Millennium Biltmore Hotel Los Angeles History
It’s a lavish, elegant and top notch hotel, but the Millennium Biltmore has something else going for it as well; it’s history. You see, Los Angeles wasn’t always an epicenter of glamour and was actually quite off the radar of the rich and famous. However, as film makers on the east coast got tired of cold winters, they started to populate Los Angeles for its excellent weather.
Their stays were only part-time but as they seemed to tire of the move, industry makers began taking up permanent residence in LA. While the city was starting to become a central hub for movie makers, it still was considered young and unrefined. However, in 1923, the grandiose Millennium Biltmore was built, sealing the deal on LA’s metropolis status.
It was originally opened under the name, Los Angeles Biltmore Hotel and kicked off celebrations with some big names in the business. The opening was kicked off with a party that hosted 3,000 guests of Hollywood stars including Jack Warner, Myrna Loy, Cecil B. DeMille and Mary Pickford. The celebration was elaborate and unforgettable as all guests were served a seven-course meal, accompanied by an orchestra and singing canaries.
Celebrities were drawn to the Biltmore and throughout the 1920s, this hotel was at the center of Hollywood’s social scene. It attracted some of the most popular names in film like Theda Bara and Gloria Swanson. Even during the Prohibition era, the hotel opened the Golden Room, a speakeasy (which is still here by the way) so that guests could still enjoy themselves. In fact, modern-day guests can experience plenty of the history themselves, especially by staying in rooms like the Presidential Suite which has hosted royalty, six U.S presidents and famous gangsters like Al Capone.
The hotel itself also saw some screen time as it became the backdrop for films like Triumph, Ocean’s 11, Bugsy and television’s Mad Men. The elegance of the Biltmore is also what made it such a sought after venue for Hollywood parties, Oscar ceremonies and elaborate celebrations.