Monday, October 26, 2009

My Town Monday: Back in Hollywood

I was at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Authors' Feast this weekend. I got to hang out with lots of indie booksellers and lots of authors. Can I just say--people who love books know how to have a good time!

While up in that neck of the woods, I returned to HOLLYWOOD.

Hollyweird, oops, I mean Hollywood figures heavily in book #4, I So Don't Do Famous. So, armed with notebook and camera, I headed out to do some research. And,yes, Uncle Sam, I will be writing this trip off come tax time.

I took a tour of Grauman's Chinese Theater. The theater opened in 1927 and premiered The King of Kings. After a visit to China, Sid Grauman fell in love with the culture. He imported all manner of Chinese artifacts for the theater and even had Chinese artisans come and produce pieces. Today, this theater continues to be much sought after for movie premiers. Also, three Academy Awards have been held here.

And now for some trivia I picked up on the tour.

As you all know, outside the front of the theater are concrete blocks with celebrities' signatures, handprints and footprints. There are 247 of these blocks. According to Tour Guide Levi, they won't run out of room for 45-50 years. So, for those of you with this particular dream, THERE IS STILL TIME.

One fine day in 1927, Silent Movie Actress Norma Talmadge was walking in front of the theater when they were pouring concrete. By accident, she stepped in said concrete. Sid Grauman saw this, had her add her signature and handprints and a tradition was born. Lucky for Norma that she walked through Sid Grauman's wet cement and not mine. I would've yelled at her for messing up my new sidewalk.


Hugh Jackman is the most recent addition to the forecourt (April 2009). Levi the Tour Guide may have shared with me who's next. Send me $100 and I will tell you whether or not I know.

Marilyn Monroe wanted a diamond to dot the "i" in her name. The powers of the time refused on the grounds that the diamond would be stolen. Instead, they inserted a rhinestone. Within three days, someone tried to pry it out and succeeded in breaking off part of the stone. You can still see the knife marks. Not sure why anyone thought a rhinestone would be a safe bet!

Anyway, I had a very fun weekend. My family, of course, missed me dreadfully and fell apart at the seams. Okay, fine, they had a fun weekend themselves back in San Diego with the school's Fall Carnival, a few water polo games, and a Brownie activity. Dorothy the Dog, however, really did miss me because no one fed her dinner for two nights! Lest you be tempted to call the Humane Society, let me assure you that she did have food and water, just not her FAVORITE dinner fare.

Click here for links to more My Town Monday posts. (Thanks Clair for hosting) Also, if you're even mariginally thinking about writing a My-Town-Monday post, please do! Fair warning, though, it's addictive! Write your post, then leave a comment here and we'll link to you.


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23 comments:

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I haven't been to Hollywood for ages. Oh, except for the filming of the dr. phil show awhile back but that doesn't really count. There was no time for sight seeing!

Beth said...

You’ve been spending a lot of time in Hollywood lately – watch out for the paparazzi! Perhaps I’ll buy the next issue of People and look for your smiling face. ;)

Lauren said...

I'm glad to see that you've been keeping up with the MTM posts! I've never been to Hollywood so enjoyed the pieces of trivia. :) Very interesting about the rhindstone in Marilyn Monroe's name :)

Sounds like the Author's Feast was fun!

Keri Mikulski said...

Sounds like a great weekend. :) Thanks for sharing the inside dish on Hollywood. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

I've actually been to Hollywood once upon a time. Was interesting.

Bina said...

I had no idea that's how the idea of those cement blocks came about. Very interesting.

And wow. Just think. Marlyn Monroe actually touched the cement! I think that is the collest thing!!!!

Glad you had a great time!

Barrie said...

And you know what's weird, Bina, Madam Tussaud's is right by the Chinese Theater. And outside Madam tussaud's is a lifesize, lifelike Marilyn Monroe. With that and her concrete block, it's kind of like she's there!

Kristina P. said...

You know, I grew up in So. Cal but I have never been into the heart of Hollywood.

Kathy Holmes said...

Thanks for the latest Hollywood update. My mother grew up near there and I loved hearing her stories. I just hang out at the Grauman's replica at Studios at WDW. LOL!

Can't for "I So Don't Do Famous" - sounds like great fun!

BTW, my post is at www.kathyholmes.net/blog

MeganRebekah said...

I've always wanted to visit Hollywood and the Chinese Theater. Hopefully one day!

Looks beautiful!

And now I definitely want to know who's next...

Barrie said...

Kristina, it's actually pretty tacky.

Barrie said...

So, MeganRebekah, is the check in the mail? :)

Amy said...

I would love to go there. I've been to Hollywood before, but I was younger and my family didn't take me to the Theater :( I'll just have to settle for the Great Movie Ride at Disneyworld for now... haha

Teresa said...

Thanks for the travelogue on Hollyweird!! Hope you got lots of great material for your next book. Glad you had fun with the writers. I'm also glad your family DIDN'T fall apart so you could have a weekend of fun and games!

Danyelle said...

This sounds like a lot of fun. The theater looks amazing. :D

Solvang Sherrie said...

I remember being so disappointed the first time I saw Hollywood. It's such a dingy place. But I love Grauman's Chinese Theater. It was a favorite place to see a movie in high school and it still has that old Hollywood type of feel to it.

Sounds like you had a fun weekend among the stars, probably since YOU are one :)

Caryn Caldwell said...

Oh, fun! I loved hearing the background on the sidewalk. I never knew all that stuff.

Glad you had a good time!

Sarakastic said...

I can walk in cement just as good as those people!

Vivian said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I'm so glad you showed Hugh Jackman's signed block.

Cassandra said...

I was recently in Hollywood and have to admit that I will never be visiting that city again! You can just smell the pollutants in the air, and there's always too many people on the 2-foot wide sidewalks. I would never want to live in such a city. But it was interesting to visit Hollywood and just experience what you normally would just see on TV. It wasn't as glamorous as everyone makes it out to be. Sure, it did have some ritzy shops and fancy cars and celebrities, but besides that, it was just a regular city!
I can't wait to read about Hollywood in the fourth Sherry book!

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I love this! It's been forever since I've been to Hollywood. Having grown up in California, we went several times. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! :)

beckylevine.wordpress.com said...

You're not too far from where I lived & worked for 3 years a couple of decades ago. Fun trip--I'm always amazed at how tiny the women's shoes/feet were when I look at those stars!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I never knew the story behind Mann's and the footprints--thanks for that!