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Hollywood Bowl: A history test

July 6, 2009 |  7:00 am

Hollywood Bowl, 1959 A CULTURE MONSTER POP QUIZ

Q: When was this photo of Hollywood Bowl taken?

A: (a) 1922; (b) 1945; (c) 1959; (d) 1974.

Yes, we should have told you this was going be on the test. If you answered (c) 1959, you get a gold star -- or maybe a platinum picnic basket. The first clue is the fact that, instead of the box seats that now surround the stage, the Bowl has a reflecting pool. From 1953 to 1972, the pool and the dancing waters of its elaborate fountain kept audiences entertained at intermission and wreaked havoc with moisture-sensitive musical instruments onstage.

As the Hollywood Bowl summer season enters full swing, it may be a good time to bone up on the history of the Bowl, which has been the centerpiece of Cahuenga Pass since 1922. This Los Angeles Philharmonic Web page offers a good nutshell history of the Bowl.

Three longtime Bowl-goers featured in my Monday Calendar story -- John Uphold, 61, Alyce Williamson, 78, and Charla Janacek, 84 -- all recall the reflecting pool, and much, much more. We thank them for sharing with us, collectively, more than 150 years of memories.

-- Diane Haithman

Photo: Hollywood Bowl in 1959. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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