A TOURIST ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD

I woke up early, still on New York time, the Sunday morning of my Skiptown Film Festival visit in LA. The actors panel I was participating in was scheduled for 1pm, so I had time to play tourist on Hollywood Boulevard and check out the stars of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Dolby Theater, home of the Oscars, and the celebrity cement hand and foot prints at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Plus a view of the iconic Hollywood sign.

The metro station at Hollywood and Vine is rather splendid. The subway itself, on an early Sunday morning, is populated with many who apparently spent the night in the train…

I started on the south side of Hollywood Boulevard, walking West from Vine.

Seems somehow fitting that Mary Pickford and Amy Adams are neighbors.

“Driving Miss Daisy”‘s Jessica Tandy just across from “Do the Right Thing”‘s Spike Lee.

The Apollo 11 astronauts are honored at every corner of this intersection.

For the time being, Frank Borzage has to bear the indignity of being obscured under scaffolding.

Bogie will show off even better later at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

Twice married, twice divorced, but always side by side on Hollywood Boulevard.

“I vant to suck your blood” (perhaps he’s an ankle-biter…)

Yass Queen!

Apropos of Yass Queen, loving the special decoration on RuPaul’s star!

Bitch, please!

His was the one star I sought out specifically. This was my one must have selfie.

Orson Welles is honored here for his work in radio. His 1938 broadcast of H. G. Welles “War of the Worlds” famously caused panic across the nation with many believing the Martian invasion was real. A second star for Welles’ film work is on Vine.

Felt like I needed to get really low for this one.

Douglass Fairbanks Jr, Richard Donner, Dolly Parton – part of the fun is seeing unlikely name combinations side by side by side.

And then there are more tricky side by side combinations.

When you get caught between the moon and old Los Angeles…

Who’s on Hollywood and Highland?

Speaking of Highland, I walked up a block for this shot of the Hollywood United Methodist Church, with the large permanent aids ribbon affixed to its cathedral tower.

Also caught this shot of the Hollywood sign from the same corner.

Heading back to Hollywood Blvd…

… through the mall that houses the Dolby Theater…

Back on Hollywood…

…and the entrance into the Dolby Theater, staging ground of the Academy Awards.

Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Victoria Secret Angles got themselves stars right in front of the Dolby… okay…

The main entrance into the Dolby is flanked by columns that bear the titles of every Best Picture Oscar winning movie in Academy Award history, starting with “Wings” in 1927/28. Although, arguably there were two best pictures that year with “Wings” winning “Outstanding Picture” and the marvelous “Sunset” winning “Best Unique and Artistic Picture”. But that category was henceforth discontinued, and only Outstanding Picture remained the following year (renamed Outstanding Production for the rest of the 1930s), and so “Wings” gets the sole Best Picture designation by the official Academy historians.

If adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest grossing film of all time.

“Rebecca” is the only Hitchcock film to win Best Picture. He never won a Best Director Oscar.

“All About Eve” shares the record for most Oscar nominations with “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14.

“Titanic” shares the record of most wins with “Ben Hur” and “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” at 11.

In LOTR:ROTK’s case, it is also the highest total of wins matching each nomination, 11 for 11, “a clean sweep” as Steven Spielberg quipped when he announced its Best Picture win.

Four big musicals won Best Picture in the 1960s (“West Side Story”, “My Fair Lady”, The Sound of Music, “Oliver”). But the decade concluded with the only X-rated picture to win, “Midnight Cowboy”.

“The Godfather Part II” is the first sequel to win Best Picture. (“Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” is the second.)

2005’s overt (and documented) homophobia, denying “Brokeback Mountain” for “Crash” continues to live in infamy.

2022’s Best Picture will be added next year, with many more columns waiting for future titles, now on columns facing you on the way back to Hollywood Boulevard.

An outdoor terrace just next to the Dolby Theater entrance.

I suppose the lower terrace is where one is encouraged to take that photo with the Hollywood sign at your back…

There’s designated space for Best Picture winners through 2071, after which, well, they’ll have to figure that out then…

If I live to see that day I’ll be smack in my eleventh decade…

Back on Hollywood Blvd.

Grauman’s Chinese Theater, built by Sid Grauman in 1927, is just a few steps west of the Dolby Theater. This is where celebrity hand and footprints are famously immortalized in cement.

For example: the crew of the Enterprise.

“I’m ready for my cement prints, Mr. DeMille.”

The Harry Potter trio.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he used tap shoes for his foot prints.

71 years after her father Henry, Jane Fonda added her prints next to his.

In place of shoes, Jimmy Durante included a print of his very famous nose.

Barbra’s star holds a prime spot in front of the Chinese Theater.

While Spielberg gets the prime spot in front of the Dolby.

Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins remain together on Hollywood Boulevard…

Now walking back East on the North side of Hollywood Blvd.

One ring to rule them all…

Ingrid Bergman is one of the few women (along with Meryl Streep and Frances MacDormand), to have won three Oscars for acting. Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day-Lewis and Walter Brennan are the three men who also won three. Katherine Hepburn is the only actor, male or female, to have won four.

Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome… im Hollywood, au Hollywood, to Hollywood

One of two stars for Walt Disney, the other being for his motion picture work.

These stark (German Expressionistic) shadows suit the legendary star of “M”.

Liberace right next to the Village People – someone knew what they were doing…

Popular with crossword puzzle makers.

Stars are also go up a block on either side of the side streets of Hollywood Blvd. In this case the northwest side of Vine.

Another one of the all time greats. Had to teach himself English after fleeing the Nazis, then made some of the greatest (and most smartly written) comedies and dramas in Hollywood history. Also won 6 Oscars (while nominated for 21).

This star is in desperate need of repair.

The one day I don’t wear my ruby slippers…

About dannyashkenasi

I'm a composer with over 40 years experience creating music theater. I'm also an actor, writer, director, producer, teacher and general enthusiast for the arts.
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1 Response to A TOURIST ON HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD

  1. Catherine Ashkenasi says:

    I used to walk down Hollywood Boulevard going home from Hollywood
    Highschool. They had just started laying out the stars then. Me and my friends would sometimes go to a great icecream parlor next to the Grummens Chinese for a fantastic Chocolate Sunday. And,of course,
    there was no Dolby Theater then. I’ll keep my memories of the old Hollywood. Cathy

    Liked by 1 person

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