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.
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 leaving his mark
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!
I took a few shots of some more prints (click to enlarge):
Myrna Loy and William Powell
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.
Also nearby is the Pig n Whistle, a famous restaurant dating back to 1927. Clark surely enjoyed a snack or two here, no?
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
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….
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.
Rows and rows of pictures…
This picture of Clark and Carole lunching at the Paramount commissary had a peculiar caption:
“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.
The most intriguing part of the museum for me was the 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.
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.