The joys and disappointments of research #amwriting #LosAngeles #1920s

film-set-intolerance-1916-grangerLate last night the kid was actually asleep, so I decided to be good and do some research. I have lots of research to do so I’ve been picking up all my new books at odd hours. This time, I was looking at 1920s Los Angeles for a research tidbit.

The scene above is from the 1916 movie set of Intolerance. It’s scenery for an Ancient Babylon scene, and the set was enormous, towering over local houses in LA. Apparently the film company went bankrupt and the set stayed up for a few years, falling into ruin. I couldn’t find pictures of what it looked like ruined, which would have been fantastic.

The set has moved into Hollywood lore, and it was partially rebuilt a few years ago in a mall, a bit of history for locals and tourists alike.

The first place I found this information and photo said the ruins were torn down in 1921. I eagerly started searching the Internet, trying to figure out exactly when. I have characters who might go and see it in early 1921! But every source I found after the first said the ruins had been torn down in 1919, much too early for my storyline. Argh!

What do you do when research sources contradict each other? Do you err on the side of complete accuracy, even when you don’t quite know what that is, or do you go with what works best with your storyline?

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