Raise a toast to the forever fabulous Marion Davies at the Annenberg Community Beach House on Saturday
Silent film actress and famed Hollywood party hostess Marion Davies knew how to throw one heck of a bash. At her palatial estate on Santa Monica’s “Gold Coast” (where the Annenberg Community Beach House now stands) she threw fêtes for the likes of Marlene Dietrich, Charlie Chaplin and Rudolph Valentino during the wild twenties and thirties. Even Winston Churchill is known to have frolicked at the 110-room seaside pad (built for Davies by her lover, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst).
On Sunday (Jan. 26) the Santa Monica Conservancy and the city of Santa Monica continue that legacy of revelry with music, dancing and champagne at the Beach House — all in honor of Davies. (This January marks what would have been her 123rd birthday.)
“Happy Birthday Marion!” kicks off at 11 a.m. when guests can cut a rug like Davies would have done, with live music from LA Love Band and ballroom dancers from Arthur Murray Santa Monica. Davies’ biographer Lara Fowler will offer guests insight into Davies’ life while docents from the conservancy decked out in 1920s and ’30s attire will recreate the festive party scenes that Davies and her inner circle enjoyed. Entertainer Tom Frank will be on hand to perform a series of sleight of hand card tricks and at 1:30 p.m. guests can raise a glass to the actress’ life during a celebratory champagne toast. Afterward, film historian Elaina Friedrichsen will introduce a screening of the 1933 MGM Davies film “Peg o’ My Heart’’ in the Marion Davies Guest House, the last remaining building of the original Davies-Hearst estate. — Christina Campodonico
“Happy Birthday Marion!” happens from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 26) at 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica. Free. Search “Happy Birthday Marion!” at eventbrite.com to RSVP.