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Old Hollywood Walking Tour Launches May 26

May 22, 2017

Having moved our office to Hollywood Blvd., halfway between the happening intersections at Highland Avenue and Vine Street, the staff of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance began to fully understand the historic nature of this section of Hollywood. Indeed, our research brought us to the conclusion that this area is where Hollywood, the neighborhood, truly got its start. From the first movie theatre, to the first hotel and doctor’s office, this little stretch played host to many of Hollywood’s firsts, and many of those original buildings are still standing to this day.

Inspired by the legacy of this area, the staff decided to hire historian April Brooks Clemmer to fully research Hollywood’s origins and to bring together the property owners to craft a vision forward that would protect and breathe new life into the hallowed grounds of what we are now calling “Old Hollywood.”

Having initially walked the area with property owners who told their own stories about the buildings they represent, Clemmer pieced together a narrative describing what was it like to witness Hollywood’s transformation from a tiny suburb of Los Angeles to the glamorous film capital of the world. After testing the tour for several months, we are now launching this tour as an experience open to all! On this tour, you will learn the history of Hollywood from around 1885-1960, and have a chance to peek inside some of the hidden gems on the boulevard. Join us to learn the story of how Hollywood transformed from a sleepy little town of orange groves into the center of the world’s entertainment industry…in less than 50 years! Take a walk back in time to visit the homes, shops, theaters, offices and restaurants that define Hollywood’s historic identity.

You’ll visit the oldest residential home on Hollywood Boulevard, go inside a theater that hosted star-studded premieres during Hollywood’s golden age, and sip a drink where Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks unwound after a long day of filming, and where writers like F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway wrote classic American novels.

Our destinations include:

  • Hollywood’s first and most famous movie theaters
  • The oldest remaining residence on the Boulevard
  • The longest continuously-operating restaurant in Hollywood
  • Architecturally iconic buildings
  • Hollywood’s premiere shopping district during its Golden Age

Along the way you’ll see how the story of Hollywood is still unfolding as the modern-day artists and creatives continue to reinvent their neighborhood while honoring its storied past. Tickets cost $20 each. The tour is regularly scheduled for the last Friday of each month at 10:00 a.m. Additional dates and times are offered as needed, and private, group, and Spanish language tours are available by arrangement (click here to e-mail your requests). 

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SEE WHAT THE MEDIA IS SAYING!

 NBC LOS ANGELES – “NEW: OLD HOLLYWOOD HISTORY TOUR”

CURBED LA: TOURING OLD HOLLYWOOD (FACEBOOK LIVE VIDEO)

LARCHMONT BUZZ: NEW OLD HOLLYWOOD TOUR SHOWS “HISTORY HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT”

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We would like to thank Hollywood Heritage for their assistance and cooperation in the planning of this historic walking tour, and Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives for the use of their historic photos in the program and on the tour.

ABOUT THE TOUR GUIDE

April Brooks Clemmer developed a passionate love of Hollywood from reading biographies of her favorite movie stars. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a degree in Fashion Marketing, she moved to Hollywood to indulge her fascination with Tinsel Town. She is a member of the Hollywood Heritage Preservation Committee, and has served as a research consultant on the web series “Hollywood Trades.” In addition to leading the Old Hollywood Walking Tour, she designs custom private tours of historic Hollywood. When she’s not studying classic Hollywood, she loves to shop for vintage clothing and experiment with classic hair and makeup styles. Visit her website at www.aprilclemmer.com.

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