Postcard from Stan Laurel to Richard Sloan
POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Dear Richard [Sloan]:
    Just to let you know I recd, the Bob Maxwell Tape this AM. Got a kick out of the Geo. Kirby impersonation of L&H. Very good.
    Thanks again - hope by now you recd. the Album.
                In haste.
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Note from the Editor

George Kirby (1923–1995) was an American comedian, singer, and actor from Chicago, Illinois. He was one of the first African-American comedians to begin to appeal to white as well as black audiences during the height of the Civil Rights era. He was an excellent impressionist, targeting—somewhat scandalously for the time—many white actors such as John Wayne and Walter Brennan rather than solely black stars such as Bill Cosby and Pearl Bailey.

Postcard from Stan Laurel to Doug
POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Thanks Doug [Solomon], for your letter & snapshot. Wish you all a happy trip to Gallup, New Mexico & Navaho MT. Note you are going to have a new Sister Lulu am sure you are all thrilled.
    My kind thoughts to you all.
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

I haven’t visited the Roach Studio since 1955. It is now being demolished to make space for a supermarket. Whoever thought this would happen? It’s pretty sad.

Stan Laurel

                AUGUST 6th.'63.
Dear Timothy Dalton:
    Thanks yours,2nd.inst. with enclosure of L&H Book Jacket - which I have autographed & am returning herewith per your request.
    I heard about Mr Hal Roach Sr. being on the "TODAY" program - would have liked to have seen it, but the showing time out here is too early for me. I have'nt seen Mr Roach in about 8 years - sorry I do'nt have his present address - I have'nt visited the Roach Studio since 1955 - it is now being demolished to make space for a super market. Whoever thought this would happen? Its pretty sad.
    Mr Hardy died in 1957, he was aged 65.
    Think that all for now -
    My regards & best -
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Hal; Roach Studios Demolished

Letter from Stan Laurel to Mike Polacek - August 7, 1963
OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

They spelled Eda’s name correct. Eda is the Russian sound for Ida—the I’s are pronounced as E’s.

Stan Laurel

                AUGUST 7th.'63.
My Dear Mike [Polacek]:
    Thanks yours,4th.inst. with enclosure of L&H News Article clipping - one or two minor errors which is to be expected, but on the whole I thought it very good - they spelt Eda's name correct (Eda is the Russian sound for IDA - the I's are pronounced as E's) - so go right over to the Newspaper office & beg their PARDON.!!
    Re The portable organ - do'nt recall using it in any other film than "Below Zero". Just had a letter from Leo Wiseman in Den Haag,Holland. he was delighted to receive your letter, said he was writing you - you probably have heard from him by now.
    Enclosed news clipping in case you have'nt seen it & to add to your collection - the "TODAY" show recently devoted some time to interviewing Hal Roach Sr. understand it was quite interesting. I missed it of course, it's on too early here for me.
    Bestest to you all from us both here -
                As always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Note from the Editor

In Below Zero, Stan and Ollie play street musicians whose instruments (a stand-up bass and organ) are demolished by a disgruntled woman.

Postcard from Stan Laurel to Steve Zaharoff - August 9, 1963
POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                AUG. 9th.'63.
Thanks Steven [Zaharoff] yours, 4th.inst. Glad to know you had a nice vacation in Camp & enjoyed the trip to Orchard Beach. The license plate you mention was the one used in "Big Business" (selling Xmas Trees) it was made in 1928 but was'nt released till '29. the same as "Double Whoopee". Imagine you are glad to be home again - not much new to tell you Steven so bye for now.
    Nice to hear from you again -
                My bestest as always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Dear Vic & Gladys [Silver]:
                Thanks yours,7th.inst.
Glad you got a few laughs out of "MAD" magazine. Interesting about the 'TARZAN ROPE' idea - should be attractive to the kids if you can find some means to demonstrate it to them, once they see it I think you'd get a lot of customers.
    Enclosed some more gadget ideas, (was in the Sunday Paper Ad section) Guess by now you recd. the Tape - am sure it brought back memories - strange no one writes those kind of Lyrics & melodies anymore, they are simple & have a touching effect & will live forever - you do'nt hear audiences joining in the chorus anymore, the numbers today have no appeal whatsoever - well, enough of that.!! Do'nt think I'd want to live in North Shields anymore its no different to anywhere else now, those days you dream about are gone & passed Vic. Yes I knew Jack Hogg's Father, was a prominent figure around the Tyneside, & I imagine Jack is quite wealthy - I believe his wife Nora's family owned a Bank - of course this has nothing at all to do with you & me, we still have to make our own coffee.! Dockwray Square is no more - just blocks of Flats I understand - great changes in Shields most all the landmarks have disappeared, everything but the 'Happney Dodger', I sailed on her to South Shields every night for a week in '53. when we played the Sunderland Empire (We lived at the old Grand Hotel in Tynemouth unfortunately, so deteriorated & run down now.)
    You told me previously about the old dames with the caravan & the 'umber to pull it - I can picture your expression.!! HI HO SILVER.!!
    All for now kids. Love & bestest from us both here.
    God Bless.
                As always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Note from the Editor

