Monday, May 9, 2016

Five (cheap) things I'd want to do in Hollywood

I'm slowly going through the reports from this year's TCM Classic Film Festival in Los Angeles, and once again, I'm envious. Between the thrill of seeing great movies with enthusiastic audiences, schmoozing with stars, and hobknobbing with friends, the overall experience sounds very similar to the San Diego Comic-Con. I found my week at that annual event exciting, but also overwhelming at times, and if ever I make it to the TCM Fest, I imagine it would be much the same.

Movie fans everywhere dream of coming to visit Hollywood. I know I do. I fear, though, that La-La-Land is probably at least as expensive as the Big Apple. If I were to spend, say, a week in Hollywood, obviously I wouldn't get to see and do everything I'd want, but here are a few things I feel pretty sure I could do without knocking over a bank to pay for the experience.

- Check out movie locations. I did this when I went to Philadelphia last year, and a quick Google search reveals pages upon pages of guided film tours offered throughout LA. They say nobody walks in LA, but plenty of walking tours are available too, and I imagine a number of them would include buildings that have been used in movies.

- See a movie at the New Beverly. Quentin Tarantino's movie house has much to recommend it: an all-celluloid selection (35 or 16mm) of an eclectic film lineup, for a variety of tastes. Yes, the TCL Chinese has the history, and I'd go there, too, but I would also want to support a place like this, that still shows films on nitrate stock.

- Visit the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The macabre yet slightly thrilling experience of strolling amidst the graves of old Hollywood stars is one thing, but did you know they show concerts and movies there too? Seeing a movie in a cemetery... that's a bucket list item if ever there was one.

- Get my picture taken with every Trek star on the Walk of Fame. Naturally.

 - Hiking to the Hollywood Sign. You can't actually walk right up and touch the letters of the sign that spells "Hollywood," but there are hiking tours that get you pretty close, and of course, you get spectacular views of LA and the surrounding environs as well. There are even different levels of difficulty, though I'd opt for the easiest.

Feel free to share your stories of visiting Hollywood if you have any.


  1. Those would be great things to do. I went to Hollywood for just one evening with some friends when I was visiting LA, but it was part of a whirlwind trip out west with only one or two days in each city. For the few hours we were there, we visited Grauman's Chinese Theater (is that what it's even called anymore?). I remember and have pictures of me putting my hands down on the prints of Jimmy Stewart and a few other people...oh, Tom Hanks is one. I have a picture of my friend with Barbra Streisand's prints.

    Back then, it was film only, no digital, so the quality is hit and miss. I remember a film commercial, or maybe a camera one, that showed bad and good pictures at the Chinese Theater, and I remember thinking, "Yep... some of my pictures are dark like that, too." Maybe some day I'll get to take some more.

    Other than that, we just went out for dinner. We didn't fit much in. I would LOVE to go see a movie or two at the New Beverly. I follow them on Twitter, and it just makes me jealous to see all of the great films they show. Also, reading Patton Oswalt's book, Silver Screen Fiend, made me really want to go there.

  2. That's not bad for a few hours. I wouldn't know where to begin with so little time.


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