Although Hollywood Bowl’s Tea Room had existed for decades after its 1939 grand opening, there is not one single photo of its interior online. My research is not thorough. Perhaps the tea room was so unimpressive that no visitor had ever wished to record the moments?
Performances were already held in the popular picnic destination known as Bolton Canyon prior to the completion of the Bowl’s original arched proscenium stage in 1926. The Tea Room, situated in the foothill, offered socialization space and dining options before concerts outdoor. In 1984 it was converted into The Hollywood Bowl Museum. The current Edmund D. Edelman Hollywood Bowl Museum, a brand new building erected in 1996, displays an old photo with an aerial view of the amphitheater actually in the shape of a hot air balloon – a fact of which some Hollywood Bowl season ticket holders may not be aware. Like me, the museum personnel know only that the tea room existed and nothing else. What kinds of teas and meals were served? And the décor? I am curious.
“Tea” is a euphemistic term for many beverages unrelated to camellia sinensis, and “tea room” for dining establishments. Sticky orange rolls, not afternoon tea, was the famous specialty of Hollywood’s Tick Tock Tea Room, in operation between 1934 and 1988.
Every year I attend at most one concert at the Bowl. In 2019 it was the 10 Years – Bravo Gustavo! anniversary event with firework. Tandem parking and the fear of missing the last Bowl shuttle back to my neighborhood discourage me from attending more.
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