Thursday, July 9, 2009

Miami During the Golden Age of Hollywood

A bit of a departure today…

Part of my fascination for the Golden Age of Hollywood is the actual era itself. I love the architecture, music, politics, and styles of the 1930s and early 1940s, and I often think about what was going on in my own (nearby) fair city of Miami while Hollywood was creating its very best movies with my favorite stars. Miami, Florida was already booming as a luxury tourist destination by the 1930s and would be the nation’s playground in the subsequent decades. Today, I present some snapshots of Miami as it appeared during the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Take a look at these travel brochures. Perhaps they will entice you to make the trip.

Great, we'll see you when you arrive...

Welcome to Miami: Here’s an Alfred Eisenstaedt aerial photograph of the Magic City, 1940.

Brrr: I forgot to tell you that we're having unusually cold weather this month! This stylish beachgoer sports a fur coat over her bathing suit in February, 1940 when tourists and locals alike were shocked with 30 degree Fahrenheit temperatures during a particularly potent cold snap that lasted three weeks.

The Miami Pan-Am airport terminal: Look at the design and the contrast between the dark surfaces of the terminal and the light, airy tropical attire of the passengers. I wish people dressed up today...I guess there's just no competing with ragged jeans and T-shirt...

Collins Avenue, 1940: Get a load of that bustling city! Cue the Gershwin music as everyone moves about in this subtropical paradise. Collins Avenue runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. This entire environment as it was during this time floods me with many images and fantasies, especially my Husband and Wife Detectives strolling along the sidewalks at night and taking in Miami’s typically balmy summer evenings—actually, they’re downright hot!

The traffic is relatively unchanged considering the time, population, and degree of urban expansion. It’s all in proportion, isn’t it? Miami seemed just as crowded then as it is today.

Here’s the Edsinger Hotel, where I live and write this blog—really! See? Right next to that typewriter is my stack of Ginger Rogers jpegs.

Off the Beaten Path: A trip to neighboring Fort Lauderdale finds us in a beautiful deco-designed club, The Club Keller. What’ll you have to drink?

To be continued...


  1. Thanks for sharing the pictures. The 30's and early 40's are also one of my favorite time periods. I was actually just thinking today that a TV series set in the 30's might be very fun (if done right).

  2. I was totally wearing that outfit in Hawaii! What are the odds?

    I really like aerial views of cities.

    Great post, great pictures.

  3. Haha, a fur coat on the beach? Lovely photo!

  4. This was fun, such great photos and brochures. A real treasure.


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