This August marks the 52nd anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s death on August 5, 1962, but the iconic blonde bombshell lives on in Los Angeles. This summer, Marilyn: The Exhibit returns to the The Hollywood Museum through August, giving fans an intimate look at the actress’ life and legacy with an exclusive exhibit of authentic memorabilia.
We thought we’d offer Angelenos a retrospective of our own: the places Marilyn loved best in Hollywood. Warning: though most are impossibly glam, you’ll be surprised to find that at heart, Norma Jeane found comfort in consistency and was faithful to the familiar places she frequented on her rise to the top.
THE BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL
Marilyn was such a frequent guest of the Beverly Hills Hotel that to celebrate Beverly Hills’ centennial anniversary, the hotel redesigned its famous Paul Williams Suite to transport guests back in time to enjoy the luxe life, Marilyn-style.
Those who stay will get a first-hand view of original artifacts from Monroe’s estate in a display case (courtesy of Julien’s Auctions), a comprehensive library featuring her most popular books and films, and a Champagne Bubble Bath Menu option, and well-known song selections from the 1950’s at turndown service.
The Golden Age inspired by Marilyn Monroe is priced at $3,795 per night, and for an additional $1914, get on board with the Norma Jean Experience: round trip airport transfers via vintage car, a welcome amenity including Marilyn Monroe themed gifts and a bottle of Dom Perignon, a bottle of her signature fragrance, Chanel No. 5, two diamond themed spa treatments by La Prairie, dinner for two from “Marilyn’s Menu“, Te Beverly Hills Hotel and Bungalows 100 year anniversary coffee table book and two specialty cocktails, Marilyn’s favorites of course.
9641 Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
We mentioned that not everything Marilyn did was glam. Though she frequented many a hot spot, she found comfort at Formosa Cafe, a low-key celebrity haunt. The cafe used to be adjacent to a movie studio, which is why Marilyn was a frequent customer here in 1958 while filming Some Like It Hot. In fact, her photos (along with may other iconic actors, of course) still line Formosa’s walls.
7156 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90046
THE MARILYN MONROE SUITE AT THE HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT HOTEL
Hollywood’s Roosevelt Hotel was a memorable place for Marilyn, who lived there as a resident when her modeling career first took off. In fact, her first magazine shoot was taken here. To celebrate one of its most famous residents, the Roosevelt has named her favorite suite in her honor. The Marilyn Monroe Suite offers 750 square feet of space overlooking the Tropicana pool. It has a king bed with custom-made, 400 thread count SFERRA linens, Frette robes, bathroom amenities by C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, a kiitchenette with full size refrigerator and wet bar, Dean & Deluca gourmet snacks and a loft like open floor plan with dining room area designed by Dodd Mitchel. There are also amenities which totally weren’t on offer during Marilyn’s time, including two LCD flat-screen TV, a Bose sound system and in-room iPod docking stations.
7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
GRAUMAN’S CHINESE THEATRE
Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was the scene for one of Marilyn’s most iconic moment. On June 26, 1953, Monroe and Jane Russell put their handprints and autographs in the cement in front of the theatre for their movie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Nearby on a fountain there is a plaque that quotes the late actress as saying “I used to go to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and try to fit my foot in a celebrity impression. It really meant to me that anything is possible … almost.” Coins collected from the fountain are donated to Hollygrove, the orphanage where she grew up. Today, Grauman’s is called TCL Chinese Theatre.
6925 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028
OTHER HOT SPOTS
Marilyn would stop at the still-popular Barney’s Beanery for chili breaks while filming Some Like It Hot, as well as Villa Nova (what is now called the Rainbow Bar and Grill). Although this current rock star hangout is edgy now, back in the day it was romantic and classic. In fact, it was here that Marilyn met Joe DiMaggio in 1952 (on a blind date, no less).
No piece on Marilyn could be complete without mentioning at least one of her fashion choices. Alongside “the dress” (William Travilla’s iconic white dress from The Seven-Year Itch) another Monroe-essential was cat-eye sunglasses. These super-chic sunglasses mix a classic 1960’s inspired cat eye with a multi-layered, custom material adorned with Swarovski crystals. The exquisite case features a subtle color-blocked design in metallic snake with silver accent and doubles as a demure evening bag. The 926 piece collection will be numbered for true authenticity for her many fans and collectors to enjoy. Additionally, Allure Eyewear will donate all profits from The Marilyn sunglass to Hollygrove, which was once home to Marilyn Monroe as a child and is now an EMQ FamiliesFirst agency dedicated to helping kids.
Limited-edition sunglasses, $495, available on www.MarilynMonroeEyewear.com