image Events

Dancing in the Street

As part of the Getty initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, LACE presents La Pista de Baile, a participatory performance by Colectivo AM.

The four-hour dance floor, reclaiming public space, will take place from 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 20, 2018 on Hudson Ave. at Hollywood Blvd. Locals DJs will be featured, including Xandao, Kelman Duran, and Metralleta De Oro.

This project reflects and rethinks how community relationships are articulated in Los Angeles by connecting communities in one collective performance. La Pista de Baile, a public invitation to dance together with local DJs, shortens geographical and cultural distances between participants. In the week before the performance, Colectivo AM will document dance steps across LA using a portable photo booth to add to the Banco Universal de Pasos, with a Living Research Station displaying the findings in LACE’s storefront at 6522 Hollywood Blvd. The completed Banco will be presented at the final performance.

La Pista de Baile will address the question of how to create community relationships that can evolve into political actions. Intended not only for mature and specialist audiences but embracing popular culture, the project will encourage a wide range of participatory and diverse publics. Colectivo AM has researched choreographic phenomena that emerge from everyday life, far from the art world, from viral videos to protests. Colectivo AM’s explorations hold the highest potential for radicalizing choreographic practice.

January 17, 2018

image Entertainment

Virtual Room: The Ultimate Team-Based VR Experience

Virtual Room Hollywood is a brand new attraction, as the US’s first team-based virtual reality experience. Originating in France, Virtual Room is quickly expanding across the globe. Exhilarating and mind-blowing, Virtual Room Hollywood brings the biggest global entertainment trend to Hollywood.

Strap on a headset — HTC Vive, to be exact — grab your closest friends or colleagues and immerse yourself in fantastical worlds at Virtual Room Hollywood. (Courtesy photo)

“Virtual Room Hollywood is being introduced to US audiences in the entertainment capital of the world,” said Gilles Amsallem, partner and chief operating officer of Virtual Room USA. “LA has always been at the intersection of entertainment and technology, and Virtual Room Hollywood adds to that narrative as the future of VR.”

The staff of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance (HPOA) was excited to experience Virtual Room themselves on January 16.

Simple, beautiful, and limitless, Virtual Room Hollywood brings you into the future of virtual reality. (Courtesy photo)

“The Virtual Room was easily the most fun I had had in a while!” Rich Sarian, incoming operations manager, said. “Being transported with your friends and figuring out each scenario is out of this world! The Virtual Room is more than a virtual excape room, it is like actually being in a video game. It will definitely excite you and your inner child/gamer!”

The crew from HPOA was able to successfully complete the game, tackling four “alternative worlds to repair the temporal rift in the time-space continuum that might end humanity.” They found it to be the perfect team building exercise, as your success in the Virtual Room depends on collaboration, not competition.

“The Virtual Room provides a fully-immersive game playing experience,” Matthew Severson, outgoing operations manager, said. “Not only are you ‘wowed’ by the fantasy scenarios, you are challenged by the tactical gameplay of strategy. An interactive game of fun in which you play side-by-side with your teammates. What an amazing experiences teleporting into an alternate world of reality with friends!”

Using HTC Vive untethered headsets and proprietary software developed exclusively for Virtual Room by Paris-based Monsieur K, players enjoy a steady, seamless VR experience at Virtual Room Hollywood. (Courtesy photo)

While most VR experiences only allow one person to play for 2 to 10 minutes, at Virtual Room Hollywood, you can stay “out there” for longer: up to 45 minutes. Also unique is the team immersion with up to four friends, from tweens to septuagenarians, so you can build lasting memories with your team. And, unlike other VR experiences, you’ll feel great, free of motion sickness, as you move in real-time in your own 100 square feet of dedicated space.

Open seven days a week, hours vary from 10 am to midnight. The regular rate is $35; discounted to $28 Mon-Fri before 6:00 p.m. Bookings can be made online.

Virtual Room Hollywood
6434 Hollywood Blvd.
losangeles@virtual-room.com

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January 16, 2018

image Entertainment

Holy Hollywood History! Batman ’66

On Jan 10th 2018, The Hollywood Museum turned Hollywood into Gotham City, as they projected the iconic Bat Signal on the side of the historic Max Factor building, at a VIP unveiling gala for “HOLY HOLLYWOOD HISTORY! BATMAN ’66,” with special appearances by the show’s cast members and other stars in attendance.

