Besides being the full time warehouse manager, Eric Mueller also makes time to be Grosh’s tour guide extraordinaire. Eric has been with Grosh for 30 of its 80 years and has a plethora of history to endow on tour-goers. Huell Howser visited Grosh in the beginning of 2011 and definitely kicked off an upsurge of touring the facilities. Click here to see Huell’s visit to the shop. Grosh is thankful for being able to interact with the community and tries to accommodate over a dozen tours a year. We have had many groups come through here to learn about the history of backdrops and drapery in the entertainment industry. Some of our “tourists” include The Antique Automobile Club, The Silvercrest Senior Citizens Residence of Santa Monica, University Synagogue of Brentwood, and students from the Polytechnic School of Pasadena.
“This IS old Hollywood” Eric says. But that is just the initial draw; Eric immerses you into the history of the 85+ year old building, the making and maintenance of a backdrop and yes, a colorful list of visiting celebrities and their custom drops. Celebrities like Laurel & Hardy, Debbie Reynolds, Jimmy Steward, Billy Crystal, Madonna, Trent Reznor, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Usher, just to name a few. The tour lasts about an hour and a half and is both informative and interactive.
Tour highlights include watching our talented artists hand paint and spray the actual drops. Most of which are 22’ H x 50’ W and are attached to high ceiling frames that allow a drop to be lowered by a counterweight down two flights through cuts in the flooring. This is quite different from painting on the floor or using movable metal stairs that make mural painting less efficient. Everyone also gets to see a historic backdrop from 1932 when Robert Louis Grosh first started the business. Eric will also guide you into the sewing room to see the long tables for laying out large amounts of fabric and drapery and to meet Maria, our long standing seamstress.
Many tour-goers remark how the tour had reminded them to “look behind the action” while watching television and plays in the future to see artistry they may not have ever noticed before. All the information and sensory overload can be surprisingly overwhelming but Eric is more than happy to answer all questions and inquiries.
If you’re interested in touring the Grosh building and are in the Los Angeles area, contact us at [email protected]. We’d love to have you!