By Michele E. Buttelman
As mandates have lifted from the worst of the COVID pandemic people feel more comfortable traveling out and about. Discover what is the same… and what is different… by becoming a tourist in your own backyard.
Iconic Hollywood is home to some of the most famous and historic landmarks in Los Angeles.
Many Santa Clarita Valley residents are familiar with playing Hollywood tour guide to out-of-town guests. For many in the SCV we only travel to Hollywood to see a play or a movie or to entertain guests.
If you’re a fan of film or theater you’ve probably taken in a show at the historic Pantages or seen a first run film at the equally historic El Capitan, but how many of us have explored Hollywood with the eyes of a tourist?
Discover the magic of Hollywood, again.
Where is Hollywood?
The northern boundaries of Hollywood, which is entirely within the city limits of Los Angeles, are considered to be Hollywood Boulevard from La Brea Avenue to the east boundary of Wattles Garden Park and Franklin Avenue between Bonita and Western avenues; south to Melrose Avenue and west to La Brea Avenue or the West Hollywood city limits.
Hollywood was incorporated as a municipality on Nov. 14, 1903, by a vote of 88 for and 77 against. However, in 1910, the city voted for a merger with Los Angeles in order to secure an adequate water supply and to gain access to the L.A. sewer system.
Hollywood and Film
Director D. W. Griffith was the first to make a motion picture in Hollywood. His “In Old California” (1910) was a 17-minute silent Western made for the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
The first studio in Hollywood, the Nestor Film Company, was established in October 1911 by the New Jersey-based Centaur Film Company in a roadhouse at 6121 Sunset Blvd., at the corner of Gower Street.
Sunset Gower Studios is a 14-acre television and movie studio established in 1912 at an adjacent corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street to Centaur Film. It continues today as Hollywood’s largest independent studio and an active facility for television and film production with 12 soundstages.
For a true “tourist experience” sign up for one of the many commercial tours available in Tinseltown.
Hollywood City Tours offers “The Original Hollywood Tour,” a two-hour Hollywood, West Hollywood and Beverly Hills tour. You will see favorite Hollywood hot spots and homes of the stars and former stars including Justin Timberlake, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise and Marilyn Monroe on open air buses. Tickets: $39 for adults, $29 for children under 10.
Starline Tours’ hop-on-hop-off, double-decker city sightseeing buses. Take the Hollywood Red Route to visit 16 Hollywood stops. Included are world-famous sights: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive shopping district, the Sunset Strip, L.A.’s Farmers Market, Melrose Avenue and Beverly Center shopping; L.A. Brea Tar Pits, LACMA, the Petersen Auto museums. Stay aboard the bus for a two-hour, 20-mile tour. Tickets: Tickets: $39 for adults, $28 for children under age 3-11.
Bikes and Hikes offers a three-hour Hollywood tour by e-bike or traditional bicycle. See famous Hollywood landmarks, movie studios, top Hollywood film locations, Hollywood Walk of Fame and more.
For a truly unique Hollywood experience take a hike to get up close and personal with the Hollywood sign. The Hollywood Sign Hike takes you closer to the Hollywood Sign than any other company in L.A. This 2.5 hour, 4-mile hike will lead you in front of and behind the world’s most famous sign as guides regale you with tales of the sign’s fascinating history. There are stops along the trail for multiple photo ops.
For more information on bicycle or hiking tours visit https://bikesandhikesla.com.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame features more than 2,700 terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalk along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street. The five-pointed stars honor the accomplishments of actors, musicians, directors, producers and others in the entertainment industry.
It’s fun to wander the Walk of Fame looking for your favorite celebrities. To find exactly where the star of your Hollywood idol is located visit https://walkoffame.com/browse-stars/.
The 2022 Hollywood Christmas Parade
The 90th anniversary of the Hollywood Christmas Parade will be held Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022 starting at 6 p.m.
The City of Los Angeles will once again be presenting the Hollywood Christmas Parade. The parade route begins on Hollywood Boulevard at Orange Drive. The U-shaped parade route will travel east to Vine, south on Vine Street to Sunset Boulevard and west on Sunset back to Orange Drive.
While the glitz and glamour once associated with the parade has waned considerably in the last few decades it is still a fun family outing and a great way to honor the legacy of “old Hollywood.”
To view the parade the easiest way to get to the parade route is via the Metro Red Line from the North Hollywood station to Hollywood/Vine or Hollywood/Highland. Both stations get you directly onto the parade route.
Another option is to park at the Hollywood/Highland shopping complex,
Hollywood Christmas parade VIP tickets are on sale until Sept. 1. All tickets for reserved grandstand seating are half price, $60 for adults and $30 for children under 16.
For information visit https://thehollywoodchristmasparade.org/parade-details/#