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Clifton's Brookdale at Christmas
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
Circa 1937
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.; Used in the Exhibit: How We Worked, How We Played: Herman Schultheis and Los Angeles in the 1930s.
Clifford Clinton, founder of the Clifton's chain, opened a second cafeteria in 1935 in the former circa 1916 restaurant owned by Boos Brothers at 648 South Broadway. Inspired by the coastal redwoods of Northern California, this cafeteria was remodeled to include mountain-themed motifs and design elements, such as a forest scene mural painted by Einar Petersen, large redwood trees used to conceal steel columns, and a 20-foot waterfall designed by sculptor Franc¸ois Scotti. The cafeteria was named Brookdale, in honor of the Brookdale Lodge in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The 4-story brick building with arched windows was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributor to the Broadway Theater and Commercial District in 1979. After decades of Clinton family ownership, Brookdale was sold on September 21, 2010.
Crowds shopping on Broadway at Christmas walk past Clifton's Brookdale, which has been decorated for Christmas with a large tree on top of the entry and fake snow sprinkled on the Brookdale letters. Signs on the facade call this cafeteria the "worlds largest" and indicate that it is open "6 am to midnight" The first and second floor facades are open with diners visible past decorative wooden pieces. A Salvation Army bell ringer has set up in front of the restaurant.
1 photographic print :b&w ;11 x 15 cm.
Photographic prints
Herman J Schultheis Collection; Los Angeles Photographers Collection;
N-008-117 8x10
Clinton's Restaurants Inc. (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Salvation Army
Restaurants--California--Los Angeles
Cafeterias--California--Los Angeles
Signs and signboards--California--Los Angeles
Christmas decorations--California--Los Angeles
Christmas trees--California--Los Angeles
Crowds--California--Los Angeles
Streets--California--Los Angeles
Automobiles--California--Los Angeles
Broadway (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Downtown Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Schultheis Collection photographs

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