In Stan’s boyhood days, he would have made the river crossing from South Shields to North Shields on the ‘half-penny dodger’ ferry.

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Thanks Edmund [Tester] for book of views (Washington.D.C.) appreciate the kind remembrance - assume you are all on vacation - trust a good time for you all. Nothing new or exciting to tell you - hence my being brief.
    Hope alls well & Happy & business flourishing.
    Good luck - God Bless.
                As always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Postcard from Stan Laurel to Steve Ward - August 14, 1963
POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Thanks Steve [Ward], your, 12th.inst. No, Hal Roach never made any films in Color. The General in "Beau Hunks" & "Flying Deuces" was played by the late Chas.Middleton. Pleased to note you finally located the three films you were anxious to get - hope you'll have lots of pleasure out of them.
    My best to your Dad, self & Family,
    Trust alls well & happy.
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Dear Vic & Gladys [Silver]:
                Thanks yours,I6th.inst.
Note you recd, the "Confidential" magazine - since the big law suit,it has been toned down considerably, it used to be really "RED HOT". The 'ADS' you mention would be perfect for this magazine - think you could get some dough for those - especially if you could take some snapshots of these signs - do'nt send them the pictures till you make a deal with them, tell them you have actual proof of authenticity (imagine springing this word on a 'Geordie' that had never been further than Jesmond Dene on a Bank Holiday!
    I guess the tape has arrived by now - surface mail (parcel Post) takes quite some time - think I notified you the date I shipped it - anyway if it gets lost, I can easily make you another one, but am sure it will reach you finally.
    I guess those dogs of yours get plenty cold not having any hair serves'em bloody well right for not 'aving any sense, thev should have stayed in Mexico silly buggers.! they can thank their lucky stars they do'nt live in Tynemouth on Marsden Rock.!
    Got a big kick out of that Sarah Dodds character - very funny that gag could be used today.! I love the King Of Newburn too - thats wonderful humor. I do'nt have any Tyneside material on the tape, I'd sure like to get some of those old comics - J.C. Scatter, Adam Tomlinson etc. etc. very funny characters - probably they did'nt make records in their time.
    Interesting you have a few Old Timers living m your area - imagine old Firey Jack still going at 70 - remarkable - I guess if he did'nt continue he'd just lay down & die - fortunate he's able to keep active.
    Not much else Kids, so adios mi amigos.! (that Spanish blood oi mine keeps surging.!)
    Love & bestest to you both.
    God Bless.
                As always:
Stan Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Note from the Editor

Confidential was a celebrity gossip magazine published from 1952 to 1978.

James Cosgrove Scatter was a concert hall singer/humorist and Adam Tomlinson was dialect comedian in England in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                AUGUST 21th.'63
Dear Jack Graves:
                Thanks your very nice letter,19th.inst.
Indeed nice to hear from you & to know the old L&H films still afford you so much pleasure - appreciate very much your kind sentiments so warmly expressed.
    Note you are with the Air Force stationed in France - trust you are enjoying the experience over there. But am sure both you & Mrs G. are looking forward to returning home next year.
    Am enclosing you a little picture - thought you might like to have one as a souvenir.
    Again my thanks & every good wish.
    Take care - God Bless.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Letter from Stan Laurel to Tim Dalton - August 22, 1963
OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

Yes, I am very familiar with Lancashire, England. I was born in Lancashire.

