Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood

Egyptian theatre

Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre, is a noted movie theater located at 6706 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. Opened in 1922, it is an early example of a lavish movie palace and is noted as having been the site of the first-ever Hollywood film premiere. Since 1998 it has been operated by the American Cinematheque film archive.

The Egyptian Theatre was built by showman Sid Grauman and real estate developer Charles E. Toberman, who subsequently built the nearby El Capitan Theatre and Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Grauman had previously opened one of the United States’ first movie palaces, the Million Dollar Theater, on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles in 1918. The Egyptian Theatre cost $800,000 to build and took eighteen months to construct. Architects Meyer & Holler designed the building and it was built by The Milwaukee Building Company.

The Egyptian Theatre was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks, on Wednesday, October 18, 1922. As the film reportedly cost over $1 million to produce, the admission price to the premiere was $5.00. One could reserve a seat up to two weeks in advance for the daily performances. Evening admission was 75¢, $1.00 or $1.50. The film was not shown in any other Los Angeles theater during that year.

The exterior of the theatre is in the Egyptian Revival style. However, the attentive visitor will notice roof pans above the main entrance, items which are not in ancient Egyptian style. The original plans for the theatre show a Hispanic-themed theatre, but at some point these plans were changed to an Egyptian style. It is probable that this was due to public fascination with the multiple expeditions searching for the tomb of Tutankhamun by archaeologist Howard Carter over the preceding years. (Carter eventually discovered the tomb on November 4, 1922—just two weeks after the Egyptian Theatre opened.) At the time that the change in architectural style was determined, the Hispanic-styled roof pans had already been delivered and paid for; they were kept and used in the building.

The exterior and interior walls contain Egyptian-style paintings and hieroglyphics. The four massive columns that mark the theatre’s main entrance are 4 1⁄2 feet (1.4 m) wide and rise 20 feet (6 m).

Capitalizing on Southern California’s sunny weather is the large courtyard (45 ft × 150 ft (14 m × 46 m)) in the front, complete with a fountain and queen palm trees. This is actually the “entrance hall” (the theatre doors used to open directly into the auditorium) and was specifically designed to host the theatre’s famous red carpet ceremonies. Guided tours are offered by American Cinematheque’s staff on weekends.

Jeff Lynne receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Jeff Lynne

WHO:         Honoree: Jeff Lynne
Emcee: Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, President/CEO Leron Gubler
Guest speakers: Tom Petty and Joe Walsh

WHAT:       Dedication of the 2,548th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
in the category of Recording

WHERE:    1750 N. Vine Street in front of the iconic Capitol Records Building

WHEN:      Thursday, April 23, 2015 at 11:30 a.m. PDT

Event will be live-streamed exclusively on www.walkoffame.com

Jeffrey “Jeff” Lynne (born 30 December 1947) is an English songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, multi-instrumentalist and record producer who gained fame as the leader and sole constant member of Electric Light Orchestra. He was later a co-founder and member of the supergroup Traveling Wilburys together with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty.

Lynne has produced recordings for artists such as the Beatles, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Randy Newman, Roy Orbison, Dave Edmunds, Del Shannon and Tom Petty. He has co-written songs with Petty and also with Harrison, whose solo albums Cloud Nine (1987) and Brainwashed (2002) Lynne co-produced. Among the many compositions to his credit are such well known hits as “Livin’ Thing”, “Evil Woman”, “Turn to Stone”, “Do Ya”, “Strange Magic”, “Sweet Talkin’ Woman”, “Telephone Line”, “Mr. Blue Sky”, “Hold On Tight”, “Don’t Bring Me Down”, “This Is Love”, “I Won’t Back Down”, “Free Fallin'”, “Handle with Care” and “End of the Line”.

 In 2008, The Washington Times named Lynne the fourth greatest record producer in music history. In 2014 he received a star on the Birmingham Walk of Stars in his hometown.

El Capitan Theatre Hollywood

El Capitan Theatre

El Capitan Theatre is a fully restored movie palace at 6838 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. The theater and adjacent Hollywood Masonic Temple (now known as the El Capitan Entertainment Centre) is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company and as such, serves as the venue for a majority of the The Walt Disney Studios’ film premieres.

1926 opening and early years

In the early 1920s, real estate developer Charles E. Toberman (the “Father of Hollywood”) envisioned a thriving Hollywood theatre district. With Sid Grauman, he opened the Egyptian (1922), El Capitan (“The Captain”) (1926), and Chinese Theatre (1927).

