Looking for Mabel Normand

Madcap Mabel Normand




“The Montmartre as its first lights confront the soft California sunset.  Here come the white-ermined ladies and silk-hatted gentlemen who constitute Hollywood’s Who’s Who”

Marilyn Slater

Looking for Mabel

March 5, 2013


Mabel Normand was one of the many stars that spent time dancing at the Montmartre.  At least once a year if not more often, I find myself on Hollywood Blvd., at the Egyptian Theatre and looking across the street at the arched windows of the fabled Hollywood Montmarte Café. It is located at 6753 Hollywood Blvd. and is a prime example of the work of architects Meyer & Holler; they were the most esteemed firm building in Hollywood (1910 – 1920s).  They first designed homes but after WW1 they moved from residential to commercial work. Among their designs that you might recognize: Culver Studio (1919); Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre (1922); Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (1926); Montmartre Café (1922).




The last reported party that Mabel attended at the Café was talked about in a Grace Kingsley column February 10, 1929.  I wrote about it back in January 26, 2011 in a piece I titled “Divas of Diversity,” it seemed like a grand party.  The owners of the Montmartre had declared bankruptcy in July 1930; in looking though a copy of a December 1930 “The New Movie” magazine I found a picture of the Montmartre that I hadn't seem before. 


Next time, I may try to take a camera with me and see if I can, I will take pictures of the interior.  If you have any please share.





1924, April 9; Hattiesburg American; Anne Surr – Sennett with Eugenia Gilbert

1924, May 7; Hattiesburg American; Alice Long – Mary Miles Minter

1928, July 1; Los Angeles Times; Myra Nye – Society in Cinemaland

1930, July 5; Reno Evening Gazette, page 8 – Montmartre Bankrupt

1930, December; The New Movie Magazine, page 75 – “Soft California Sunset”