About HollywoodHollywood began as a religion-oriented agricultural community in 1903 and became part of Los Angeles in 1910. A year later the first motion picture studio was established, and the fabulous legends of Hollywood began. Several major studios produce motion pictures in the area, while some 60 independent companies are largely engaged in television production. Entering the studios usually requires a personal contact, but some lots do have tours (see Burbank and Universal City place listings).
The garage area of the Los Angeles Fire Department Museum and Memorial , 1355 N. Cahuenga Blvd., is literally packed with antique fire and rescue vehicles—everything from horse-drawn fire engines to a Cadillac ambulance has been restored to shiny showroom condition. In the former offices, kitchen and locker room are displayed the LAFD's vast archive of historic photos and memorabilia, including antique badges, helmets and vintage uniforms. The museum is open Saturdays 10-4 and for tours by appointment; phone (323) 464-2727. Just outside the museum is a memorial wall honoring Fire Station 27’s fallen members; it can be visited even when the museum isn’t open.
The first star-studded Hollywood movie premier was held in 1922 at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., and today the renovated movie palace screens film retrospectives and offers historic tours one Saturday a month; phone (323) 466-3456 or (323) 461-2020. ArcLight Hollywood , 6360 W. Sunset Blvd., is the best place for viewing first-run blockbusters—either inside the 1963-built Cinerama Dome or on one of 14 other screens. Phone (323) 464-4226 or (323) 464-1478.
The Hollywood Heritage Museum , 2100 N. Highland Ave., occupies Hollywood's oldest existing studio building, where pioneering movie director Cecil B. DeMille set up shop in 1913. Exhibits include photographs, props and cameras from the early days of filmmaking and are available for viewing Wed.-Sun. noon-4; phone (323) 874-2276 to confirm schedule.
Entertainment legends of the past and present are honored on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame,” which extends for about a mile along Hollywood Boulevard between Gower Street and La Brea Avenue, and along a portion of Vine Street on both the north and south sides of Hollywood Boulevard. In the heart of “Tinseltown,” you'll find El Capitan Theatre across the street from the open-air Hollywood & Highland. The retail/entertainment complex features upscale shops, restaurants (including Hard Rock Cafe) and the Dolby Theatre—site of the annual Academy Awards ceremony.
Sightseeing tours are a good way to see famous landmarks and to catch glimpses of celebrities' homes. Amazing LA Tours, (310) 587-2211; Gray Line Los Angeles, (714) 978-8855; Guideline Tours, (323) 465-3004; and Starline Tours of Hollywood, (323) 463-3333, offer a variety of tours from which to choose. Area accommodations can provide literature about other available tours. Tour lengths and prices vary according to destination. Reservations should be made 24 hours in advance during the peak summer season.
In late September, the Italian Feast of San Gennaro Los Angeles is held at North Highland and Hawthorn avenues.
Visitor Centers Hollywood Chamber of Commerce 6255 Sunset Blvd. Suite 150 Hollywood, CA 90028. Phone:(323)469-8311
Things to Do Dolby Theatre Guided Tours
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