Stan Laurel

Dear Tim Dalton:
                Thanks yours,20th.inst.
Re Stills of "The Devils Brother" film - suggest you check with "Movie Star News", 212,East 14th. Street,New York.3. N.Y.
    The Roach studio was in Culver City.Calif. - "Atoll K" film was produced in France, by the Franco-London Film Corpn.
    Yes, I knew the late Will Rogers quite well.
    The film "Flying Deuces" produced by Borros Morros was on a loan out basis - The Ladies who appeared in "Sons of the Desert" were the Late Mae Busch & a Lady named Christie (do'nt recall her first name off hand.)
    Yes I am very familiar with Lancashire, England - I was born in Lancashire.
    I do'nt know who gave permission to use the L&H film clips on the DuPont program you mention - we have no interest in them whatsoever unfortunately.
    Pleased to note you recd. the bookjacket - thanks for refund of postage.
    Again my regards & best -
    In haste.
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Note from the Editor

The “Ladies” who co-starred with Stan and Babe in Sons of the Desert were Mae Busch and Christie.

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                AUGUST 24th.'63.
Dear Laura & Harry Sornell:
    Thanks your very nice letter 16th.inst. Appreciate very much your kind sentiments so warmly expressed.
    Note you were recently Married - sincerely wish you both many many years of happiness, good health & success -
    Take care - God Bless you.
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

POSTCARD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                AUGUST 26th.'63
Thank you for your nice letter [Myrna Rapoport], 20th.inst. I too enjoyed the pleasure of meeting you & your friend Ellen Bank - appreciate your kind sentiments so kindly expressed - shall be pleased to meet your friend Dick Whittington whenever convenient - kindly give me a call, so we can arrange a definite date for some afternoon -
    My kindest & bestest,
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Myrna Rapoport Davis Adds

My friend and I contacted Mr. Laurel about bringing comedian and radio personality, Dick Whittington, to meet him. I met Mr. Laurel in his Santa Monica apartment two times. Both times, I neglected to take a camera. I was 20 years old and so excited that I forgot. My friend Ellen and I ran the Soupy Sales Fan Club in 1962-63. She found out where Mr. Laurel lived and arranged the first meeting. I arranged the second meeting to bring Dick Whittington. When Dick asked if he could smoke, Mr. Laurel said jokingly, “I don’t care if you burn up.” Years later, I found out it was a line from one of his movies [Chickens Come Home (1931) —Editor]. Mr. Laurel was so gracious and even let me hold his Oscar statue, which sat on his television set. I asked Stan how they made his ears wiggle in A Chump at Oxford, but he never divulged the process to me—he just smiled. I feel very lucky to have met Stan Laurel. It is something I will never forget.


                AUGUST 26th.'63.
Dear Vic & Gladys [Silver]:
    Thanks yours,19th.inst. Glad to know you finally recd. the Tape & enjoyed it. I have quite a collection of those early Music Hall records, they are very interesting, unfortunately the recording equipment used in those days was very elementary, no electronics like today hence the voices & music are slightly distorted. Anyway, they have a nostalgic value.
    I remember the Kelso Bros. very well, they were Australians, very successful in this Country - often wonder what became of them.
    I met Syd Fields a few times in '47, he was playing at the Price of Wales in a revue - a nice guy but his own worst enemy - success was his defeat, the old story - put a beggar on horseback.!
    He did confide in me that he was'nt happy being in the West end, would much rather be back in the provinces touring around - evidently this is the reason he turned to alcohol as a means of escape - poor guy.
    Pleased to note the gadget books are giving you ideas & incentives - they certainly have some interesting & unique merchandise, quite a few of these firms & now opening up here, which is a sign - 'There's Gold in them Thar Hills' - maybe you should investigate & get into the parade! I have'nt heard from the Hogg's for sometime either - probably they are both under the weather, I know Jack was very ill last time I heard from Nora. Note the Winter is starting in - thats not a happy outlook, I sure do'nt envy that business, if I were you, I'd close up the shop & spend the Winter in Cullercoats - relax in the FOG.!!
    Eda joins in kindest & bestest to you both,
    Take care - God Bless.
                As always:
Stan Signature

Note from the Editor

The Kelso Brothers were a vaudeville-era comedy juggling act.

Sid Field (1904–1950) was a British Music Hall comedy entertainer who, like Stan, got his start impersonating Charlie Chaplin. The expression Stan uses to describe him—“Put a beggar on horseback and he’ll ride to hell”—is a saying that means if one gives an undeserving person an advantage, he will misuse it.

Cullercoats is an area of North East England, with a semi-circular sandy beach that is a popular destination for day-trippers.

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

I don’t see Jerry Lewis often, but talk on the phone with him occasionally.

