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Tiki Finds
Jennrs
Member

Joined: Jan 05, 2009
Posts: 2
Posted: 2009-01-05 09:20 am   Permalink

[quote]
On 2008-07-05 21:40, Dustycajun wrote:
Quote:

On 2008-06-08 21:35, bigbrotiki wrote:

In the late 1930s, Art La Shelle opened Christian's Hut, a Tahitian style restaurant and bar on the bay front, now the location of Newport Towers. Christian's Hut was noted for its great oriental style food, and was always being frequented by the Hollywood set. Red Skelton, Johnny Weismuller, Fred Mac Murray, and Howard Hughes to name a few. Joe La Shelle, Art's brother, was an Oscar-winning cinematographer, one of his more well-known movies was "The Birds."




Hi guys! I am writing a book about the LaShelle family dating back to pre-revolutionary war. I have a bit of information about Art and Joseph LaShelle and have met with Joseph's grandson. I wanted to help clear up some of your questions about Christian's Hut. In the book "The History of the Balboa Bay Club Newport Beach, California" by James P. Felton pub. 1984 on page 187 it says:

"One of the Bay Club's most colorful members is ARt Lashelle. Who has lived at the BBC longer than anyone else - 29 years. He as once a double for Clark Gable, and a veteran World War II pilot. He also was a companion to famed flyer Paul mantz in a round-the-world flight. Art LaShelle is a living legend for his exploits and for his Christian's Hut, long a Balboa Peninsula Landmark. His fierce good looks, his lantern jaw, his fast wit and his debonair style made him a favorite in the movie colony, where he began his career with the Paramount Studios in the early 1920's.

"LaShelle was one of the early residents of Catalina, and he helped to establish the Casino in 1929. Later, after becoming a confidant of William Wrigley, Art opened up the Isthmus and ran that for 10 years. It was during this period that Clark Gable came over with the film crew making the first "Mutiny on the bounty" with Charles Laughton. LaShelle and Gable became close friends. When the filming was finished, LaShelle offered to save the studio the expense of dismantling the beach shacks and props.
'I told them that if they would prop up one buildign with another two by four, I'd make it into a bar.' LaShelle recalled years later. 'So we did, and Gable said we woudl have to call it Christian's Hut, because it was there as Fletcher Christian that Gable and I used to end the day with a number of highballs. Gable autographed a picture to me, signing himself as 'the Proprietor' of Christian's Hut."

"In 1940, LaShelle opened his Balboa Christian's Hut, and it stood for 24 years. When he flew over 'The Hump' for the U.S. Air Force in World War II, he opened another Christian's Hut in Bengal, India, now Bangladesh. he eventually had thre other Christian's Huts - in Honolulu, Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar. John Wayne was one of his principal backers.
'He advanced me $120,000 on a handshake,' LaShelle said."

Art was a very interesting man and I've had fun researching him and talking with his family. He was very good friends with Clark Gable, John Wayne and Johnny Weismuller (until Johnny's wife ran off with Art). His great-grandson's are still in the movie business working on animated films.


 
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