Today is Friday and it is Elaine's fifth day in Los Angeles. She is ½ of the way towards
solving this mystery and looks charming in her red floral dress, royal purple blouse and black blazer. A small
pendent hangs from a thin gold chain around her neck which compliment her golden hoop earrings as well as the rings
that she wears on the ring and index fingers of her right hand.
|The ominous music from the last scene fades away as the scene transitions into
a busy hallway. |
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|There are professional looking men and women walking down the hallway carrying
briefcases, paperwork, and other items that metaphorically represent a professional attitude. One lady is
wearing a floral print dress similar in style but dark blue in color. One lady carries a rolled up set of
blueprints while another, this one in a burgandy dress, white blouse, and with her long ponytail secured by a
matching white hair scrunchie, fishes paperwork out of a collection bin on the left of the screen, about four
feet away from the display board. A gentleman on the left inserts a piece of mail into a drop slot on the left
of the screen while a man in a peach colored suit jacket walks by carrying a black briefcase. A third walks by
on the right side of the screen, carrying his suit jacket over his left-hand shoulder. Most of these "extras"
are walking toward the exit, while three more enter and come in the general direction of Elaine. Elaine makes
a beeline for the display board, leaving the crowd quite a bit behind.|
|Location, Location, Location:|
|Elaine is in the City Agencies Office although it's unknown whether these
shots were filmed within the Ambassador or whether they were filmed elsewhere. The elaborate mouldings,
ornamental ceiling tiles and a directory board with a brown wooden veneered frame and triangular pediment on top
seem reminiscent of decorum found within the Ambassador, and it's likely these scenes were filmed somewhere
within the hotel.|
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|Elaine studies the display board. In a 1½" tall decorative serifed
font, white letters atop a black background spell the words: CITY AGENCIES DIRECTORY. Four inches below this, in
a smaller ¾" tall lettering, the sign reads as follows:|
BUILDING & SAFETY
DEPT OF AGEING
TAX & PERMIT DIVISION
|Errors in Continuity:|
|While the departments should be listed in numerical order, the office for the
Public Transportation department (#615) is inadvertantly listed below numbers 669 and 689, rather than before
them. Note that the "Transportation" in "Public Transportation" is mispelled. The "T" and the "A" from the
word's third syllable are missing, and the word written on the sign actually reads "TRANSPORTION". Also note
that while AGING is spelled "Ageing" in Austrailia and places overseas, the Americanized version of the word is
correctly spelled "Aging". While few places in the USA do spell it "Ageing", It might have been assumed that spelling it correctly would confuse certain people as
to it's correct pronunciation, and thus it was spelled phonetically...|
|Foreshadowing the Future:|
|The camera zooms in towards the words "CITY ENGINEERS OFFICE". This is a way
to help the viewer to know where it is we are going, before we ever get there. It's juxtaposition to Elaine
counting the number of floors in the hotel help to viewer to understanding that she is going to the engineer's
office in order to try and find city records relating to this structure in a unbiased, and surruptitious
Elaine: Would the plans for the Wessex Hotel be here? I'm
|Elaine seeking out a young female engineer is done for the same psychological
reasons that she sought out the female nurse and the bag lady. Females are more than likely going to be able to
relate better to one another rather than, say, a female working with a man. The young engineer looks to be a
perfect match for being able to help Elaine. She is only two years older than Elaine and Elaine thinks that, to
a degree, the engineer's youthfulness make her slightly naive, and her naiveness will spark her curiousity. With
the engineer's help, Elaine is certain to find an answer. |
Elaine hands the young engineer a business card.
