The Hollywood Palace
TV Series (1964 - 1970)
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Series Fun Facts
- "Tina, the baby elephant" circus performer was the only performer/act to have the most repeated performances on the seven year series. "Tina" was invited each season, sometimes returning two…
[show]"Tina, the baby elephant" circus performer was the only performer/act to have the most repeated performances on the seven year series. "Tina" was invited each season, sometimes returning two to three times each season, for a return engagement. The trainer and Tina's crew would wash, bath, and groom Tina in the adjacent parking lot, where Tina's trailer-dressing room parked. Before each rehearsal and performance day, the crew would take a blow torch burning off any hair on the baby elephant's body. The blow torch flame did not damage, nor burn, the elephant's hide. "Shaved" was their terminology for the make-up preparation.
- Specialty tiger, lion, panther acts were performed on The Hollywood Palace stage, video taped and "banked" in the library of acts/performances for insertion into the regular series hosted…
[show]Specialty tiger, lion, panther acts were performed on The Hollywood Palace stage, video taped and "banked" in the library of acts/performances for insertion into the regular series hosted show. These live animal acts required a major stage set up because of the iron bar performance ring provided by the trainer's (circus performance presentation) act. The animals were released from their traveling cages at the exterior stage elephant door-ramp alley. The animals were directed through an iron bar tunnel leading to the stage performance ring. Usually, their performance was without an audience present. Occasionally a small audience was allowed to watch the taping. Striking and removing the stage performance jail-bar cage, tunnel, and equipment required additional man-hour labor. Special window (plastic) jail sections, (built by ABC Special Effects), were inserted between the jail-bar ring for camera port holes. Only once, was a lion, tiger and black panther act performed without this circus jail ring set up on stage. Four iron bar jail bar units were built to surround the video camera and the camera operators. The audience bodies were studio dummies, dressed by the costumer, and placed in the seats. The stage crew and participating show personnel were located in the theater's balcony to observe the performance. On one of the animal acts load in, through the iron bar tunnel, Ed Holland, the head stage carpenter, was squeezing by the tunnel next to the stage proscenium bulkhead frame, while the lions were being ushered into the stage ring. An old lion being pushed through the tunnel got his revenge, spraying Ed from head to toe! Ed's wife complained the lion perfume remained on him for weeks thereafter!
- During the 1966-1967 season, Nick Vanoff asked Jim Trittipo and Hub Braden, (his art department staff)), to put together an estimate and proposal to expand the stage facilities of the "Palace…
[show]During the 1966-1967 season, Nick Vanoff asked Jim Trittipo and Hub Braden, (his art department staff)), to put together an estimate and proposal to expand the stage facilities of the "Palace Stage"; which would create a swimming pool beneath the existing stage, two sliding floors on tracks which would be a hardwood stage to cover the pool, and a second tracking ice rink floor which would slide on top of the stage floor. The basement of the stage was an orchestra personnel dressing room, actors dressing rooms, and storage rooms. The original theater's orchestra pit had been filled with concrete for "The Jerry Lewis Show" extending the original stage foot light and proscenium edge forward for a camera and sound area, as a production area in front of the original house curtain line. The proposal included removing this front stage area for the swimming pool feature. A water proof video camera port at the front of the pool, underneath the fore-stage's camera area. Storage of the two tracking stage and ice floors, to video the swimming pool, required rebuilding the stage rear wall; acquiring the real estate behind the actual stage-theater property. The adjacent property behind the theater was owned by the Methodist Church, which had converted the former Knickerbocker Hotel into a Methodist retirement senior citizen care facility. ABC would not negotiate a purchase of the The Knickerbocker-Methodist Church property. Vanoff proposed, then, to move the "Hollywood Palace" to the "Culver City Studios" film sound stage. ABC axed Vanoff's proposal maintaining the "Palace" had to remain in Hollywood at their renovated TV stage. After the series was canceled in January, 1970, ten years later, Nick pitched the idea of a very "big variety show" to NBC Television in 1979-1980. "The Big Show" became a two hour special premiere, followed weekly with a one and a half hour program format with two celebrity hosts, for each weekly event. Ed Sullivan's original variety show introduction of a "really big show" was Vanoff's dream realized. Vanoff, during the ten years, had partnered and purchased the abandoned Columbia Studio lot at Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street in Hollywood, which was where the "Big Show" television program originated.
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