President and Founder of the world-famous Hollywood Museum (www.hollywoodmuseum.org) in the historic Max Factor Building, Donelle Dadigan, proudly hosted the preview gala for Batman cast, collectors and celebrities at the Hollywood Museum. Burt Ward and world renown Batman ’66 collectors worked together in the first ever “BATMAN ’66” exhibit, opening to the public on Jan 12th, 2018 – the same date as the 52nd anniversary of the 1966 premiere of the ABC TV series, “Batman.”

Above photo: Marta Kristen (Lost In Space), Donelle Dadigan (President/Founder Hollywood Museum) and Lee Meriwether (Catwoman/Batman) pose with the Batmobile. (Photo by Bill Dow/Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum)

Among those in attendance we Batman cast members Burt Ward, Lee Meriwether, Sivi Aberg, and Barbara Rush, as well as Marlon Wayans (Marlon), Cory Oliver (Gods Not Dead), Renee Lawless (The Haves and Have Nots), Hank Garrett (3 Days of the Condor), Jax Malcom (Craxy Ex-Girlfriend), Elizabeth J. Carlisle (The Rich and The Ruthless), Mason Guccione (Jumanji), Karen Kramer (Golden Globe Winner), Alice Amter (Big Bang Theory), Jeremy Miller (Growing Pains), Alison Arngrim (Little House on the Prairie), Kate Linder (Young & The Restless), Anson Williams (Happy Days), Marta Kristen Kane (Lost In Space), Darcy Donavan, Stanley & Barry Livingston (My Three Sons), Judy Tenuta (Comedienne), Carolyn Hennesy (General Hospital/True Blood), Patrika Darbo (Bold & The Beautiful), Terry Moore (Might Joe Young), Steve Wishnoff (OZ), among many others.

Burt Ward (Robin) welcomes crowds to the preview of Holy Hollywood, Batman 66 Exhibit at The Hollywood Museum. (Photo by Bill Dow/Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum) 

The exhibit, which will consist of four popular sections (Wayne Manor, The Batcave, Gallery of Guest Super Villains, and The Collectibles of Batman ’66), pays tribute to the memory of Adam West and honors the other half of the Dynamic Duo, Burt Ward, as well as the iconic show, still seen today in the U.S. and around the world weekly.

Last year’s release of Warner Bros animated films “Batman: Return of the Caped Crusader” and this year’s “Batman vs Two Face,”has made that Batman ’66 hotter than ever. Burt Ward (Robin), who has gone from Caped Crusader to Canine Crusader, with his nonprofit dog food, Gentle Giants (www.gentlegiantsdogfood.com), helping dogs live twice as long, said “I never dreamed I would still be playing the same character 52 years later.  I am thrilled that the Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building would honor our show in this way.”

George Barris’ original Batmobile parked into front of The Hollywood Museum. (Photo by Bill Dow/Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum) 

The BATMAN ’66 exhibit features original costumes and props from the show, which have not been seen since it originally broadcast from 1966-68.  Dadigan says, “We have costumes and props that evoke one’s childhood memories of the ever popular TV series, “Batman”. There is something for everyone –  from the Batmobile and Batcycle to Burt and Adam’s original costumes worn during the show’s 120 episode run on ABC TV Network, as well as guest villains – and one of my favorites – the original Dr. Casandra costume worn by TV and film star Ida Lupino, that has never been seen publicly before.”

The city of Los Angeles, known as Gothom for the night, honors Burt Ward and cast members of BATMAN Lee Meriwether, Barbara Rush, Mitch O’Farrell, Tracy and Burt Ward, Donelle Dadigan, and Sivi Aberg. (Photo by Bill Dow/Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum) 

Other highlights include the original George Barris (Car #2), original costumes as well as costumes recreated due to age and condition representing guest star villlians including The Riddler, The Joker, The Penguin, Mr. Freeze – to name a few; life size sculptures of the three famous women who brought Catwoman to life (Eartha Kitt, Lee Meriwether and the original, Julie Newmar) with costumes, as well as Yvonne Craig (Batgirl), and more, including Adam West’s face and mannequin from 1966.

The extensive exhibit will also feature much sought after collectibles, including a the “gotta-have” children’s lunch box, action figures of every shape and size, Batman and Robin puppets, rare Batman Ice Cream boxes, drinking cups, board games, and many more extremely rare collectibles from 1966 too numerous to name and, in some cases, never before seen on public display.

