Issue: Summer 2021

Hollywood's Back!

By James Bartlett

Summer is here, and Hollywood is reopening after the long months of lockdown. We have selected a few of the best experiences in the central Hollywood area, so check online before you go, and be aware that COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures are in place.

Griffith Park

The 4,210-acre Griffith Park never closed to walkers, and Park Superintendent Stefanie Smith says that “hiking exploded during the pandemic, with more people than ever making use of the 53 miles of trails. Family picnicking was a big hit too, especially with the beaches closed.”    

Now the park’s many attractions—pony rides, the Travel Town railway museum, the LA Zoo, the much-loved antique Merry-Go-Round—are back, with the Griffith Observatory due to open in late June. The Greek Theatre will continue its 1950s throwback as a drive-in movie theatre for a least a couple more months, with live music shows planned beginning in August.

Hollywood Bowl/Ford Theatre

They delighted us with online concerts over the last year, but music fans will be keen to get back into these open-air auditoriums, as is “the dude” Gustavo Dudamel, who is conducting the LA Phil. “We all feel a profound sense of joy and gratitude to be able to once again share music with you,” he said of the upcoming season. 

Enjoy pop, rock, soundtracks, jazz, bossa nova, funk and fireworks at the legendary Bowl, while opposite at the Ford you can also find dance performances, folk, drumming, and the Improvised Shakespeare Company (July 31). “We wanted this season to be a celebration, bringing communities together that make Los Angeles unlike any other city,” said Cynthia Fuentes, Director of The Ford.

Japan House LA

At the Hollywood and Highland complex, their two floors and 14,000 square feet welcome visitors seven days a week (with reservations) to showcases of Japanese art, food, design and technology. 

Reconnecting: A Vision of Unity is Kengo Kito’s first U.S. exhibition, and he uses hula hoops to create a unified structure, symbolizing the interconnectedness of humanity. After the unprecedented challenges of this past year, we have all been yearning to reconnect, and we hope that the playfulness of this will help lift the spirits of our visitors,” said Japan House LA president, Yuko Kaifu. 

Hollywood Museum

Memorabilia from American movies and television in the distinctive Max Factor Building. An exciting exhibit celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Hollywood Walk of Fame will be on view this summer. 

According to Museum’s president Danielle Dadigan, who also serves as president of Hollywood’s Historic Trust. “This exhibit is extraordinary when you see so many names and faces of the stars who have received their star on the Walk of Fame over the years. I’m grateful that many have donated items to be displayed at the Museum.

Pantages Theatre

A luxury 1930 movie palace that was fully renovated at the turn of the 21st century in order to recapture its vintage style, its General Manager Jeff Loeb said:  “After holding our curtain for an unprecedented 523 days, Broadway is coming back to Hollywood, and we couldn’t imagine a bigger celebration than hosting Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash-hit Hamilton . We have been working hard to make sure everyone can safely return and sit shoulder-to-shoulder in the grand auditorium, and we look forward welcoming everyone into ‘The Room Where It Happens.’”

Warner Bros. Studio Tour 

In 1927 four brothers took a risk on The Jazz Singer, a movie that saw characters speaking on screen for the first time. The rest is history, and the tours today look behind-the-scenes at Warner Bros., where you will drive through and walk around some famous sets, sit on Batman’s bike or the Friends sofa in Central Perk, and watch and wonder as you learn about the magic of the movies. They might even be shooting a few scenes for the next blockbuster. (Reopening scheduled for summer).

New Attractions Opening

Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains at the Vogue Multicultural Museum

The 1935 Vogue Theatre was recently reimagined as a museum, and will be opening its first exhibition on August 3. A huge, immersive, audio expedition of Pink Floyd’s place in history, art and culture from the 1960s and beyond, it features unreleased recordings, instruments, props, pictures, videos, unknown scribbles and personal mementos from the British cult band. 

“This will be a really exciting opportunity for people to come together to experience music, culture, design and innovation, all principles that Pink Floyd represent in their music,” said promoter Diego Gonzalez. Keep an eye out for the flying pig! 

Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit arrives in Los Angeles after wowing millions in Paris and Toronto and settles in Hollywood in the former Amoeba Records building. With 500,000 cubic feet of monumental projections animating Vincent van Gogh’s paintings, guests will wander through entrancing, moving images that highlight brushstrokes, detail, and color  illuminating the mind of the genius. Designed and conceived by Massimiliano Siccardi with soundtrack by Luca Longobardi who pioneered immersive digital art experiences in France. Exhibit is scheduled to open July 31.