquire Ambassador site

1990 :: LAUSD offers $73 million for Ambassador site and upon offer’s rejection, District begins condemnation proceedings

1990 :: Ambassador Films establishes a private company leasing the hotel for film production

1992 :: LAUSD and owners of the Ambassador agree to a new purchase price

1993 :: LAUSD abandons the eminent domain proceedings and uses returned deposit to acquire the Temple Beaudry and Shimizu sites for Belmont Learning Complex

1994 :: LAUSD still interested in Ambassador site

1998 :: State creates Joint Legislative Audit report on the LAUSD’s handling of Belmont and the Ambassador

1998 :: LAUSD fails to maintain adequate public records concerning its joint venture projects

2001 :: LAUSD wins development rights to the hotel

2003 :: School board votes to demolish the Ambassador Hotel

2004 :: Demolition suspended due to a lawsuit with Los Angeles Conservancy

2004 :: Sirhan B. Sirhan sues LAUSD

2005 :: The Ambassador Hotel auction is held

2005 :: LAUSD settles lawsuit with Los Angeles Conservancy

2006 :: Demolition of hotel is complete

2008 :: Demolition of the Cocoanut Grove. (Feb 12, 2008) Demolition of the Cocoanut Grove, ballroom and last remaining remnants

Summer 2006 :: Construction for Central Los Angeles Learning Center #1, educational multiplex begins

September 2010 :: Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools opens.




You most likely have seen The Ambassador and didn’t know it…

MOVIES filmed at The Ambassador Hotel

The Graduate – Taft Hotel where affair takes place.
Old School
Rush Hour
The Island
Minority Report
Being John Malcovich
Ed Wood
Coyote Ugly
Rock Star
Grosse Pointe Blank
The Shadow
Sister Act
What’s Love Got To Do With It
True Romance
Scream 2
Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
Catch Me If You Can
The Mask – Coco Bongo nightclub.
Without You I’m Nothing
S.W.A.T – Scenes shot at pool and bungalows.
The Best Man
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
The Fabulous Baker Boys
Barton Fink – Captiol Pictures in the film.
The Doors
Crossroads – Stood as the hotel rooms.
L.A. Story – It stood in for the fictional L’Idiot restaurant.
Forrest Gump – It was featured as the bar where Jenny plays the guitar naked onstage.
Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion – It was the reunion locale.
That Thing You Do – Where it played itself
Pretty Woman – The main ballroom was used for the scene where Hector Alizondo teaches Julia Roberts about table manners and the scene where Richard Gere plays the piano.
Apollo 13 – Two hotel rooms stood in for Gary Sinese and Kevin Bacon’s apartments.
The Wedding Singer
Devil In A Blue Dress
Feeling Minnesota
Flying Down To Rio
True Lies – Arnold Schwarzenegger races through the lobby on a horse.
Almost Famous – Filmed scenes with Kate Hudson and Billy Crudup.
Must Love Dogs
The Wedding Singer
A Star is Born
Naked Gun
The Lawnmower Man
Man on the Moon
Crazy in Alabama
Mafia-The Movie – The lobby was turned into a Las Vegas casino and the Lido pool was the empty pool that the girl dived into.
Deep Impact – The scene where Morgan Freeman is in a hotel kitchen area was filmed at the Ambassador.
Lady Killer – The Cocoanut Grove can be seen extensively in this 1933 film  staring James Cagney.
Bombshell – Resident Ambassador Hotel Gus Arnheims orchestra is shown in this Jean Harlow film.
Internal Affairs
Nightmare on Elm Street
Throw Mama Off the Train
Foxy Brown
Mr. Saturday Night
Opportunity Knocks
Fire Down Below
How High
To Live And Die In LA
The Thirteenth Floor
How High
Bound For Glory
Toolbox Murders

TV SHOWS filmed at The Ambassador Hotel

Murder She Wrote
Beverly Hills 90210
Alien Nation
A Team
Cagney and Lacey
Quantum Leap
Knight Rider
Mac Gyver
Starsky And Hutch
Knots Landing
Mod Squad
LA Law
Falcon Crest
Tuesday’s With Morrie (TV movie)
The Rat Pack (1998) – The outside of the hotel was used when Sammy Davis Jr. was protested at by whites.

MUSIC VIDEOS filmed at The Ambassador Hotel

Elton John This Train Don’t Stop There Anymore
BeyonceMe, Myself, and I
Guns N’ Rose
Christina AguileraBeautiful
No DoubtIt’s My Life
Macy GrayStill
MonicaAngel of Mine
CreedWhat’s This Life For
Tom WaitsGod’s Away On Business
ChingyHolidae In

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