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Painting the Hollywood Bowl shell

Painting the Hollywood Bowl shell

July 5, 1935: The Hollywood Bowl shell gets a new coat of paint for the first time in three years. Martin Sipma uses a spray gun as workmen steady his ladder.

This photo accompanied a story in the July 6, 1935, Los Angeles Times reporting:

The huge shell at the Hollywood Bowl is getting a new dress.

Workmen yesterday started giving the structure, where summer world-famed symphonies are broadcast beneath the stars, a new coat of paint.

Martin Sipma, who has painted the shell of the world’s largest outdoor theater stage twice since it was built in 1927, donned a huge straw hat to keep paint from his face, took his spray-gun in hand and mounted to the top of a forty-foot high ladder-scaffold to redecorate the ceiling of the oval structure.

When he finishes the job thousands of names scribbled by tourists from all parts of the world on the walls of the structure will be obliterated.

Painting of the shell is part of a large improvement project which will make the bowl dustless for visitors at the summer concerts which start July 18.

In addition to painting the shell – composed of nine concentric rings to produce proper acoustics and is ninety feet wide, forty-five feet high and forty-five feet deep – all aisles, walks and parking lots are being paved.

The famed pepper-tree lane entrance to the bowl will be entirely paved by the opening of the season. Side-hills and surrounding terrain are being terraced and everything generally modernized.

This second photo below was not published. These two images were shot on 4-by-5-inch silver nitrate negatives now stored at the Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive at UCLA.

July 5, 1935: An unpublished vertical version of the scene as the Hollywood Bowl shell getting a new coat of paint. Credit: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive/UCLA

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