Tourism season excites and frustrates me at the same time. I love the influx of people from around the world that descend on Hollywood. I’m frustrated because I know that each person has their own expectation of what they’ll see once they get here.
Several years ago, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce did a survey that asked visitors what they liked best about Hollywood. The answers ranged from “the beach” to “Disneyland.” We learned a lot from that survey—mostly that people needed more information about this place called Hollywood.
Discover Hollywood was created for people who love Hollywood and want to know more about it. Yes, many are attracted by the idea of glitz and glamour, but visitors quickly learn that that mostly is on the screen and not on the streets. Yet the allure remains and during the summer, cameras at the ready, the throngs descend. And, now, with more attractions, restaurants and shopping choices, Hollywood is no longer a quick stop on a tour bus heading east or west.
Nowhere is the Hollywood experience more apparent than at Los Angeles’ No. 1 attraction—Universal Studios. This year, technology and reality merge as King Kong comes to “life” in all his 3-D magnificence. Rena LaBlanc provides her own Universal tour and some insights into how it all began.
We could not focus solely on Universal because Hollywood is the place where dreams are made—not a place made up of dreams and there are countless production houses and small studios that bring magic to screens around the world. Betsi Freeman gives her tour of Hollywood’s other historic studios that read like a who’s who of movie making. There is no longer a studio system and most of the larger studios provide the production facilities that serve the industry. However, you still see the legendary Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. logos on blockbuster offerings year ‘round, and their studios offer small tours for serious film buffs.
There’s no doubt that tourism and entertainment are two of Hollywood’s most important products.
And, if all that touring makes you hungry and thirsty, James Bartlett gives you a selection of pubs close by that make him homesick for Jolly Old England. You’ll rub elbows with locals and who knows who else might drop in.
For you loyal resident readers, I know that you enjoy sharing our magazine with friends and relatives who visit year ‘round. So this issue is for you both. An interesting statistic is that 50% of all visitors to Los Angeles stay with friends and relatives. So pack them off with their copy of Discover Hollywood and enjoy your summer in the sun.