Martino has long charted the history of Los Angeles, with a special focus on the Sunset Strip, on her Facebook page, Vintage Los Angeles. For the first in a series of videos she brought together Charlotte Dale, 91, who opened the Villa Nova with her husband Allen (some say with funding from Charlie Chaplin) and Mikael Maglieri, son of the Rainbow’s original owner, Mario Maglieri.
Dale talks about her restaurant, where the regulars were stars such as Dean Martin, Don Knotts, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Micky Rooney and the mobster. Micky Cohen. Villa Nova is where Marilyn Monroe, then on a date with Micky Rooney, met Joe DiMaggio for the first time — a meeting that resulted in one of the most famous marriages, and divorces in 1950s America.
Maglieri talks about the evolution of Villa Nova in the Rainbow Bar and Grill, known for customers from the world of rock such as Alice Cooper, John Lennon, Grace Slick, Ringo Starr and Neil Diamond. Both Maglieri and Dale point out remnants of the original Villa Nova in the club’s interior.
The Dales moved Villa Nova to Newport Beach in 1968, where it burned down in 1995. Mario Maglieri, Lou Adler and Elmer Valentine opened the Rainbow Bar and Grill in 1972 with a party for Elton John.
The video, produced by the Ebersole Hughes Company, can be viewed above. More information is available on Vintage Los Angeles.