Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Virtual Ambassador Hotel



In marketing the new Emilio Estevez-helmed "Bobby" -- about Robert Kennedy's final moments -- the producers have wisely realized that the Ambassador Hotel is one of the film's major characters.

Sadly, it's the Ambassador's final role. The hotel, which has appeared in countless films, was demolished right after "Bobby" finished shooting -- making Estevez the last filmmaker to roam the classic hotel's halls.

The Weinstein Co., which is releasing the film, has added a cool Ambassador-themed section to the "Bobby" website, located at ambassador.bobby-the-movie.com. The site includes a computer-generated 360-degree view of the Ambassador lobby, as well as a guestbook and New York Times front pages leading up to the death of Bobby Kennedy.

The filmmakers have also launched a Flickr group (at www.flickr.com/groups/bobbythemovie), where people can upload shots they may have of the Ambassador.

Above, a screen grab of the computer-depicted Ambassador lobby, including the famous water fountain. Below, here's a real-life shot of the lobby water fountain I took in 2003:


And the water fountain, as it sadly searched for a new home at last year's Ambassador auction:

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's too bad that the virtual lobby is nothing like the real ambassador hotel lobby.

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Give the people who made this their due. At least they tried. Anybody want to re-visit an idea that someone once came up with about a new Ambassador being built that looks liek the old one and that pays tribute to the old one as well. This idea cannot be any worse than what the L.A.U.S.D. has done.

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol...we're supposed to give breaks to film bureaucracies but not education bureaucracies? shame.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous james said...

The following notice was posted about a week ago on the fence surrounding the Ambassador property. This makes it sound like they're not planning on reusing the Cocoanut Grove after all...


--Notice of Preparation of Supplement to Final Environmental Impact Report--

To: Agencies, Organizations, and Interested Parties

Location: Central Los Angeles Area New Learning Center Number 1 (Ambassador Hotel)

The 2004 FEIR included mitigation measures for the adaptive reuse of the Cocoanut Grove as an auditorium subject to structural materials testing. Based upon extensive testing and evaluation by the district structural engineer, consultants, and staff, the district determined that it is technically infeasible to retain and reuse all of the features that were described in the 2004 FEIR due to their age and degradement and unstable condition. In view of the potential changes in the retention and reuse of the Cocoanut Grove, LAUSD is preparing a supplement to the 2004 FEIR to document these changes.

The notice also says that LAUSD is accepting comments on this announcement. Comments will be accepted from November 15th until December 15th, 2006. You can email in your comments to ceqa-comments@laschools.org.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that anyone was trying to give a film beaucracy a break versus the L.A.U.S.D. That person was trying to give the makers of the film credit for trying to do a virtual lobby. By the way, did you know that the L.A.U.S.D. was already demolishing the Ambassador when "Bobby" was being filmed? Did you know that the L.A.U.S.D. would not allow Emilio Estevez permission to film portions of "Bobby" in the lobby of the Ambassador? I mean, was the L.A.U.S.D. in that much of a rush that they could not have allowed what little time Estevez needed to film part of "Bobby" in the lobby? How fair was it that Estevez had to film "Bobby" when the demolition of the Ambassador was going on? I would think that he gave the L.A.U.S.D. enough notice that he woud like to have permission to film part of "Bobby" so that the demolition could have been delayed so he could have used the lobby, which was I believe was all he wanted to use inside of the hotel. If anything, the L.A.U.S.D. would have gotten favorable press for allowing Estevez to shoot what he needed. So before we criticize the film makers, take a look at what the L.A.U.S.D. did to make the filming of "Bobby" more difficult that what it needed to be.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Yeah, it's painful to me that virtually every part of the film took place in areas of the hotel which, prior to demoltion, were constantly used for filming and would have been in perfect shape for this film, but places like the lobby (one of the best-preserved areas of the hotel and great to shoot in) was already too far gone to film. Would it have killed them to wait a month?

