Echo Park Holiday Gift Guide: A slapstick comedy featuring The Three Stooges and our neighborhood’s hilly streets

Hollywood history, Echo Park has been a sometimes gritty, sometimes
beautiful, backdrop for filmmakers. Gang members stood outside Magic Gas
in Mi Vida Loca (1994). Jack Nicholson’s boat skimmed the surface of
Echo Park Lake in Chinatown (1974). And of course, there are the scores
of locally shot film shorts cranked out at the start of the 20th century
by Keystone Studios, Bison Studios and other movie companies on the
corridor now known as Glendale Boulevard.

there be a gift along these lines for a friend or family member buzzy
about local history? Absolutely! In fact, there are quite a few. For
today, we will focus on a delightful stocking stuffer: Three Little Beers (1935), a comedy short by the legendary Three Stooges that makes Echo Park’s hilly streets a big part of the laughs.
Three Little Beers is directed
by Del Lord, who turned to the Stooges after years of making silent
comedies in Edendale (now part of Echo Park) with Mack Sennett’s
Keystone. The comedy short begins at Panther Brewing Co., where the trio
is hired as beer barrel deliveryman, then moves to the Rancho Golf
Course, where the Stooges offend and appall everyone around them. They
are chased off the links in their beer truck, which is when this zippy
little short reaches its frenzied finale.

truck full of beer barrels careers into Echo Park, creating chaos on
streets should be instantly recognizable: Echo Park Avenue, Scott
Avenue, Delta Street, possibly Cerro Gordo Just before the 16-minute
mark, there’s a great shot of the Del Mor apartment building at Echo
Park and Delta, with awnings on the space now occupied by Chango — then
identified as the Echo Park Drug Co. — and trolley tracks nearby.
The discovery of that filming location by a Stooges aficionado received a prominent mention in The Three Stooges: Hollywood Filming Locations, a
336-page coffee table book by Jim Pauley that provides the settings for
dozens of Stooges films. Pauley, a Stooges expert and contributor to
Three Stooges Journal, explains in his introduction that he was trying
to find the right public staircase for the 1941 Three Stooges short An Ache in Every Stake:

was March 2001 and I was at a bookstore on Echo Park Avenue, looking
for a book on Los Angeles stairwells, when word spread throughout the
Echo Park neighborhood that a guy from Philly was looking for a set of
steps used in a Stooges film. Several people, including an Echo Park
Historical Society member, started taking an interest in what I was
doing. One guy even drove me to a set of stairs he thought was the right
one. Back at the bookstore, a woman informed me that I was actually
standing on a Three Stooges film location from Three Little Beers! It
turns out that the bookstore was on the ground floor of an apartment
building that can be clearly seen in the film, when beer barrels roll
through an intersection and knock down a police officer directing

This collection of photographs and tales about the Stooges is $39.95 and makes a dandy gift in itself. Incidentally, Pauley finally found the staircase for An Ache In Every Stake, which
has the Stooges delivering not beer but ice, in a horse-drawn wagon.
The steps, which he described as the holy Grail of Three Stooges filming
locations, were discovered in Silver Lake at 2257 and 2258 North Fair
Oak View Terrace.
suspects the location was picked by Del Lord, who had worked nearby at
Keystone Studios and directed the film Ice Cold Cocos, a 1926 film that
also features ice and deliverymen. 
Stooges locations book can be ordered from such retailers as Stories in
Echo Park, Skylight Books in Los Feliz and Hennessey + Ingalls in
Hollywood. Meanwhile, Three Little Beers is just one of 19 shorts found on The Three Stooges Collection Volume One: 1934-1936.
Amazon, among other companies, allows customers to buy Three Little Beers  individually
for $1.99 or as part of the entire first volume of Stooges comedies.
Those who watch their entertainment on DVD can find the Stooges
Collection at Amoeba Records, 6400 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.