Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel

30th Anniversary Exhibits

In 1996, Business Image Group curated, designed and produced exhibits for the Century Plaza Hotel in honor of their 30th Anniversary. The exhibits debuted at a special event commemorating this milestone.

The exhibits chronicle a period beginning in 1926 when William Fox began construction of 20th Century Fox’s "Talking Studios" and continue through 1996. The glamour of Fox films and its stars, the sale of its back-lots, the development of Century City and the remarkable history of the Century Plaza are all showcased. Business Image Group organized the internal media resources of the Hotel and researched images from six Presidential libraries, the White House, NASA, 20th Century Fox, the Century City Chamber of Commerce and independent photographers to produce this program.

The original black and white images were hand-tinted, bringing the pictures "back to life" and blending into the hotel's sophisticated color palette. Descriptive narratives telling the story behind the image were integrated with the exhibits.

Hotel Background

The Century Plaza is a grand hotel, its nineteen stories forming a sweeping crescent fronting the spectacular fountains on Avenue of the Stars. Construction began in 1964, on what was formerly the backlot/movie ranch of 20th Century Fox Studios, and was completed in 1966.

In 1984, the hotel opened a new, 30-story Tower on its south side, adding 322 additional guest rooms, for a total of over 1,046 rooms.

The Century Plaza is one of the largest hotels in Southern California. In late 2000, the property was sold and divided into two parts. The main hotel is now under the management of Hyatt Regency as the Century Plaza Hotel. The
Century Plaza Tower has recently been closed, and will be converted into private residences. Together, these renowned properties were among the Southland's most prestigious and hosted many spectacular events in an elegant resort-like setting.
2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA. / (310) 277-2000 or (800) 228-3000

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Rotunda Exhibit in Main Lobby Area

Exhibit on 20th Century Fox Studios (left) and the development of
Century City and the Century Plaza Hotel

(place cursor over image on left to view "Before")

Fox Movietone Studios

Begun in 1926, Fox MovieTone City Studio catapulted Hollywood’s film industry into the era of "talking pictures". Founded by William Fox, the studio featured giant state-of-the-art sound stages, lush gardens and private bungalows for its stars.
Its ‘star’ factor included matinee idol, Tyrone Power and the diverse appeal of Shirley Temple and Marilyn Monroe. Add to this the elaborate sets constructed on the studio’s "backlots" which earned 20th Century Fox the reputation as the "country club" of studios.

—Image courtesy of 20th Century Fox

Century City is Born

Most of the 260 acres of 20th Century Fox were devoted to its famous "backlot" sets that characterized the films of the 1930’s, 40’s and 50’s. In 1961, the "backlots" were bulldozed to make way for the development of Century City, ending an era in motion picture history.

Ed Carlson, Minoru Yamasaki and Harry Mullikin at the ground breaking ceremony of the Century Plaza Hotel on January 28, 1964

The Century Plaza Hotel opened its doors June 1, 1966 and on the 5th debuted with a lavish event hosted by Bob Hope called the Century Ball. At the time it was heralded it as 'The World's most beautiful Hotel."

  -photograph courtesy of Century City Chamber of Commerce

Dinner of the Century, 1969

The "Dinner of the Century", at the Century Plaza Hotel in the Los Angeles Ballroom, honored the successful return of the first Astronauts to reach the Moon. It was hosted by Richard Nixon.

The NASA Space Program initiated under President Kennedy culminated on July 20, 1969 with Apollo XI's successful landing on the moon. To recognize the individual and collective achievement of the mission, President Nixon conceived a great state dinner to be held at the Century Plaza Hotel.

The astronauts' safe return was celebrated by 50 members of Congress, 44 state governors and ambassadors representing 83 countries from around the world. Broadcast live on all three television networks, the event remains the most elaborate and memorable state dinner held on the West Coast.

Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.
Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo XI

Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong
Commander, Apollo XI

Astronaut Michael Collins
Command Module Pilot, Apollo XI

—images from NASA

Astronuats from Apollo 11 wave to cheering crowd as they arrive by helicopter at the Century Plaza o August 13, 1964


Before opening in 1966, the Century Plaza Hotel consulted the Secret Service regarding hotel security. The request was unprecedented, but typical of the Hotel's commitment to service. Kings, queens and dignitaries have visited the Century Plaza Hotel.

The Hotel has hosted every U.S. President since Lyndon Baines Johnson. During his administration, President Reagan stayed at the Hotel so often that the press dubbed it the "Western White House".

Honoring this relationship, the Century Plaza Hotel re-named the largest suite in the Hotel the Ronald Reagan Suite in 2000. This suite was crafted to reflect the styles and preferences of the Reagan's, drawing reference from the design team responsible for the interior design of the White House and the Reagan's private residences. The Suite consisted of the entire 32nd floor of the Tower, and included an extensive exhibit on the personal, political and acting career of the Ronald Reagan, as well as some of his favorite Oliphant cartoons and the requirsite Presidential Jelly Beans.

Celebrity Visitors

Interchangeable display of famous guests

Business Image Group created these large display cases for arranging rotating displays of celebrities visiting the hotel. Each case holds eighteen images of visiting celebrities, floating on 100% silk with raised brass stars. The framing is an elegant 4" gold-leaf molding that complements the Hotel's decor.
Each case can be opened by staff using a special key hidden on the bottom of the frame.

see more examples of clients using interchangeable frame displays

The Tower - now the St. Regis Hotel

The model shows the original plan for a second building of 1100 rooms as designed by Minoru Yamasaki in 1963. This design featured a continuation of the curve of the original Century Plaza Hotel forming a broken "S." The twin towers of Century City were designed as symmetrical three-sided structures and were very much in concept like the World Trade Center in New York, also designed by Minoru Yamasaki.

          photograph courtesy of Minoru Yamasaki & Associates

Promotional Articles

Newsletter produced by the Century Plaza Hotel to
promote is 30th Anniversary, featuring Nancy and Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, arriving at the
Hotel for one of its opening events in 1966


In honor of President Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004, we offer a comprehensive selection of the images used in the exhibits for you to view, which were all mastered as high resolution digital images.

Presidential Images - Reagan collection


Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel

more information about the hotel and guests

Erika Garcia-Lavyne
Director of Public Relations
Hyatt Regency Century Plaza
2025 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067