An Errol Flynn Dilemma?

28 Oct

I am submitting a couple of pictures of Flynn I have had in my collection for many years.

They both appear to be from the same event since they are noted with the WB numbering I system (GEN PUB8546).  But, there seems to be some confusion about my listing  for time and place. So I am asking for help in confirming just where and when they were taken.



I have this shot of Errol with Faye Emerson, in front of the My Gallery at 850l0 Wishire, during May 25th to 27th, 1945 at the Eleanor Powell pre-auction, open-exhibition. A similar photo also appeared in the August, ’45 issue of Movie Stars Parade magazine. By the way that is Michael Curtiz back to camera looking at another artwork.

This shot is of Flynn and Curtiz inside the building, chatting. There are also a few more of these two together, all WB numbered. My confusion is that I also have some old hand notes that this is an exhibition at the Decker and Flynn Gallery sometime in May or June, ’45, but I have no back-up. Since I can not locate any old photos of the front of either of the two galleries, I am not sure which description is correct … or if they are both wrong.  So … I appreciate any feedback that will straighten out my dilemma.

— David DeWitt


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  1. Gentleman Tim

    October 29, 2017 at 9:37 pm

    Great photos and excellent questions, David. I’ve searched high and low (aerial and ground level) photos of both locations (Wilshire and Alta Loma) in 1945, but could not find ones with enough resolution to say for sure. However, my guess is that, between those two choices, it would have been the Flynn and Decker Studio at 1215 Alta Loma. I say that because I believe the location on Wilshire (at the intersection of La Cienega Blvd.) would not (even back in ’45) have had so much empty space around it. BUT, I am not by any means any kind of authority on the history of either area of Los Angeles/Hollywood, so hopefully one will weigh in!

    I found it interesting that (cinema’s first all-talkie)The Lights of New York poster is behind Flynn. Decker may have been close to Barrymore’s Costello sister-in-law who starred in that. Maybe he knew her in New York, and/or after she moved to Hollywood. Just a wild guess as to why that might be on his wall – if that was his wall. Previous to your post, because of that poster, I thought that indoor photo was probably a Warners Bros. office of some type

    There may or may not be a clue in this video, but it does have a number of Decker-Flynn photos, including one at their gallery perhaps.

    P.S. I’m trying to get some Sanborn Insurance images of both buildings, which help identify the building shown in the outdoor photo, which (because of the same clothing Flynn and Curtiz are wearing in both photos) is very likely the same place the indoor photo depicts – unless, possibly, if they were also in another building that same day.)

    • David DeWitt

      October 31, 2017 at 10:33 pm

      Excellent, Gentleman Tim! Your effort to help is much appreciated!

  2. Ada Klock

    November 1, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Mr. Tim, your fidelity to detail is commendable. Regarding the buildings themselves, the best course is of course, exterior elevations. I wish you good luck in obtaining the exterior images. I did not prevail.

    On the interior photo, I was also suspect as to the nature of the bulletin board clippimgs. In that light, let me submit one more shot that may, or may not, help us in David’s quest.

    Clearly, it is not much help because of the content, which does not bear much resemblance to the film community, or even the other board. The resolution of my equipment is lacking in detail to provide any additional support to either gallery, or even another unknown location. Perhaps your interpretation of this photo may be useful and worth sharing. Both of the backgrounds seem to present more questions than answers.

    The video you attached was very artistic in it’s presentation but offered only a glimpse of the interior of the studio and a glance at the rear of the Decker and Flynn building. No help in either case. I have both pictures, if you think they can help.

    I am attaching a copy of the ad that I think may have been a reason for Flynn’s trip to the My Gallery on the weekend of May 25th, as advertised, probably along with many other members of the film community. Unfortunately, I found no
    newspaper or magazine reports of this event mentioning Flynn.

    I can only suggest that the source of the photos would be the last vestage of information, since they were property of and distributed by, Warner Bros. per their numbering. I do not live in California and have no access to, or personnel that I can contact, to see if there is background information available on the pix to the public.

    Mr. David, perhaps this gallant effort may have been in vain, and the pictures should remain in the UNKNOWN file…with so many others. But…I am dating mine:

    “May-June, 1945 at a local gallery”. At lease it is a home for them, for now.

    ….and good luck to you, Mr. Tim.

    • Gentleman Tim

      November 1, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      TREMENDOUS Information & Imagery, Ada!!! Thank you.

      Perhaps Lewis Hart’s family in Houston knows or has old records proving or disproving the location of these photos. Here is some info regarding them. They appear to still be in the business, prominently so , though one or two of them may have went upstream to college for a number of years. They may well have heard about Errol and/or Decker from their auctioneer ancestors. From old stories or photos, they may even know what the one or both of the galleries in question looked like. Errol Flynn attending one of your father’s or grandfather’s auction could/should be a big part of family lore.


      “Hart Galleries is the largest fine and decorative arts facility in the Southwest. For over a half century, Hart Galleries has served the needs of both the beginning and advanced collector. These sixty-six years parallel three generations of Hart family experience in buying and selling fine quality antique and pre-owned furnishings, paintings and decorative arts. Today, Hart Galleries leads the Southwest in auction sales, proving not only that smaller, family-owned regional auction houses command an important place in the auction world, but also that the Southwest offers a sound and appropriate market for quality objects of art and design.

      “Today, Hart Galleries leads the Southwest in auction sales”

      Hart Galleries Has a longstanding tradition of personal service dating to the early part of the last century, when Lewis Hart first established the Hart name in the auction world. Under Lewis’ guidance, his son, Samuel, arrived in Houston in 1938, settling the second generation of Hart auctioneers in the rapidly growing Southwest. Quickly gaining the recognition and respect of buyers and sellers alike, Samuel Hart Galleries handled many of the great area estates, including Kirby, Phelan, Yount, and Hofheinz. Today, this legacy continues under the third generation leadership of Jerry M. Hart, who, in addition to orchestrating such sales as the Gov. John Connally, Gus Wortham, T.J. Bettes and Gene Tierney estate auctions, has handled the auction sale of property de-accessioned by such important institutional collections as Bayou Bend, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and The San Antonio Museum Association.

      “Has a Longstanding tradition of personal service dating to the early part of the last century”

      Hart Galleries serves the needs of both seller and buyer through a modern and convenient, fifty-two thousand square foot, state-of-the-art auction and retail facility conveniently located just five minutes west of Houston’s landmark Galleria shopping area. Catering continuously to three generations, Hart Galleries is pleased to offer its trademark personal service to both retail and auction clients.”

      • Gentleman Tim

        November 2, 2017 at 7:36 am

        Please forgive the Hartless humor, but I’m getting close to finding the grandson’s cell number.…

        • David DeWitt

          November 2, 2017 at 3:19 pm

          And this from KH:


          • Gentleman Tim

            November 4, 2017 at 6:34 am

            Thank you, Karl! From the map you’ve provided, coupled with a current satellite view of Alta Loma Road, looking south, on Google Maps, I would say the site shown above could be Decker Flynn Galleries, BUT, I still haven’t found any definitive photographic or architectural images or descriptions (including not Sanborn Insurance drawings) for either of the two locations. (For years, I used to access Sanborn records on Proquest, but that’s no longer possible.)

            I’d love to know how many trips Errol took out the back door of the Mocombo over to his D-F Galleries, and with whom!

            Errol at the colorful Mocombo, a Flynn’s throw from Decker Flynn Galleries: