Beginning the end of May, we begin seeing the gradual increase in visitors in and around our famous boulevard. It's always my dream that they come prepared to experience the realities of our urban core. Hollywood is not an easy place and "laid back" is definitely not in our vocabulary. As our visitor population grows, there is a hum of anticipation that is infectious.
Hollywood is a mecca drawing not only visitors but star struck hopefuls from around the world. There's excitement often mixed with a sense of desperation as visitors seek the ultimate Hollywood experience-seeing a star and hopefuls seeking the ultimate Hollywood experience-becoming one.
Don Seligman shares Hollywood's rich history about the many who made the trek in the early part of the 20th Century when the movie business was expanding and just about anybody could find a job in the movies. In those early years, not unlike today, success meant finding a home and for many it was in the Los Feliz area where Cecil B. DeMille sat atop a hill and surveyed his domain.
Later in the postwar years, thousands travelled the famed Route 66 to pursue the California dream, some had stars in their eyes but others moved for the climate and the plentiful jobs. Scott Martin takes us on a tour that travels right through Hollywood on what is now Santa Monica Boulevard.
And if it's stars you're after, we have plenty both above and on the stages of our three spectacular outdoor amphitheatres highlighted in James Bartlett's article. No summer in Hollywood is complete without seeing a concert at the Greek Theatre, the Hollywood Bowl or the small and intimate Ford Amphitheatre.
After a bit of a slowdown the past couple of years, our "renaissance" continues with three major building projects underway: 500 apartments at Hollywood & Argyle, more at Sunset near Gordon and the anticipation grows as Emerson College's new building takes shape. Our publisher Oscar Arslanian shares some insight into the past and future, triumphs and challenges as we continues to build Hollywood for the 21st Century.
Keeping everything in perspective, the needs of our visitors, the expectations of our residents, is a daunting task. Hollywood has been a "work in progress" for the past 35 years and I have no doubt that we'll rise to the challenge, continue the momentum and retain the authenticity we've come to know as a place called Hollywood.