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February 2010
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Archive for February, 2010

LA Adventure Specialist - 12:28 28 February 2010

LA River – Filming locations

File:Grease car race LA river.jpgNumerous films and television programs have featured various sites along the Los Angeles River, many of which involve the river as a sinister plot location. Films involving the river include The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th DimensionChinatownThem!,Blue ThunderEscape from L.A.Terminator 2: Judgment DayGreaseVolcanoPoint BlankFreaky Friday (1976 film)RoadblockHot Rod GirlBlood in Blood OutBoomtown,This ChristmasRizeThe CoreRepo ManThe Italian JobOne Eight SevenPoint BreakGone in 60 SecondsTransformers24The Gumball RallyTo Live and Die in L.A.,The First PowerPurple RainL.A. ZombieThe Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and many others, including a skit on the show Jackass in which Johnny Knoxville tries to jump a section on roller blades, but breaks his ankle. Discovery Channel filmed scenes of The Colony in the Los Angeles River, where the participants drank water and ate fish from the river. Los Angeles River served as the starting line for the fifteenth season of The Amazing Race.   Quite witty that is is referred to as a “river” but you have definitely seen it before, if not on the screen then perhaps on “sightseeing tours Los Angeles.”  Personally I am a big fan of the Terminator scenes and often think about how much fun it would be to take a Harley up the river basin!  On winter days when the river is actually flowing, a jet ski scene would be cool too; that idea is on me, Hollywood!

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LA Adventure Specialist - 11:00 25 February 2010

The 82nd Academy Awards

File:82nd Academy Awards poster.jpg The 82nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will honor the best films of 2009 and will take place March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It will be televised in the United States on ABC. Actors Alec Baldwinand Steve Martin will host the show. Martin will host for the third time, after previously presiding over the73rd and 75th ceremonies, while Baldwin will host the show for the first time. Co-producer Adam Shankman revealed in an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air that he and co-producer Bill Mechanic had originally chosen Sacha Baron Cohen as the host, but the Academy rejected this idea because Cohen was “too much of a wild card” allegedly.

The preparation of the “startastic” event shuts down Hollywood Blvd. between Orange and Highland, but is never-the-less “entertaining chaos” on Hollywood tours, prior to, the day of, and post event. It is also always impressive to see the amount of, and variety of security provided at almost every level.  If I had to bet, I would say Hollywood’s Elite gets more security than the President; at least for a day!

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LA Adventure Specialist - 6:22 18 February 2010

Musso & Frank Grill

Musso & Frank Grill is a world famous restaurant located at 6667 Hollywood Boulevard in the Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Opened in 1919, it is steeped in Hollywood history, having been the hideout of a host of famous Hollywood celebrities from days gone by. It is named for original owners Joseph Musso and Frank Toulet.

As Hollywood’s oldest eatery (since 1919), Musso & Frank is the paragon of Old Hollywood grillrooms. In its heyday it was a popular destination for Hollywood’s elite, including movie stars, film directors and producers and the great writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, Charles Bukowski, William Faulkner, Raymond Chandler and Ernest Hemingway drank here during their screenwriting days and where Orson Welles used to hold court. The waiters can point out their favorite booths and tell stories about which books were partially written here. Legend has it that Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, and Douglas Fairbanksraced each other down Hollywood Boulevard on horseback, the loser having to pick up the dinner tab at Musso & Frank’s.

Noted as one of the most nostalgic things to do in Hollywood; the restaurant is featured in a scene in the 1994 Tim Burton film Ed Wood in a scene where Ed Wood, Jr meets his heroOrson Welles.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 6:17 17 February 2010

Koreatown LA

Koreatown (often abbreviated K-town) is a neighborhood in the Mid-Wilshire district of the city ofLos Angeles, California. Home to a population of 340,000 and covering just under 5-square-mile,  it has the highest population density of all neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Only Midtown Manhattan, downtown Manhattan, parts of San Francisco, and Chicago’s North Side neighborhoods rank higher in density in the United States.

The neighborhood is in the midst of a construction boom that has helped fuel an influx of hipsters and gay & lesbian residents priced out from nearby Los Feliz and West Hollywood. Koreatown is ranked America’s 8th Fuel-Efficient Neighborhood for 2008 by Forbes Magazine and is considered one of the top walkable neighborhoods in the nation, and many times over looked as one of the fascinating things to do in Los Angeles.

Today, Koreatown leads Los Angeles in its effort for gentrification. The neighborhood is known for its many commercial and residential mid and high rise towers, its rich collection of pre-1940 brick colonial revival buildings, Asian high fashion boutiques, and holding the largest concentration of nightclubs and 24-hour businesses and restaurants in Southern California. It was also the location of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 1:07 16 February 2010

Los Angeles Tours

In most cities, a tour takes you to all of the locales that are typically plastered on postcards and used to stereotype the area: Los Angeles is different. While the Hollywood Sign and Dodger Stadium are emblematic of LA, myriad other locations help define the area. Due to this array of attractions, there is no such thing as “one size fits all” Los Angeles tours.

When making your arrangements, it is important to choose a tour catered to what you want to see. Many companies offer a variety of options that have different themes and durations. It’s a good idea to consult everyone in your parry to come to a consensus on what you all want to see.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 6:05 15 February 2010

El Capitan rich history

In the early 1920s, real estate developer Charles E. Toberman (the “Father of Hollywood”) envisioned a thriving Hollywoodtheatre district.[2] With Sid Grauman, he opened the Egyptian (1922), El Capitan (“The Captain”) (1926), and Chinese Theatre (1927).

