Archive for October, 2015
The Old Hollywood Movie Theater that Intrigued
Our Private Tour Guests
Sightseeing along Hollywood Boulevard always takes us past an old movie theater that faded away in the 80s and subsequently hosted all sorts of other businesses. The most recent, for the past 6 years, has been Supperclub L.A. A nightclub designed for this time in Hollywood history the club featured wild entertainment and the most contemporary music to dance away the night. The food was good, too. But alas, all things must pass and Supperclub L.A. will suspend operations tonight with a Halloween send off that should rival all the other wild and woolly parties happening over All Hallows Eve weekend. Imagine a frolicking crowd with fabulous costumes drinking and dancing in chaotic frenzy as though everything returns to boring order the next day. That’s what to expect with DJ Reflex pushing the beats and the cast and crew of Supperclub L.A. making sure their last night is remembered on all nights to come. For you party monsters here is a list of other haunting venues to consider for your weekend’s delight. Visitors to our fair city might enjoy an opportunity to join us for a private Dark Side Tour of Los Angeles so you can be creeped out before nightfall and ready to dance until your spirits (or those of past Angelenos) rise up to greet the dawn.
Murder and Mayhem Piques Our
Private Tour Guests’ Interests
Los Angeles, like any major American city, has its share of tabloid murders and scandals. Many of our private Los Angeles tour guests request that we show them the city from this perspective which we are highly qualified to do. Besides more recent show trials like O.J. Simpson and the Mendendez brothers, we can also go back in time through L.A. history to the Manson family massacres and still farther back, to 1947 and the Black Dahlia murder. This front page story in January of that year described the horrible mutilation of 22-year old Elizabeth Short and the lurid discovery of her remains in a part of Los Angeles now called Leimert Park. Nicknamed the Black Dahlia after a recently released film noir, Blue Dahlia, the details of the scene and the investigation titillated readers for months. Despite numerous confessions and suspects no single perpetrator emerged through the months and there was never a prosecution. The sad circumstances led to novels, films and television movies through the years but no additional evidence or facts. Our visiting the present day location where the poor murdered woman was found is a small contribution to keeping her memory alive.
Our Luxury Tour Guests Cannot Believe What They See – But It Is Hollywood
One of the most interesting malls anyone will visit in the U.S. is Hollywood & Highland right in the heart of tinsel town. Designed with a giant archway and two towering columns topped with sitting elephants this relic from ancient history has restaurants, cafés, stores and attractions that any shopping mall would be expected to have. The physical surroundings transport its visitors, and our private Los Angeles tour guests, to another time – the earliest days of Hollywood. In 1916, barely a mile down Hollywood Boulevard, film director D.W. Griffith built a tremendous set to be a part of his epic Intolerance: Love’s Struggles Throughout the Ages. Set in Babylon and starring Lillian Gish, the film piece had to accommodate thousands of people around and on top of the giant structures. Chariots, flaming pyres, ancient armament and uniforms filled the screen. When the filming was concluded the set remained for a considerable time and was something of a sightseeing destination for visitors to Hollywood back in those days. The film set is long gone today and the production lot is now part of a television studio and recording facility. The Hollywood & Highland architects incorporated structures designed to pay tribute to that great film and the history of movies. There is so much more to see and enjoy when visiting Hollywood & Highland be sure to have a private tour guide (with a camera) with you when you visit.
Hollywood Deer Are Friendly with Our
Private Tour and very Photogenic
Perhaps it is the dry hillsides that are bringing the deer closer to neighbors and even right up to our private Los Angeles tour guests as we were walking around Lake Hollywood over near Mulholland Dam. It was still quite early and cool when this animal appeared nearby. Not only was it not startled but it approached our small group on the quiet morning and appeared to give us a big deer smile when we clicked away with our camera. Deer are among the animals we regularly encounter in the hills around Hollywood and Beverly Hills or out in Griffith Park. We also cross paths with skunks and raccoons. Rarer, but not uncommon, are coyotes. Bobcats, rattlesnakes, cougars and bears, thankfully never though we know they are out there….watching us. We respect their territory and they allow us to pass. All of our staff love the animals and speak respectfully of them and their right to live where they have always lived. We only want them in our photos. Maybe one day they will pose for us beneath the Hollywood Sign. We would change our company logo with that photograph.
Our Large Private Tour Group from Australia
Step Up to Hollywood
We do not restrict the size of our private Los Angeles tour in any way. If we cannot seat everyone in our luxury SUVs then we get a bigger vehicle. In this case it was a luxury-appointed Sprinter (from Mercedes). We know how important it is to keep our families and their friends together to share the entire experience of sightseeing in Los Angeles, along its beaches, to downtown and the historic core of the city and, naturally, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. Here our group dances up the stairs of the Dolby Theatre giving their own thumbs up/thumbs down to the academy award winning films throughout history honored on the columns lining the promenade and red tiled staircase. Their guide tells them about the Oscar ceremonies hosted at this location and other lesser known tales and gossip that we share with our custom tour guests on an excursion through time and film in Hollywood. And what tour of Hollywood is complete without a visit at the most famous landmark in all of Los Angeles….the Hollywood Sign.
