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Pacific Coast Highway: Malibu Beach Cafe and Country Store

After the recent posts covering the Pacific Coast Highway, today we return there once again to take a look at a pair of small shopping centers and the cars parked at them. The post-war lead image contains left-to-right The Country Store, The Little Store and the Drive-In Cafe. The automobiles are mostly post-war along with a few 1930’s vehicles in the mix.

The second enlargeable photo below contains another group of storefronts that include the Art Jones Real Estate office, which handled area sales and rentals, the Malibu Cafe, and a Liquor store. Pre-war Cars parked in the lot vary in age from the early-to-late 1930s.

Tell us what you find of interest in the photographs courtesy of the Huntington Library.



14 responses to “Pacific Coast Highway: Malibu Beach Cafe and Country Store

  1. Art Jones started doing real estate in Malibu in 1926, when it was still May Rindge’s private property, leasing waterfront lots to movie stars for $1 per foot (of beach frontage) per month. In 1936, part of the land was purchased by William Randolph Hearst, who would sell half of his Malibu property to Jones in 1944.

    Art was the owner of the Big Rock Beach Cafe. He also had interests in the Malibu Inn and Malibu Trading Company; the second picture is the original Malibu Inn building. That building was demolished in 1951 and the Inn moved across from the pier, where it eventually became the Crazy Horse Saloon.

    • Where was the Big Rock Cafe? North of Malibu on the west side of the highway is a “big rock.” Used in lots of commercials. Was that where it was?

  2. The convertible parked in front of The Country Store is a 1948 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight, first of the Futuramics and last of the Olds straight eights.

  3. In Photo #1 the 1950 Chevrolet club or business coupe looks like new, The “Special” series with very little chrome was the price leader for Chevy in those days. The business coupe would have had room for a salesman’s samples instead of a rear seat. The oldest car I see is the coupe at the far left, probably a 1937 or so Cadillac or La Salle. In front of the store is a 1938-40 Packard sedan. Packard owners were (justifiably) proud of their cars and kept them a long time. You frequently see older model Packards on period photos.

    Photo #2 shows some very desirable models. I would be hard pressed to choose between the 1937 Ford convertible sedan on the left and the 1939-40 Packard in the center which appears to be a Super 8 judging from the long hood. Of course, who could resist the 1935 Ford 3-window coupe or the convertible coupe beside the Packard which I cannot identify?

  4. The first picture is around 21227 Pacific Coast Highway. The Country Store building facade has been remodeled and a small addition to the left. The next two are almost unchanged.

  5. One of the things that strikes me as interesting in these period fotos is the apparent lack of concern about theft and security … so many of the cars are windows open, and by extension we reason at least 75 percent of the balance must be unlocked. Incredible …California then, California now… I remember those times fondly, no worries …by same extension the rest of the States as well. Again, incredible… we’ve come a long way, baby!

  6. The café photograph of the car with the “interesting spare location” – is because it has a : “Rumble Seat” for two passengers , with the latch on top, near the rear window. No room for the spare in the rumble seat. if the photo was nearer the car, – one could see the lower and upper footsteps, to “get in and out”. Last year for rumble seats for Fords was: 1939. Edwin W.

  7. Packard body styles did not vary much in the late 1930s. After enlarging the image, it doesn’t look like the windshield is divided, which was first done in 1938. Could this be a 1937 Packard?

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