Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Paulais Café—"Where Filmland Will Fill Its Sweet Tooth" (Los Angeles Times, October 8, 1924)
Movies—and factory town efficiency—dictated service, menu, and even footpaths at Paulais Café next to Grauman's Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in the 1920s. From 11 AM until 9 PM, Paulais hustled up "table d'hôte" meals—fixed price, pre-assembled meals for moviegoers.
Movie culture permeated everything. The "Iron Horse" was the western movie playing next door at the Egyptian. Atop the fountain service menu, the "Iron Horse" was a special (40¢) ice cream sundae. Down Hollywood Boulevard at the Hollywood Bookstore, you could purchase the "Iron Horse" novelized. The William Fox Studios—two miles away—produced and released the movie.
It was Friday, March 13, 1925. Movie star Gloria Swanson, rumored dead from acute peritonitis, strode healthily away from a hospital near Paris on March 6th. Publication date for Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby was three weeks in the future. At Paulais, movie patrons massed shoulder-to-shoulder at the long counter where "water containers, dishes, napkins and silverware are placed close together, requiring no steps for the waitress and eliminating delay in service."