Spread Out the Joy of a Private Tour of Los Angeles
over Several Days
There is no reason not to see as much of Los Angeles on a visit here as you can. Rather than squeezing as much as possible into as short a time as possible we suggest planning several days for an extended private Los Angeles tour with us. No matter how large your family or travel group we can customize a tour to get you to all the best sights to see and destinations to enjoy. Our large happy group from Australia spent a day sightseeing in Hollywood and Beverly Hills and along the coast, learning about the city’s history and how we became a center of culture and industry through the past two centuries. Another day we spent learning about all things Walt Disney during a visit to his Magic Kingdom of Disneyland in Anaheim. Our guides are well versed in the history and details of the park and know all the ins-and-outs. Plus, we get amazing photographs because we practice all the time. A third day of touring was spent at Universal Studios Hollywood where we embarked on their very special VIP Experience, a somewhat private exploration of the park and studio with lots of perks that the tram riders do not get to enjoy (breakfast, lunch, front-of-line access, Q&As with the performers after the shows plus a guide with a show schedule whose sole purpose is to see that every show is seen and enjoyed at just the right time….in other words – no waiting. You just can’t beat the Universal VIP Experience for its informative nature and private enjoyment of the studio.
Our Private Tour Guests Get to See Angels Flight
but Do Not Get to Ride
Angels Flight is a remarkable tiny railroad that has moved people up and down Bunker Hill since 1901. True, the original location of the railway was developed in the late 1960s and the entire operation was moved nearby to continue its service. The two cars, Sinai and Olivet, save commuters a steep climb and descent from the lower downtown area to the top of a the busy financial district. For those who like numerical details the grade is 33% and runs 315 feet. Our TBT (throwback Thursday) vintage color photo is definitely mid-century (20th) and features the 3rd Street tunnel in dowtown Los Angeles (DTLA). Despite having transferred more passengers per mile than any other railroad the tiny railway has had its share of problems, both engineering and financial. Cleared for safety and ready to return to operation at this time money is the significant issue keeping Angels Flight closed. To remedy this a fundraiser has been organized on behalf of this historic feature of our city. On Thursday, November 5th (7-11pm) at the beautifully restored Million Dollar Theater in L.A.’s Broadway District, there will be a fascinating program featuring the classic noir film M by Joseph Losey in which Angels Flight is seen. There will also be a presentation by a local historian talking about Angels Flight through the years illustrated with rare photographs and film clips. You can be sure we will be prompting our private Los Angeles tour guests in town at that time to take advantage of this opportunity to learn from real historians about the early days of L.A. and this amazing piece of its story while helping to return to service the little railroad that could.
Our Private Tour Stops for Amusement Rides
Direct the guide driving your private Los Angeles tour to take you to the beach. There, so close to Hollywood and downtown L.A. you can ride a Ferris Wheel 130′ above the breaking waves with breathtaking views of the coast and Santa Monica Bay. Santa Monica boasts the world’s only solar powered Ferris Wheel which is illuminated with more than 160,000 LED lights. This is the latest incarnation of the 1893 invention of George Washington Gale Ferris which thrilled visitors to Chicago’s World’s Columbian Exposition and one-upped the French Eiffel Tower unveiled four years earlier. It is also the second Ferris Wheel to occupy this location on the Santa Monica Pier situated at the reputed end (or beginning) of Route 66. Pacific Park, the pier’s amusement park, offers a roller coaster and other amusement park rides as well as carnival games, souvenirs and plenty of food our custom luxury tour guests would rather their children not eat. However, the cool breeze and cleansing ocean air make the dietary indulgences acceptable. The seagulls stand around eagerly awaiting spilled popcorn and other human produced refuse not quite making it to trash receptacles.
Back to the Future Day is Tomorrow for
Every Private Tour We Do
After 30 years the Back to the Future trilogy still attracts loving fans to the time travel adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown. For many years there was the Back to the Future ride at Universal Studios Hollywood to remind and enthrall visitors, including our own private Los Angeles tour guests, of the fun and energy of the movies. The ride is now gone, replaced by the Simpsons Ride, but there are still memories all around the studio and City Walk that our guides like to talk about….memories like City Hall (above) where our fun friends from down under posed while searching for the lightning rod in the clock tower and checking the weather (we very seldom get lightning in Los Angeles). Tomorrow is Back to the Future Day where movie theaters and other venues will be presenting the entire trilogy for fans. In Hollywood we will point out two incredible movie palaces, the Cinerama Dome and Grauman’s Chinese Theater, where our guests can go see all three films at one time. For real die hard fans we will explain that a nearby community, Puente Hills, has the mall where the parking lot proved a perfect time portal runway for Doc’s DeLorean time machine. The mall’s 20-screen AMC theater will show the movies and there are other activities planned throughout the week for nostalgia seekers to relive the joy of Back to the Future.
The Music Starts Here on a Private Tour
Our private Los Angeles tour pulls over on Sunset Boulevard in the morning across from the Roxy Theatre. The street is quiet. The club is closed. Our guide has Neil Young playing softly on our fine SUV sound system. It is a long idle because there is so much to say about the history of this entertainment venue. More than 40 years ago, Lou Adler, David Geffen, Peter Asher and their other notable music industry partners opened a new club in a distinctive location in the heart of the Sunset Strip. Their intent was to not only feature well known music acts but to bring to the public’s attention upcoming groups that would rock their world. The club opened with Neil Young and along the way discovered many groups that are Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame material. There were too many famous albums recorded at The Roxy to note here but the Beatles were among the many incredible artists who played here (U2, Maroon 5, Van Morrison). Pee Wee Herman made his name with a regular show here when he was starting and Hedwig and the Angry Inch was staged here in 2006 and 2012. The owners also created a private club above the main area, On the Rox, as an oasis for celebrities and artists and anyone who could procure membership. Our guides have stories about that, too. All sorts of stories can be told about The Roxy and the Los Angeles music scene…enough to fill an entire luxury tour.