Commenter Michael Nailat was the first to guess yesterday that the photo of James Dean on his last day, September 30, 1955, was taken roughly at Vine Street and La Mirada Avenue in Hollywood--many of you spotted the old Hollywood Ranch Market, a longtime staple in the neighborhood. (The market has since given way to an El Pollo Loco and an Office Depot.) The Dear Old Hollywood blog tells the story: Dean was preparing for an auto race that day in Salinas, and after picking up his friend Bill Hickman, "the two drove down Sunset Boulevard and turned onto Vine Street, arriving at Competition Motors. The Spyder needed some final adjustments in order to be race-ready, so Dean left the car with the German mechanic Rolf Weutherich. By 9:45a.m. Sanford Roth, a photographer, arrived at Competition. Roth had been following Dean for several days as part of a photo essay he was doing for Collier's magazine. Roth was to continue his essay by taking photos of Dean up at the races. Shortly after Roth arrived at Competition Motors, Dean's father and uncle came to visit. While Dean, his friends and family waited for the race car to be finished, the group walked a couple blocks down the street to the Hollywood Ranch Market where they had doughnuts and coffee." Competition is now the Taglyan Cultural Complex.
· Where Was This Photo of James Dean on His Last Day Taken? [Curbed LA]