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Issue: Fall 2011

25 Years of Discover Hollywood


We began as a magazine in 1986 as a project of the Hollywood Arts Council.  It started out as a brochure in 1979, expanded to a newsprint tabloid, and then to the magazine format.  Not only has the publication gone through many changes, technology moved from complex page by page layouts and color separation involving many people and expense to desk top publishing that could be done by one person today.  As preprint has evolved so has the quality of the final print product.
 
Discover Hollywood’s story, however, is not about a magazine but about chronicling the process of bringing back a world-famed community.  By the late 70’s and into the mid-80’s, in spite of efforts to revitalize the area, our troubles were many and every misstep was broadcast around the world.  Still there was a core of individuals and organizations that worked tirelessly believing in the vast potential of Hollywood. 
 
The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency had created the Hollywood Project Area, and the community had banded together to insure that the subway would come through Hollywood.  Naysayers fearful of change and progress slowed the process but in the end, there was no stopping progress. 
 
From 1986 to 1994, the Hollywood Arts Council published Discover (the arts in) Hollywood as a once a year summer publication proclaiming Hollywood: A Summer Festival of the Arts.  Each cover was an art project accompanied by poster.  The pool bottom at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel painted by David Hockney represented that period, and, although the city suffered a major blow to its self esteem with the civil unrest of 1992, Hollywood rebounded with a new wave of community spirit. 
 
Expanding to summer and winter issues in 1994, and produced by Hollywood Is A Festival, Inc., a tourism marketing organization, expanded the reach of the magazine as well as a wider range of articles.  Although progress was slow, there was no doubt that Hollywood was on the move.  A subway line was under construction, stars continued to be added to the Walk of Fame and a major new development that would house the Academy Awards was in the works.  Historic properties such as the Egyptian Theatre were being reclaimed.
 
By the turn of the century, there was no turning back.  The subway’s Red Line had opened with Hollywood as its No. 1 destination.  Although the events of 9/11 would stall its momentum, Hollywood & Highland with its Kodak Theatre, new home of the Oscars, opened.  The Lion King opened at a spectacularly restored Pantages Theatre and stars were seen out about at clubs and restaurants that began popping up everywhere.
 
With the changes that seemed to happen every day, the arts of Hollywood remain a constant, vital part of the community.  Following the arrival of The Lion King, a steady stream of direct-from-Broadway shows light up the Pantages’ stage.  Smaller theatres continue to produce amazing shows with noted actors and new talented performers.  Hollywood continues to attract musicians as well as actors.  The visual arts are well represented at galleries throughout the area and Hollywood is home to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery on the grounds of Barnsdall Art Park, with its Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece, Hollyhock House.
 
The neighborhoods surrounding Hollywood that are filled with beautiful homes—many of which have seen the glamour of days gone by are being restored and appreciated by a new generation.  New condominiums and apartments seemed to spring up overnight as the new decade saw a major building boom. (Whitley Heights, Janes House, Hollywood rising, etc.)
 
In Fall 2009, Discover Hollywood had changed ownership again and expanded to a quarterly publication.  Its website includes information to assist residents and visitors to explore the unique culture and lore of this town.  At the end of the first decade of the new Millennium, in spite of a sluggish economy, our streets are filled with visitors from around the country and around the world.  Hollywood is back and better than ever.  
 
Discover Hollywood
has played a key role in this process continually focusing on the best we have to offer—arts, entertainment and a unique culture all its own.