My Three Sons, Stan and Barry Livingston, pose with original costumes for Robin and Batman. (Photo by Bill Dow/Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum) 

Thousands of hours have gone into mounting this exhibit and a dedicated team of Hollywood Museum staff and world-renown collectors, including Wally Wingert, Scott Sebring, Pat Evans, Tom Woodruff, Mark Hardeman, Greg Maraio, Alex Zsolt, Christopher Chaisson, Bob Mitsch, Kelly DeCambre, Adrian Van Eck, Ivan Taback, Brian Puls, Chaz George, Buddy Rogers, Troy Maynus, Andy Brescia, Daniel Fopma, Dave Tripet, Kelly DaCambre, Nate Truman, Bob Mitsch, Robert Jungweber, Grigg Espinoza, and Rob Klein have come together to loan amazing items that are now part of TV history – to help create this first ever Batman 66 exhibit, “Holy Hollywood History!” Wally Wingert has been named as the special Curator of this exhibit, with exhibit Organizer, Roger Neal.

Ward remarked “I was excited to see all of this come together. It will be like a homecoming to reunite with these items and to remember my friend and crime fighting partner, Adam West.”

That Bat Signal on the side of the Hollywood Museum calls on all Batman fans. (Photo by Bill Dow/Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum) 

ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM
See 10,000 Authentic Show Business Treasures spotlighting more than 100 years of Hollywood history – from the Silents to Talkies, to Hollywood’s Golden Era, Film Noir, Television and its Pioneer Years, through the rebellious 60s, special effects 70s,  evolving 80s,  involved 90s, technological 2000s, and beyond to current day heartthrobs! The Hollywood Museum’s exhibits showcase the best in film, network and cable television, and new digital platforms featuring iconic and fan favorites! Named one of the top tourist attractions by LA Weekly, voted one of the Top 10 Museums in LA by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and annually receives the Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor.  Located in the heart of Hollywood, at the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Highland Ave – The Hollywood Museum in the historic Max Factor Building is the “Official Museum of Hollywood” and offers visitors the most extensive collection of Hollywood memorabilia in the world featuring the glamor of Hollywood legends and stars – past, present and in the making…. See one-of-a-kind costumes, props, photographs, scripts, stars’ car collections, personal artifacts, posters, and memorabilia from favorite stars, films and TV shows.  The Hollywood Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

REGULAR HOURS: Wednesday – Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
TICKETS: $15 Adults: $12 Seniors (62+): $12 for students with ID and $5 Children under 5.
ADDRESS: 1660 N. Highland Ave. (at Hollywood Blvd.), Los Angeles, CA 90028
MUSEUM INFO: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com or Tel: (323) 464-7776

FOLLOW THE MUSEUM:
WEBSITE: www.TheHollywoodMuseum.com
FACEBOOK: Facebook.com/TheHollywoodMuseum
TWITTER: @HollywoodMuseum
INSTAGRAM: @HollywoodMuseum

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January 12, 2018

image Entertainment

The Color Purple Presale at Pantages Theatre

THE COLOR PURPLE is the 2016 Tony Award® winner for Best Musical Revival! Hailed as “a direct hit to the heart” (The Hollywood Reporter), this joyous American classic, directed by Tony winner John Doyle, has conquered Broadway in an all-new “ravishingly reconceived production that is a glory to behold” (The New York Times). This stunning re-imagining of an epic story about a young woman’s journey to love and triumph in the American South is hailed by New York Magazine as “one of the greatest revivals ever.”

With a soul-raising score of jazz, gospel, ragtime and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE gives an exhilarating new spirit to this Pulitzer Prize-winning story, based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel and the 1985 Warner Brothers motion picture.

The Color Purple will be playing at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre from May 29 through June 17, 2018. The presale ends January 18, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

TO PURCHASE PRESALE TICKETS

ONLINE:  Click here or paste this address into your browser:

http://www.ticketmaster.com/promo/kle8td

BY PHONE:   866-870-2717

IN PERSON:  Hollywood Pantages Box Office.  Open daily at 10am.

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January 10, 2018

image Community

Calling for a sense of urgency to protect Hollywood

What does it mean to feel safe?

As the head of the Hollywood BID, I feel a deep sense of responsibility to people who come to Los Angeles to visit Hollywood and the Walk of Fame.  But as we end 2017, I feel the city has allowed a sense of lawlessness to settle in, at the expense of the safety of those who honor us with a visit.   Just peruse Trip Advisor.  Our designation as a world-class tourist destination is not only at risk, it is tarnished.  Would you want to visit Hollywood after reading this review posted just before Christmas  by Francesca from the United Kingdom?

