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Hollywood's Architect

Karen Wilson, Author

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Introducing S. Charles Lee, Hollywood's Architect

In the first half of the twentieth century, S. Charles Lee designed about 250 movie theatres, most of them in Hollywood's own backyard.  Born Simeon Charles Levi in 1899 in Chicago to German-Jewish immigrant parents, Lee grew up influenced by the architecture of Daniel Burnham, Louis Sullivan, and Frank Lloyd Wright.  His career coincided with the golden age of Hollywood and the heyday of the American movie theatre, with projects ranging from movie palaces to drive-in theatres.  Successfully mixing commerce with art, Lee helped establish the important role of architecture in making movies a legitimate and popular form of entertainment.  A quick trip back in time shows how the Los Angeles-based Lee did it.

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