Martin Turnbull & The Garden of Allah

Air Date:
Friday, July 27, 2012

Show #76

Martin Turnbull has worked as a private tour guide showing both locals and out-of-towners the movie studios, Beverly Hills mansions, Hollywood hills vistas and where all the bodies are buried. For nine years, he has also volunteered as an historical walking tour docent with the Los Angeles Conservancy. He worked for a summer as a guide at the Warner Bros. movie studios in Burbank showing movie fans through the sound stages where Bogie and Bacall, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and James Cagney created some of Hollywood’s classic motion pictures.

From an early age, Martin was enchanted with old movies from Hollywood’s golden era–from the dawn of the talkies in the late 1920s to the dusk of the studio system in the late 1950s–and has spent many, many a happy hour watching the likes of Garland, Gable, Crawford, Garbo, Grant, Miller, Kelly, Astaire, Rogers, Turner, Welles go through their paces.

When he discovered the wonderful world of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs, his love of reading merged with his love of movies and his love of history to produce a three-headed hydra gobbling up everything in his path. Ever since then, he’s been on a mission to learn and share as much as he can about this unique time.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Martin moved to Los Angeles in the mid-90s.

MartinTurnbull’s Interview

One thought on “Martin Turnbull & The Garden of Allah

  1. Thanks Jack, I had a great time on your show. Fans of old Hollywood and LA history might enjoy my books. They are set at the Garden of Allah hotel which sat on Sunset Blvd from 1927: the dawn of the talkies, to 1959: the dusk of the Hollywood studio system. The residents of the Garden of Allah were like a who’s who of Hollywood; everyone from Errol Flynn and his pal David Niven, and Bogie & Bacall to Harpo Marx, Tallulah Bankhead, Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Artie Shaw and Lillian Hellman among many others. Collectively, they witnessed the unfolding of the golden era of Hollywood. My fictional characters (a screenwriter, a gossip columnist and an aspiring actress) are among the first to check in. They soon become friends as they dog-paddle together against a tidal wave of casting couches, bootleggers, Zeppelins, gambling boats, William Randolph Hearst, the Long Beach earthquake, starlets, harlots, Harlows and Garbos. For more information, see my website:

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