Seedy, filthy and full of druggies.

I was totally disillusioned after my visit. We visited on a Sunday afternoon the boulevard had a certain aroma of weed and urine . Homeless people abounded. The streets were filthy, the inlaid stars on the pavement were cracked or dirty . The shops were tacky selling cheap tourist tat.
There was an atmosphere of unease as beggars , CD merchants and people dressed in 3rd rate fancy dress with bad body odor tried to con you out of your dollars. A good survival tactic give no-one eye contact just walk purposely forward.

A very intimidating atmosphere definitely not glamorous. We saw druggies shooting up on the blvd. Why aren’t the police out in force in this area?

We walked to the Chinese Theatre and felt stoned with all the “smoke” around us. A seedy place even on a Sunday afternoon. I wouldn’t return.

Think of any city in the world that you visit on a vacation.  You expect to be safe, to feel safe.  You may have a child in a stroller, or your grandmother on your arm.  You are not familiar with the language or the currency or the customs, but you hope that the city values your arrival and will protect you.  This is not the case in Los Angeles, where people are drawn to Hollywood only to be potentially victimized and/or shocked by what they witness here.

Vendors set up their tables on the Walk of Fame, next to the scramble crosswalk at Hollywood & Highland on 12/30/17. (Photo by Cory Dacy)

This is not a jab at the LAPD, who, in my opinion, is doing a valiant job keeping order as their enforcement toolkit is slowly dismantled by the Los Angeles City Council.  They have been committed to daily footbeats since Labor Day weekend, and for that we are grateful.  Sad to say, this state of affairs is a byproduct of policies aimed at “opening up liberties” for people to camp out or conduct business on the public right of way with no comprehension as to how that actually compromises the freedom to enjoy and feel safe in the public right of way.

My office is smack dab in the middle of Hollywood Boulevard, and I will invite any member of the city council to come to the boulevard and walk it with me to see how far things have deteriorated.

The hands-off  approach to tackling sidewalk behaviors is exacerbated by the homelessness crisis and the increased evidence of people with severe mental illness left to fend for themselves on our streets. We are fully committed to participating in all the strategies in place to reduce our homeless population.  However, when all these issues are combined on the sidewalks, we have a perfect storm that compromises the sense of well-being and safety of pedestrians.  And without pedestrians on the sidewalk, businesses will suffer.

For this reason, to protect our pedestrians, our businesses, and our reputation,  I will be making a case for a moratorium on all sidewalk and curbside activities until we can restore public safety in Hollywood.

Here are just five indicators of the dangers of how our current policies (or lack thereof) are compromising public safety:

Operator attempting to quench fire on busy day after Christmas.

  • The day after Christmas, at a curbside that has been a chronic source of complaints about food trucks that camp out all day long (for the price of one parking ticket – cheap rent day after day), a fire erupted when the truck operator attempted to fill a generator with gasoline adjacent to hundreds of people walking down the sidewalk.   So that one does not consider that this is a one-off, these trucks have been showing up daily for the past year to park in front of businesses, with unsafe propane canisters strewn on the ground, cooking smells wafting into businesses, and debris left on the street which has fostered a never-before-experienced rodent problem.

Damage to a food truck, parked on Hollywood Boulevard, from its own exploding generator.

  • Because the city council has been fiddling with a sidewalk vending ordinance for two years now, the rules of what activity is allowed and not allowed is confusing to all, and opportunists  have taken advantage of the vacuum. The stars on the Walk of Fame are often obscured by vendors who set up with impunity. The  Hollywood and Highland cross walk is, by DOT’s standards, one of the busiest in all of Los Angeles.  Yet, there are vendors lined up right to the edge of the crosswalk.

Let’s all hope visitors haven’t travelled half-way across the globe to see the stars on the Walk of Fame. (11-18-17)

  • In their effort to reduce penalties associated with non-permitted vending earlier this year, the only enforcement tool provided by the LA City Council to LAPD or Street Services enforcement is an “Administrative Code Enforcement” citation which carries no teeth. On one Twitter feed I posted this fall, there were over 30 vendors lined up side by side along the busy sidewalk in front of the Chinese and Dolby theaters.
  • The five bus lines that stop at the SE corner of Hollywood and Highland (212,217,222,312,780) transport, in total across those lines, over 6.9M passengers a month, according to the METRO website.  Hollywood Boulevard supports a busy public transportation hub, since we are along a subway route.  One would expect that when you attempt to step up onto a bus, or exit, your ability to enter and exit the bus would be protected.   That is not the case in Hollywood.  If you are elderly, or disabled in any way, we wish you well, because as you exit the bus, you may have to deal with a range of obstacles as shown in the photos.

