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Chained orangutan at Monkey Island
Alternative Title
Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection;
Schultheis, Herman
Made accessible through a grant from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation
Date Created and/or Issued
[ca. 1939]
Contributing Institution
Los Angeles Public Library
Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection
Rights Information
Images available for reproduction and use. Please see the Ordering & Use page at for additional information.
Title supplied by cataloger.; Herman J. Schultheis was born in Aachen, Germany in 1900, and immigrated to the United States in the mid-1920s after obtaining a Ph.D. in mechanical and electrical engineering. He married Ethel Wisloh in 1936, and the pair moved to Los Angeles the following year. He worked in the film industry from the late 1930s to the mid-1940s, most notably on the animated features Fantasia and Pinocchio. His detailed notebook, documenting the special effects for Fantasia, is the subject of a 14-minute short-subject included on the film's DVD. In 1949, he started employment with Librascope as a patent engineer. Schultheis was an avid amateur photographer who traveled the world with his cameras. It was on one of these photographic exhibitions in 1955 that he disappeared in the jungles of Guatemala. His remains were discovered 18 months later. The digitized portion of this collection represents the images Schultheis took of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities after he relocated to the area in 1937.
Visitors could pick up the 500 monkeys because there were no cages or bars at Monkey Island, located at 3300 Cahuenga Boulevard just north of Barham. Art director and set designer Paul Palmentola together with architect George Sprague and engineer R. McBeanfield designed the amusement park, which opened Thanksgiving Day in 1938. A six story building housed the offices, hospital and laboratories, while the "island" was a concrete structure featuring a mountain that served as the sleeping quarters for the monkeys, tropical planting and waterfalls all surrounded by a moat. This complex has been demolished.
A chained orangutan plays with a piece of hose at Monkey Island.
1 photographic print :b&w ;11 x 15 cm.
Photographic prints
Herman J Schultheis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection;
N-011-160 8x10
Monkey Island (Studio City, Los Angeles, Calif.)
Bornean orangutan--California--Los Angeles
Apes--California--Los Angeles
Zoos--California--Studio City (Los Angeles)
Amusement parks--California--Studio City (Los Angeles)
Studio City (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schultheis Collection photographs

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