Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood’
Construction Cranes Catch the Eyes of Our Private Tour
Our little city on the sea, Los Angeles, is growing. Taller it seems. Where once the U.S. Bank Building was the tallest building west of the Mississippi now there is the Wilshire Grand Center tower just a skosh taller. From Mulholland Drive behind the Hollywood Bowl looking east the new skyscraper adds a bit of balance to the downtown skyline. Even though it is not yet open we are already eager to visit the new building. Just imagine the views afforded by such a majestic height. In the meantime we can take our guests enjoying a private tour of Los Angeles to the top of the former tallest building (only 81′ shorter, officially) where there is not only a restaurant and observation deck but perhaps the scariest sliding board in the world. The plastic chute is fashioned outside of the building and runs from one floor to another. Take about an adventure tour! Besides the giant skyscraper rapidly nearing completion in downtown Los Angeles as you can see in the photograph above there are many construction cranes in Hollywood. Downtown Los Angeles has been preserving the old historic buildings for the most part and adapting and reusing them for new businesses and residences. Hollywood on the other hand is tearing down the old and building new structures. Progress marches on, as the old newsreels use to say (for those of you who remember newsreels in this age of cellphone notifications and headlines). We are happy that production facilities and technology will remain in and around Hollywood as it grows into the future.
This Private Tour Guest Can Spell Hollywood
You don’t have to be big to enjoy a private tour of Hollywood. Our littlest guests love the twisty turns of the roads we take up to the great Hollywood Sign. Like their parents their jaws drop when we take them to our secret spot to first see the sign up close. Such big letters on the mountainside and they spell them out in grand Sesame Street style (we will take them to see Kermit the Frog when we return to town later). And, for their parents, we get many good photographs of the kids reveling in the wide panorama of Hollywood and the sea seen from this lofty perch just beneath the landmark sign. The kids want to know how tall each letter is (45 feet) and how long the sign is (350 feet across). Mom and dad are more interested in when the sign was erected and why (1923 to advertise a new housing development called Hollywoodland). Yes, four letters from the original sign are gone (as are the lights) these days and the film industry appropriated the novelty of the attraction for itself. It was Hollywood, though, that saved the sign in 1978 (thank you Hugh Hefner and friends) with a complete restoration. Thanks, too, to Sherwin-Williams for a repainting and restoration job four years ago. According to our young guests all the sign needs now is a giant swing underneath. Hear that, Hollywood?
A Sad Visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theater for Our Los Angeles Private Tour
There were three locations in Hollywood where memories were being shared of both Debbie Reynolds and her daughter, Carrie Fisher. We spent time on a custom private tour through Hollywood thinking back to all our fond film memories of Debbie Reynolds when we arrived at the famous movie palace where stars are honored with handprints in the cement of the theater’s forecourt. Her ceremony there was almost 51 years ago. There is also a formal wreath on display above her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Carrie Fisher does not have a formal place where we she was honored, however, an informal star on the Walk of Fame has been created by fans right next to her mother’s. This has been a sad beginning of the new year but we are pleased to have the opportunity to share memories with our guests. In the near future we will be able to visit the gravesites if our guests wish to remember them in that way. We might not be Singin’ in the Rain right now, but there is A New Hope that old fans and new will enjoy their works far into the future.
No Private Tour of Hollywood is Complete without this Picture
Even on an overcast, colorless day there is plenty of color in Hollywood. Grauman’s Chinese Theater has been a rainbow of dazzling hues since it was opened in 1928. The grand movie palace that Sid Grauman built (along with the Egyptian Theater just a block down Hollywood Boulevard) remains not only an operating movie theater but one of the best theaters to see a movie anywhere. Especially a big noisy movie. That’s why Hollywood movie premieres are still hosted here. The big crowd of Hollywood insiders will watch the film on the giant IMAX screen with all the technical bells and whistles that makes every seat perfect for sight and sound. Throngs of spectators will gather in the forecourt along the red carpet paying respects to the great actors whose handprints mark the cement slabs and along the Hollywood Walk of Fame lining both sides of the street outside the theater. When our private tour of Los Angeles gets to Hollywood we walk around and explore Grauman’s and we always gather the guests for photographs commemorating their visit here. We will also walk to other nearby historic and popular sights like the El Capitan Theater, the Dolby Theatre and the Roosevelt Hotel. For some modern fun we will spend time looking around the Hollywood & Highland Center, as much a tribute to old Hollywood as it is an exciting outdoor shopping mall (with some fine restaurants and snackeries).
Bring a Puppy on a Private Tour of Hollywood
One reason to bring your dog along on a visit to Los Angeles is a custom private tour where your pet is not only welcome but we see that there is as much fun for the animal as for its people. Our hiking tours are especially good fun for our four-legged guests. Runyon Canyon in the Hollywood Hills is a moderate hike with lots of sights along the way that harken back not only to old Hollywood and the likes of Charlie Chaplin but even to a notorious outlaw who made this canyon and park his home until, well, the law won. Now we are more likely to pass by young Hollywood stars out for a nature walk with their pets up and down the steep hillside. There are also the outdoor yoga classes. The views of the Los Angeles basin are spectacular as well as a a nice look at the Hollywood Sign to the east high atop Mt. Lee. If we head up early then the morning clouds will cool us down. We have water and snacks for everyone (yes, pet snacks, too!) and our guests will have a number of good photos of them and their doggie with Hollywood in the background.
