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Friday April 19th 2019

Travel – Los Angeles: Hollywood 6


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Crossroads of the World, 6671 Sunset Boulevard
You Are The Star – the famous Wilcox Avenue mural

On to Wilcox Avenue and take a quick look south from Hollywood Boulevard to catch the famous You Are The Star Mural which places the great stars of the Golden Age, including Humphrey BogartLauren BacallJames DeanBurton and Taylor, in rows of movie theatre seats while you – the viewer – are the star. You may have noticed the mural used as the exterior of ‘Lipton’s’, the restaurant into which Mia (Emma Stone) is drawn by the haunting piano music in Damien Chazelle’s not-quite-Best-Picture winner La La Land. In fact, the building is not a jazz – or any other kind of – club. It's the offices of Muse LifeStyle group.

Crossroads of the World, 6671 Sunset Boulevard
Crossroads of the World – an open-air shopping mall passing itself off as an ocean liner

Back to Las Palmas and turn south to Sunset to see the illuminated spire and revolving globe of the Crossroads of the World, 6671 Sunset Boulevard, a 1936 open-air shopping mall passing itself off as an ocean liner, complete with portholes, gracefully sailing into various European ‘villages’. Now converted into offices, this is where Diana Murphy (Demi Moore) works in Indecent Proposal, and also where Sid Hudgens (Danny De Vito) runs the scandalous Hush! Hush! magazine in L.A . Confidential.

Crossroads of the World, 6671 Sunset Boulevard
Pantages Theatre – home of Broadway musicals

And talking of Curtis Hanson’s classy neo-noir, a little east on Hollywood Boulevard, the striking bank building with the huge deco tower at 5620 Hollywood Boulevard was temporarily transformed into ‘El Cortez’ picture house for the ‘Movie Premiere Pot Bust’ scene.

Pantages Theater, 6233 Hollywood Boulevard hosts the premiere of the director's masterpiece, Plan 9 From Outer Space, in Tim Burton’s Ed Wood (on the outside at least – the interior is downtown’s Orpheum), though nowadays it's a legit theatre specialising in big musical transfers from Broadway.

You should catch a live performance at Pantages, if only to get a look at the lobby – extravagant enough to be passed off as a wildly exotic nightclub in Species, and as ‘Gotham Casino’ in Batman Forever.

Bob’s Frolic Room, 6245 Hollywood Boulevard
1930s dive bar – Bob's Frolic Room

Clubs and restaurants change owners and names with dizzying frequency. One drinkery that hasn’t changed is Bob’s Frolic Room, 6245 Hollywood Boulevard, a surviving Thirties, neon-fronted dive bar alongside the Pantages Theater. Great juke box and elegant Al Hirschfield cartoons on the wall. Jack Vincennes (Kevin Spacey) grabs a stiff drink here in – yes – L.A. Confidential again.

Pantages was, for a while in the Fifties, home to the Oscar ceremony and the Frolic Room found itself centre of the after-party drinkies.

As you unwind, make sure your designated driver keeps one eye on the car. ‘Shannon’, one of the classic cars stolen in the 2001 remake of Gone In 60 Seconds, is taken from outside the Frolic.

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