Hollywood Boulevard is a long road. Its most interesting stretch is roughly bounded by Vine and Highland Streets. That's where you'll find Pantages Theatre, the Egyptian, Musso & Frank Grill, several museums, Hollywood and Highland Mall, Kodak Theatre, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and El Capitan Theatre.
In front of the Chinese Theatre, you'll find Superman, Crocodile Dundee, Wonder Woman, Frankenstein, etc. milling with the crowd. Well, this is Hollywood. The courtyard of Grauman's has the foot- and handprint of stars cast in concrete. This is a popular tourist destination. This is where many locally-taped shows recruit their audience. This is also where you can join a tour of stars' homes.
Once in a while, you'll see a publicity stunt (see picture). Only in Hollywood... You may also chance upon a movie premiere or an award show. Their red carpet is where you can see some stars. Or you may see a star getting his/her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That's how I saw Kevin Costner, Harrison Ford, Nicole Kidman, and Jackie Chan in person
A walk down Hollywood Blvd is a definite must while visiting LA. We began our walk at the Hollywood subway station and emerged to this fantastic view of palm trees and the art deco Pantages Theatre. It was once the home of the Academy Awards.
Head west from here along Hollywood Blvd and you will soon come to the Walk of Fame (which lines both sides of the street), Fredericks of Hollywood (where you can visit their museum of celebrity underwear), Mann's Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Center (current home of the Academy Awards) among other famous sites. Watch for the signposts along the sidewalk that will indicate points of interest and explain their history.
Yes, I'm putting a cemetery on my list.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place of a number of Hollywood notables, including Rudolph Valentino, Norma Talmadge, Mel Blanc, gangster Bugsy Siegel and Douglas Fairbanks. This is a huge cemetery, with two indoor mausoleums and tons of outdoor graves. You will need a map of the grounds, which you can pick up as you enter the cemetery.
The cemetery was established in 1899 and is filled with tall, old-fashioned headstones and a few unusual ones shaped like obelisks or rocket ships. The cemetery has been used as a location for many Hollywood movies (you may recognize it from the graveyard scene in "L.A. Story"). You can also see the Hollywood sign from the grounds.
Obviously, this isn't a must-see for everyone, but it I think it's an interesting landmark here in L.A.
The Egyptian Theatre is another example of a wonderful, old movie theatre. It was built in 1922 from a design by Meyer & Holler, one of the most respected architectural firms in Los Angeles during that era. It was recently renovated and is better than ever! This large theatre has a lovely interior with lots of interesting details and a great, big screen.
Today, The Egyptian is the home of American Cinematheque . As stated on their website, the American Cinematheque "is a non-profit, viewer-supported cultural organization dedicated exclusively to the public presentation of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents the best of film and video - ranging form the classics to the outer frontiers of the art form." They show classics and current films, often with discussion afterward (with the director or the actors). If you're a film lover, you MUST check out their programs.
There are many old and wonderful movie theatres in Los Angeles, many of them dating from the silent era and decorated with lavish, themed embelishments. The Vista is a great example of an old theatre and a fun place to see a movie while you're in town.
The screen here isn't large, so maybe it's not a great place to see a big, highly visual epic (like Lord of the Rings or Braveheart)... but that's about the only downside here. The prices can't be beat ($8 adult tickets) and the seats are very comfortable (some have about 6 feet of leg room in front!). Also, the decor here is wonderful! It's a sort of Egyptian theme, with colorful sconces and busts of Egyptian figures placed all around the room. The ceiling is very colorful and interesting, as well.
Out front, there is a mini-walk of fame, featuring handprints from a few stars and a number of interesting local personalities.
Los Angeles has built its reputation on the glamour of the movies, and most visitors want at least a little of its glitz to rub off on them. Hollywood itself (in northwestern LA) is no longer the movie mecca it once was, but it certainly holds plenty of historic interest. Take a walk down Hollywood Blvd and you'll pass by famous sights - Chinese Theatre, where more than 150 of the glitterati have left their prints on the sidewalk out the front. Head east along the Boulevard, stepping on those famous bronze stars, and you'll find yourself at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Here at the intersection of Hollywood and Highland is the entrance to the famous Kodak Theatre. This is home to the Academy Awards ceremonies. The theatre is also used for a lot of other important events. There is a tour of the theatre everyday. See the web site for more information.
On the streets of Hollywood you can see characters from movies. Great to pose for a photograph with them, and it is fun for your children. You will find a lot of characters such as Zorro on the streets.
Hollywood is quite possibly the world's tackiest tourist trap-but hey, LA thrives on tacky! Certainly you couldn't go to LA without making a stop there, could you?
The film studios and movie stars are long gone, leaving in their wake hordes of tourists. That in and of itself makes it a fun place to visit-the people there are so much fun to watch! Beyond that, there is the walk of fame and a few other noteworthy sites.
When I go to L.A., I try to go to the Improv club in Hollywood on a Thursday to see Drew Carey and his gang on stage. They have valet parking and the food there is not so bad either. Go early and find a good seat. Hold on to your tummies as comedian after comedian try to get you to die laughing...
Many people go to Hollywood expecting to see celebrities. This is one of the easiest places to actually see famous comedians WORKING. Call ahead to find out who's performing. Price of admission, food, drinks etc. is medium.
This is one of the remaining theatres from Hollywood's golden age. it was opened in 1922 by Sid Grauman who also opened the Chinese Theatre and remains open today.
Huge park that is dog friendly overlooking LA -the one place in LA where people get to be real,might be too strenuous for older or out of shape people -or more importantly dogs.
Hollywood Wax Museum
Hollywood icons (and others) are immortalized here.
Ford Fairlane did it in the movie, climbed the Capitol Tower's building. Well, that's in the movie, but honestly, I didn't had a single thought doing it when I was standing there. I promise!