Sometimes called Zululand, this open-air stand with an African jungle theme advertised as "half-mile beyond Universal City on Ventura Boulevard." Proprietor Raymond McKee dubbed himself the Zulu Chief and waiters in blackface served squab and fried chicken under rustling palms. Open until 2 a.m., the Zulu Hut was something of a roadhouse sensation in the 1920s.
Chris' & Pitts
The last Valley restaurant in the SoCal barbecue chain, at 13237 Victory Boulevard in Van Nuys, closed in 2003 and was torn down for another Walgreen's drugstore. The neon sign was saved in the collection of the Museum of Neon Art in downtown Los Angeles.
This unusual amusement was located at 3300 Cahuenga Boulevard, on the Valley side of Cahuenga Pass—the Times usually described it as on Ventura Boulevard. Operated by Adolph Weiss, Monkey Island opened December 9, 1938. A large herd of monkeys, numbering in the hundreds, roamed over an "island" about 150 feet long, with a 40-foot plastic mountain, surrounded by moats and covered with netting. There were palm trees, swings and billy oats for the monkeys to amuse themselves, and waterfalls where they could keep cool. Visitors paid to come in and watch the monkeys and feed them peanuts and vegetables. When the moats were drained in August, 1940, about 100 monkeys fled. Weiss calmly told police "they'll be back," and most apparently did return at feeding time. Escapes were common. Filmaker Warren Miller recalls monkey island:
"I had come to visit a new tourist attraction that was built right near the first Valley stop on The Pacific Electric Railroad, the route of the Big Red Cars. Some investor had built a 40-foot-high, fake plaster and cement mountain and surrounded it with a 20-foot-wide moat of slimy, green, stagnant water. The attraction was 100 undernourished, morose monkeys sitting on the concrete mountain watching you watching them. For 10 cents, you could watch the monkeys. For another five cents, you could buy a bag of peanuts and throw them to the monkeys."
When Monkey Island closed is unknown. It is now a city park.
The alcohol-free dance club for teenagers opened in 1962 at 11345 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City. Owned by KRLA disc jockey Bob Eubanks, the club spawned a TV show, a national chain of teen clubs and a pop record by the house band called "Cinnamon Cinder." In 1964, Eubanks produced the Beatles first Los Angeles appearance, at the Hollywood Bowl, and brought them to the club for a press conference that turned into a mini-riot.