The Hollywood Athletic Club was founded by showbiz heavyweights including Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino and Cecil B. DeMille.
The H.A.C was a destination where the A-list stars would go to work out. Some of its amenities included an Olympic sized swimming pool, a gymnasium, a tower with hotel rooms, a series of larger garden suites, a restaurant, cigar stand, barbershop, haberdashery, steam rooms, saunas, handball and racquet ball courts and game rooms.
Charlie Chaplin, John Wayne, Tyrone Power, Buster Crabbe, Clark Gable, Gilbert Roland, Mary Pickford, Errol Flynn, Jean Harlow, John Barrymore, Cecil B. DeMille, Rudolph Valentino, Bela Lugosi, Cornel Wilde, Humphrey Bogart, Johnny Weissmuller, Walt Disney, John Ford, Douglas Fairbanks Sr. & Jr., Frances X. Bushman, Howard Hughes, Joan Crawford, Mae West, and Groucho Marx.
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences holds the very first Emmy Awards at the Hollywood Athletic Club, hosted by Walter O'Keefe (who substituted for Rudy Vallee at the last minute). Pantomime Quiz won Most Popular Televison Program and Shirley Dinsdale won Most Outstanding Television Personality.
Gary Berwin purchases the building and proposes an 11-million dollar renovation to start up the Gary Berwin Entertainment Complex (BEC). His ambitions are to push The Hollywood Revitalization Project to help ‘prove that something very expensive will succeed in Hollywood’.
Chris Blackwell establishes the new headquarters for Island Records at The Hollywood Athletic Club.
The squash courts are converted into a state of art, full-service recording facility known as Baby’O Studios and founded by Rafael Villafane and Rick Perrotta. The Clash’s lead singer Joe Strummer, the Beach Boys, and George Clinton (Parliament) all frequently recorded there.
The Nourmand family acquires ownership of the property with a commitment to preserving the architectural integrity of the Hollywood landmark.
Joe Strummer shows The Hollywood Athletic Club to his girlfriend’s father, Tom Salter (founder of Chelsea Billiards in N.Y). In partnership with David Gilmour, Salter becomes operator of the newly opened H.A.C. Billiards hall in 1990.
It enjoys a renaissance of popularity among Hollywood’s elite and is voted by Billards Digest “America’s Best” in both 1996 and 1997.
Peter Famulari (Ian Schrager’s former partner at Skybar) reimagines the H.A.C. swimming pool into the destination nightclub Boulevard3. Famulari brings with him Jeffrey Chodorow of China Grill, who opens Social Hollywood within the halls of the illustrious Moroccan and Venetian rooms.
Social Hollywood is rebranded in collaboration with world-renowed chef Michel Richard.
The Hollywood Athletic Club has experienced a major restoration, a return to its original form. It is currently available as a creative office space, event venue, restaurant space and as a filming location.