Jim Elyea began History For Hire in the late summer

of 1985 with some rentals to a Charles Bronson film, 

"Murphy's Law." This was followed by "Platoon," which 

which was done out of the Hollywood apartment shared by

Jim and his wife Pam.

 

Eighty-five cartons of military gear were shipped to the Philippines just as theinsurrection against

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos was going on. At one point, shipments had to stop as insurgents had overtaken the Manila airport. Soon after everything shipped, Pam announced, "When that stuff comes back, it's not coming here," and

Jim decided it was time for a permanent building for HFH. Partnering up with his brother Bob, the two signed a two-year lease on an old storefront in North Hollywood. When the guys took it over, the former grocery store, then plumbing supply, then postcard warehouse was flooded with over a foot of water. After weeks of bailing, dozens of gallons of paint were applied to every surface, and by May of 1986, they were open for business. Their first rental — a Revell model kit box.


Initially, History For Hire carried everything – hand props, wardrobe, furniture, etc., but after about nine months, the writing was on the wall — dump the wardrobe and keep the props.  

In 1989, History For Hire bought the contents of a 25,000 square foot warehouse of props from Paramount Studios. Known as "the bins," this lot contained some real junk, but mostly treasures, some of it dating back to the silent era. Of course,

the fact that HFH was currently in a 7,000 square foot building did not deter the Elyea Brothers from buying over three times that much new stock. A month later, after a shuffling act that involved a new building and a dozen

40' trailers parked nearby, the deal was done, the props were moved,

and HFH had a new home.


The 1990 movie, "Chaplin" gave HFH its entry into a vintage

movie making theme, soon establishing it as the place for period

movie making equipment.


Jim's wife Pam
joined History For Hire in 1993 after many years in

advertising. Together, they now operate History For Hire.

 

 

Cut to late 1994, when what is now our current building became available.

At almost double the size, 7149 Fair Avenue became our new home on

Christmas Eve as the last prop was wheeled in at 5pm.

 

Since then, we have been proud to have participated in most period

films made in the last dozen plus years, having shipped props to every

continent of the world, including Antarctica.  

 

In 2008, as Jim finished his 12 year project of writing the definitive work,

"Vox Amplifiers, The JMI Years," HFH formed a publishing arm,

The HistoryFor Hire Press, with the idea of bringing out a number

of books over the next few years.

 

Bob Elyea left the company in 2010 to pursue other interests. 

 

As we begin 2011, we look ahead to a new era of recreating history, with your help.