Private Tour + Theater Tour + Movie = Strange
One of the great movie palaces of the world is the El Capitan in Hollywood where movie lovers and moviedom’s greatest filmmakers have been entertained since the first days of Los Angeles filmmaking. This incredible theater, opened in 1926 and later owned by Paramount, is now in the competent hands of the Disney Corporation. As we tell our Los Angeles private tour guests that means they can expect the best conditions and service possible even in a classic theater. Throughout the year there will be stage shows, special guests, movie premieres and all sorts of wonders and surprises above and beyond just showing in the best of auditoriums with the best of projection and sound equipment the best Disney movies. Since Marvel is a Disney operation that means that when Doctor Strange comes to town he gets a seat at the El Capitan. Our guests, instead of visiting a Hollywood museum, might want to spend some tour time with us in a great Hollywood movie palace. After a tour of the exhibits and premises we can marvel at the live organ raising and lowering from below the stage as if by magic. The waterfall curtain and lighting effects as the film program begins leaves the audience gasping in delight. The magic of Disney and the magic of Doctor Strange are a special combination that our guests can enjoy right now while they are visiting Los Angeles.
Our Helicopter Tour at Sunset Above Hollywood
Now that Daylight Savings Time is over for the winter our Los Angeles sunset comes very early. A private custom tour late in the afternoon will get to enjoy our beautiful sunsets. Even more exciting is the view from above from one of our luxury helicopters. We can look down on the landmark intersection of Hollywood and Vine just above the cylindrical Capitol Records building on Vine Street. That is the Pantages Theater just above and to the left of Capitol Records. The Redbury Hotel is the red building across the street. The historic Knickerbocker building gets our attention when we drive by on the ground tour portion of our sightseeing expedition. A good thing about this time of the year is that with cooler weather the air is clearer and visibility is excellent. From this point above Hollywood we can see Catalina Island (25 miles off the coast) and the entire length of Sunset Boulevard and Wilshire Boulevard (and other major roads we will show you) from the beach to downtown Los Angeles. Set your sights high and enjoy a combination aerial and ground tour of Los Angeles when you visit.
Combine Flying and Driving in a Los Angeles Tour Adventure
There are many ways to travel in and around Los Angeles. Cars and buses, of course. Bikes, skates, skateboards, horses and various sea vessels along the coast. And by helicopter. For a truly magnificent sightseeing adventure we always suggest a combination of air and ground. Specifically, we like to customize a tour for our guests that consists of a one-hour aerial tour around Los Angeles (downtown to the beaches and all the surprising and interesting sights in between) combined with a 3+hour ground tour to see up close some of the sights seen from our luxury twin-engine jet helicopter as we flew over Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Bel-Air. What’s more, we offer several heliport locations to suit our guests’ wishes and, unlike no other tour company, a helipad in downtown Los Angeles on top of a skyscraper. So, sit back and let us do all the driving and flying. You just soak in the warm sunshine, the glamor and mystique of the City of Angels. Your guide will take an album’s worth of photographs of the places you see and visit. We promise you will remember this private tour of Los Angeles forever.
Our Private Tour Is Introduced to 10-4 Day
“10-4,” “Roger that,” “Copy” – all expressions we know from countless years watching police procedurals on television and enjoying cops in the movies. But where did they originate and why are they still used? Turns out that the Ten Code (like 10-4) was developed in 1937 as a way to standardize radio communication especially in city police and fire departments which had a lot of radio traffic. The public became aware of this abbreviated form of communication, and in particular the acknowledgment code 10-4, because of an Academy Award winning actor, Broderick Crawford, on a very popular television program in the 1950s, Highway Patrol. Hollywood periodically brings out old police cruisers kept in good shape for use in film productions and lines them up along Hollywood Boulevard on October 4th (10/4) to celebrate Broderick Crawford, police stories and law enforcement. It is a fine tradition and we are happy that we happened by at a good time with our Los Angeles private tour guests to see the cars and participate in the festivities. You gotta love Hollywood and the regular celebrations and activities that happen here. 10-4, over and out.
Get Your Gang on a Los Angeles Private Tour
Certainly it is fun and rewarding to travel with your lover or your family and enjoy a vacation in beautiful Southern California. We see the joy in the faces of our private tour guests all the time as they become excited to see the homes of the movie stars and the historic destinations all around Los Angeles from film studios to cemeteries, grand architecture to beach cottages. We also know that the most excitement and the biggest laughs are when we have groups of friends aboard. Enjoying sole use of our vehicle and very knowledgeable (and dare we say handsome) guides with their fancy cameras we truly stretch the meaning of custom tour. Celebrity wine bars, running paths, stretches of beach favored by familiar faces, tracking down locations from favorite movies and television shows, silly photographs everywhere we go (Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Malibu)…we really create some extraordinary memories for our guests which explains why we see some of our guests again for a reunion tour here in sunny Los Angeles. Let us know when you and your friends are coming our way and we will work out an excellent adventure to remember always.