El Capitan, dubbed “Hollywood’s First Home of Spoken Drama,” opened as a legitimate theatre on May 3, 1926 with Charlot’s Revue starring Gertrude Lawrence and Jack Buchanan. The design featured a Spanish Colonial Revival style exterior designed by Stiles O. Clements of the architectural firm of Morgan, Walls & Clements, and a lavish East Indian interior by G. Albert Lansburgh.

For a decade it presented live plays, with over 120 productions including such legends as Clark Gable and Joan Fontaine. By the late 1930s, El Capitan felt the economic effects of the Depression, showcasing fewer and fewer productions. This period saw a cycle of experimentation with entertainment. In an effort to boost attendance at the theatre, its management attempted to lure revues, road shows and benefits. Despite these efforts, business was faltering. When Orson Welles was unable to locate a theatre owner willing to risk screening Citizen Kane, he turned to El Capitan, and in 1941, Citizen Kane had its world premiere there. The theater then closed for one year.

1942 renovation and renaming the Hollywood Paramount

The building was remodeled in the modern style, and reopened on March 18, 1942 as the Hollywood Paramount Theatre. Its inaugural film presentation was Cecil B. DeMille’s Technicolor feature Reap the Wild Wind, starring Ray Milland, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard and Raymond Massey.

The theater remained the West Coast flagship for Paramount Pictures until the studio was forced by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in the antitrust case U.S. vs. Paramount Pictures, et al. to divest itself of its theater holdings. After this, the Hollywood Paramount was operated by United Paramount Theatres for some years, then by a series of other companies, culminating with ownership by the Pacific Theatres Circuit in the 1980s.

1991 reopening with name El Capitan

By the late 1980s, movie studios were once again being allowed to own theatres, and in 1989 the Walt Disney Company entered into a lease agreement with the Pacific Circuit for the Paramount and the smaller Crest Theatre in Westwood.  These theaters became Disney’s flagship houses. They spent $14 million on a complete renovation of the Paramount, restoring much of the building’s original decor as well as the theater’s original name. El Capitan reopened in 1991 with the premiere of The Rocketeer. In recent years, many of Walt Disney Pictures’ feature films have premiered here as well as the debut of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ first made-for-TV special Prep & Landing, and most movies are accompanied by live stage shows. Jimmy Kimmel Live!, which airs on Disney-owned ABC, originates from a TV studio next door at the Hollywood Masonic Temple (now known as the El Capitan Entertainment Centre).

The refurbished theater features a giant Wurlitzer Theatre organ originally installed in San Francisco’s Fox Theatre in 1929. Below the theater is a small exhibit space, often used to display props from the films, such as costumes or set pieces. Next door is the adjacent Disney’s Soda Fountain and Studio Store, where patrons can purchase ice cream themed to the film currently playing in the cinema next door.  A wide variety of Disney and movie merchandise is available there. At some point Disney also acquired the former Hollywood Masonic Temple next door, where they had been housing add-on attractions for big Disney films such as Toy Story.

Capital Records Building

Capital Records Building

The Capitol Records Building, also known as the Capitol Records Tower, is a Hollywood Boulevard Commercial and Entertainment District building that is located in Hollywood, Los Angeles. The building is a thirteen-story tower that was designed by Welton Becket and is one of the city’s landmarks. Construction occurred soon after British company EMI acquired Capitol Records in 1955, and was completed in April 1956. Located just north of the Hollywood and Vine intersection, the Capitol Records Tower houses the consolidation of Capitol Records’ West Coast operations and is also home to the recording studios and echo chambers of Capitol Studios. The building is included on the List of Registered Historic Places in Los Angeles.

The building design was based upon the graduate school drawings of Lou Naidorf who, as the primary architect, designed the first circular office building at the age of 24 years. The wide curved awnings over windows on each story and the tall spike emerging from the top of the building only coincidentally resembles a stack of records on a turntable. The rectangular ground floor is a separate structure, joined to the tower after completion.

The tower incorporates 13 stories, to conform to the 150-foot (46 m) zoning height limit that was in place at the time of its construction. Height restrictions were later lifted in 1956. The 13th floor of the tower is the “Executive Level” and is represented by an “E” in the building’s two elevators.

