Photo: Shelly Prevost (Flickr)

Captivating Hollywood History

For most people, a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Los Angeles isn’t complete without a visit to Hollywood. Searching for their favorite star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame along Hollywood Boulevard and putting their hands into those of Hollywood legends in front of (Gruman’s) TCL Chinese Theatre is a time-honored tradition.

Next door to the Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood and Highland Center, with its three stories of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment, now dominates the intersection of the same name.

From the top levels of H&H, look to the south towards Hollywood Blvd, you can view the glittering marquee of the El Capitan Theatre (circa 1926). In the opposite direction, through the dominating multi-story archway, you can see the iconic Hollywood sign visible on the hillside to the north.

Continuing in the northernly direction, head up Highland Avenue to the much loved Hollywood Bowl. Built in 1922, this amphitheater has welcomed the top musical performers to the venue. If you go, be sure to pack a picnic dinner and bring a bottle of wine or two if you like. It’s a rare treat to be allowed to “B.Y.O.” (bring your own) into a venue like this. Just part of the Hollywood Bowl tradition.

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out music at Avalon Hollywood (formerly The Palace back in my day). For more music, head down to Sunset Boulevard to The Hollywood Palladium (art deco circa 1940).

The round Capitol Records building is also known as “The House that Nat Built”, e.g. Nat King Cole, it is just across the street from The Palace… I mean Avalon Hollywood. Catch live Broadway shows and movies at the Pantages Theatre (art deco theater circa 1930) on Hollywood Blvd.

Over 100 years of Hollywood history all within blocks of each other, just waiting for you to discover them.

See the highlights on the map below.