CA Los Angeles Kodak Theatre

The part of town which has become a famous global synonym for TV and movie produtions is located in the Northwestern section of Los Angeles. Although movie stars mostly don’t live here and although big movie are in most cases filmed in other locations, for example in giant studio cities that have spread out in the suburbs, Hollywood is still a major attraction for those tourists yearning to follow the track of the silver screen stars. On the occassions of one of the many award shows or movie premieres taking place here, this is sometimes even well possible and with the right amount of luck, a Hollywood celebrity may sit at the next table in a restaurant. Apart from that, however, Hollywood offers a lot of tourism infrastructure, a lot of silver screen memories and the world-famous Walk of Fame.  

At the beginning of the 20th century, Hollywood was a small, independent town of about 500 a few miles west of Los Angeles. In 1911, the first film studio was opened. Two years before that, the first movie had been shot in the area and in nearby Los Angeles, already a number of movie business companies had settled. Within the next few years, the industry expanded greatly and by 1915, most of the movies made in USA were filmed in Greater Los Angeles. Paramount, Warner Bros. and Columbia alredady had relocated their studios to Hollywood at that time, next to many smaller production companies and related businesses. The nondescript small town rapidly turned into the center of the entertainment industry it has remained to this day. After the Second World War, the TV industry followed and then the music industry in the 50s.

Beginning in the 1980s however, Hollywood was threatened by decay and disrepair. Many buildings, including those with historic significance for Hollywood were vacant and in some places, demolition loomed. In the past few years, this has changed again. New, high grade residential buildings have been erected and many places that seemed already forgotten have been revived. Today, approximately 125,000 people live in this part of town.

Sights and attractions in Hollywood



Walk of Fame

In 1958, the first of what are now more than 2000 stars have been inserted into the sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevards and Vine Street, honoring deserving personalities of the movie, music, TV, radio and theater industries, but also other achievements. For example, there are by now stars honoring space missions, TV stations, athletes, cartoon characters or movie animals. Annually in June, the new nominations are being published. When the stars are inserted, the honored celebrities are obliged to appear in person.



Graumann’s Chinese Theatre

The historic movie theatre on Hollywood Boulevard was built in 1926 and is particularly famous for the hand and feet print in concrete left there by celebrities. There are some 200 of those prints in the collection which was started in 1927, those by Darth Vader and Donald Duck being among them. The building is on the list of historic sites and still often serves as location for movie premieres.



Capitol Records Building

To the spectator, the building constructed in 1956 and  standing 46 meters tall might have the appearance of a pile of vinyl records, but this might indeed just be a coincidence. Within the building, there are sound studios and administrative office of the Capitol Records company. Address: 1750 Vine Street



Charlie Chaplin Studios

From 1917 on, Charlie Chaplin directed the construction of a number of movie studios arranged like an English village in the middle of a residential area. Many of Chaplin’s films, “The Great Dictator” of 1940 being one of them, were shot here, before the studios were sold in 1953. In 1966, music studios were built into the premises and in 2000, the Jim Henson Company moved in. Ever since then, a statue of Kermit in a Charlie Chaplin disguise guards the entry gate. Address: 1416 North La Brea Avenue.



El Capitan Theatre

The historic movie palace was opened in 1926 as a theater stage, before it was converted into a movie theatre after a reconstruction in 1942. Following a change in ownership, the Capitan became a premieres location for a lot of Disney productions from 1991 on. Address: 6838 Hollywood Boulevard 



Hollywood Bowl

The amphitheatre with a capacity for 17,000 is famous for the stage shell in front of the backdrop of the famous Hollywood sign. Hollywood Bowl is primarily used for concerts. Next to concerts by rock and pop stars, the stage has been used as summer performance venue for the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 1922. In direct neighborhood, housed in the Lasky-DeMille Barn, is the Hollywood Heritage Museum. Address: 2301 North Highland Avenue



Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Probably one of the most peculiar sights of the city is this cemetery next door to Paramount Studios. After the company running the place went bankrupt, the cemetery founded in 1899 was temporarily deactivated but by now they have long been selling gravesites again for a long time. On the headstones, the names of many famous stars, actors, directors and other celebrities can be read. Among others, Estelle Getty, Rudolph Valentino, George Harrison and Buggsy Siegel have found their final resting place here. Address: 6000 Santa Monica Boulevard



Hollywood Sign

The “Hollywood” sign in the hills above town is probably the most famous advertising billboard in the world. The actual wording when it was erected in 1923 was “Hollywoodland” and refered to a residential construction project for which the sign was supposed to draw interested buyers. The last four letters were removed in 1949. the remaining letters, however, threatened to fall to decay, because the wooden construction was actually meant to remain standing for a few months only. After a fundraising campaign, driven by singer Alice Cooper the remaining letters, meanwhile being in a bad condition,  were replaced by a new logotype with 14 meters-tall letters made from steel in 1978. In the course of time, the signature has repeatedly been temporarily altered, partly from vandalism, but partly also for advertising reasons. The area in which the letters are located, Mount Lee, is not publicly accessible, but there are a number of hiking paths in the Hollywood Hills which will guide you rather close to them.



Kodak Theatre

Tucked away in a shopping and entertainment complex is the Kodak Theatrea, opened in 2001, the location of the annual Academy Award gala. For the rest of the year, the building is used for various events such as concerts or TV show recordings. Kodak Theatre has one of the country’s largest stages and a capacity for 3,400 spectators. Address: 6801 Hollywood Boulevard



Pantages Theatre

Constructed in Art Deco style in 1930, the Pantages Theatre for many years served as stage for concerts and movie showings. By now, it is primarily in use for theater and musical performances. Address: 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, corner of Vine Street



Paramount Pictures

The Paramount company, founded in 1912, has seen a long and successful history as producers for many well-known movies and today is the oldest film studio still in existence. This is the last major studio that is still actually located in Hollywood. Guided studio tours, allowing for a look at famously used backdrops and many other notable artefacts and memorabilia, are offered Monday to Friday and require an advance reservation. Address: 5555 Melrose Avenue



Pink’s Hot Dogs

The hot dog and burger joint has developed into a Hollywood attraction in its own right. Since 1939, Pink’s offers quick, simple snacks which regularly cause long waiting lines with some celebrities sometimes being among those waiting, as the signed pictures inside proof. The hot dog restaurant appeared in a number of movies and TV shows; some items on the menu are named after celebrities. Address: 709 North La Brea Avenue



Roosevelt Hotel

The time-honored hotel, built in 1927, has become a veritable Hollywood institution. Marilyn Monroe once lived here for two years and in the course of time, the hotel hosted quite its share of celebrities. Address: 7000 Hollywood Boulevard



Runyon Canyon Park

At the end of Vista Street and Fuller Avenue are the entrances to this public park in the Santa Monica Mountains, which has an extensive net of walking trails. Altogether, the park stretches over some 65 hectares. From various observation points throughout the park, for example from Indian Rock nice views over Los Angeles can be experienced.



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