Mom wanted to see some movie stars during her visit to Los Angeles, and I could think of nowhere better to do so than the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard!
On August 15, 1958, the vision of E. M. Stuart, president of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, came to life when the first eight coral-colored stars were planted in the sidewalk to commemorate famous actors of the time. These first eight stars bore the names of Olive Borden, Ronald Colman, Louise Fazenda, Preston Foster, Burt Lancaster, Edward Sedgwick, Ernest Torrence, and Joanne Woodward!
Though lawsuits over property rights and naming rights delayed construction of the Walk for almost two more years, today, there are over 2,600 stars, commemorating the most famous faces of cinema, television, radio, and music! Right away, we spotted some familiar ones!
Kermit the Frog has been a prolific movie star and recording artist since he first appeared alongside Harry the Hipster on Sam and Friends in 1955! He’s been in at least 51 movies and TV shows from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show and released the hit songs, Bein’ Green and Rainbow Connection. He’s a true inspiration to pond dwellers across the globe!
Mom was particularly excited to see the next star on the walk! Since featuring in Steamboat Willie in 1928, Mickey Mouse has risen to the head of the Disney Empire, featuring in hundreds of films, TV shows, comics, and tons of merchandise. He is not only the most successful rodent in history, but also the most recognizable character in the entire world! I had a sneaking suspicion that my mom had a celebrity crush on him…
Then we arrived at the heart of Hollywood itself, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre! Opening its doors for the first time in 1927, at a cost of $2 million, the theatre came with authentic Chinese bells, pagodas, and Fu Dogs. It’s opening night was such a riot that fans literally fought with each other for the chance to glimpse one of the stars of Cecil B. DeMille’s The King of Kings!
This famous place for movie premieres was the work of Sid Grauman, a vaudeville showman who got his start organizing boxing matches in the Yukon during the Klondike Gold Rush! After moving to Los Angeles, Mr. Grauman set to work creating three important theatres: The Million Dollar Theatre downtown, the Egyptian Theatre, and lastly, the Chinese Theatre, where he invited his star friends to plant their hand and footprints permanently in concrete to be immortalized!
Traces of the biggest names in showbiz can all be found in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, from Frank Sinatra, Julie Andrews, and Dick Van Dyke…
…to Mel Brooks and Donald Duck!
We only had a moment to enjoy this piece of cinematic history before the summer crowds crushed in upon us, reminding me again of that original movie premiere in 1928! Luckily, Mom and I escaped just in time, up the piano staircase that played musical notes as we passed!
As the June Gloom cleared and the temperature started to rise, there was still one more special place I wanted to show Mom. We worked our way up to the trailhead at Hollywood Reservoir to begin our trek. Nowhere as strenuous a hike as Mount Bukhansan, it was leading us to a must-have photo op!
Tucked away from the road where all the tour buses park, I showed Mom my favorite spot to see the Hollywood Sign! Set up in 1923 by Los Angeles Times publisher, Harry Chandler, the sign was originally supposed to promote a fancy real estate development called Hollywoodland! The years have worn away the “Land” portion and the cool lighting effects at night, but today, this sign is an inseparable part of Los Angeles and Hollywood lore! It’s hard to believe that it’s been six years since I came here for the first time!
The day was getting hot, and the heat is tough when you’re covered in fur. So we headed back down from the mountains to get some tasty Persian ice cream at Mashti Malone’s on La Brea and take a peak at the Jim Henson Studios where the Muppet magic happens!
Looking forward to taking Mom to the beach this weekend!
That’s a wrap!