Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood and Vine’
Capitol Records Stands Out on a Private Tour in Hollywood
Visitors with us on a Los Angeles private tour always notice that the “action” on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood seems to be bounded by Highland Avenue on one side and Vine Street on the other. That is pretty much true. From the 1940s onward this part of the boulevard has always bustled. Despite a brief lull in activity in the 1990s the bustle is back and as exciting as ever. Nightclubs, restaurants, shopping boutiques and movie theaters make this area a destination all day long for locals and visitors. We are mostly around here in the daytime guiding our passengers to their favorite Walk of Fame stars along the gilded sidewalk known all around the world. When we get to Vine Street where there are now golden stars decorating the walkway going north we can enjoy the spectacular building rising up from the street, a building associated with great music and celebrated bands and musicians since 1956. The first “round” office building in the world it was also remarkable for its state-of-the-art recording studios that hosted the Beach Boys and the Beatles just to begin listing some of the great musical artists on the label. We also tell our guests about Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Tony Bennett and then jump to OK Go, Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban. The Walk of Fame stars leading up to the entrance to the famed music capitol include many great musicians. A challenge we like to present to our musically inclined guests is to recall a tune from each artist as we pass their star walking along Vine Street. That really makes our custom tour into a musical mystery tour.
Still a Private Tour Destination in Hollywood
Even if the next generation of visitors to Hollywood are unfamiliar with the sirens call of Hollywood and Vine there remains a considerable amount of Hollywood history to share at this famous intersection. We are thankful that loyal watchers of TCM (Turner Classic Movies), Hollywood and film history buffs and their offspring still know that the phrase “Hollywood and Vine” is significant. The silent movie studios that were near here are long gone and the major studios are miles away from this once central point in the new industry springing up in sunny Los Angeles a hundred years ago. For several decades the movie stars lived, ate, drank and played all around here such that Hollywood and Vine was more than a busy intersection in a growing city – it was a destination. And it still is. Besides talking about some of the old buildings adjacent to the corner (see the Taft Building in the photograph?) there are now new buildings and businesses appearing as Hollywood continues its makeover that started with the new century. A fine boutique hotel (the Redbury) is here as well as new restaurants (33 Taps, Katsuya and Wood & Vine). There is always a blockbuster musical on stage at the historic Pantages Theater and the only restaurant remaining from the earliest days of Hollywood, Musso and Frank Grill, is still serving fine steaks and the best martinis just a few blocks down Hollywood Boulevard. For all of these reasons we like to suggest to our private Los Angeles tour guests that we stop and take a look around Hollywood and Vine.
Even the Streets Are Celebrities as Our Private Tour Learns
“Hollywood and Vine” still carries some cultural weight when you say it despite the fact that the intersection is not quite what is was way back when in Hollywood’s Golden Age this was the center of moviedom. Prior to 1910 when Los Angeles annexed Hollywood this would have been called the corner of Prospect and Weyse, two dirt trails through fruit orchards. Soon after that things changed including the street names. At one time the Brown Derby restaurant was nearby and major Hollywood studios were in walking distance. There is still a lot happening at this famed landmark and the city not too long ago commemorated it by erecting tall obelisks topped with moving spotlights. The corner is also notable for it’s Walk of Fame stars dedicated to NASA flight crews. More contemporary restaurants are now located here, shops and a Trader Joe’s, upscale apartments and a boutique hotel (The Redbury) catty-corner from the W Hollywood Hotel. Still here, thank goodness for some historical continuity, is the Frolic Room (a seedy dive bar that has Hollywood greatness written all over it) and the Pantages Theater, once home of the Oscars ceremony which is now hosted ten blocks away at the Dolby Theatre. The crossing of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street is also important because the Walk of Fame also intersects here as it occupies the sidewalks on Vine Street up to the Capitol Records building. This is a spot definitely worth exploring on a private Los Angeles tour and do we ever have stories to tell about this location.
We always stop on our private luxury tour of Los Angeles at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine as we enter Hollywood. Just the name of the intersection is familiar to almost every guest we bring here. We point out the Pantages Theater, the Frolic Room, Capital Records and the Walk of Fame and the four corner spotlights. The intersection is much changed from this 1950 archival photograph (right) and the 1962 photo (below). The W Hotel is here as is the Redbury Hotel. The Brown Derby is gone but Dillon’s Irish Pub can feed and lubricate you at the corner now.
Some of the best Walk of Fame celebrities surround the intersection where the star studded sidewalk extends north and south on Vine Street. No sightseeing tour of Los Angeles should miss a visit to this special intersection. Celebrity homes, Beverly Hills and Malibu are all fun to see but standing at Hollywood and Vine is really connecting with Hollywood history.
This nice foreshortened photograph taken on a recent private luxury tour of Hollywood shows one of the moving spotlights set up at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. The Capitol Records building looms in the background. This is such a great corner these days with new restaurants, hotels and nightclubs nearby and the always exciting Pantages Theater. It’s a historic location on any tour of Los Angeles and we always park and walk around to absorb the ambience and talk about Hollywood in the past.