Silent Film Landmarks in Hollywood, California: Capturing the Golden Age of Cinema

Tours of Hollywood, California show you a legendary place synonymous with the glitz and glamour of the film industry. It was during the silent film era that Hollywood established itself as the epicenter of filmmaking, captivating audiences worldwide with its magical storytelling. In this article, we delve into the iconic locations in Hollywood where famous silent movies were filmed, taking a nostalgic journey through the golden age of cinema.

  1. The Hollywood Sign; No landmark encapsulates the allure of Hollywood better than the world-renowned Hollywood Sign. Originally erected in 1923 as an advertisement for a real estate development, the sign has become an enduring symbol of the entertainment industry. Many silent films used the sign as a backdrop, showcasing the charm and grandeur of the burgeoning film capital.
  2. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre: Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, now known as TCL Chinese Theatre, has witnessed countless premieres and historic moments in Hollywood’s history. Built in 1927, the theater’s iconic architecture and ornate design made it a preferred venue for many silent movie premieres. Stars of the era, such as Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford, graced its red carpet, leaving their handprints and footprints in the forecourt, immortalizing their legacies.
  3. Sunset Boulevard: Sunset Boulevard, a legendary street stretching from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean, has been featured in numerous silent films. Its scenic route became a symbol of the city’s opulence and a favorite location for filmmakers. Silent classics like “Sunset Boulevard” (1929) and “What Price Hollywood?” (1932) used the boulevard’s landmarks and stunning views to capture the essence of Hollywood’s glamour.
  4. Hollywood Forever Cemetery: Established in 1899, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is the final resting place of many silent film luminaries, including Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks Sr., and Marion Davies. This historic cemetery not only serves as a tribute to these legendary figures but also offers a unique glimpse into the silent film era. Visitors can pay their respects while exploring the beautifully landscaped grounds and attending special screenings of silent films during summer nights.
  5. The Ambassador Hotel: The Ambassador Hotel, which stood from 1921 to 2005, was a popular filming location during the silent film era. It served as the backdrop for notable movies such as “It” (1927), starring Clara Bow. The hotel’s elegance and grandeur perfectly captured the spirit of Hollywood during that time. Although the original hotel is no longer standing, its former location remains significant, reminding us of the golden era of silent films.

Exploring the locations where famous silent movies were filmed in Hollywood takes us back to the pioneering days of cinema. From the Hollywood Sign to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and Sunset Boulevard, these landmarks symbolize the magic and allure that continues to make Hollywood the heart of the film industry. It is through these locations that the silent film era lives on, forever etched in the annals of cinematic history.

Some Specific Silent Film Locations on Your Hollywood Tour

Numerous silent movies were filmed in Hollywood during the golden era of silent cinema. Here are some notable examples:

  1. “The Birth of a Nation” (1915): Directed by D.W. Griffith, this groundbreaking epic was one of the earliest silent films to be shot extensively in and around Hollywood. It played a significant role in establishing the film industry in the area.
  2. “Intolerance” (1916): Also directed by D.W. Griffith, “Intolerance” explored themes of love and prejudice across four different time periods. Many scenes were filmed on elaborate sets constructed in Hollywood.
  3. “The Kid” (1921): Charlie Chaplin’s classic comedy-drama was partially filmed in Hollywood and showcased various locations in the area. The film tells the heartwarming story of a tramp who befriends an abandoned child.
  4. “The Gold Rush” (1925): Another iconic film by Charlie Chaplin, “The Gold Rush” was filmed in various locations in California, including Hollywood. It follows the adventures of Chaplin’s character, the Little Tramp, during the Klondike Gold Rush.
  5. “Metropolis” (1927): Directed by Fritz Lang, this groundbreaking German expressionist film featured futuristic sets and stunning visual effects. Some scenes were filmed in Hollywood, contributing to its status as a silent film masterpiece.
  6. “The Artist” (2011): While not a silent film from the golden era, “The Artist” pays homage to the silent era. It was filmed in various locations in Los Angeles, including Hollywood, and depicts the story of a silent film star during the transition to talkies.

