Hollywood Streets, 1979-1983

In the late 1970s, Matt Sweeney dropped out of high school with dreams of becoming a movie maker. While working in gas stations and restaurants in San Jose, California, he found out about Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope education/training/intern program, and moved to Hollywood to pursue that. Matt wanted to work behind the camera, so he started practicing with a Nikon F2 camera, shooting Kodachrome slides. Inspired by photographers like Garry Winogrand, Minor White, and Elliott Erwitt, he set out to document the world around him on the streets of Hollywood, photographing scenes from 1979 through 1983, while hoping somehow to hit the big time. The internship never happened, and unfortunately, no production jobs materialized. At 21, Matt moved on, selling his equipment and working through college to do lab work. "I went to Hollywood to 'make it', but didn't, and ended up taking pictures of Hollywood, capturing scenes of others 'not making it' as well. It didn't escape me then and it doesn't now." Matt held onto the slides, now more than 30 years old, and has recently begun scanning and posting them on Tumblr. "The web makes it possible to leave some kind of record of my time and share it with people". Many thanks to Matt for sharing these images below, captions by the photographer.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Pride Lights, Paddy Day, Grizzly Swim

    A new waterslide in the Czech Republic, a cat on the Algerian waterfront, a grotto reopening in Italy, burying a coronavirus victim in Russia, a wildfire in Colorado, and much more.

  • Steve Helber / AP

    The Statues Brought Down Since the George Floyd Protests Began

    Images of some of the dozens of statues that have been toppled, defaced, or slated for removal across the U.S. over the past month

  • Shahid Ali / AFP / Getty

    Photos: The Locust Swarms of 2020

    Images from hard-hit areas in Kenya, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Yemen, taken over recent months

  • Michelle Sole / Shutterstock

    Scenes From Antarctica

    Recent images of the Antarctic landscape, wildlife, and research facilities, as well as some of the work taking place there