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Hollywood Boulevard Photos & Attractions

Hollywood Boulevard Photos & Attractions

Hollywood is one of the most famous and well-known towns in the world. Because of this, Hollywood Boulevard is probably one of the most famous streets in the country.  Originally, Hollywood Blvd. was named Prospect Ave. and it was lined with residences, including the famous Paul DeLongpre home. The surface of the street was dirt or decomposed granite. Down the middle of Prospect Ave. were tracks on which the streetcars would run.  There were two commercial areas on Prospect Ave. The first was at Cahuenga Ave. where Daeida Wilcox donated and promoted this commercial area. The other was further west at the intersection of Highland Ave. It was here, on the northwest corner, that the famous Hollywood Hotel stood.

It wasn’t until 1910 that things began to change for Hollywood. In 1903, the residents of the Cahuenga Valley voted to incorporate the area, as a city of the sixth class, and call it Hollywood.  However, because of uncertainty of water supply, the residents voted, in 1910, to have Hollywood annexed to the City of Los Angeles. The last official act of the Hollywood Board of Trade was to change the name of Prospect Ave. to Hollywood Blvd.  In October, 1910, the Nestor Film Company, of Bayonne, New Jersey, rented the former Blondeau Tavern and converted it into a film studio.  As the movies were made, they had to be returned to the Bayonne facility for developing, editing and distribution to the theaters throughout the country.  Once other film production companies heard of what it was like making movies in the Hollywood area, they began migrating to the west coast. Many of them settled in Hollywood and set up shop on Sunset Blvd., near Gower Ave.  Within three years there were more than fifteen film companies operating in Hollywood. It wasn’t long before Hollywood began to experience explosive growth.

Historic photo of the Hollywood Blvd. and Gower St.

The hollywoodphotographs.com website has the largest number of vintage Hollywood Boulevard photos. All photos are available for purchase.

Soon, Hollywood Boulevard was transformed from a residential street to a bustling boulevard with some of the country’s most lavish restaurants, theaters, stores and hotels. Today, Hollywood Blvd. is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. Here are some of today’s Hollywood Blvd. attractions;

Grauman’s Chinese Theater - hosts many film premieres. One of its attractions is the famous cement forecourt containing hand and footprints of numerous screen legends, including John Wayne, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Jack Nicholson, to name a few. Since its opening in May 1927, millions of movie patrons and visitors to Hollywood have been drawn to the theatre.

Old Hollywood Boulevard photo

Dolby Theatre - is the crown jewel of the Hollywood & Highland Center retail, dining and entertainment complex located in the heart of Hollywood. The 3,400 seat theatre opened in November 2001 and soon thereafter became known to more than one billion people across the globe as the first permanent home of the Academy Awards.

Grauman’s Egyptian Theater - Founded by Sid Grauman in 1922, it was the first Palace type theater on Hollywood Blvd. It was here that the first movie premiere was ever held. The forecourt of the theater was where props from movies were displayed. There are many old photos of Grauman’s Egyptian Theater on the hollywoodphotographs.com website.

Photo of Snow on Hollywood Boulevard

El Capitan Theatre – The El Capitan Theater  was built in 1927 by Charles E. Toberman. Originally, it was used for plays but, later, it was converted for movies. In 1949, the name was changed to Paramount Theater. In 1989, The Walt Disney Company joined forces with Pacific Theatres to begin a two-year archeological dig, which led to a museum-quality restoration of the legendary El Capitan Theatre which now hosts live stage shows, world premieres, and other special events that have helped restore showmanship to Hollywood Boulevard.

Golden Age Theater - Readings and theatrical performances of L. Ron Hubbard's fiction stories from a variety of genres, including science fiction, fantasy, western, mystery, thriller, horror, romance and others. The theater is located near Madame Tussaud's, across the street from the Roosevelt Hotel. You can view videos of prior performances at the website.

Vintage photo of Hollywood Blvd. & Cahuenga Ave.

Guinness Book of Records Museum – This tourist attraction is located in what was, originally the Hollywood Theater.  It was the second movie theater in Hollywood. Sometime in the 1990s, the theater closed and was taken over by the Guinness Book of World Records. This curio museum is based on the book of the same name. At Ripley's website you can get a combination admission pass that lets you in to Ripley's, Guinness and the Hollywood Wax Museum (across the street).

Hollywood & Highland Complex- The tourist complex was originally the location of the famous Hollywood Hotel. Hollywood & Highland consists of over 387,000 square feet of retail space leased to national, regional and local retail tenants, a variety of restaurants, several of Hollywood's hottest nightclubs, the popular upscale bowling alley lounge, Lucky Strike Lanes, and a six-screen state-of-the-art cinema adjacent to the world famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre. The complex also contains 65,000 square feet of unique indoor and outdoor banquet facilities for conferences and special events including an elegant Grand Ballroom, site of the annual Oscars Governors Ball. The ballroom, catered by celebrated chef Wolfgang Puck, is now one of Los Angeles' favorite venues. Along with the Academy Awards and other awards shows, the handsome Dolby Theatre offers a year-round program of concerts, Broadway shows and theatrical events in its 180,000 square feet.

Ohm Night Club An 18+ upscale dance club located on the fourth level of Hollywood and Highland center. The nightclub features multiple DJs spinning dance music to special effects, lighting on moving trusses, and professional sound and video systems.

