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Roosevelt Hotel
Roosevelt Hotel
Brendon outside the Roosevelt Hotel
Sunset Boulevard

Hollywood Boulevard

Thursday, April 22, 2004
If it happens in Hollywood it happens on the Boulevard and Brendon and Catriona are hitting the pavement.

Hollywood Boulevard is a great place to take it all in, but authorities advise that it can be unsavoury at times, particularly at late hours. They recommend sticking with a group and going there at a sensible hour. It's one long road crammed with tourist attractions, including the world's most famous theatre, Grauman's Chinese. This opened in 1927 with Cecil B DeMille's silent version of King of Kings and is still showing films. In the 1940s, it hosted the Academy Award ceremonies and has appeared in a number of films and television shows.

The lobby has elaborate murals depicting oriental life in bold red and gold, lit by an intricate Chinese chandelier. Guided tours are available.

What visitors love to see, though, are the hand and footprints of famous film stars. (Roy Rogers' horse Trigger left a hoofprint!). Space in the forecourt is scarce, with 173 prints there now. The small amount of remaining space is reserved for true Hollywood superstars. New prints are added to the sidewalk.

7000 Hollywood Boulevard is the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. When the area was going through a shabby period in the 1950s, this hotel stood out like a beacon. It was opened in 1927 as appropriate accommodation for east coast actors by a group including Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Sid Grauman and Louis B Mayer. It has been completely restored to its original splendour.

When we were there, a small scene for West Wing was being filmed and even our seasoned crew was amazed at the amount of people and equipment involved.

The El Capitan Theatre at 6838 is a marvellous old theatre which has been purchased and restored by the Disney Corporation, now once again as glamorous as it once was. Disney uses it to premiere their new films and it is one of the highest grossing cinemas in the US.

The Pantages Theatre, just east of Hollywood and Vine, was built in 1930 and was one of the most beautiful theatres in town. In 1949, Howard Hughes added it to his RKO chain and throughout the 1950s the annual Academy Award ceremonies were held there. In 1977, it re-opened as a legitimate live theatre offering Broadway-style musicals.

If you ever happen to be in Los Angeles at Christmas time, it is certainly recommended that you join the more than one million spectators who line up to see the Hollywood Christmas Parade, which was first held in 1928. Making its way along Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards, the colourful parade has dozens of marching bands, celebrities waving from antique convertibles, glitzy floats, cartoon characters, all sorts of animals and Santa himself. The date for this year's affair is not yet available, but it is usually held around Thanksgiving at the end of November. The Chamber of Commerce website will be helpful with the date.

There probably aren't many halls of fame dedicated to celebrity lingerie in the world, but of course there is one on Hollywood Boulevard. The original Frederick's of Hollywood is a giant 1946 grey and pink art deco building. It was once a garish purple, but is now comparatively tame. It has an array of bustiers, garter belts, negligees, girdles, nightgowns and bras, musical panties, as well as displays of intimate apparel worn by famous film stars, male and female.

Other attractions along the boulevard are the 1922 Egyptian Theatre, Pig'n Whistle, Musso & Frank Grill, which opened in 1919, the Guinness World Records Exhibition, Ripley's Believe It Or Not Odditorium and Jane's House, the remaining Victorian house. You will also see Hollywood Entertainment Museum, Wax Museum and CC Brown's Ice Cream Shop, where, it is said, the hot fudge sundae was invented.

The Hollywood Magic Shop is where magicians from the Magic Castle purchase their tools of trade and Hollywood Toys and Costumes have one of the city's largest selections of costumes, masks and make-up.


Los Angeles, California


The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel rooms start at around $200.
Guinness World of Records Museum is open every day from 10am to midnight. Admission price is around $12.
Hollywood Wax Museum entry is about $15, open every day from 10am.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Hollywood Christmas Parade
Sunset & Hollywood Boulevards
Ph: 323 469 2337

Hollywood Toys & Costumes
6600 Hollywood Boulevard
Ph: 323 464 4444

Hollywood Magic Shop
6614 Hollywood Boulevard
Ph: 323 464 5610

Pantages Theatre
6233 Hollywood Boulevard
Ph: 323 468 1770

Frederick's of Hollywood
6608 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 957 5953

Hollywood Wax Museum
6767 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 462 8860

The Guinness World of Records
6764 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 462 5991

Ripley's Believe It Or Not
6780 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 466 6335

Musso & Frank Grill
6667 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 467 7788

Pig'n Whistle
6714 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 463 0000

The Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 466 3456

El Capitan Theatre
6838 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 467 7674

The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
7000 Hollywood Boulevard
Hollywood 90028
Ph: 323 466 7000

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