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Psychic-Medium Michael J. Kouri said...

Actually Estevez wasn't the last film maker to walk the halls of the Ambassador Hotel. Nope, I was! I'd been given permission to Investigate the Halls of every floor, the basement, the famed tunnels, the kitchen, the bungalows and the mid century apartments on the grounds for an episode of my Television Show: Investigating The Unknown With Michael J. Kouri.

According to my sources, I am the Only Psychic-Medium and Parapsychological Investigator in the world who actually Investigated the site for Ghosts On Camera... My crew and I conducted a live Seance in the Coconut Grove and captured on tape all sorts of eerie sights and sounds that could not be explained by the night crew who took care of the historic site. They were also interviewed for the episode.

I too was so saddened to see the buildings demolished and wonder what the LAUSD was thinking: I mean don't they teach history anymore??? Why couldn't they have used some of the out buildings as their offices? They weren't that bad. However the LAPD had been using the older bungalows as practice grounds for the SWAT team and many of the historic doors, windows and walls were full of holes, yet curtains remained on the windows, gorgeous hand wrought iron was everywhere, crystal door knobs that had turned purple through the years and plants were growing through the holes in the wall to the outside where Movie Legends like Tom Mix, Gloria Swanson and Rudy Valentino once stayed...

I'm also an advocate of preservation and restoration of historic properties for future generations. I'm the published author of 25 books related to this subject and photographs I snapped within the Hallowed Halls of the building will appear in two books due out next year about Hollywood and Los Angeles.

I have to admit, most of the rooms on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors were filled with mould and mildew and it was very hard to stand in them for more than five minutes. Was the Ambassador Hotel Haunted? You Bet! With an Infra Red Camera we picked all sorts of humanoid figures especially in and near the Hotel Lobby Fountain. A woman dressed in a sheer robe seemed as fascinated with us as we were with her on the initial Investigation.

I'm honored to have been able to see, feel and experience the Ambassador Hotel before she was gone for good and gather up a few souvenirs of the site that will also appear in my books. I have a scrap of the carpeting from the Coconut Grove, some broken crystals of her chandeliers, and an old light bulb probably used by the photographers covering Bobby Kennedy's Assination. The buld was found lodged inside a wooden groove in a utility room just outside of the kitchen. A Napkin from the commissory and two tiles that had been unearthed by the tractors who'd raped the grounds of its trees long before the judges gavel slammed down in favor of the school board...

I also have rare photographs of the billboard erected by the Los Angeles Conservancy to try and stop the project before it was ordered to be removed. These photos were snapped from Sammy Davis Jr's old apartment (very haunted). It's going to be interesting to see how many of the ghosts haunt the school buildings when they're finished. Spirits don't just haunt the buildings, but the land the buildings once stood on. The incredible amount of Sad and disapointed energy generated by Ambassador Hotel Fans will certainly remain on the property too.
Michael J. Kouri -Pasadena, Ca.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually Estevez wasn't the last film maker to walk the halls of the Ambassador Hotel. Nope, I was given permission to Investigate the Halls of every floor, the basement, the famed tunnels, the kitchen, the bungalows and the mid century apartments on the grounds for an episode of my Television Show: Investigating The Unknown With Michael J. Kouri.

According to my sources, I am the Only Psychic-Medium and Parapsychological Investigator in the world who actually Investigated the site for Ghosts On Camera... My crew and I conducted a live Seance in the Cocoanut Grove. It was truly an amazing experience especially when lights suddenly went out all by themselves, then when I asked the spirits to turn them back on, they did. We were the only live people in the building that night(all 6 of us). We actually captured images on tape that we didn't see with the naked eye including all sorts of eerie sights and sounds that could not be explained by the night crew who took care of the historic site. They were also interviewed for the episode and believe that the spirits are of those people who enjoyed themselves on the site throughout its lifetime, people who'd died there, fought there and or danced at the Cocoanut Grove.

