LOS ANGELES (KSAZ) - The Oscars are this weekend, and millions of people will be watching on television as the awards are handed out. It's hard to believe when the Oscars began they were held in a tiny ballroom in a hotel. The same hotel that Marilyn Monroe launched her modeling and acting career.
If you've ever been to Hollywood, you've probably seen it, the famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard next to the famous "Walk of Fame."
For over 90 years the hotel was a hangout for the Hollywood Elite. It was named after Theodore Roosevelt and opened in 1927. It was financed by a group that included movie mogul Louis B. Mayer, and actors Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Mary Pickford.
For its time, it was large with 300 rooms and suites, and the iconic sign has been used in countless movies.
In the Blossom Ballroom, the first academy awards were held on May 16, 1929. It was a private dinner honoring the best films of 1927 and 1928. The first ever picture award went to a movie called "Wings."
270 guests packed the room and paid $5 a ticket to attend. Fairbanks hosted the event, and all the statuettes were awarded in just 15 minutes. The program wasn't broadcasted on radio or television.
Throughout the years, the hotel hosted the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, and Carol Lombard. But one of the fixtures here was a young Norma Jean, she did her first major photo shoot poolside.
She lived in room #229 on the second floor for the better part of two years, as her modeling and acting career took off. It has now become immortalized in the 750 square foot Marilyn Suite. The decor inside is vintage 1960's, but there are a few modern touches such as flat-screen TV's, including one on the ceiling over the bed.
Over the years there have been rumors of hauntings at the hotel, some involve celebrities such as Montgomery Clift and Errol Flynn. One thing is for sure; the Roosevelt has cemented its place in Hollywood history.