Historic 1936 photo of Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Museum – This tourist attraction is the location for costumes, memorabilia and props from famous movies and shows such as W.C. Field's famous top hat and Pee-Wee Herman's original red bicycle from "Pee Wee's Big Adventure", as well as revolving exhibits from recent shows. The Hollywood Museum contains over 10,000 exhibits within 35,000 square feet on four floors of the Max Factor building. You'll also sIn 1949, the sign was altered to read HOLLYWOOD.  The sign originally read HOLLYWOODLAND. Locations from which to view and photograph the Hollywood Sign, with a focus on areas of interest to tourists who have limited transportation options

Hollywood Wax Museum – This museum is located just east of Highland Ave. The approximately 220 wax replicas on display at the museum include major movie and television stars of past and present, sports figures and a host of other celebrated people. You can get a combination admission pass that lets you in to Ripley's, Guinness (both are across the street) and the Hollywood Wax Museum.

Jimmy Kimmel Live - Late-night comedy talk show host Jimmy Kimmel appears at El Capitan Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Topics include comedy routines, daily monologue, plus appearances from celebrities, athletes, musicians and comedians.

L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition – Located in the former Christie Hotel, this gallery of exhibitions that showcase the life and times of award-winning author and founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. The exhibits include actual artifacts and original works from Hubbard's books. Near Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Open every day, there is no cost for admission.

Larry Edmunds Bookshop – This is the finest bookstore that specializes in movie memorabilia.  Located on Hollywood Boulevard since 1938, when bookshops were a common fixture in Hollywood. Located across the street from Musso and Frank's Restaurant, this book store features anything they can find that's related to Hollywood - movie posters, photos, scripts, music sheets, cinema reference resources, and of course, real paper books! Larry Edmunds Bookshop also hosts celebrity events and book signings.

Madame Tussauds Hollywood - Located adjacent to the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, Madame Tussauds Hollywood is an immersive attraction where guests can interact with their favorite celebrities without velvet ropes or barriers between them, stepping into elaborate interactive sets - as if they are playing the role of a supporting actor or actress.

Historical photo of Hollywood Blvd.

Museum of Death - If you're looking for something a bit more macabre than the standard tourist attractions, at the Museum of Death you will find a large collection of exhibits and displays that explore many facets of death. The museum is located a little east of Vine Street. It will take about 10-15 minutes to walk from Hollywood and Highland to the museum, or you can take a train or bus part of the way.

Pantages Theatre is recognized for its art deco motif, and features Broadway musicals, dance performances and concerts. This theater was the last of the palace type of theaters to be built in Hollywood. The Pantages Theater was built by Alexander Pantages, it is a gorgeous theater.

Runyon Canyon Park – Also known as the Pines, this wilderness areas has hiking trails within walking distance from Hollywood Boulevard. You can get there by walking west on Hollywood Boulevard to Fuller Avenue, then walk up the hill to Runyon Canyon Park. There are hiking trails to Inspiration Point that offers a nice view of Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Park Observatory and more. The trail is steep in some areas, and the park can become crowded on weekends. So while you won't find solitude or peaceful mountain strolls here, you can take advantage of the nice view and get a workout at the same time. For a longer, but slightly less strenuous hike, you can walk up to the trail that starts on Vista Avenue.

Ripley's Believe It or Not – This building was, originally, a four story building that was built in 1914. In the 1930s, the building was home to the Federal Trust & Savings Bank. Later, the top three stories were removed by the Bank of America. This "odditorium" features over a dozen galleries spanning two floors of the building. There are hundreds of interesting and unusual exhibits that were collected from around the world by Robert Ripley for his Odditoriums. At Ripley's Believe It or Not! you can see modern-day oddities, as well as the unusual exhibits that fascinated the nation during the 1930's and 1940's, and more recently inspired a hit TV series. They completed a massive renovation in December 2011, adding hundreds of new exhibits, including new interactive displays. There are some exhibits in the lobby that you can look at for free, such as telephone book carvings of Clint Eastwood, Frank Sinatra and other celebrities. You can get a combination admission pass that lets you in to Ripley's, Guinness and the Hollywood Wax Museum (across the street).

Joanne Woodward on Hollywood Boulevard

Walk of Fame - Step onto the sidewalk anywhere on famed Hollywood Boulevard and you'll certainly see a number of stars... the bronze ones on the sidewalk, that is. The first eight celebrities to have their names placed in the Hollywood Walk of Fame, included Ernest Torrence and Joanne Woodward. It took place in 1958 and was located on the northwest corner of Hollywood Blvd. & Highland Ave. The Walk of Fame was inaugurated in 1960 when 1558 stars were placed along the main thoroughfare. Since that time, more than 2,300 have been emblazoned with the names of famous personalities who've left their mark in the fields of radio, television, motion pictures, recording, and live performance. A small symbol on each star indicates for which field the person is being honored. The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce chooses the honorees each year after a long nomination process. Hundreds of nominations are made annually, but only a handful of them are chosen. Also, a celebrity can have more than one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For example, old cowboy star Gene Autry has one star for each available category!

Many people who are looking for vintage photos of Hollywood Boulevard visit the hollywoodphotographs.com website. There are more than 100 old Hollywood Blvd. photos on the hollywoodphotographs.com website.

 

 

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