Young Engineer: Oh a writer. Traveler's Review. Oh, the
Wessex. It's a great old hotel. My sister got married
there. Why do you want to see the plans?
|Gail's curiousity is sparked knowing Elaine is a famous writer. She remembers
Elaine asking about the Wessex, and is excited to mention it, as, getting to attend a wedding and reception for
her sister there, more than likely sparked her creative juices and curious nature due to her fascination with
engineering and architectural subtleties. However, blueprints, especially for older commercial buildings such as
an historical hotel like the Wessex aren't usually asked to be seen, nor is access to look at them hardly ever
granted. Gail asking why seems rather hesitent. Why would a writer want to see the plans for an old
Elaine keeps a straight face the entire time:
Elaine: I'm trying to find a 13th floor.
|Elaine's request seems ridiculous in nature. Find it? Is it lost? Can't you
just ride the elevator up to the 13th floor and see it that way? Elaine's seriousness for the situation are more
than enough to spark Gail's curiosity even more than it already is. Gail's first impression of Elaine is that
she is probably very smart, graceful and curious. She obviously knows that a big time writer would have tried
all of the natural and logical steps necessary to find, in this case, the 13th floor, and so she
knows that Elaine must have a pretty good reason to come all the way down to the Los Angeles City Engineer's
Office, simply to look at a set of plans. She is more than happy to help Elaine. Elaine has finally found
somebody other than Judith who will take her seriously.|
|It is likely that there may have been a cut scene here. Elaine will later
refer to the young engineer as Gail Myers. Nowhere in this exchange is Gail's name given out, so unless there
was a small name plaquard sitting on Gail's desk that stated her name, there has to be an exchange that was
eventually cut out of the movie. |
|Elaine follows Gail as they enter the basement level of the City Engineer's
Office. They walk down a set of metal sets where they turn right and walk atop a metal grating that is part of a
metal walkway running along the side wall. The area is rather dark and dreary. The walkway leads to another set
Gail: This is where you need to watch your step.
As the women descend the ten stairs in this section of of the walkway, we a small amount of light coming
through a set of gridwork windows. It doesn't add much, but it does add a little
bit of extra light.
Gail is wearing a red dress with a green sweater jacket atop a white blouse with red floral print. She looks
very casual and comfortable. Her black half heeled shoes, light brown rimmed glasses and teased perm give her
a librarian type of look and feel.
|The female characters in the film, even the "extras" wear quite a bit of
clothing with floral print designs. Costume Designer Eilish Zebrasky has stated in an interview that her
personal wardrobe collection consist of no floral prints, but rather "A lot of black. White. A little pink, a
little red. I organize my closet according to color." While she herself prefers to veer away from floral prints,
she uses them quite often when designing a film character's costume.|
Gail gingerly sweeps along the floor, knowing exactly where she is going. The dark basement gives a feeling of
Gail reaches a large series of file cabinets. Each is labeled with a white label with a letter of the alphabet
handwritten onto it. The labels appear to be very old and more than likely have never been replaced.
Gail walks to the last set of file cabinets, on the far right of the group. With her left hand, she reaches
for the handle of one of the the file cabinet drawers.
The camera zooms in at the drawer's label as Gail begins to open it. The label possesses a "W".
It is likely that all of the plans for the city's commercial buildings are not all located within the file
cabinet. The file cabinet more than likely just contains an alphabetical listing of each of these buildings,
with a list of instructions on where (ie, which box in the storage room) the long, rolled up sets of blueprints
The camera is now facing down from the ceiling, where we can see the room in it's entirity. There are 11 boxes
of rolled up blueprints and floorplans stacked on the floor in front of a 3 foot by 5 foot table where Gail and
Elaine have placed a set of blueprints. Gail flips page one, more than likely just a coversheet, over,
revealing the second page. She points at a spot on the paper, about ¾ of the way up from the bottom of
the page. Her voice is not condescending or rhetorical at all. Instead she speaks as if she is confused that
Elaine can't find the floor:
Gail: Here it is: the 13th floor.
Elaine stares at the drawing, counting as she did last night:
Elaine: There are 16 floors here.
Gail: That's right.
Elaine: The hotel's only got 15.
Gail: Are you sure?
