on October 21, 2009
Probably my favourite thing in all of Hollywood - and I doubt if I am alone on this - is the world famous Grauman's Chinese Theater. Located on Hollywood Blvd along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and just a few steps away from the new Hollywood and Highland Centre - this traditional bit of old Hollywood is something you might stumble on with out even realizing it. One minute you are in a shiny new shopping district where it's not unlikely to spot a celebrity or two doing some Christmas shopping (I saw one from ER...) and then a few steps away you are standing on the Hollywood stars, and fighting your way through the throngs of tourists, locals and costumed characters trying to have their photo made with you very suddenly you are standing in the midst of one of the most famous of Hollywood attractions. First opened in 1927 - Grauman's has been a fundamental part of the Hollywood scene ever since. The place of many of premier in tinsel town, and still the often the scene of glamour and Hollywood celebrity - not miss this sight on a trip to Los Angeles would be a crying shame. Standing out strangely on the Hollywood Blvd in its grandiose Chinese style, this is truly a unique sight regardless of its history or importance. Not only is the building itself strange and beautiful in it's surrounding - but so are it's decorative assets including the huge 40 foot high wall that separates it from it's surroundings, and the giant fountains and carved dragons. And while you are staring up at this magnificent sight - really taken aback by this Asian oasis in the midst of Hollywood Blvd - you might forget to look down and realize you are standing in the very midst of Hollywood's elite. This is where you find the hand/foot prints and signatures of the stars. Amble the area referred to as The Forecourt to the Stars - slowly taking your time to take in all of the signatures of the greats beneath you. (Be sure to find John Wayne's prints - you will be astounded by how small his feet were!) You soon begin to feel the profound presence of the area and those who have gone before you. With the greats ranging from Clark Gable to Samuel L. Jackson - you are sure to find someone's mark that leaves a smile on your face. Try to visit this midday, midweek if possible to make it easier to enjoy and take photos. There are those trying to sell token items in this area - but in my experience they weren't too pushy and never really got in the way of enjoying the area itself. It's bigger than you might imagine - and just when you think you've seen all the stars you want to see, you'll spot another you want to get a snap of or try measuring your own print against. Allow plenty of time here to really enjoy it. This is something that you simply must do while you are visiting LA. The location could not be more simple (once you have worked out parking) as it's located so close to Hollywood and Highland - and it also means that you can view the great Hollywood Walk of Fame from here as well. It is also just a couple minutes walk from some great cheesy souvenir shops as well as the Kodak Theater - home of the Academy Awards. Be sure to allow time for this sight - it really is a pretty awe inspiring thing.
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