Hoot Hoot I Scream Ice Cream

I wish I knew more about the Hoot Hoot I Scream Ice Cream stand. What little I have managed to uncover is this Los Angeles frozen dessert shack was likely built in the 1920’s and was still standing in 1940. I’m not sure when it was torn down, or better yet, why it was torn down.

My question is this; what kind of monster removes a building that is shaped like a giant ice cream dispensing owl? Not only did this edifice resemble an enormous nocturnal predator, but the “head” also spun around a complete 360 degrees and its “eyes” glowed in the dark.

Well ok, maybe a gigantic winged marauder with night-piercing vision, and an unsettling ability to twist its head like Linda Blair on a three day devil-bender is a strange choice of imagery to lure in little children if your plan is to serve them delicious chilly treats and not coax them in a giant oven for purposes of devouring them – but then again a crazy-eyed, red-headed, burger-hawking clown hasn’t slowed down a certain modern fast food chain.


15 thoughts on “Hoot Hoot I Scream Ice Cream

  1. Fan-flipping-tabulous post, mate! The great Exorcist Ice-Cream Owl of Los Angeles… ohhhh for the good old days when architects could get away with stuff like that! Maybe you’d happen to know the fate of these slightly surreal Southland snack stops: http://tinyurl.com/29fe94q . (Gotta bring back Barkies, man!!)

    1. Thanks kittypackard,
      Yeah, Los Angeles really pioneered the “personality buildings” that swept the country during the advent of the affordable motor car. It’s a simple fact of the human condition. Given the choice between two restaurants you have never before visited, you will always choose the place with the 50-foot puppy dog head on the top if its establishment.
      The beauty part – regardless of the quality of the food, you always make the right choice by choosing the weirder building.

      I have planned on finding out more about the Ben-Hur Coffee place as well as Barkies. I must admit, I only think I’ve heard about the Zep Diner, and never knew about The Freezer. I will dig up some info on them as soon as I have some time. – Joe

      1. Also, I know there’s a name for these buildings, and it’s not “personality buildings.” I took that from an interview I had with the King of Kar Kustomizers, George Barris and his personality cars.

        I know I’ve researched and even knew the name, and probably wrote it in an article a time or two, but the name is completely escaping me at the moment. I think they are simply referred to as “Novelty Buildings,” but if someone knows for certain, I’d like to know.

        A little help out there?

    1. Ahhhh… I should have asked you first Kim. Kim Cooper knows a little bit about everything in Los Angeles. If you’re ever in the area take one of her very cool bus tours. Find out more at her website: esotouric.com

  2. I remember a owl building just like that one that was on Venice Blvd near Mar Vista bowl. It was a cafe. Only had a counter with 4 seats. All they served was Chili Dogs. This was in the 70’s. I can’t find any info on it at all.

    1. hi in 1968 my grandmother claudia aguilar owned that building it was called the hoot owl cafe it was located in south gate on long beach blvd it was later moved at the end of the 70s to san gabriel where i dont know i have been tying to find out where

  3. Wow, I guess this is a this is an old post. I recently went to the Peterson museum and they had a picture of the Hoot, Hoot. This jogged my memory of my childhood. I used to go to get ice cream there in the 70’s. I remember the owners and their older son minding the small store. I loved that building but by then it was getting old due to its age and the owners no longer lived in the area. I believe it was torn down in 1979 or so. Even though the didn’t make the ice cream themselves by then, I still remember their Straeberry ice cream.

  4. I remember walking a few blocks from our home in South Gate to this little cafe in the early 1950’s. My dad and I would have lunch here – roast beef sandwiches with potatoes and gravy What a treat. And the older woman who ran this place did everything.

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