Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hollywood United Methodist Church,
Hollywood, California

The First Methodist Church of Hollywood (now called Hollywood United Methodist Church)  at 6817 Franklin Ave. is just north of Hollywood Boulevard and Grauman's Chinese Theater. It is also on the corner with North Highland Boulevard which was in the opening scene of "The Godfather". To the west of the main church (the door entrance can be seen on the left end of the photo above) is a smaller Chapel and parlor.  Between the two is a patio lined with 10 foot high poinsettia plants that have been donated over the years.  The formal Chapel and large parlor has many Spanish architectural features and much heavy dark wood.

Sanctuary (Link.)

"The vision for Hollywood United Methodist Church as "a sanctuary of hope" began back in 1909 when the first congregants started to organize. Eventually with an ever-expanding business community and a growing congregation, a bold step was undertaken to purchase a lot on the corner of Highland and Franklin Avenues at the base of the Hollywood Hills, and to build a new home.

Chapel Hero
                                                                   Chapel (Link.)
                               (At the time of the wedding of Suzanne and  Alan
                                      Wilson the seating was dark wood pews.)
"Construction began in 1927, with the Recreational Building built first to house the congregation's worship services, after which the Sanctuary and Education Building would be constructed. A series of set backs challenged the congregation during construction, including the discovery of soft, unstable ground on the site for the Sanctuary. Monstrous holes were dug by workers who labored 65-feet below ground. To stabilize the footing and foundation, massive pits and wells were filled with enough concrete to equal 15 railroad freight cars.

"The congregation's faith and perseverance was finally rewarded on March 16, 1930. The majestic building was unveiled to enthusiastic acclaim, launching its distinguished reign as a Hollywood landmark. An historic postcard describes the church building as " of the most famous churches on the Pacific coast," with an atmosphere of "...reverence in symbolic beauty and compelling stillness."In December 1981 the church was declared Historic-Cultural Monument #248 by the City of Los Angeles."(See Link 1.)

December 1, 1967 Suzanne and Alan Wilson were married in the chapel at The First Methodist Church of Hollywood.  In 2008 Suzanne had the following article published in February 9, 2008 The Vancouver Sun, "Wedding Plans and Memories".

"My husband of 40 years and I were eating breakfast and reading the weekend Sun and National Post  at The 80’s Restaurant in North Vancouver when the phrase “caught the bride’s bouquet” “caught” my eye. 

"Yes, “I still remember when ‘we’ got married like it was yesterday”.  I especially remember throwing my bouquet.  And I most certainly remember “who caught it”.

Alan and Suzanne Wilson

"Alan and I were married in the chapel of the First Methodist Church of Hollywood December 1, 1967.  The reception followed in the church parlor across the hall.  When it was time to throw the bouquet I climbed the beautiful Spanish tile staircase.  I turned around and I threw the flowers over my head. The bouquet flew. I looked to see who would catch it. My friend’s faces turned upward, arms raised in anticipation, and then they stopped. There was the bouquet, “caught” by the six sided chandelier that lit up the hall. 

Wedding Bouquet in Chandelier
"A pole to open high church windows was fetched and the bouquet tumbled from the chandelier and was “caught” by a good friend and neighbor.  It did its magic.  She was married the following summer at Knott’s Berry Farms.  She threw her bouquet from a staircase on a fake exterior facade.  At her wedding there was no chandelier, only a young girl to “catch” it."

Photo: Top photo of First Methodist Church of  Hollywood, thank you to

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