Five bus lines are serviced by this bus stop at SE corner of Hollywood and Highland. Good luck navigating your way on or off.

  • Perhaps because of substance use, or untreated mental illness, or both, we have a consistent problem with someone(s) setting fires to our trash cans on Hollywood Boulevard.
  • The general state of chaos that exists is fueled also by the continued presence of CD vendors hawking their music, tour bus hawkers stalking unsuspecting tourists, and of course, the ubiquitous characters shaking down tourists for tips.

Put all these elements together, and the policies of the city of Los Angeles have contributed to an unwelcoming tourist destination. I saw the disappointment in the faces of thousands who came to Hollywood over the holiday, whether for vacation or to attend the Rose Bowl. We need the entire city council to take ownership and protect Hollywood.  And until a plan is put in place to regulate behaviors in the interest of public safety, we would respectfully ask that an interim control ordinance be adopted to restore order to the neighborhood. Let’s not wait for someone to get hit by a bus because they had to navigate around sidewalk vendors, or for someone to be burned by a propane tank left in the curb, or chased into traffic by an aggressive dog living in a sidewalk encampment. In the interests of protecting people who come from all over the world to walk the famous sidewalks, let’s move into 2018 with a sense of urgency and stop kicking this can down the road.

Top photo: Sidewalk vendors completely obscure the Walk of Fame on 12/30/17. (Photo by Cory Dacy)


Kerry Morrison is executive director of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance.  She serves on the United Way/LA Area Chamber Home For Good Task Force and blogs at www.onlyinhollywood.org. @KerryHMorrison

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January 2, 2018

image Dining

Soul Hollywood, A Taste of the South with the Flair of Hollywood

Hollywood, with all its glitz and glam, might be the last place you’d expect to find soul food, but thanks to the newly opened Soul Hollywood, that’s exactly where you can find eclectic interpretations of the southern food you’ve been craving. Chef Giulian Jones takes international influences and infuses them into an extensive menu that’s all his own.

Louisiana Fried Chicken Sandwich from Soul Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Step into this modern, multi-level dining room with plenty of natural light, pale wooden hues and tinges of yellow. The second half-level in the back is perfect for private parties or just a meal with a little privacy. The elongated bar in the front sits opposite a handful of high tops, perfect for that casual meal out with friends.

At weekday lunch, you’ll find salads, sandwiches and other southern specialties making up the bulk of the menu. Whether you’re in the mood for chicken or brisket, barbecue or catfish, Soul’s got plenty of comfort food to satisfy your mid-day appetite.

Cocktails from Soul Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

On the weekend, they’ve got a brunch menu that includes chicken and waffles, soul cakes, biscuits and gravy, and brisket hash — perfect for making the most of your days off. It’s also the perfect time for perusing their cocktail menu, which is a dozen drinks in all, plus six fun, frozen cocktails. It’s never been so fun to drink on Hollywood Boulevard.

At dinner, you’ll find a more extensive selection of small bites including oysters and puff pastries filled with goodies. And the selection of flatbreads are perfect as the main event or snacking on after a salad and before your entree. Mary’s organic chicken is used for their Jerk Spiced Chicken as well as their Soul Fried Chicken, so you know they use the utmost in quality ingredients. The big dish here is their Smoked BBQ Platter, but their Hanger Steak is also popular. The ultimate comfort dish, however, is their Deep Dish Pot Pie, which you can get with either chicken or smoked brisket.

Pan Seared Hangar Steak from Soul Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

As for libations, they’ve got 12 beer taps but also 76 wines by the glass, making it the perfect place to stop in no matter what the occasion. If you can’t decide, you can get a flight of any four beers for easy sipping. Their cocktail list also runs the gambit, with a variety of spirits and flavors to choose from.

Stop into Soul for that soul food craving you’ve been keeping at bay. It’s great for lunch, brunch or dinner — as well as happy hour, which has a selection of appetizers perfect for pairing with whatever you happen to be drinking.

