Whenever I think of Hollywood Blvd, I always replay the first scene of Pretty Woman in my head:
Richard Gere: “I want to find Beverly Hills, can you give me directions?”
Julia Roberts: “Sure, for five bucks.”
That pretty much sums up the scene you’ll find today. Well, throw in a few people trying to sell you a $20 tour of celebrity homes and all the look-a-likes trying to earn a buck for a Starbucks sandwich by taking pictures with you, and you’ve got modern day Hollywood Blvd!!
Even with all of that, though, it’s still a fun place to go if you’re looking for that iconic Hollywood experience. Here are four things that made me happy on Hollywood Blvd:
Grauman’s Chinese Theater
This has been the place where ALL the best premieres have taken place since it opened in May of 1927. Fun Fact: Sid Graumen and his business partners spent 2 million dollars building this theater in the twenties!! It’s no wonder why all of the stars flocked to see it! The detail is out of this world and the restoration that’s been done hasn’t altered the original look and detail. It’s beautiful!
Of course, when you think of the Chinese Theater, you also think of the star-studded cement in the Forecourt of the Stars. There are footprints from Tom Hanks and handprints from Shirley Temple. There are autographs from Humphrey Bogart and many, many more! It’s actually a lot of fun to walk around and see who you can find.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
As I walked over some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, it made me wonder, what do these stars really mean?!
Here are five fun facts about the stars…
- The stars represent five entertainment fields: radio, music, film, TV, and live performance and each star costs the actor/musician/radio host (or their sponsor) $40,000 to install. Therefore, even though anyone can nominate a star, that star must accept the nomination.
- It was started in 1960 as a way to beautify Hollywood Blvd and to try to revitalize some of the old Hollywood glamour.
- Gene Autrey has five stars! One in each of the fields available for a star.
- 20-24 stars are selected for a Hollywood Walk of Fame star each year.
- Want to enter a submission for someone to get their star?! Check out the nomination process here.
The Museum of Broken Relationships
This one seems like an odd one, but if you’re into humans and their sense of emotion, then this place is pretty cool. This is a museum that explores “broken love and other human relationships.”
I had my kids with me, so I didn’t explore it completely, but this should be on the list of interesting and far less touristy places to see when you’re on Hollywood Blvd.
Check them out on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brokenshipsla/
Hollywood and Highland Mall
As we toured Hollywood Blvd, I stopped to ask the locals this question, “If you were playing tourist for a day, what would you not want to miss seeing?” The Hollywood and Highland mall was consistently mentioned, so we decided to walk over that way.
It was a great spot to see the Hollywood sign, but I wasn’t sure what the hype about this place really was…and then I realized that we could have (and probably should have, haha) seen the Dolby theater! You know the place where they hold the Academy Awards?! Yeah, this place is where that place lives! I’m not sure how much we would have seen, but I mean at least we could say that we’ve been there, lol.
The one other thing that kept catching my eye while we walked the boulevard was the El Capitan Theater. I couldn’t put my finger on why I had heard of it before, but after doing a little research, I discovered that this is a great place to catch a Disney flick. They say that there’s a Swarvoski Crystal curtain in front of the screen, and they have actual props from the movie, plus concession fare that you’d normally only find at Disneyland itself. How cool is that?! I think I’ll add it to my list of places to check out if we ever find ourselves in Hollywood again.
P.S. Here is a useful tip: Don’t make our mistake and pay $20 for parking when you can get it for $2 for two hours by parking at the mall!
Hope you enjoy!