1024 S. Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA
Once upon a time in America, everybody danced. And for many years the West Coast Swing was all the rage. In the '40's and '50's, popular Big Bands included Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, count Basie, Harry James, Cab Calloway and Tommy Dorsey.
Los Angeles became a mecca for those wanting to dance to the Big Band Sound. There were several ballrooms around town that featured live Big Band music. The most famous of these early ballrooms included:
Myron's, the Cocoanut Grove (Ambassador Hotel), Palomar Ballroom, Hollywood Palladium, Aragon on Lick Pier (Santa Monica), Casino Ballroom (Avalon, Catalina), Rendezvous Ballroom (Newport Beach), Balboa Pavilion (Balboa) and the Mayflower Ballroom (Inglewood).
Many of these places are long gone. But Myron's is still standing, barely.
1024 S. Grand Avenue
Myron's Ballroom was a popular ballroom hall located in downtown Los Angeles on the southeast corner of Grand Avenue and Olympic Boulevard.
Myron's was originally built in 1910 as Rutherford's Hall. It became a popular spot for the early Hollywood movie crowd to dance, including Rudolph Valentino and Mary Pickford.
In addition to dancing, Rutherford's was a place for local clubs and community organizations to gather. Immediately, the large hall (1,800 capacity) was the toast of the town.
In the '30's it was renamed Moose Hall. Then, a few years later, it was called Mueller's Hall.
During the Great Depression, down on their luck dancers participated in one-step dance marathons which often started out at the dance hall on Grand Avenue and end up at the Venice Pier - some 16 miles away. Most dancers dropped out along the way. All were desperate for the prize money.
Los Angeles Public Library
Previously Myrna and her husband Vernon had a dance studio on Wilshire Boulevard. They were instructors with the California Academy of Ballroom Dancing.
Other popular dance studios in Los Angeles at the time included Arthur Murray 357 N. Beverly Dr. Beverly Hills, California Academy of Ballroom Dancing at 623 S. Grand and 519 S. Western and Ernest Ryan's Ballroom Dancing at 607 S. Western Avenue.
In 1948 they purchased the Goldberg-Bosley Ballroom at Flower and Venice Boulevard (1601 S. Flower) and renamed it Myron's Colonial Ballroom.
Then, sometime in the mid-1950's, dancer Myrna Myron purchased the property at 1024 S. Grand and renamed it Myron's Ballroom. Myrna would go on to operate this popular ballroom until she died in 2001.
Myron's Ballroom immediately became the local hub for what was called West Coast Swing (sometimes called Hollywood Style Swing). She and friend Arthur Murray would help promote a style of swing dance that was smooth, polished and stylish.
Myrna Myron became a very successful (and wealthy) L.A. business women - she owned several businesses in the Los Angeles area. But her first love was ballroom dancing.
All the Big Band orchestras played at Myron's.
Over the years, Myron's Ballroom continued to reinvent itself and present all types of popular music and dance.
In the '60's, when rock n' roll became popular, Myron's was called Dillons and hosted rock bands and rock dancing.
In the '70's, Myron's contracted out several nights a week to private promoters for disco dance nights. Punk bands played here in the late '70's and early '80's.
All the while, Myron's continued to offer ballroom dances, one, two or three nights a week. Most customers were regulars at Myron's. Most were single people who want a place to go, relax and dance.
In 1986, two nights a week, Myron's Ballroom became Club Vertigo's, a swank New York style downtown club. Here the doormen would rate appearance as part of the admission process. Not everyone was allowed to go in.
Club Vertigo was pretty upscale and it attracted the Hollywood crowd. Sensational dressing was the rule here. Doormen only allowed in the most fashionable. One had to have looks, clothes, shoes and attitude. They picked people wearing the latest fashions first.
1986 photo by James Ruebsamen
Herald Examiner Collection
Then Myron's was known as the Grand Avenue Night Club. It was rented out for Raves, Funk, Jive, Hustle, Jazz, Soul, Pogo, Techno, Rap, Pop, Country and Latin style dances.
Most recently it became a live music venue (1,200 capacity) called Crash Mansion, owned by the Bowery Restaurant Group.
However, the future of the old dance hall hangs in the balance. In 2005 Myron's Ballroom was sold. There is talk of the old dance hall being town down to make way for mixed-use condos.