Wild Halibut from Soul Hollywood. (Photo by Esther Tseng)

Soul Hollywood
7046 Hollywood Blvd.
323-962-SOUL


Esther Tseng is a freelance food and drink writer. She has contributed to Eater, Thrillist, LA Tourism, Visit West Hollywood, Serious Drinks, and more. She practices Pilates, spins and snowboards to counter all the calories she consumes and loves to travel, whether for work or leisure.

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December 27, 2017

image Shopping

Get Your Gifts in Tinseltown!

Holiday shopping is in full mode right now, and what better place to find unique gifts that your loved ones will enjoy than Hollywood? We’ve decorated the boulevard, creating the perfect festive atmosphere for your Santa spree! Here are our top pics for holiday shopping in Tinseltown.

Hollywood & Highland

Truly a one-stop shop, the Hollywood & Highland Center has everything you need, with curated retail options ranging from apparel (Guess, Louis Vuitton, Hot Topic, Forever 21, Shoe Palace) to health & beauty (Sephora, MAC) and specialty shops like Sweet! candy store and the Dodgers Clubhouse. There’s sure to be something for everyone here, and the atmosphere is festive with lights and decorations. Plus, while you’re there, you can relieve some holiday stress playing games at Dave & Busters, eating a Street Churro, or having a meal in the dining deck with a great view of Hollywood Boulevard below!

Hollywood & Highland is located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd., conveniently located above the Hollywood/Highland Metro Station.

Amoeba Music

Amoeba has loaded up their stage with stocking stuffers and gift ideas aplenty!! From box sets to action figures, you’ll find something for just about every music & movie fan. The expansive selection also includes books, magazines, apparel and audio equipment in addition to Los Angeles’ best selection of records, compact discs, DVDs, and almost every other format imaginable! Amoeba is located at 6400 Sunset Blvd.

Space 15 Twenty

This hip collection of shops is anchored by Urban Outfitters and UO Home, and includes Pharmacy Board Shop, Free People, as well as Umami Burger and Hairroin Salon. It’s the perfect place to shop for the hipsters on your list! Everything from vinyl records to Instax instant cameras (and accessories) are available here, along with clothing, beauty products, and home goods. Space15Twenty is located at 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd.

Old Hollywood

This historic section of Hollywood Boulevard, which features many original buildings dating back to Hollywood’s golden era, includes a cornucopia of unique retail experiences unlike anywhere else! For those really difficult-to-shop-for people on your list, interesting gifts abound from legacy businesses like Hollywood Toys & Costumes, Larry Edmunds Bookshop, and Starworld. And for really creative types, there’s the LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) Gallery bookstore, and our own Old Hollywood Walking Tour (gift certificates available). While you’re shopping in Old Hollywood, enjoy a meal at the exceptional Loteria Grill, see a magic show at Black Rabbit Rose, or have a drink above it all at the Mama Shelter rooftop bar! Old Hollywood is located on Hollywood Boulevard, between Wilcox Ave. and Cherokee Ave.

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December 15, 2017

image Shopping

Hollywood Toys & Costumes: Historic Costume Retailer Thrives on the Boulevard

Hollywood Toys & Costumes started on Hollywood Boulevard in 1950, according to social media manager and customer service representative Megan Lysholm.

Now, the renowned store is approaching 70-years in business. This longtime retailer has a diverse selection of merchandise including games, collectibles, wigs, makeup, and of course, costumes for all ages.

Hollywood Toys and Costumes is a fully-stocked, one-stop shop for all your party, holiday, and entertainment needs. (courtesy photo)

Lysholm explains “The store used to have more of a focus on toys, and we do still sell many board games, Legos, and Funko Pop figures. But we’ve shifted our focus more toward the costume aspect of our store.”

Board games for sale at Hollywood Toys & Costumes. (courtesy photo)

The reason for the shift is due to a variety of elements, Lysholm says, including the increased popularity of Halloween celebrations. “Halloween wasn’t what it was today back in 1950,” she notes. “Also, this location has become a mecca for costumes, props and accessories. We’re known for providing anything relating to costuming for filming in the area.”

Because of the new Star Wars film coming out, the most popular items in the store right now are – no surprise – Star Wars costumes.  While the store offers a full range of character ensembles, space adventure attire is not the only current favorite. “We also find ugly holiday sweaters and Santa costumes to be extremely popular this season,” Lysholm said. Additionally, the store carries more obscure holiday costumes, such as those from A Christmas Story, costumes which are also proving popular.

