Three Stooges expert Jim Pauley has a book out on Santa Monica Press called "The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations." The book looks at many of the places in LA where the Stooges went to film their shorts in the 30s and 40s and includes both black and white stills and present day photos. Off-Ramp's Robert Garrova met with author Jim Pauley at Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Hollywood Blvd. to talk about his book.
Longtime Three Stooges fan Jim Pauley became a detective for his book "The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations." But instead of looking for crime scenes, Pauley sifted through black and white stills, library records, and talked with Hollywood historians to find where it was The Three Stooges went to film their comedy shorts in the 30s and 40s.
"It's really interesting to track down the locations. Where did the boys do their funny stuff? Of course they were in soundstages most of the time, but where were they outdoors?" Pauley said. "And if you love Hollywood and you love Los Angeles, it kind of ties in nicely. There's nothing like being where Moe, Larry and Curly were."
Pauley found some of the best spots in LA where the Stooges went to shoot. Like an outdoor staircase in Silver Lake, a business address on Larchmont Blvd and a spot next to the LA River along what we now call Forest Lawn Drive.
Pauley's book includes "Then and Now" shots too. On one present day shot, Pauley was even able to get Moe Howard's daughter, Joan Howard Maurer, involved. When Joan was 11-years-old, her dad included her as an extra in a short titled "Pop Goes the Easel."
"That particular scene involved Moe, Larry and Curly jumping through hopscotch chalked out on the sidewalk that the two girls had made. And as the boys run through, you actually see the two young girls in the background. Well also, there's a very important clue in the background and that is the number 107," Pauley said.
Pauley started to notice present day features at 107 Larchmont Blvd. that matched the ones from the short. He recognized the buildings, the windows, the rooflines, some of which haven't changed much over the years.
"Joan had seemed to think that the scene was shot at one of the Columbia Studios. But I was able to prove that it was actually shot at 107 Larchmont Blvd., which is still there today. The building is still pretty much the same, just some minor changes. I actually brought Joan back to that location some 65 years later and took a real great picture of her that is now featured in my book. A sort of 'Then and Now' shot," he said.
Pauley even proved some Laurel and Hardy fans wrong when he found another location: The Stooges steps in Silverlake. The steps are featured in a Stooges short titled "An Ache in Every Stake" in which the boys are ice men and have to deliver a heavy block of ice up a long set of stairs. The steps, contrary to what some other Hollywood buffs had thought, are actually located at 2257 and 2258 North Fair Oak View Terrace in Silver Lake and are still there today.
Aside from being a great read for Three Stooges fans young and old, Pauley's book is also a visual archeological dig through LA's past -- a time when the hills of Silver Lake and Echo Park were undeveloped and the LA River was concrete-free.