The cemetery has a special section called the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation that is the final resting place for a number of aviation pioneers—barnstormers, daredevils and sundry architects of aviation. There is a memorial to Amelia Earhart and others, honoring their accomplishments.
Among those interred here are several celebrities from the entertainment industry.
The shrine, with a colorful tile dome and female figures stretching their arms to the heavens, originally was built as an impressive entrance to Valhalla Memorial Park cemetery. It was named for the palace of Odin, the Norse god of slain heroes.
Valhalla was founded in 1923 by two Los Angeles financiers, John R. Osborne and C. C. Fitzpatrick. The Spanish Mission Revival entrance structure was designed by architect Kenneth McDonald Jr. For the decorative stone castings, McDonald hired Italian-born sculptor Federico A. Giorgi, who had created 30-foot-tall (9.1 m) statues of elephants and lions for the 1917 epic film Intolerance and crafted the exterior of downtown's Million Dollar Theater. The gateway to the new cemetery cost $140,000.
The rotunda was dedicated March 1, 1925, with a concert by English contralto Maude Elliott. Picnickers spread blankets on the surrounding grassy expanse between three reflecting pools and flat cemetery markers, which were a new concept at the time. It became a tourist attraction and was used for concerts that were broadcast over radio station KELW by station owner Earl L. White. Just five months after the dedication, Osborne and Fitzpatrick were convicted of fraud. They had sold the same burial plots repeatedly—as many as 16 times—and netted a profit of $3–4 million, according to Los Angeles Times stories of the era. They were fined $12,000 each and sentenced to 10 years in prison but served less than three years of the sentence.