Without a doubt, Los Angeles is one of – if not, the – epicenter of America’s film and television industry. Visitors gravitate to the Hollywood sign, and tours at the big studios or a visit to TCL (formerly Grauman’s) Chinese Theatre, which displays celebrities’ hand- and footprints.
But there are other historical sites too, which you should know about and which make up part of Los Angeles’ rich cultural history.
2301 N Highland Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068
No visit to Los Angeles would be complete without taking in an event at the Hollywood Bowl, an open-air theatre famous for its concentric-domed stage and incredible acoustics. Since its opening in 1922, the Hollywood Bowl has been one of the centres of live music in Southern California.
This vibrant and dynamic venue has welcomed some of the twentieth (and twenty-first) century’s great musicians and performers. Violinists Jascha Heifetz, Itzhak Perlman and Isaac Stern were featured, as well as various conductors from Leonard Bernstein to Stravinsky. Jazz and pop greats from all over the world have been hosted there, even a memorial for George Gershwin upon his death in 1937.
100 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401
Set at Santa Monica’s westernmost point, the Santa Monica Pier is a staple of this seaside city. Constructed in 1909, the storied Santa Monica Pier was the first concrete pier on the West Coast featuring the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel.
This quintessential California landmark is located on the beach in the Ocean Avenue neighbourhood. With great places to eat, shop and play, it has something for everyone, including an historical walking tour for visitors on weekends, a trapeze school, the famous Santa Monica Pier Aquarium, and the annual Twilight on the Pier music festival. (Yahoo Travel named the family-friendly Pacific Park California’s Best Amusement Park.) And the Santa Monica Pier was also dedicated as the official western terminus of Route 66—you can pick up your Route 66 completion certificate there.
4403 West Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505
The Evergreen Stage is known to many film buffs making pilgrimages to Hollywood. It boasts a storied history, one that hearkens back to the Golden Age, when it was known as the Magnolia Theatre.
First built in the 1940s, the Magnolia distinguished itself both for its unique appearance—having a front façade in the shape of the Eiffel Tower—and being used as a glamorous backdrop for classic movies such as Pushover (1954), Night Moves (1975) and more recently, the Oscar-winning La La Land (2016).
Formerly owned by DiaDan Holdings Ltd. of Nova Scotia (DiaDan Holdings purchased the studio in 2010 and owned it until 2017), the Evergreen Stage is a fully-equipped sound stage and recording studio. It features a 3,000 square foot live room and has hosted a long line of musical greats from Placido Domingo to Kelly Clarkson to Paul McCartney.
After the Magnolia closed, The Evergreen was utilized as a sound stage for television programs such as Friends, and Dallas, along with classic film and television projects including Back to the Future, When Harry Met Sally, Urban Cowboy, The Blues Brothers, Star Trek the Motion Picture, Octopussy, The Simpsons Movie, and more.