Crescent Heights market, with Schwab's on the right
Crescent Heights market, with Schwab’s on the right – note florist’s Rolls-Royce delivery truck at curb

The Garden’s ‘Supply Ship’

Schwab’s Drug Store opened in 1932. With its prime location a block east of the Garden, it has been described as “a sort of supply ship for the Garden’s crew.” A former resident said, “It gave one a sense of security to know that you could wake up at the Garden about 10 a.m., phone Schwab’s and be certain that a bottle of Jack Daniels would arrive at your villa by the time you hung up.”

Lana Turner
Lana Turner

Within a very few years, Schwab’s would become the most famous drug store in the world – based on one of Hollywood’s most durable myths. According to legend, Lana Turner, one of the biggest stars of the forties and fifties, was discovered hanging out at the Schwab’s soda fountain while cutting class at Hollywood High School. She was 17 and supposedly was wearing a tight sweater and sipping a coke when a famous director approached her and offered her a movie contract. This widely circulated story made Schwab’s a favorite stop for young women hoping to be discovered in Hollywood.  But it wasn’t true.

In fact, Turner was discovered a few miles east on Sunset at a soda fountain near Hollywood High School. Her discoverer was not a director but William Wilkerson, founder and publisher of “The Hollywood Reporter.” He didn’t offer her a contract but suggested he could introduce her to the agent, Zeppo Marx. Lana’s response was, “I’ll have to ask my mother.”