This shot from a 1949 film may well be the last existing photograph of the building that housed the world-famous Trocadero nightclub on the Sunset Strip.
Located at 8610 Sunset in the Strip’s Sunset Plaza section, Hollywood Reporter founder and publisher Billy Wilkerson opened Cafe Trocadero in 1934. Wilkerson was a compulsive gambler and the ground floor of the building (below the street level shown here) was devoted to high-stakes gaming. He sold the club in 1938 to Nola Hahn, who ran Wilkerson’s gambling operations. Hahn sold it within months to showman and former movie producer Felix Young, who, like Wilkerson, was a compulsive gambler and doubtless continued the illegal gaming operations downstairs.
This is a clip of a performance by Eddie LeBaron and his band performing in a scene from the 1944 movie, “Trocadero.” In 1943,LeBaron, whose real name was Eduardo Albaclini de Gastine, and his brother Albert, leased the building at 8610 Sunset Blvd. on the Strip that three years earlier had housed Billy Wilkerson’s Cafe Trocadero and opened a club they called the Trocadero, which featured Latin music and dancing. They sold the club a year later when LeBaron was drafted and left to serve in World War II.
LeBaron, who came from an aristocratic Latin American family, did not have to work. He was married to Burnice Smith, a multimillionaire heiress to the Smith-Corona typewriter fortune.