Star Wars costumes available at Hollywood Toys and Costumes. (courtesy photo)

During the busy Halloween season, the store sells many traditional costumes such as zombies and vampires, but has also see a large rise in super hero costumes, based in part on Marvel and DC comics and their increased traction in recent films.

In the toy category, Funko pop figures depict popular characters of all different types, from wrestlers to film characters such as those in Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Secret Life of Pets. Funco creates a series of figures that are highly coveted as collectors’ items. “They’ve really exploded for us in recent years. They make good holiday gifts, too,” Lysholm says.

Along with these top-selling choices, there are also some incredibly unique items available at Hollywood Toys & Costumes. “We have some collector costumes such as molded armor for knight costumes, and some custom Star Wars costumes, the types of items that your regular Halloween store just won’t stock,” Lysholm asserts. The store also carries props, masks, lingerie, and even party supplies.

And also unlike standard Halloween shops, Hollywood Toys & Costumes is open year ‘round, despite the common misconception that they close seasonally. “We are very much here all year long, with items that work well for events every month of the year,” Lysholm explains.

And besides the items that they carry, the store offers something else to customers: a complete experience that includes helping shoppers to find costumes, get fittings, and even receive additional costuming services. “We have make-up artists and wig stylists in the store. “We have people working here who know elements of the industry that you just wouldn’t get any other place,” Lysholm says.

Wigs, and wig stylists are available at Hollywood Toys and Costumes. (courtesy photo)

The result: the perfect look, and lots of fun achieving it.

Hollywood Toys & Costumes
6600 Hollywood Blvd.
(323) 464-4444


Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own www.diversionsLA.com.

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December 14, 2017

image Community

Hollywood Lights Up the Holidays

After an absence of four years, holiday lighting returned to Hollywood Boulevard for the 2017 holiday season, as a result of a joint effort between the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Entertainment District (HED). A lighting ceremony was held to show off the new decorations on Monday, November 20th at 6 p.m. at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue, adjacent to the Metro Station.

Leron Gubler, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce; Jeff Loeb, Pantages Theatre; Jeff Zarrinnam, Hollywood Hotel; and Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell at the holiday lighting ceremony on November 20 in Hollywood. (Photo by Marlene Panoyan/Hollywood Chamber of Commerce)

The event was emceed by Leron Gubler, President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber. Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District participated in the event. “Some of Hollywood’s most iconic destinations will sparkle even brighter this holiday season thanks to the Bureau of Street Lighting, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and the Hollywood Entertainment District. These seasonal lights will be sure to spread some holiday cheer for residents and visitors alike,” O’Farrell said.

The Chamber and HED worked together on the project since the beginning of July. A request for proposals was sent out to lighting décor firms, and three companies were interviewed by a joint panel. Based on the interviews, the firm of St. Nick’s Commercial Design & Décor, based in Long Beach, was selected.

Under the agreement between the Chamber and HED, the Chamber made the initial investment in purchasing the decorations and the HED will handle the ongoing maintenance, including installation and removal.

Palm trees wrapped in new holiday lighting on Hollywood Boulevard near Highland Ave. (Photo by Gary Leonard)

“We are pleased to bring even more glitter to Tinseltown this season with spectacular new lights,” said Kerry Morrison, executive director of the Hollywood Entertainment District.  “Plus, with the addition of new permanent lighting, residents and visitors to Hollywood Boulevard will get a dose of Hollywood magic all year long.”

The decorations were installed one block either side of the intersections of Hollywood Boulevard with Vine Street and Highland Avenue.

The decorator wrapped 54 palm trees with permanent lighting, and each tree outfitted with two RGB lamps installed under the crown of the tree to light up the palm fronds. In addition, 27 city light poles were adorned with custom-made pole-mounted decorations with a star theme, installed along with decorated commercial green garland with LED lights.

Light poles on Hollywood Boulevard decorated with holiday ornaments, with the Roosevelt Hotel in the background. (Photo by Gary Leonard)

The tree lights will be kept up all year, while the decorations will be removed after New Year’s Day. What is especially exciting is that the RGB lamps can be programmed with different colors, which will enable the HED to change the lighting to different colors depending on the holiday.

“We believe the decorations will make an enormous difference along the Boulevard and will help to bring back a festive spirit,” Gubler said. “We are pleased to have been able to work with the Hollywood Entertainment District to bring back the decorations.”

