|Lights, camera, action! The Hollywood sign, seen from Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood's dominant feature is a mall at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue that was opened in 2001. The shopping and entertainment center dwarfs the Roosevelt Hotel, the El Capitan Theater, Grauman's Chinese Theater — now actually TCL Chinese Theater, after the company that bought it a few months back — and whatever else may be left of the classical Hollywood. In a pile-it-on mixture of styles and forms, the complex boasts postmodern glass fronts, roof tops reminiscent of bunkers from World War II and elephant statues perched upon voluptuous columns. The site has Las Vegas feel to it. But while such eclecticism might amuse me anywhere in Nevada, I find it eerie everywhere else. I don't want L.A. to look like Vegas.
That said, last time I was in Hollywood I came across the peek-a-boo above: the iconic Hollywood sign sandwiched between the roof top of an orange city bus and a pedestrian bridge in the mall. Add to that the row of spotlights, the woman taking a picture and the five figures walking across the structure, and what we have is a movie set: Lights, camera, action! Hollywood features itself.
By the way of self-reference: after some research I learned that the elephants in the mall are a tribute to Hollywood, too. They are replicas of figures used for the movie Intolerance released in 1916. L.A., we learn, has its own way of preserving heritage.
|Las Vegas or L.A.? Hollywood and Highland Center
(Photo: Gary Minnaert, Wikimedia Commons)