|Robert Nudelman Champion of
of Hollywood Preservation Remembered
The American Cinematheque owes much to the support of
Robert Nudelman and his efforts to maintain Hollywood Boulevard's legendary movie palaces
among other important historic buildings in a not-so-long-ago deteriorating tinsel town.
Robert loved the movies and he loved the Egyptian. We always knew we were showing
something worth seeing on the big screen when Robert made time to attend - given that he
had probably seen all the classics a million times already. The staff will miss him
sauntering up to us with a wry comment or an interesting story relevant to that evening's
show. He is an irreplaceable force in historic preservation and a tireless champion of
keeping the legend of Hollywood alive.
-- Margot Gerber
Posted May 7, 2008
Robert Wood Nudelman, 52, a legendary figure in the fight to
preserve Hollywoods heritage, passed away at his fathers
home in Tuscon Tuesday. Ever present at meetings and hearings in the Hollywood community
for 30 years, Nudelman is often credited as a driving force behind the restoration of
landmark theaters and other buildings in Hollywood, spearheading a renaissance of the
The loss of such a pivotal community leader has been met with
unspeakable shock and sadness. He was the longtime Director of Preservation Issues for Hollywood Heritage, and was a past president
of the organization and curator of its Hollywood Heritage Museum. He was an officer of
Cinecon and president of the Project Area Committee for the Hollywood Redevelopment Area.
He was the author of many books on Hollywoods history, including "Historic
Hollywood: An Illustrated History" and "Early Hollywood". At the time of
his death, he was working with Debbie and Todd Reynolds on the Hollywood Motion
Picture Museum in Tennessee.
Nudelman was the son of Ruth Donovan Wood and Dr. Sol Nudelman, a
leader in medical imaging. He grew up in Illinois and Rhode Island before a stint in
Germany and then Tuscon. He studied Theater Arts at the University of Arizona. His brother
Mark and mother preceded him in death.
Nudelman launched his activism with the fight to save Lot 2 at the
MGM Studios, and soon with the Wiltern Theater. He figured prominently in the campaigns to
change minds and plans for such important landmarks as the El Capitan Theater and the
Cinerama Dome. He provided historical photographs, data, and restoration details to
countless property owners of such landmarks as Graumans Chinese Theater and the
Pantages Theater, making his name synonymous with Hollywood and film history. There
probably isnt a single historic building or development project in Hollywood that
Mr. Nudelman didnt have a part in, sharing his encyclopedic knowledge, agitating for
better and more consistent planning, and defending Hollywoods heritage.
Nudelman made friends of enemies, keeping up a constant dialogue
with politicians, property owners, and neighborhood activists, who learned to treasure his
storehouse of knowledge, his intelligence, and his uncanny ability to be right. He was
tireless in his contributions to the Hollywood community.
memories of Robert.
Information about a memorial for Robert will be posted on the Hollywood Heritage website.