Elaine: Yeah, I counted them.
|Again, being a big time writer, Elaine would definitely not be lying about
something so trivial as the floor in a building she can drive over to and walk on herself. Gail seems very
confused, as she believes everything Elaine is saying:|
Gail: I don't understand that...
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|As Gail flips the second page over, we catch a glimpse of the page that
appears to obtain a full frontal view of the Wessex. |
Elaine: What are you looking for?
Gail: A rendering.
|Gail flips over the third and fourth pages as well, stopping on the
fifth page in this set of plans.|
|On Closer Inspection...:|
|The camera pans up this page, starting at the bottom. We see a nice, pencil
drawn artist rendering of the Wessex Hotel. On Page 18 of this guide, I referenced the style of the fourth floor
windows. Their "now hidden purpose" is that were two sets of them... for decorative flair and an eye break.
What the picture depicts is the Wessex Hotel, without the frieze covering the 13th floor. The architraves and
cornice mouldings have always existed, and predate the frieze. The frieze became an entablature built in
between the already existing mouldings. We see that all of the windows on the 13th floor have an arch in the
brickwork above their lintils. These windows, right down to the lintils and sills, are identical to the row of
windows appearing on the fourth floor. Even the architrave below this row of windows remain the same. The row
of windows on the 13th floor, originally for decorative appeal would eventually become covered by a frieze, and
the row of moulding below them would become the bottom of the frieze. The frieze would then become the focal
point in between the 12th and 14th floors, but historically, the moulding, the arched windows, and the decorative
moulding appearing in between the windows on the 14th floor were the focal point of the building. As the
building ascends, all floors from 5 to 12 posses identical windows. To give the building a "breaking" point and
to give the eyes a decorative stopping point in order to rest upon something different, allow the window patterns
above these floors to return to normal, while appearing to be completely natural. Moreover, the Wessex was
supposed to be the tallest building in the city at the time, surpassing other buildings whose height never
surpassed a 12th floor. By adding a decorative entabulature above the 12th floor level, patrons and guests were
sure to oogle and awe over the architecture, and surely realize that The Wessex Hotel far surpasses any building
in the city... at the time, anyway.|
|Errors in Continuity:|
|Several times we have referenced a counting problem as there are only two
floors above the frieze. It's been recurring, ever since it's first mention on the Page 2 pan-up. There should
have been three floors above the frieze - the 14th, 15th and 16th. The 14th is directly above the frieze, and
possess decorative dado mouldings in between each of their windows. The 15th floor resides above an architrave
running horizontally between the 14th and 15th floors and the architrave directly above the 15th floor windows
possess the two foot build-up discussed on Page 2. There should have been two floors in between the two
architraves. Here they are, low and behold, drawn on the plans, exactly where they should have been on the real
Elaine stares at the drawing, trying to figure out what is wrong with it.
Elaine: Um, there's something wrong with this.
All of a sudden and out of the blue, Elaine realizes what is different between the hotel and this drawing.
Elaine: The frieze! There's a decorative frieze above the 12th
floor. It's not on this drawing.
Gail Myers, the sweet young engineer remembers the hotel from when she was oogling over the architecture at her
Gail: You're right!
The look on Gail's face says that something isn't right, and she wants to find "the truth" also. She flips
over the fifth page. Then a sixth. And then a seventh, stopping on the eighth page.
Gail: Look here it is.
Now Elaine is thoroughly confused.
Elaine: This is so strange.
|The camera focuses on the pencil drawn rendering. The frieze, complete with
demonic imagery, appear in full glory.|
Elaine: Why isn't it on the original?
Gail picks up a couple of folded papers that were accompanying the drawings. She sets the letters on the
bottom down, and unfolds the top letter. She starts to skim over the letter:
Gail: Well, this is interesting. The floor was sealed off.
Elaine: Sealed off? Why?
