We had the good fortune of connecting with April Clemmer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi April, can you tell us about an impactful book you’ve read and why you liked it or what impact it had on you?
“The Story of Hollywood” by Gregory Paul Williams was the first real Hollywood History book I had read. Before that I had read lots of film star biographies/autobiographies. The Larry Edmunds Bookshop recommended it to me, and I absolutely fell in love with Hollywood THE PLACE after reading it. It has a full history of the story of how Hollywood came to be and has developed over the years. It made me realize we need to value and share the story of our city’s rich history.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
People knew me as someone who loved Hollywood history, and I was asked to work on a research project involving historic Hollywood theatres. When I turned in my research, I included all of the cool stories I had learned about places along Hollywood Boulevard no one really talked about, but were integral to the story of Hollywood. The first tourist attraction, the oldest home, the oldest operating restaurant. plus historic theatres….They asked me to turn it into a tour and at first I said no. I didn’t want to be one of those tour guides that wore a uniform and chased people with brochures. But they let me do it my way, and I found out how much I loved sharing Hollywood’s history with others and working to give people a classy tour experience in Hollywood. So a couple of years after the Old Hollywood Walking Tour started, I bought it back from them in order to be able to make it available more often and be sure that it grew. Then the pandemic hit. I started sharing my Old Hollywood stories online, and that really grew the business and helped me reach so many more people who were hungry for knowledge and connection with others who love old Hollywood. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would absolutely have to have dinner at Musso & Frank. There is so much history there, and it’s been in so many films and TV shows. The waiters are amazing…and the martinis! I’d also plan a hike up to the Hollywood sign, hopefully on a clear day, to share the amazing view. Other evening adventures would include the magic show at the Black Rabbit Rose and a visit to the No Vacancy Speakeasy. A shopping trip to the Larry Edmunds Bookshop would be on the list, as well as a visit to the Hollywood Museum in the Max Factor Building – that is such a cool place that really has something for everyone. We’d do the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre Forecourt, a classic movie screening at a historic theatre, and dinner at the Formosa cafe – that place is so great since the restoration. Those are a few of my old Hollywood favorites I love to share with others!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Larry Edmunds Bookshop in Hollywood has played a huge role in developing who I have become and the development of my business. Before I even had a business, I would shop there and they’d recommend things to me that I always loved, and I began to gain a solid knowledge base of classic Hollywood history. Shopping with them and reading what they recommended I believe has been more valuable to me than a degree in film history.
Other: Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/april-clemmer-17769019507