Hollywood Boulevard

The infamous Hollywood Boulevard is about what you would expect: a mix of the old and the new, with buildings like Grauman’s Chinese and the El Capitan Theater sharing sidewalk space with the Kodak Theater and an H&M. The streets filled with hundreds of fans, milling the street taking photos, and hundreds of vendors harrassing you at every turn to buy their stuff or take their tour.

An obvious place to start here is Grauman’s Chinese Theater. They do offer tours inside this historic theater, but we did not take one. Instead, we milled around outside and compared our hands to celebrities.

Grauman's Chinese Theater

Grauman's Chinese Theater

Here is Clark Gable, whom I must say had very big hands. His fingers went way past mine and his feet dwarfed mine (and I have big feet!)

Clark Gable Grauman's Chinese Theater

Clark leaving his mark

Clark Gable Grauman's Chinese Theater

Clark Gable Grauman's Chinese Theater

Clark Gable Grauman's Chinese Theater

Not only did he leave his prints on January 20, 1937, but Clark attended several premieres at Grauman’s, from Grand Hotel in 1932 to A Star is Born in 1954.

Clark and Carole Lombard attended the Greek War Relief Benefit here in 1941.I wish I could tell whose prints they are standing on!

Clark Gable and Carole Lombard

I took a few shots of some more prints (click to enlarge):

Myrna Loy and William Powell

William Powell Myrna Loy

Norma Shearer

Norma Shearer

Loretta Young

Loretta Young

Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow

Jimmy Stewart

Jimmy Stewart

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford

Cary Grant

Cary Grant

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Across the street is the El Capitan Theater, which opened in 1926 and was a live theater for over a decade before becoming a movie theater, which it still is today. Clark performed there in the late 1920’s.

El Capitan Theater

El Capitan Theater

Also nearby is the Pig n Whistle, a famous restaurant dating back to 1927. Clark surely enjoyed a snack or two here, no?

Pig n Whistle

You can usually tell tourists on Hollywood Blvd because they are all walking with their heads down, exclaiming over the names beneath their feet. I was surprised at the variety of people that had stars. Everyone from the Muppets to little known 30’s stars like Madge Evans.  The majority of these we found just by walking with our heads down. Carole Lombard and Jean Harlow have primo spots, right across the street from Grauman’s.

Click to enlarge:


Where is Clark, you ask? Good question. The answer would be way down on Vine Street, just past the famous intersection of Hollywood and Vine.

Hollywood and Vine

Hollywood and Vine

Clark’s star is here in front of….a Trader Joe’s. Which I found rather depressing. But I guess better that than a seedy tattoo parlor like many of the other ones were. And at least there were no prostitutes standing on it or homeless people sleeping on it….

Clark Gable Hollywood Walk of Fame

The one day when it was raining and we were soaked to the bone, we spent a while roaming the Hollywood Museum, which is housed in the original Art Deco Max Factor building. The building in itself was a sight to behold. Every star you could name used to grace these rooms for beauty treatments; even Clark’s second wife Ria visited weekly. There were so many things; it was a challenge to take it all in.

The lobby:

Hollywood Museum Jean Harlow exhibit

Rows and rows of pictures…

Hollywood Museum

This picture of Clark and Carole lunching at the Paramount commissary had a peculiar caption:

Hollywood Museum Clark Gable Carole Lombard

Hollywood Museum

“Woman of Her Soon”? Did someone read them the title over the telephone and they misunderstood? That’s No Man of Her Own, folks…

The “Blondes” Room–where Carole would have gone. They had rooms for “Brunettes” “Brownettes” and “Redheads” too.

Hollywood Museum

The most intriguing part of the museum for me was the Jean Harlow exhibit:

Hollywood Museum Jean Harlow exhibit

Hollywood Museum Jean Harlow exhibit

Hollywood Museum Jean Harlow exhibit

Hollywood Museum Jean Harlow exhibit

Hollywood Museum Jean Harlow exhibit

Hollywood Museum Jean Harlow exhibit

Hollywood Museum Jean Harlow exhibit

There wasn’t much Clark in the museum; a few pictures here and there and an autograph or two. They also had an entire floor devoted to Lucille Ball.

Historic Hollywood High School (okay, it’s actually on nearby Sunset Blvd…) featuring a huge mural as a tribute to its previous students.

Hollywood High School

Hollywood High School

Carole Lombard attended here, but did not graduate, dropping out to pursue her dramatic dreams. Alumni include Judy Garland, Fay Wray, Lana Turner and many more.