Today, you simply cannot miss the Theatre on a private Hollywood tour.  In years gone past, El Capitan, dubbed “Hollywood’s First Home of Spoken Drama,” opened as a legitimate theatre on May 3, 1926 withCharlot’s Revue starring Gertrude Lawrence and Jack Buchanan. The design featured a Spanish colonial exterior designed by Stiles O. Clements of the architectural firm of Morgan, Walls & Clements, and a lavish East Indian interior by G. Albert Lansburgh. For a decade it presented live plays, with over 120 productions including such legends as Clark Gable and Joan Fontaine. By the late 1930s, El Capitan felt the economic effects of the Depression, showcasing fewer and fewer productions. This period saw a cycle of experimentation with entertainment. In an effort to boost attendance to the theatre, its management attempted to lure revues, road shows and benefits. Despite these efforts, business was faltering. WhenOrson Welles was unable to locate a theatre owner willing to risk screening Citizen Kane, he turned to El Capitan, and in 1941, Citizen Kane had its world premiere there. The theater then closed for one year.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 12:00 14 February 2010

Oscar’s Telecast History

File:31st Acad Awards.jpgThe Awards show was first televised on NBC in 1953. NBC continued to broadcast the event until 1960 when theABC Network took over, televising the festivities through 1970, after which NBC resumed the broadcasts. ABC once again took over broadcast duties in 1976; it is under contract to do so through the year 2014.

After more than sixty years of being held in late March or early April, the ceremonies were moved up to late February or early March starting in 2004 to help disrupt and shorten the intense lobbying and ad campaignsassociated with Oscar season in the film industry. Another reason was because of the growing TV ratings success of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, which would cut into the Academy Awards audience. The earlier date is also to the advantage of ABC, as it now usually occurs during the highly profitable and important February sweeps period. (Some years, the ceremony is moved into early March in deference to the Winter Olympics.) Date changes never take away from the lure of interest for private tours of Los Angeles that showcase the Oscar’s for many decades!

On March 30, 1981, the awards ceremony was postponed for one day after the shooting of President Ronald Reagan and others in Washington, D.C

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LA Adventure Specialist - 1:37 13 February 2010

Root name of “The Oscar”

The root of the name Oscar is contested. One biography of Bette Davis claims that she named the Oscar after her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson; one of the earliest mentions in print of the term Oscar dates back to a Time magazine article about the 1934 6th Academy Awards and to Bette Davis’s receipt of the award in 1936. Walt Disney is also quoted as thanking the Academy for his Oscar as early as 1932. Another claimed origin is that of the Academy’s Executive Secretary,Margaret Herrick, who first saw the award in 1931 and made reference to the statuette reminding her of her “Uncle Oscar” (a nickname for her cousin Oscar Pierce). This is always a fun topic of discussion on star tours Hollywood.
Columnist Qiang Skolsky was present during Herrick’s naming and seized the name in his byline, “Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette ‘Oscar'” (Levy 2003). The trophy was officially dubbed the “Oscar” in 1939 by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. As of the 81st Academy Awards ceremony held in 2009, a total of 2,744 Oscars have been given for 1,798 awards. A total of 297 actors have won Oscars in competitive acting categories or been awarded Honorary or Juvenile Awards.
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LA Adventure Specialist - 3:30 12 February 2010

The Groundlings

The Groundlings are an improvisational comedy troupe based in Los Angeles, California, USA. The troupe was formed by Gary Austinin 1974 and uses an improv format influenced by Viola Spolin to produce sketches and improvised scenes. The troupe moved into their current location on Melrose Avenue in 1979, and often pointed out on private Hollywood tours.

The Groundlings School holds new sessions every six weeks with over 300 students per session, with over 2,000 students per year going through the program. The competitive program consists of 4 levels (Basic, Intermediate, Writing Lab and Advanced). Participants must be successfully advanced from each level by the instructor. After completing the Advanced level, one may be voted into the Sunday Company, which performs every Sunday at 7:30pm. Members of the Main Company are selected from members of the Sunday Company.

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LA Adventure Specialist - 12:00 11 February 2010

Universal CityWalk

Universal CityWalk is the name given to the entertainment and retail districts located adjacent to the theme parks of Universal Parks & Resorts. Originating as an expansion of Universal’s first park, Universal Studios Hollywood, CityWalk serves as an entrance plaza from the parking lots to the theme parks. CityWalk can also be found at the Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Japan inOsaka, Japan.

CityWalk Hollywood and CityWalk Orlando do have some common tenants, but their respective architectural styles are quite different. Where CityWalk Hollywood incorporates a classic modern blend of Hollywood, CityWalk Orlando is almost entirely modern in appearance. A visit is reccomended; especially on private Los Angeles guided tours.

The Universal CityWalk Hollywood opened in May 1993 adjacent to the isolated Cineplex Odeon cinema. A $1 billion, 93,000 sq ft (8,600 m2). expansion opened in 2000.

CityWalk’s central plaza is topped by a large steel-web canopy with a leaping fountain below, created by WET. A huge television monitor brought in by Panasonic, is located above the multiplex, showing upcoming Universal movie releases, music videos, and NBC Universal promotions stands next to the giant guitar towering over the Hard Rock Cafe.

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