See the Beverly Press/Park LaBrea News article.

Holiday decorations at Hollywood & Vine. (Photo by Gary Leonard)


About the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce

For more than 96 years, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has provided leadership, business development resources, networking, and government affairs programs and services to keep the Hollywood business and residential communities safe, relevant and economically vital. Jeff Zarrinnam of Hollywood Hotel, is the Chair of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2017-18, and Leron Gubler is the President/CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. For more information please visit www.hollywoodchamber.net.

About the Hollywood Entertainment District

The Hollywood Entertainment District property business improvement district (BID) is funded by approximately 400 property owners who assess themselves more than $3.4 million annually to pay for cleaning, security, streetscape and marketing services to help deliver a vibrant experience at the epicenter of the entertainment capital of the world.

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December 12, 2017

image Entertainment

The Future is Now: Hologram USA Hollywood

Still in soft-opening mode, the Hologram USA Theater in Hollywood has only just begun blasting viewers into the future of cinema. Open three weeks, the venue, according to founder and CEO Alki David, will have a gift store next door as well as full concessions very soon.

“We are doing a lot of live music events for television as well as daily Hologram shows to the public. It is our flagship theater for the west coast as we roll out theaters around the country,” David attests. “We have a pipeline of events planned with Universal Music Group.”

David explains that he opened the theater because he believes it’s “a whole shift in the concept of live entertainment. This is by far the most innovative tech platform for entertainment and advertising.”

David has a PhD in film sciences and attended the Royal College of Art in London receiving a master of the arts, leading to a career in film. “I’ve made and been in many movies and own the world’s biggest library of negatives and printable media,” he says. “I own streaming companies as well,” he adds.

David founded ETV Ltd. in 2007, serving as Hologram USA’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer since that time. Overall, he’s worked in the global digital media industry for over 15 years as an investor, entrepreneur and executive.

And with this experience under his belt, he saw the future as holographic.

Since 2003, Hologram USA’s parent company Anakando Ltd., owned by David, has produced over 700 successful projects in a bid to change the way viewers participate in and experience live events and communication.

While standard 3D experiences have tended to wane for theater owners and attendees, David says that Hologram USA fills the room for live action events, which are simulcast to many theaters at the same time. Essentially, the Hologram USA Hollywood theater offers real-life 3D images without glasses.

The system uses a patented projection technique, which creates the feel of a celebrity or performance being right on stage in front of the viewer.

Music fans will love that Hologram USA holds exclusive rights to holographic images and performances of artists such as Whitney Houston, The Jackson 5 hosted by Jermaine Jackson, Buddy Holly, Bernie Mac and over 25 others.

Along with creating content for Disney/ABC-TV and Universal Music Groups, the company has also pioneered with events such as the Sci-Fi Channel pilot Ghostbusters, Tupak Shakur’s holographic appearance at the Coachella Music Festival, and Fast & Furious Supercharged: Universal Studios Hollywood tram tour. Another highlight for the company was the production of the recent Mariah Carey: T-Mobile Hologram Concert, as well as Jimmy Kimmel Live: Country Music Awards Crossover. Daily live-stand-up comedy, live boxing, a burlesque “Sexy Hollywood Freak Show,” and Live MMA Cage Fighting are among the offerings the theater will be hosting, along with music concerts in partnership with Universal Music and Universal Music Latin America.

When the gift shop adjoining Hologram USA Theater is fully up and running, David promises an epic experience for visitors to the shop as well as the theater.

“We’ll have a make your own karaoke hologram experience, CBD infused products, and the usual merchandise such as T-shirts and collectibles,” he notes. The Make Your Own Hologram experience was created in partnership with the Universal Music Group. It will allow participants to choose from several exciting 3-minute interactive karaoke-like hologram events with artists that include J-Lo, Ricky Martin & Pitbull, and Mariah Carey. There will also be a variety of non-singing hologram experiences to engage with, such as tribal dancers, a contortionist, a flamenco dancer, and ballet, burlesque, and contemporary dancers.

Whether creating a hologram memory that thrills for a lifetime, or watching a holographic event on the big screen, the Hologram USA Hollywood Theater promises an innovative and unique cinematic experience for participants.

Hologram USA Theater
6656 Hollywood Blvd.
www.hologramusa.com


Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and journalist, and produced screen and television writer. Passionate about everything-Los Angeles, you can see her work in the arts on her own www.diversionsLA.com.

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December 6, 2017