Stan Laurel

                AUGUST 27th.'63.
Dear Glenn Laxton:
                Thanks your,
No, I do'nt recall the name of Claude La Belle - note his brother is your landlord.
    I read Kilgallens column you mention, had several clipping of this article sent me - her information is ridiculous.
    No Mr Hardy & I never wrote a book or article - I do'nt see Jerry Lewis often, but talk on the phone with him occasionally.
    Note you give speeches on the subject of laughter - you should title your lecture 'BELLY LAUGHS or ABDOMEN GUFFAWS.!!
    Am sure your crusade for Slapstick Comedy is greatly needed, but unfortunately nothing can be done about it - sorry I have no pictures other than I already sent you, I understand at the Roach studio auction, all the old Stills were sold in fifty thousand lots, I imagine dealers bought these, will have them copied & re sell to the public for around 50¢ per copy or more in some cases - a very profitable business.
    Guess you are now taking a vacation since you stayed in school during the summer.
    Ronnie Klugman called me yesterday, he'd just returned home from Camp - enjoyed chatting with him, he's quite a boy.!!
    Bye now.
    Take care,
                As always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Note from the Editor

In her June 25, 1963 column, syndicated gossip columnist Dorothy Kilgallen wrote: “Stan Laurel, still suffering from a serious heart condition, has just put the finishing touches on his autobiography. He’s spent four years on the book, meanwhile living on small investments. He doesn’t get a penny from the reruns of his movies with Oliver Hardy.”

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                AUGUST 28th.'63.
Dear Irene [Heffernan]:
                Herewith Stamps -
All news when we see you Thursday (5th.)
    Love & bestest from us both here to Jim & your sweet self -
                As always:
Stan Signature

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                AUGUST 30th.'63.
Dear George Spangler:
     Thanks your very nice letter, 29th.inst.
     Indeed nice to hear from you & to know the old L&H films have afforded you so much pleasure thru' the years - appreciate very much your kind sentiments so warmly expressed - again my thanks.
    With pleasure I enclose you an autographed picture - you so kindly requested.
    My kindest & bestest -
                Sincerely always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

OCEANA LETTERHEAD - 849 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA - TYPEWRITTEN

                AUGUST 30th.'63.
Dear Violet Nathan:
    Thanks your very nice letter of the 8th.inst. recd. this AM. Nice to hear from you & to know the old L&H films are still affording you a little bit of pleasure - appreciate very much your kind sentiments so warmly expressed.
    Interesting to know you are from Chester-le-Street - I am quite familiar with that area, I was partially raised in North Shields, my Dad operated several theatres around the North - 2 in No. Shields - Blyth, Jarrow, Hepburn, Wallsend, also one in Bishop Auckland & Glasgow, Scotland. You mention the Lake District, I was born in Ulverston, in the area of Lake Windermere - Barrow-in-Furness.
    I heard that the Empire Newcastle closed down permanently, Mr Hardy & I played there in '47.-'52. & '.53, also the Empire in Sunderland, that too I believe is now closed - it is a great pity there is no more of the wonderful "Variety" days, it was a great era.
    Am enclosing you a little picture - thought you might like to have one as a souvenir -
    My kindest regards & bestest to you & yours, trust alls well & Happy.
    Take care - God Bless,
                Sincerely as always:
Stan Laurel Signature                 STAN LAUREL.

