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This lavish pantheon of fame and glamor captured in wax is one of Hollywood’s crown jewels. Hailing from London, Madame Tussauds brings to Hollywood its world-class interactive viewing entertainment, great for all ages. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, just next to Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the museum is hard to miss due to its prepossessing open-air facade with a few wax figures casually spilling out on the sidewalk. Come in and stroll the vast grounds populated with the rich and famous (as well as the infamous) and the beautiful and formidable. Photography and handling are a must. Whether it is shaking hands with President Obama or wrapping your arm around Mae West that is more your thing, you will be exhilarated by the lifelike, vivid portrayals and infinite photo ops.
Formally Grauman's Chinese Theatre, TCL Chinese Theatre is known as one of the best landmarks in Hollywood. Many people visit this theater not to see first-run motion pictures, but to gaze at the famous hand and footprints on the ground outside. It's a quintessential Los Angeles tourist ritual and well worth the trip. The theater itself is one of the oldest and largest in town. The screen is massive and the sound is top-notch. Enter the Pagoda-like structure of this movie hall with dragons and lions welcoming you into the premises. Check out the exotic interiors and revel in the glory of days gone by. There is no charge to wander around the open-air patio "walk-of-fame" on the side-walk. Ticket prices vary depending on showtimes.
Originally built in 1926, this theater was completely renovated in 1991 by Pacific Theatres and The Walt Disney Company. It's now a premier movie palace that Disney uses to showcase its animated and children's features. Special features begin with a live stage show with a singing and dancing chorus of familiar Disney characters. Often short cartoons will precede the main show. Be sure to call or check the website for the movie and show times.
The Hollywood United Methodist Church in Hollywood is an epic architectural masterpiece. The Church has Gothic influences evident in its architecture and the high arched ceilings, pointed arches and the sanctuary itself is massive. The stained glass with beautiful designs is an impressive sight. One can also get involved in the various activities and workshops. Attend inspiring sermons, lectures, debates, discussions, music sessions and services. Check website for more details.
Hollywood Boulevard was where Richard Gere met Juliet Roberts in the classic film Pretty Woman, and perhaps this is what this boulevard is most known for. Called Prospect Avenue during the early 19th century, this street quickly fell into decay and became synonymous with crime, drugs and prostitution. Predictably enough, recent renovations have now restored its former splendor with some of the poshest discotheques, bars and salons setting up base here. This is where celebrities like Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan hang out. The famous Hollywood Walk of Fame is a sidewalk off the boulevard.
Anyone longing for a piece of Tinseltown history should certainly spend some time at Whitley Heights. Some of the most impressive homes in Hollywood are found here. All of the homes were developed in the 20s and 30s by Hobart J. Whitley and remain in very good condition today. This was a mini-Beverly Hills of yesteryears, where stars like Marion Davies, Rudolph Valentino, Ethel Barrymore and many others lived and partied. Whitley, who had great admiration for Italian architecture, built these homes into the hillside and dubbed the community an "Italian Hill Town."
Located on the block of Sunset taken up entirely by famous music stores selling guitars, amps and sundry musical gear, Guitar Center presides over the lot as the undisputed pantheon of rock 'n' roll past and present. Established in 1964, Guitar Center on Sunset is the original flagship store, which spawned hundreds of outlets nationwide over the decades. Sporting giant pictures of guitar deities along its enormous façade and a rock 'n' roll walk of fame up front, the grand emporium proudly declares its historical gravitas. Inside, you will find one of the vastest selections of guitars and other stage instruments the world over, including some very rare and precious vintages. Knowledgeable staff is on hand to show you around and assist you. -Jamie Zum