1929: Chateau Marmont Opens

Chateau Marmont

“If you must get into trouble,” Harry Cohn, the founder of Columbia Pictures, advised his stars, “do it at the Marmont.”

The Marmont, at 8221 Sunset Blvd. [map ], has been a famous hotel for so long that it is hard to believe that it was an apartment building when it opened in 1929. An ad promoting apartments at the Marmont said that it featured, “1 to 6 room furnished apartments including complete 24-hour service. Garage in basement. Large rooms and private balconies. Distinctively furnished and decorated. View of Mt. Baldy, Catalina Island and the lights of the city from private balconies and patios. Finest steel and concrete construction (class AA) fire and earthquake proof.”

Famous residents in Hollywood’s Golden Age included Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Carol Lombard, Montgomery Clift, and Howard Hughes.

Although the architectural style refers to French chateaux, the building took its name from its location on Marmont Lane. But where did Marmont Lane get it’s name? For reasons now obscure, Marmont Lane was named after Percy Marmont, the British silent film actor who lived in Los Angeles in the silent era.


  1. On December 11, 1991, I threw a last minute birthday party at historic, venerable and quietly notorious Chateau Marmont. It took place in the large penthouse suite, the one with the wrap around balcony overlooking Sunset Blvd. Had you attended you would have heard the voice of Judy Garland singing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ (actually sung by brilliant impressionist Jimmy James) . As used to happen in the ‘good ole days’ some of the other guests in the hotel dropped by the (or crashed) the party….as did many of the LA MODELS who happened to be having a party at the Roxy and looked up and heard the festivities and joined in. It turned into a real Hollywood party…went on till dawn the next day. Immediately following this event, the Chateau Marmont attempted to adopt a No Party policy…

    • For a great resource on the Chateau Marmont, The Garden of Allah and history of the Sunset Strip…read the ‘Castle on Sunset’ by Shawn Levy.

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