Gail: I don't know but the frieze was put up to cover it.
|So there is a hidden 13th floor in the hotel! Elaine is extremely
curious, and would probably prefer to read the letter herself. But she trusts Gail, and knows that Gail will
fill her in on all of the juicy details. Not only does this spark Elaine's curiousity, it sparks the young
engineer's curiousity, as well.|
Gail skims over the letter looking for an asnwer:
Gail: The building was construction in 1898 and the
modification was done in... October 1901...
|The young engineer reads the last part with hesitation, almost as if the dates
might be incorrect. She knows they are not, but they are so close together it almost seems incorrect. Elaine
quickly does the mental math and is very confused: |
Elaine: That's just three years later. Why would they change it
Gail: Weird, isn't it?
Elaine: Is there a way to get on that floor?
Gail: I don't know. There should be.
Elaine: Could you find out?
Gail: I could try.
Elaine: I really appreaciate that. Look if you do find anything
could you call me? I'm staying at the hotel.
Gail: Yeah, sure, alright.
|Gail seems excited an uplifted that a major travel destination writer wants
her help so badly. Nobody has ever asked this of our sweet engineer, and Gail feels this is her chance to do
something better with her life. If she can get in with a big time writer, who knows what it might lead to. She
might even get her name featured in a magazine whose readers live all around the world. She feels that she is
becoming a part of something bigger than herself or her simple engineering job, and is more than happy to
help. In fact, she's going to spend the next couple of days finding a solution. And she
Elaine stares back at the rendering, soaking in this new found knowledge. The camera focuses on two of the
demonic figures on the pencil drawn frieze.
|These are the figures to the left of the center on the front of the Wessex.
The figure on the left looks to be devilish in appearance, possessing ram-style horns, a goatee that appears to
be made of clawed fingers and a deep penetrating stare. His mouth is open, almost as if he is in mid-growl. The
figure on the right resembles an evil troll - with frizzy hair, long pointed ears, penetrating eyes, sharp
pointed teeth and the tongue of a serpent. It shows a slight bit of foreshadowing towards help Elaine realize
what she is dealing with.|
We hear the ding of the elevator and can hear footsteps traversing across the hallway. Elaine is now back on
the first floor lobby, across the hall from where the display board is located. It looks as if the digital
floor indicator above the elevator door lists the floor in which the elevator has just come from. It appears
to read "04". This being the case, anybody looking at the elevator is able
to tell the floor from which the elevator has just departed (probably so the waiting person will know how long
to wait - if it's coming from the second or third floor, it'll be there on the spot. It if is coming from a
higher floor, the person knows it will take a little bit of time before the elevator gets all the way back to
the ground floor. Hopefully if they are rushing, they should be able to compensate for the delay time by
rushing on a higher floor, but only if they know how long they are going to have to wait before finally being
picked up by the elevator they are waiting for.
Elaine steps out of the elevator and comes marching down the tiled hallway. There are new faces walking around
this time around, and one of them looks very familiar.
There is a man standing on the right side of the screen, putting a piece of mail into the top slot of the mail
collection box that is built into the wall. It's Abraham - our usually friendly and smiling desk clerk.
Wearing a blue plaid shirt under a black sweater jacket and khakis, something appears to be wrong. He doesn't
appear friendly, nor is he smiling. He appears to look a cross between worried and upset. Elaine doesn't
notice him, and walks by, oblivious to the angry stare he is sending her way.
|Same as with our discussion on the utilization of gift shops within older
hotels, hotels built at the turn of the century generally contained their own mail drop boxes as well. These
were for the convienience of visiting patrons to be able to mail letters or postcards bought at the built-in
gift shop, home to family members (you have to remember, this was a time when it took forever to do anything and
expansion of Western states was slowly taking place, thus being able to send mail home to a waiting loved one,
informing them of their wellness and hopeful prosperity, literally meant the difference between life and death.
