Kind of hidden within The Hague city district Scheveningen, you ‘ll find Bennies Fifties. In this immense, 500-square-meter showroom, all possible American Nineteen Fifties items have been gathered: colourful jukeboxes, red cola crates, vintage vinyl albums, fluffy petticoats… and the beautiful coffee table book Before Marilyn, about the blue book modeling years of Marilyn Monroe.
The biography tells the tales of Marilyn gaining her first fame as a model still using her real name Norma Jean Dougherty. The story is based on the personal archive of Emmiline Snively, owner of the Blue Book modeling agency, and has been written by well known Monroe biographer Michelle Morgan and Astrid Franse, co-owner of Bennies Fifties. Among much more, the book contains rare, previously unpublished photos of young Marilyn. If you buy your copy at the showroom in Scheveningen, Astrid will probably be so kind as to sign it for you.
Bennies Fifties was founded more than 40 years already. Ben and Astrid Franse started with selling jukeboxes, and bit by bit their shop turned into everything it is today: a well-sized museum-like fifties showroom. Being a flamenco aficionado, I usually look for hair flowers at Bennies. And I just like taking a time machine back to the 1950s.