The blinking light atop the tower spells out the word “Hollywood” in Morse code, and has done so since the building’s opening in 1956. This was an idea of Capitol’s then president, Alan Livingston, who wanted to subtly advertise Capitol’s status as the first record label with a base on the west coast. The switch was initially activated by Leila Morse, the granddaughter of Samuel Morse. In 1992 the light was changed to read “Capitol 50,” in honor of the label’s fiftieth anniversary—it has since returned to spelling “Hollywood”.[citation needed] A black-and-white graphic image of the building appeared on the albums of many Capitol recording artists, with the phrase, “From the Sound Capitol of the World”.

Recently, Capitol Records and artist Richard Wyatt Jr. joined forces to restore his iconic Hollywood Jazz Mural on the south wall of the Capitol Records building. Restored in hand-glazed ceramic tile, the mural spans 26 by 88 feet (7.9 by 26.8 m). Entitled “Hollywood Jazz: 1945-1972″, this masterpiece presents “larger than life” images of: Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan, Charlie Parker, Tito Puente, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Shelly Manne, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington. The mural also depicts names of prominent jazz legends etched upon a stone background, including names such as, John Coltrane, Sarah Vaughan, Charles Mingus, Buddy Collette, Teddy Edwards, Art Tatum, Cannonball Adderley, McCoy Tyner and others.

 

The Hollywood Bowl

Hollywood Bowl

The Hollywood Bowl is a 1920s amphitheater in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles, California, United States that is used primarily for music performances.

The Hollywood Bowl is known for its band shell, a distinctive set of concentric arches that graced the site from 1929 through 2003, before being replaced with a somewhat larger one beginning in the 2004 season. The shell is set against the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood Sign to the Northeast.

The “bowl” refers to the shape of the concave hillside the amphitheater is carved into. The bowl is owned by the County of Los Angeles and is the home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the host of hundreds of musical events each year.

It is located at 2301 North Highland Avenue, north of Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood & Highland subway station and south of Route 101.

Griffith Oberservatory in Los Angeles

Griffith_observatoryGriffith Observatory is a facility in Los Angeles, California sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Los AngelesGriffith Park. It commands a view of the Los Angeles Basin, including Downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The observatory is a popular tourist attraction with an extensive array of space and science-related displays. Since the observatory opened in 1935, admission has been free, in accordance with Griffith’s will.

3,015 acres (12.20 km2) of land surrounding the observatory was donated to the City of Los Angeles by Colonel Griffith J. Griffith on December 16, 1896. In his will Griffith donated funds to build an observatory, exhibit hall, and planetarium on the donated land. Griffith’s objective was to make astronomy accessible by the public, as opposed to the prevailing idea that observatories should be located on remote mountaintops and restricted to scientists.

Griffith drafted detailed specifications for the observatory. In drafting the plans, he consulted with Walter Adams, the future director of Mount Wilson Observatory, and George Ellery Hale, who founded (with Andrew Carnegie) the first astrophysical telescope in Los Angeles.

As a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project, construction began on June 20, 1933, using a design developed by architect John C. Austin based on preliminary sketches by Russell W. Porter. The observatory and accompanying exhibits were opened to the public on May 14, 1935. In its first five days of operation the observatory logged more than 13,000 visitors. Dinsmore Alter was the museum’s director during its first years.

During World War II the planetarium was used to train pilots in celestial navigation. The planetarium was again used for this purpose in the 1960s to train Apollo program astronauts for the first lunar missions.

The observatory closed in 2002 for renovation and a major expansion of exhibit space. It reopened to the public on November 3, 2006, retaining its art deco exterior. The $93 million renovation, paid largely by a public bond issue, restored the building, as well as replaced the aging planetarium dome. The building was expanded underground, with completely new exhibits, a café, gift shop, and the new Leonard Nimoy Event Horizon Theater.

A wildfire in the hills came dangerously close to the observatory on May 10, 2007.

On May 25, 2008, the Observatory offered visitors live coverage of the Phoenix landing on Mars.

Dr. Ed Krupp is the current director of the Observatory.

 

World Premiere of Avengers Age of Ultron at the Dolby Theatre

Avengers Premiere Marvel takes over Hollywood. Avengers: Age of Ultron will make its world premiere at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on April 13, 2015, tonight at 7pm.  Fans are already lining up at 9am. Who You May Spot walking the red carpet on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, James Spader, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany.