Eight Cool Things to Look for On Your Next Trip to Hollywood
July 17, 2014
1. Pretty Woman’s Place: Turn north off Hollywood Blvd at Las Palmas and pretty soon you’ll spot the Las Palmas Hotel at 1738 Las Palmas Avenue. This is the spot where Edward and Vivian rescued each other in “Pretty Woman” on the fire escape of Vivian’s apartment.
Las Palmas Hotel: 1738 Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90028
2. Freemasons & Jimmy Kimmel: If you look above the big red banners on the building where Jimmy Kimmel tapes, you’ll notice a quote carved into the building’s façade that reads, “Freemasonry build its temples among the nations and in the hearts of men.” The building now known as the El Capitan Entertainment Centre was once the Hollywood Masonic Temple, designed by architect John C. Austin, (lead architect of the Griffith Observatory) and commissioned by Charles E. Toberman, the “Father of Hollywood”…and a mason. Rumor has it that a tunnel once used for transporting liquor during Prohibition runs under Hollywood Blvd from the former Grauman’s Chinese Theater to the Masonic Temple, but is now sealed off.
El Capitan Entertainment Centre: 6840 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90028
3. Dancing Pigs: If you look closely at the heavy wooden booths at Miceli’s Italian Restaurant, you will see dancing pigs playing flutes and prancing across their tops. These intricately carved wood and red leather booths were purchased from the original Pig’n Whistle restaurant when it closed its doors in 1949 and moved around the corner to Miceli’s.
Miceli’s Italian Restaurant: 1646 N Las Palmas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028. www.micelisrestaurant.com
4. Speakeasy To The Stars: In 1993, the Stella Adler Theatre moved into the building that once housed The Embassy Club, one of Hollywood’s hottest nightclubs in the 1930s. Years later, during a routine renovation, a hidden speakeasy was uncovered in the building behind a false wall. The room was frozen in time with a full bar and revolving secret bookcase that, when spun, revealed an escape ladder. Ask the nice folks at the school’s front desk, and maybe they’ll let you peek inside.
Stella Adler Theatre: 6773 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. www.stellaadler-la.com
5. Hotel California: If you turn north on Wilcox Avenue from Hollywood Blvd and look up, you’ll see a neon sign marking the historic Lido Apartments on the corner of Yucca.This once glamorous apartment hotel’s lobby was actually the site of the photo shoot for the back cover of the Eagle’s world-famous “Hotel California” album. The 1928 building’s Moorish-style lobby, with its white arches and black chandeliers, provided the perfect setting for a song about a place that welcomes and then traps you. Try to peek inside, if building management will let you…it’s well worth it. (See photo above headline)
Lido Apartments: 6500 Yucca St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
6. Keep Fighting Warner Bros: The twin towers on the now-shuttered Pacific Theatre Building, formerly called the Warner Bros Theatre, were originally used as transmission towers by KFWB, the Warner Bros.-owned radio station located in the building (the call letters were said to stand for “Keep Fighting Warner Bros”). Though covered by “PACIFIC” lettering, the original “WARNERS” lettering can still be seen inside each tower today.
Pacific Theatre: 6433 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
7. Raymond Chandler’s Square: Any fan of L.A. noir will be interested to know why the corner of Hollywood Blvd and Cahuenga boasts a small, brown sign designating it as “Raymond Chandler Square.” In 1994, the Los Angeles City Council declared the corner an official landmark, pinpointing it as the site of Philip Marlowe’s fictitious 6th floor Hollywood office. It is said that Marlowe’s “Cahuenga Building” was likely inspired by the Pacific Security Bank building on the northeast corner.
Raymond Chandler Square: Intersection of Cahuenga and Hollywood Blvd.
8. Good Times at the Frolic Room: The iconic Frolic Room bar, located next to the Pantages Theatre at Hollywood and Vine, is reputed to be the oldest bar in Hollywood. Opened in 1934, the bar was owned and operated by Howard Hughes in the ‘40s and ‘50s who added the eye-catching neon sign that still glows today. Check that out along with the legendary mural on the back wall. Drawn by the great caricaturist Al Hirschfeld in 1963, the mural depicts stars of the ‘30s, including Frank Sinatra, Bette Davis, Louis Armstrong and Groucho Marx. Wonder how many “Ninas” you can find in there?! (Don’t get the reference? Look it up! It’s fun…)
Frolic Room: 6245 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028.
Kim Sudhalter is the President of Urban Legend PR, a full-service public relations, branding and marketing company. She consulted with the Hollywood Entertainment District in its early years, helping to attract investment and revitalize the area. Originally from Europe and New York, she is an architecture and history buff who has a deep and abiding love for Hollywood and its past.