Category: Entertainment

Pinball machines banned in L.A.


“During a Dec. 10, 1939, election, Los Angeles City Proposition No. 3, banning pinball games, passed with about 161,000 votes for and 113,000 against. The Los Angeles Times reported the next morning:

Pin-ball games, marble boards, scoop claws and similar devices, under the ordinance approved yesterday by the people, will be declared nuisances in public places, and therefore subject to seizure by the police. The ordinance had a substantial majority…

Mayor Bowron and his Police Commission urged the adoption of the anti pin-ball law on the grounds that the machines are used for petty gambling, so widespread that the police are totally insufficient in number to enforce the law.”

Excerpt and 1940 image from Los Angeles Times newspaper at .

The December 10 election date might not be correct as that was a Sunday in 1939.



Fictional characters introduced in 1939

Some have endured such as Casper the Friendly Ghost, Philip Marlowe and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Click on the links below to learn more:

From .

52 lanes, open all night


Circa 1939 postcard.

“The Sunset Bowling Center, ‘Situated on the Warner Brothers Sunset Lot where the first talking picture in Hollywood was made’. This one comes to us from Steve Taylor, Postcard Roundup’s roving reporter. He says: ‘The Sunset Bowling Center building was built in 1922 as the West Coast headquarters of the Warner brothers – Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack. Warner’s corporate offices were moved to Burbank in 1929 after the acquisition of First National Pictures. In 1939 the studio was bought and made into a 52 lane bowling alley.’ ”

Images and excerpt from .


Radio sound effects


“It was not until 10 years ago, however, that the Sound Effects Man really achieved professional status; in 1929 the National Broadcasting Company created a Sound Effects Department and put in charge the man who still heads this department as its Chief Technician – N. Ray Kelly.

“Until then sound effects had been produced, when provided at all, by a snare drummer, the traditional sound effects man of the old theatre.

“Despite the considerable degree of candor with which sound effects men discuss their art, still, it reeks of “trade secrets”; and employs all the wizardry expert technicians are able to muster in order that such “scenery” will supply broadcast programs with the proper acoustical backdrop.

“One of the most “exclusive” occupations in the world, less than 100 men are professionally employed in the trade, one network estimates.”

Image and excerpts froma 1939 Radio Craft magazine story via .

The article describes the more difficult effects achieved at Hollywood and New York radio broacast studios.

Watch a 3-1/2 minute movie clip showing the sound effects being produced for a 1939 radio show: .