Even the former Ambassador Hotel, used in the interior filming shots of the Wessex, contained it's series
of mail drop boxes, usually located in between the two central passenger elevators on each floor.|
But alas, the Wessex must not contain a drop box, as stereotypical at the time as it was for a
turn-of-the-centery hotel to have one, and that is why Abraham is having to bring his mail here. Either that,
or, similiar to how Elaine had to ask Creeson for directions to the Convention Hall, she might have had to ask
Creeson for directions to the City Agencies Office, as well. Creeson might have told Mr. Rogas or Judith, and
Judith or Mr. Rogas might have asked Abraham to keep an eye on Elaine, and hence he was following her. Using the
mail drop box at the City Agencies Office might have just been a cover-up to hide his real purpose for being
there. Abraham noticed the floor number on top of the elevator as Elaine descended, and he knows she was on the
4th floor. Everything on that floor relates to engineering and architecture, so her visit to that floor was
|A few ominous chords, the sames ones used as Elaine was first wandering
through Peddler's "home", play as Abraham watches Elaine leave, upset at her having come here in the first
The camera now focuses on a round antique silver serving platter. Atop the platter resides a glass water
pitcher, filled with water. Behind this pitcher, also on the platter are two
glasses with elaborate ornate etching designed into the glass. There is a decorative golden canister supported
by three long golden legs attaching to a sturdy golden base. Beside the canister reside three black covered
books. We see a right hand reaching for the water pitcher. It is picked up while a left hand reaches for the
glass on the left. We see the pitcher pouring water into the glass that was just picked up.
The glass was being filled by Mr. Rogas, the hotel manager. Unfortunately, as dry as his mouth may have been,
he never gets a chance to take a drink.
|The omnious chords induced by Abraham's angriness of Elaine are drowned out by
two knocks, coming from the door to Mr. Rogas' office.|
Mr. Rogas is wearing a grey suit jacket atop a grey suit vest. Underneath this reside a white button up dress
shirt with a burgandy colored tie that helps to compliment the red rose pinned on his lapel. The knocks
interrupt Mr. Rogas, before he has a chance to take a drink of the water he had just poured for himself. In a
firm voice, he tells the knocker to enter:
Mr. Rogas: Come in.
Through an antique white door with blue trimmed panels reminiscent of the office where Elaine awoke after her
original terrifying encounter on Pages 6 and 7, we see Abraham, our desk clerk. He is back from the City
Agencies office, where he had just witnessed Elaine. The door resides to the right of a cherry-wood colored
set of display shelves that house greenery and eloquent knick knacks. The decorum is very professional and
Abraham: She's been to the City Engineer's Office.
|Foreshadowing the Future:|
|Abraham refers to Elaine in the third person, calling her "she" rather than by
her name. It is because of this we can make a fairly logical assumption that he could have been following her.
By not referring to her by name, it is logically assumed that, out of all of the patrons in the hotel, Mr. Rogas
knows exactly who the desk clerk is talking about - Elaine Kalisher. But why would this one patron be so
influencial in their minds? It is because they know that she is getting closer to discovering their secret. That is why the manager seems so upset knowing that she has just been to the City Engineer's Office - he knows
why she went there...|
Mr. Rogas: Damn. She probably knows.
|Censorship rules for cable television shows are a lot more lax now, than they were in the 1990s. During that time period, profanity was definitely a no-go. "Damn", being less profane than it's other curse word counterparts, was acceptable, and it appears twice within the movie. Mr. Rogas uses the word first, and later, Gail Myers, our young engineer, will also use it.|
Abraham: I think we'd better assume that.
Mr. Rogas: Get the others.
|Mr. Rogas looks as if he is upset and worried, as well. Elaine visiting the
City Engineer's Office and learning what she learned is obviously dangerous knowledge as far as the hotel
is concered. The manager sounds as if he is going to have to make a choice he doesn't really want to have to.
But he will do anything to save his hotel, and his reputation...|
CONTINUE TO PAGE #22