Hollywood. Just reading the name evokes a certain mystique and gets you thinking about flash bulbs, red carpets and star-studded events. While today’s movies and television shows are filmed all around the world (and right here in Santa Clarita!), Hollywood still lives on as the premier destination for entertainment and for those who want to make it big in “the biz.”
In the early 20th century, as Hollywood began to develop into the film industry behemoth it is today, so did the city of Santa Clarita, which has come to be known as “Hollywood North.” With its close proximity to Hollywood and its beautiful landscape, Santa Clarita quickly built its reputation in entertainment as the ideal place for location shooting. In fact, many movie ranches are located in the Santa Clarita Valley, and crews routinely come to film a wide variety of shows, movies, commercials and more.
Part of our rich history in Santa Clarita is tied to the legacy of William S. Hart, the silent film actor, screenwriter, director and producer who was one of the most popular western stars. Our own Walk of Western Stars in Old Town Newhall pays tribute to the likes of Hart, John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Santa Clarita’s role in the development of the movie industry makes our city a one-of-a-kind place to live.
You can return to the magic of those early 20th century days at the Old Hollywood SENSES Block Party in Old Town Newhall, on Thursday, Aug. 16. Part of the city’s Thursdays@Newhall series, presented by Valencia Auto Center, Old Hollywood SENSES will allow you to step back in time and walk the red carpet as the movie star you’ve always wanted to be. Head down to Main Street, from 7 to 10 p.m., and take the spotlight for a night of glitz and glamour. Let the paparazzi snap your picture at the photo booth, sip a drink from the on-street bar hosted by El Trocadero and mentally escape as you enter Hollywoodland.
Seeing as you’ll be transported through time to Old Hollywood, we want you to look the part! Costumes are encouraged and we’ll be celebrating the fame and fortune in Tinseltown, from the 1920s through the 1950s. Dress as your favorite leading lady or man and see if you can impress the Marilyn Monroe impersonator. You can also try your luck at the roulette and poker table, take part in Old Hollywood movie trivia and enjoy watching some classic silent movies throughout the evening.
I hope you will take advantage of this chance to live out your movie star dreams and head to the Old Hollywood SENSES Block Party! You can also learn more about SENSES and Thursdays@Newhall by visiting ThursdaysAtNewhall.com.
Cameron Smyth is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.