Of Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy

Mike Polacek

By Homer Alley

A Huntington movie enthusiast and film collector has finally realized a dream. But, let’s start at the beginning.
    The collector-enthusiast is Mike Polacek, of 3207 Washington Avenue, genial electronics technician.
    “I love to watch them over and over,” Polacek says of his favorite actors, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
    Mike, who operates Mike’s Radio and TV Service and works for WSAZ-TV as a transmitter engineer, probably could be billed accurately as “the world’s No. 1 Laurel and Hardy fan.”
    He saw his first Laurel and Hardy Comedy in 1932 or 1933 in his native Johnstown, Pa. From that time on, he has been a fan.
    For the very young (for it’s only they who have not seen Laurel and Hardy), a little background is in order.
    Stan Jefferson was born in England on June 16, 1890, and came to the United States in 1913 as a member of the cast of A Night in an English Music Hall. He was an understudy to Charlie Chaplin. After a stint in vaudeville, during which he changed his name to Stan Laurel, he made his first film in 1917.
    Oliver Norvell Hardy was born in Harlem, Georgia, January 18, 1892. About 1910, he opened a movie house in Milledgeville, Ga. Seeing some of the comedies running in his house, Hardy decided he could do as well. In 1913, he went to Jacksonville, Fla., where he made his first picture.
    Then, in 1926, Laurel and Hardy made their debut as a team in Putting the Pants on Philip.
    For 20 years, Stan Laurel (the skinny one) and Oliver Hardy (the fat one) made funny and successful films which delighted millions. Television brought another resounding wave of popularity and set still another generation to laughing. (The team was separated by the death of Oliver Hardy in 1957).
    As Jack Benny once said “Their humor will always be great.” And nobody believes it more than Mike Polacek.
    At first, Polacek was content to see every Laurel and Handy motion picture he could find by scrutinizing newspaper theatre listings.
    About five years ago, be took the big step. He bought his first Laurel and Hardy motion picture. It was a silent short called Double Whoopee which the comics made in 1929. Since then, the collection has become almost an obsession with Polacek.
    The Polacek film collection now includes 96 Laurel and Hardy films—silent and sound, shorts and full length features and some duplicates.
    His collecting is not limited to movies. Letters, clippings, photos, recordings and printed works on Laurel and Hardy supplement the films.
    It was in early May that Polacek the collector soared to heights rarely attained by a fan. He spent a week with Stan Laurel in California at the actor’s invitation.
    Naturally we were curious and asked Polacek, “What is Stan Laurel really like?”
    “He’s a great guy! What can I say? He’s like a neighbor,” Mike replied. Collecting his thoughts, Mike expanded, “Stan Laurel is a great and wonderful man. He enjoys talking about Laurel and Hardy films. He lives with his wife, Ida, a former singer, in a modern apartment hotel overlooking the Pacific at Santa Monica, Calif. They treated me like a king.”
    That was Polacek’s appraisal after spending four to eight hours daily with the film star for five days. They talked about movie making. Laurel answered Polacek'’s questions and posed for snapshots by the collector.
    What next for Polacek the film collector?
    “I hope to collect every movie they made as a team and individually.” (A considerable ambition since they made over 100 films together, Laurel made 59 by himself and Hardy also made a large hot undetermined number of pictures by himself.)
    With the Laurel and Hardy kind of comedy he says, “ my opinion, nobody can match the talent and comedy style of Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy.”
    Naturally Mike’s family, wife Mildred and son and daughter Michael John Jr., 19, and Wilma Jean, 17, are exposed to a lot of Laurel and Hardy. How do they like it?
    “They like them, but are not nuts like me as I love to watch them over and over.”

—The Herald Advisor
    August 4, 1963

Farewell to the Laugh Factory

Hal Roach Auction Advertisement

By Jack Smith

We went out to the doomed Hal Roach Studio for the auction. After half a century they’re tearing the old place down. I didn’t expect to buy anything, but I wanted to pay my last respects. That old factory has given me a lot of laughs.
    When we got there the auction was proceeding in the great cavern of Stage 1. A sea of costumes, props and other artifacts of picture-making flooded the old barn.
    My eye fell on a painting on the wall, among hundreds of others. It showed some dyspeptic college dean of stern visage, attired in cap and gown.
    I nudged my wife. “Look.” I said. “Up there. The old geezer in the cap and gown. You see anything peculiar about him?”
    She studied him a moment. “Why, he doesn’t have any eyes,” she said. “They’ve been cut out of the painting.”
    “Exactly!” I said. "“Isn’t he wonderful? Remember those comedies where there’s a painting like this on the wall in some old castle, and then all of a sudden the eyes begin to move back and forth? Wouldn’t it be a great gag? For parties?”
    She glanced sharply at me. “We better move along,” she said.
    We were browsing among the light fixtures when I was all but knocked down by the most extraordinary chandelier I had ever seen.
    When I got my breath back I pointed it out. “Isn’t it fantastic!”
    “Ugh!” she said. “What is it?”
    “It’s a moose chandelier,” I explained.
    The chandelier actually was made of the antlers of at least three moose, hung in rotation on a metal circle. It was horny and hairy and beautiful, in a primitive way.
    “It’s right out of the dark ages!” I whispered. “Beowulf, probably. Wouldn’t it be sensational! Can you picture Magruder’s face if he walked in our place and saw that hanging from the ceiling?”
    She seemed stunned with admiration for the idea.
    “I’d like to go look at the draperies,” she said at last.
    On the way I caught sight of a magnificent old tuba. It was dented and crinkled with the years, and painted with a exquisite patina.
    “Look look!” I exclaimed. “Do you see what I see?”
    “You mean that dusty old horn? Ugh!”
    “Ugh my foot!” I said. “You’ve got a work of art there. It’s not just an old horn. It’s pure sculpture. You put that tuba on a table somewhere, under an indirect light, and presto!—you've got an object d’art. It’s the latest thing. Avant-garde and all.”
    “Let’s get out of here for a minute,” she said. “This dust is making me sneezy.”
    As it turned out, we didn’t buy anything. I was dickering for a 7-ft. tall beer bottle. It’s one they used in a Laurel and Hardy picture where they were in a giant’s house.
    Before I could complete the deal my wife took to sneezing badly. We had to go home.
    I was hoping to put the beer bottle in the patio as a kind of symbol.

