For the first time in three years, the Santa Monica Conservancy is seeking new volunteers to offer guided tours of the Annenberg Community Beach House.
A docent training class will be offered in April and May. Applications to become a docent are due March 29.
The Annenberg Community Beach House has a fascinating history, a place where Hollywood and Santa Monica intersect. A palatial estate was erected in the 1920s by media mogul William Randolph Hearst for his lifetime companion, actress Marion Davies. They entertained on a grand scale for film luminaries and international celebrities.
The site evolved over time to become Ocean House Hotel, the Sand and Sea Club, and ultimately to the recreational and cultural center it is today, thanks to generous funding from the Annenberg Foundation, and in partnership with City Hall and California State Parks.
New docent volunteers are required to attend three Saturday afternoon lectures from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on April 5, 12 and 19. Onsite training follows, and the formal training is supplemented with written material in a docent manual.
The service requirement is six hours per month, in two shifts of three hours each. Prior experience as a docent is not required; one only needs an interest in telling the stories of the site and interacting with people.
Application forms may be downloaded at www.smconservancy.org and should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to P.O. Box 653, Santa Monica, Calif. 90406 in time to reach the conservancy by the deadline. For questions or more information, leave a message at (310) 496-3146.
The conservancy is also hosting three lectures focused on the most important people connected to the beach house — Hearst, Davies and architect Julia Morgan — as well as stories of Hollywood in Santa Monica and the history of the section of the beachfront known as the “Gold Coast.”
The lectures are set for April 5, April 12, and April 19. The lectures will be held at the Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth St. in downtown Santa Monica at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for the series or $10 for individual lectures. Call the conservancy for more information.