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The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel



The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, off the famed Hollywood Boulevard, is one of Los Angeles’s most iconic hotels and most haunted. They say stars of the past still roam the halls of the historic building; starlet Marilyn Monroe, actor and musician Montgomery Clift, and Hollywood’s original bad boy Errol Flynn have all been sighted well past their expiration date. 

 

The Roosevelt is adjacent to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and sits along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, making it a common resting stop for tourists visiting “La-La Land.” Many find themselves being a little too up close and personal with these stars from the past. 

 

Quick Facts: 

 

  • The Hollywood Roosevelt was built in 1927 and financed by leading stars in the industry 
  • The first Academy Awards ceremony was hosted at The Hollywood Roosevelt on May 16th, 1929 
  • Famous stars have stayed at The Hollywood Roosevelt throughout the years, such as Clark Gable, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Ernest Hemingway, Charlie Chaplin, Matthew McConaughey, Angelina Jolie, and Brad Pitt

 

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Throughout The Years

 

Hollywood’s growth in the 1920s, both in reputation and size, necessitated proper accommodations for its new and glamorous population. In 1927, local stars and movie magnates came together to construct the most glamorous hotel Hollywood had ever seen. 

 

Actor Douglas Fairbanks and his Wife Mary Pickford, movie producer Louis B. Mayer, and Sid Grauman, the owner of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, put up $2.5 million in 1926 to construct a hotel close to the latter’s iconic theatre. They named it the “Hollywood Roosevelt” after former president Theodore Roosevelt. 

 

The Spanish Colonial-Revival style building was the first of its kind in the area and became a favorite stay for Hollywood’s elite. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard often rented a penthouse on the 12th floor of the 298-room building. The 25,000-square-foot hotel was where Shirley Temple first learned how to tap dance. 

 

In 1929 Hollywood Roosevelt hosted the first annual Academy Awards. The private event was attended by 270 of Hollywood’s brightest stars and laid the groundwork for the broadcasted television special we all know and love today. It remained the home of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences between 1927 and 1935. 

 

Hard Times at The Hollywood Roosevelt

 

By 1984, The Hollywood Roosevelt had fallen on hard times. Occupancy was at five percent, and graffiti covered the once glamorous walls. Lawn chairs and card tables littered the two-story lobby. What once was a resort for Hollywood’s elite was now a center for Los Angeles’s homeless population. 

 

In 1985 the first of three renovations took place; an initial $35 million, another in 2005 at $30 million, and a third in 2015 at $25 million. 

 

Due to these renovations, the hotel has retained its illusive sense of nostalgia that attracts guests from far and wide. You can stay in the Gable and Lombard penthouse on the 12th floor or hang out in one of the 80 cabanas by the famous palm tree-encased Tropicana Pool. 

 

Another option is to hunker down in the Marilyn Suite, room 1200, where bombshell Marilyn Monroe once resided for some time in the 1940s. 

 

And according to hotel legend, she still does. 

 

Who Haunts The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel?

 

Marilyn Monroe’s spirit has been seen in Suite 1200 and around the hotel for many years. Actors Erol Flynn and Montogomery Clift have also been recognized on numerous occasions.





 

Marilyn Monroe and Suite 1200

 

Hollywood executives rented suite 1200 of the Hollywood Roosevelt out for starlet Marilyn Monroe in the 1940s. She stayed there for a few years while taking on various acting jobs around Hollywood early on in her career. The beautiful suite was iconic, overlooking the Tropicana Pool and giving Monroe the comfort she needed after a hard day’s work. 

 

Monroe loved the suite so much that after she died in her home in 1962 of an apparent overdose—although theories vary— that her spirit remained behind. Perhaps it was the last place the blonde bombshell was truly happy before things became complicated. 

 

Many guests will see her figure in the full-length mirror outside her room. The mirror once hung in the room, but after scaring too many guests, they moved it to the outside hallway. 

 

Modern-day celebrities such as Prince and Matthew McConaughey have stayed in the room and have reported strange sounds late at night. 

 

Her spirit likes to travel and has also been seen dancing in the Blossom Ballroom. There are other reports that she haunts the apartment where she and her mentally ill mother once lived. 

 

The Spirits of Hollywood Roosevelt

 

Other spirits of both famous and everyday people haunt the rooms and hallways of the Hollywood Roosevelt. 

 

Many hear the lone trumpet of actor and musician Montogomery Clift late in the night. He spent three months here filming From Here to Eternity and has been quite active since he died in 1966. 


Room 928 is where he appears most often. Hotel staff and guests have felt him brushing up against them, especially if they are women. One woman even felt Clift tuck her into bed, all while her husband snoozed silently beside her. 

 

Another noted hedonist who haunts the hotel is Erol Flynn, the original bad boy of Hollywood. Flynn was known for his hard drinking and womanizing ways at a time when these actions were commonplace. Some believe that he is the well-dressed gentleman seen around the Blossom Ballroom near the piano. 

 

There is the spirit of a little girl, charmingly dubbed Caroline, that is seen around the pool. She drowned while her father was out running errands and now enjoys prank-calling guests from the hotel lobby and playing in the jacuzzi. 

 

She will often ask guests where her mother and father are before disappearing into thin air! 

 

Experience Haunted Los Angeles

 

Feeling up to a night at Hollywood Roosevelt? Before you go, be sure you know what you are getting yourself into. 


To fully grasp the severity of Los Angeles’s haunted population, take a tour with US Ghost Adventures! Our experienced tour guides will show you the most haunted locations and share their fascinating stories with you. 

 

Follow our blog for more haunted locations, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok for the most up-to-date spooky content available. 

Sources:

 

https://www.thehollywoodroosevelt.com/

 

https://www.lunaticsproject.com/post/haunted-history-the-hollywood-roosevelt-hotel

 

https://www.hauntedrooms.com/california/los-angeles/haunted-places/haunted-hotels/hollywood-roosevelt-hotel

 

https://www.historichotels.org/us/hotels-resorts/the-hollywood-roosevelt/history.php

 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/roadwarriorvoices/2016/03/16/hollywood-roosevelt-hotel-gets-makeover/81864156/

 

https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1985-05-12-re-18833-story.html

 

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/marilyn-monroe-is-found-dead

 

https://alexmatsuo.com/5-spooky-ghost-stories-of-the-hollywood-roosevelt-hotel/

 

https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/marilyns-ghost-got-physical-filming-blonde-star-says-2022-09-08/

 

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