—Los Angeles Times
    August 7, 1963

Everything’s Being Sold At Roach Studio

Hal Roach Auction Advertisement

How about a two-ton camera dolly—just the thing for your den. Or a Cinemascope projection lens, a 1932 photograph of Laurel and Hardy, a baby spotlight or a 16-ft.-wide soundproof door?
    Everything’s for sale at Hal Roach Studios, including the catwalks on the sound stages and the cheese slicer in the commissary.
    The old laugh factory, onetime romping ground of Charlie Chase, Harold Lloyd and the Our Gang moppets, is being auctioned item by item by the Milton. J. Wershow Co.
    The four-day sale started Thursday.
    The entire 14 acres at 8822 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, must be reduced to a dirt field by Oct. 25. Even the cables under the ground will be ripped out.
    The studio, operated by Hal Roach and Hal Roach Jr. since 1919, recently was sold for $1.3 million.
    As auctioneer Wershow gaveled around the premises on his portable auction block, memories were the only unpriced items.
    Marvin Hatley, 59, music director at the plant for 15 years, came around to reminisce and perhaps to buy.
    “I worked here for years and knew everyone on the lot,” he said. “We’re sad that this thing should go to the wall. Roach gave so much happiness to the world.
    “I want to buy some of my musical scores back. I wrote all the music for Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chase, Our Gang, Capt. Fury. Hal Roach told me the other day that he’s going to make lots of movies again and when he gets started he’s going to hire me as his music director.”
    Bud Graves, 80, who preceded his brother, Stax, as head of the still department, was on hand with more than 2,000 other people. He wanted to buy some of his old photo equipment.
    “I feel very bad about the sale,” he said. “I went over and looked at my name in a concrete slab. I put it in with a penny 30 years ago. The penny’s gone, but my name's still there.”
    Byron (Bones) Vreeland, 61, errand boy, laborer, grip, plant superintendent, assistant manager and manager in his more than 30 years with Roach, wasn’t interested in buying.
    “It’s bound to hurt,” he said. “I’ve spent all my adult life here. I see things auctioned off that I probably had to fight both Roaches to buy in the first place.”

—Los Angeles Times
    August 8, 1963

Stan Laurel Recalls The Old Days

By Bob Thomas

All the props and supplies have been auctioned off. Soon the bulldozers will do their work and nothing will be left of the Hal Roach Studios but memories.
    “It’s a shame,” says Stan Laurel. “Who would ever have thought that it would happen!"”
    Stan, surviving member of the great comedy team of Laurel and Hardy, has plenty of memories and he lives surrounded by them in an apartment overlooking the Santa Monica Bay.
    There are cartoons and posters of Stan and Ollie in their prime.
    Stan’s honorary Oscar stands, ironically, on the television set. Above his desk is a signed portrait of President Kennedy, which came to Stan after he was given the Oscar.
    The veteran comedian strays little from the apartment. A stroke a few years ago paralyzed his side and he moves with some difficulty.
    He lives quietly with his Russian-born wife, answering correspondence and receiving a few friends and fellow workers. When I paid a call, three comedians were leaving—Dick (Rowan and) Martin, Gary Morton and Jack Carter.
    Despite his incapacity, Stan is bright and cheerful, and his hearty laugh sometimes resounds through the room. He was able to laugh despite his sadness at the passing of Roach Studios.
    “We had a lot of fun there,” he reflected. “Hal and I used have our fights. You see, I was a ‘no’ man.
    “Hal would say, ‘You know what I mean,’ and I would say, ‘No, I don't know what you mean.’”
    The comedy team finally left Roach in 1940 and went on to make features at 20th Century Fox.
    During none of their career did they receive a share of the profits. Hence when television brought their greatest fame, they received only the glory and none of the money that was coined from reruns of their comedies.

—Associated Press
    August 13, 1963

Stan Watermark