Lili Dynamita

24 May

Lili D. was at this location when it caught fire and a bit later exploded. Where was she and who was she with?…

Number 2 marks the spot on this old map of Hollywood.

— Tim


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  1. Karl

    May 24, 2018 at 6:01 pm

    Give us a little (more of a) hint, will ya- huh?

  2. Gentleman Tim

    May 24, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    да, абсолютно, Komrade Karl. Here are a kouple of klues in this here gif:


  3. Gentleman Tim

    May 24, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Though, like Lili, they had never heard of Errol at the time, two of the stars there with Lili then owned homes that later figured prominently in the life of Flynn. Among other activities, he played tennis at both homes.


    • Gentleman Tim

      May 25, 2018 at 2:22 am

      Strike part of the above! Only the female referred to above owned a home that figured (very) prominently in the life of Flynn.

      Here are two of the heavyweight Hollywooders who were at the explosive mystery scene with Lili. The event depicted here was the premier of Lilac Time, at the Carthay Circle Theater:



  4. Gentleman Tim

    May 24, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Charlie helped put out the fire.


    The Manassas Mauler was there, too:…

  5. Gentleman Tim

    May 25, 2018 at 3:03 am

    Two of the Hollywood Heavyweights who were there: Heavyweight Champion of the World, Jack Dempsey, and his wife, the much celebrated actress, Estelle Taylor, “the screen’s oomph girl of the 20’s”, known for her highly praised performances of historical figures in major movies, including Miriam in The Ten Commandments, and Lucretia Borgia in John Barrymore’s Don Juan.


  6. Gentleman Tim

    May 25, 2018 at 3:29 am

    “Redskin” Richard Dix was there, too, circa his making of “Warming Up”, a lost baseball film:


  7. Gentleman Tim

    May 25, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Okay, Lili’s dinner mate that evening is ready for her closeup:


  8. Gentleman Tim

    May 25, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    Also there was John Monk Saunders, the “handsome, dashing, and brilliant” husband of Fay Wray, who had recently won the first Academy Award for Best Picture for his writing of Wings. Here he is with Fay:


  9. Gentleman Tim

    May 25, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    Director Eddie Sutherland, hubbie of megastar Louise Brooks, was there too. Here he is with Louise:


  10. Gentleman Tim

    May 25, 2018 at 8:54 pm

    I refuse to believe you’re stumped, Karl! One too many, or too few, Apple Jack Roses, I presume!

    It was June 6, 1928 – a kong day indeed- at a favorite speakeasy hangout for Hollywood heavyweights, the Russian Cafe Eagle, at Sunset Plaza on Sunset Boulevard.

    From “Gloria Swanson: The Ultimate Star”, we have the following account. I suspect Lili may have been there in part because gloriously gorgeous Gloria’s new husband, Marquis Henri de la Falaise , was rekatively fresh over from France.…


    • Karl

      May 25, 2018 at 11:43 pm


      Hollywoodus Obscuratus!

      Tim MAN… that truly was your TOUGHEST!

      • Gentleman Tim

        May 26, 2018 at 2:16 am

        Despite the Silent Era content – because of the rare combination of keywords – I feared it would be too easy, Karl. That’s why I delayed Gloria Swanson’s close-up. Anyhoo, I find it a fascinating piece of lost Hollywood history, with the pre-Flynn Lili Damita connection. I can’t imagine such a fire and explosion being forgotten only a decade later with stars of equal luminosity, say at Ciro’s. Charlie Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Colleen Moore – with Chaplin helping to hose out the blaze. Amazing.

        From the Flynnian perpective, it’s intriguing that Gloria and her French Marqis husband were there, as well as Colleen Moore and her husband John McCormick. They provide interesting connections pertinent to Errol’s career, through Lili’s involvement with Gloria’s Marquis (who worked for JPK), and through Colleen Moore and John McCormick mansion on St. Pierre in Bel Air.

  11. Gentleman Tim

    May 26, 2018 at 8:29 am


    Russian Eagle Café – Originally at at 8428 Sunset in Sunset Plaza. Sheila Weller: “Opium had been smoked in the back room. John Barrymore, Ramon Navarro, and Russian femme fatale Alla Nazimova had hidden out in the club from photographers. The Eagle’s owners were Russian emigres with raging tempers. One night the pair fought noisily — one was romancing the other’s wife. The cuckolded partner came back in the dead of night and set fire to the club. Flames shot up against the mountain, loosening a wooden footbridge, threatening an avalanche, and reducing the club to embers. (Nazimova kept her memories of that night close to her vest; she had turned her nearby mansion into a hotel — the Garden of Allah bungalows. There, she played hostess to the likes of John O’Hara, Robert Benchley, and William Faulkner, when movie work brought those writers westward.)”

    The cafe burned to the ground on the night of June 6, 1928 and it moved to the Hollywood Plaza Hotel at 1633-37 N. Vine St.

    General Theodor Lodijensky presided over the establishment, and Greta Garbo among it’s frequent visitors.… says, “The left side lobby of the Plaza Hotel was the Russian Eagle Cafe & Gardens in the 30s. Garbo was a regular and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. first tried Cocaine in the restroom. In 1943, Clara Bow opened her “It” Cafe in the same space.”

    A group of Russians left the Sunset Strip after their roadhouse burned down. They moved to the Hollywood Plaza Hotel ballroom where their Russian Eagle did better than it had on the Strip. The waiters wore fezzes. The doorman was a a former Cossack cavalryman. The cashier was Princess Xenia Shadhowskoya who also snag sad songs out front. Garbo loved to eat caviar in a dark corner. Dietrich visited often too. When the movie magazines reported this, the Russian Eagle became a hot spot for a while.

    When the Russian Eagle closed in 1935, it reopened as the Cinnabar. (p230/113) – then later Clara Bow’s It Cafe which later became Phil Selznick’s It Cafe.

    Time Magazine – June 18, 1928 – “Charles Spencer Chaplin, funnyman, picked up a garden hose, squirted it. He was serious. He was helping to fight a fire at the American-Russian Eagle Club in Hollywood, Calif. His efforts were stopped when an explosion of leaking gas wrecked the building and injured eight people. Among those present and unhurt were Jack Dempsey & wife (Estelle Taylor), Richard Dix, Renee Adoree, John McCormick & wife (Colleen Moore), Marquis de la Falaise (husband of Gloria Swanson). The owner of the nightclub, Theodore Lodiginsky, 56, onetime Russian general, was seriously injured.”