I too was so saddened to see the buildings demolished and wonder what the LAUSD was thinking: I mean don't they teach history anymore??? Why couldn't they have used some of the out buildings as their offices? They weren't in such horrible condition that they couldn't have been saved especially the more modern buildings that sat towards the back of the property. Some still had beds and furniture in them as if the tenant was just out for dinner and would soon be back.

These apartments had secret staircases next to them that took us into the tunnels. The tunnels were for employees to service guests staying in the apartments... Marilyn Monroe was often escorted through these tunnels for her love tryst with John Kennedy. However the older bungalows in the front of the hotel along Wilshire Blvd looked like the backlot of Universal Studios on the outside and horrid on the inside since the LAPD had been using the older bungalows as practice grounds for the SWAT team and many of the historic doors, windows and walls were full of holes, yet curtains remained on the windows, gorgeous hand wrought iron was everywhere, crystal door knobs that had turned purple through the years and original tiles decorated the bathrooms and kitchens of these dwellings. Some of the second story units had floors that were "very" unstable and we could see down to the floor below and others literally had Ivy creeping through the holes in the walls where the Officers had punched through with their batons... Yet, these were the oldest and most historical parts besides the Cocoanut Grove and the Kitchen... These Simple structures could have been restored and used as a Historical Museum for Tourists since these were where Movie Legends like Tom Mix, Gloria Swanson and Rudy Valentino once stayed... What a shame indeed that they've now gone forever!

I'm also an advocate of preservation and restoration of historic properties for future generations. I'm the published author of 25 books related to this subject and photographs I snapped within the Hallowed Halls of the building will appear in two books due out next year Both Haunted Houses of Los Angeles and Haunted Houses of Hollywood.

I have to admit, many of the rooms on the 3rd, and 4th floors were filled with mould and mildew and it was very hard to stand in them for more than five minutes without choking.

Was the Ambassador Hotel Haunted? You Bet!

With an Infra Red Camera we picked all sorts of humanoid figures especially in and near the Hotel Lobby Fountain. A woman dressed in a sheer robe seemed as fascinated with us as we were with her on the initial Investigation. Then again on the second when we brought in a small film crew. Even the cameraman was scared out of his wits...

I'm honored to have been able to see, feel and experience the Ambassador Hotel before she was gone for good and gather up a few souvenirs of the site that will also appear in my books. I have a scrap of the carpeting from the Cocoanut Grove, some broken crystals of her chandeliers, and an old light bulb probably used by the photographers covering Bobby Kennedy's Assination. The bulb was found lodged inside a wooden groove in a utility room just outside of the kitchen. A Napkin (bearing the Hotels Crest) from the commissory and two tiles that had been unearthed by the tractors who'd raped the grounds of its trees long before the judges gavel slammed down in favor of the school board... The Tiles are gorgeous and resemble those that surrounded the forecourt and pool.

I also have rare photographs of the billboard erected by the Los Angeles Conservancy to try and stop the project before it was ordered to be removed. These photos were snapped from Sammy Davis Jr's old apartment (very haunted). It's going to be interesting to see how many of the ghosts haunt the school buildings when they're finished.

You see, Spirits don't just haunt the buildings where they lived, or worked, but the land the buildings once stood on.

The incredible amount of Sad and disapointed energy generated by Ambassador Hotel Fans will certainly remain on the property too. WWW.ICGHOSTS.COM
Michael J. Kouri -Pasadena, Ca

4:38 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I'd be really interested to know what they do with the Hotel furniture from places like this. Some of the pieces are genuine movie memorabilia

8:24 AM  
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10:04 PM  
Blogger Muhammad Amjad said...

Great informative blog and beautiful blog....thanks for sharing.
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9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I go to the ambassador hotel every week because I go to school there. there many schools spread out there and I go to the one named NOW Academy. It is 2013 today y the way

7:25 PM  

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