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100 things to do before you die: be a star for a day in LA

Thursday, August 24, 2006



55. Chateau Marmont
If you're a player in the movie or music business, the Chateau Marmont would be on your list of LA places to stay. The hotel modelled after a royal residence in France's Loire Valley — is placed discreetly behind one of the most popular sections of Sunset Boulevard, a highway that cuts through the entertainment city centre and is most famous for its giant movie billboards. The Marmont is lowkey cool and old-school style, with several private bungalows that have entertained the likes of Greta Garbo, Truman Capote and Jim Morrison. Bungalows feature full kitchens, some have formal dining rooms, private terraces and balconies, twice-daily maid service and personalised stationary. Known for its privacy, the walls are soundproof and especially thick, a result of being the first earthquake-proof structure built in LA.

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56. Homes of the stars tours
If you're a celebrity-watcher and find yourself in Los Angeles, you'll definitely want to board a StarLine Tour bus. The company offers 17 tours each day, departing every half hour. They have been cruising past the mansions (and former mansions) of the rich and famous, as well as iconic LA, since 1935.

The tours are conducted in air-conditioned minibuses with the essential large windows and feature entertaining and knowledgeable guides. Homes are of stars such as Courtney Cox, Keanu Reeves, Madonna, Halle Berry, Jackie Chan, Britney Spears, Winona Ryder and Nicolas Cage. The day also includes classic LA hotspots like the Sunset Strip's Whiskey A Go Go, Johnny Depp's Viper Room and the Chateau Marmont.


57. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Boulevard sits at the foothills of the famous Hollywood sign and is home to a walkway of gold stars — technically made from terrazzo and brass. This iconic pathway, extending between Gower Street and La Brea Avenue, offers a timeline of achievements by members of the entertainment industry, from television and cinema to recording and live performance. The first star was laid in February 1960 for actress Joanne Woodward.

Celebrities get their stellar piece of pavement via a nomination process, which is voted on each year by the Hollywood Walk of Fame committee. Nominations cost US$15,000 and about 20 celebrities are chosen from around 200 applicants. Walk of Fame ceremonies are open to the public and information on these dates can be found on the official website.


58. Movie premieres at Grauman's
For over 75 years, Grauman's Chinese theatre has been one of most iconic cinemas in Hollywood. Done up in a mix of oriental and art deco styles, the theatre is famous for its glittering premieres. Grauman's is especially famous for its gallery of hand and foot prints. Beginning with the best of yesteryear's stars like Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Judy Garland, the ground is a testament to legends. Like Hollywood Boulevard, you can spend a lot of time just looking down, comparing your hand size to your favourite celebrities and reading the heady messages from a cavalcade of stars, etched into the cement during movie premieres. The Grauman's website lists upcoming premieres, footprint ceremonies and backstage tours.


59. Kodak Theatre
Purpose-built as the permanent home of the Academy Awards, the Kodak Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard is where nominated stars and industry movers and shakers walk the red carpet in search of Oscar glory. For those who didn't get an invitation, it is possible to score a seat on the bleachers for the world-famous event. An annual lottery for 100 spots is held the year before. Daily tours, leaving every half hour, give a behind-the-scenes account of what happens on the big day — from the seat fillers who ensure that the televised audience is always full, even when someone has left their seat, to the backstage area where winners address the waiting media to an up-close and personal look at a coveted gold statue.

The theatre is part of the Hollywood and Highland centre, a shopping/dining complex that thoroughly embraces its star-studded history. Bordered by grand sculptures, the back of the complex features an art deco couch to take in the famous Hollywood sign in the Hollywood Hills.

For further information:




55. Chateau Marmont
Ph: 0011 1 323 656 1010
Fax: 0011 1 323 655 5311
Website: www.chateaumarmont.com

56. StarLine Tours
Ph: 0011 1 800 959 3131
Website: www.starlinetours.com

57. Hollywood Walk of Fame
Phone: 0011 1 323 469 8311
Fax: 0011 1 323 469 2805
Website: www.hollywoodchamber.net/icons/walk_fame.asp
Email: info@hollywoodchamber.net

58. Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Phone: 0011 1 323 464 6266
Website: www.manntheatres.com/chinese/
Email: Talk2Mann@manntheatres.com

59. Kodak Theatre
Ph: 0011 1 323 308 6300
Website: www.kodaktheatre.com/
Email: info@kodaktheatre.com
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