These are just a few examples of the many silent movies that were filmed in Hollywood. The area served as a hub for film production during that time, attracting filmmakers from around the world and establishing Hollywood’s reputation as the center of the movie industry.

Chaplin’s “The Kid”

“The Kid” (1921) is a beloved silent film directed by and starring Charlie Chaplin. The movie tells the story of the Tramp, played by Chaplin, who takes care of an abandoned child, portrayed by Jackie Coogan. While the film predominantly used studio sets, there were a few notable filming locations for “The Kid.”

Chaplin image of The Kid filmed in Hollywood

Chaplin image of The Kid filmed in Hollywood

  1. Los Angeles Orphan Asylum: The exterior shots of the orphanage where the child is initially left were filmed at the Los Angeles Orphan Asylum. Located at 917 S. Boyle Avenue in Los Angeles, this building provided the backdrop for the emotional scenes of separation.
  2. Glendale Train Station: The scene in which the Tramp and the child hide from the police officers inside a railroad boxcar was filmed at the Glendale Train Station. The station, located in Glendale, California, provided an authentic setting for the comedic and tender moments shared by Chaplin and Coogan.
  3. Echo Park: The climax of the film takes place in Echo Park, Los Angeles, where the Tramp fights to rescue the child from the clutches of the orphanage workers. Echo Park’s scenic lake and picturesque surroundings added a dramatic touch to the pivotal scenes of the film.
  4. Studio Sets: The majority of the filming for “The Kid” took place on studio sets, including Chaplin’s own studio, the Chaplin Studios (later known as the Jim Henson Studios). These sets recreated various urban and residential locations, allowing Chaplin to meticulously craft the world of the film.

While the film primarily relied on constructed sets, the use of real locations like the Los Angeles Orphan Asylum, Glendale Train Station, and Echo Park added authenticity and depth to the storytelling, complementing Chaplin’s iconic performances and emotional narrative in “The Kid.”

Any Hollywood Tour worth its salt will give you some insight into the films and filmmakers that had an impact on what Hollywood eventually became. Some locations still exist. Others exist only in memories and on film.

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Los Angeles City Tours and Vehicle Safety

Hollywood tour bus accident

Hollywood tours run by Star Track Tours have one goal that overrides anything else: to make sure our passengers have a SAFE as well as entertaining trip. It’s not unheard of that the vehicle of some tour company or other has been involved in an accident—as was recently the case with another Hollywood bus tour company (see photo). Aside from training our drivers extremely well and adhering to the highest safety standards, our tour buses are the safest in the community. That’s just one more reason to book a Beverly Hills tour or Hollywood sightseeing tour with us. We take great care to ensure your family’s safety.

Hollywood tour bus accident

Hollywood tour bus accident. Star Track puts safety first!

L.A. Traffic Laws and Regulations

In Los Angeles, traffic safety laws are in place to promote safe driving practices, reduce accidents, and ensure the smooth flow of traffic. Here are some key aspects of traffic safety laws in Los Angeles:
1. Speed Limits: Speed limits are enforced on all roads within the city. The specific speed limits can vary depending on the type of road and the area. In general, residential areas typically have lower speed limits, while major highways and freeways have higher limits. It’s important to adhere to the posted speed limits to ensure the safety of yourself and others.
2. Seat Belt Laws: California law requires all occupants of a motor vehicle to wear seat belts while the vehicle is in motion. This includes both the driver and all passengers. Children under the age of 8 or under 4 feet 9 inches tall must be secured in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat.
3. Cell Phone Use: It is illegal to use a handheld cellphone while driving in Los Angeles, unless you are using it in a hands-free manner, such as with a Bluetooth device or voice commands. This law applies to both making and receiving calls, as well as texting or using any other function on your phone that requires manual input.
4. DUI Laws: Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is strictly prohibited. In California, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for most drivers is 0.08%. However, for drivers under the age of 21 and commercial vehicle drivers, the limit is lower at 0.01% and 0.04% respectively. Penalties for DUI offenses can include fines, license suspension, mandatory alcohol education programs, and even jail time.
5. Traffic Signals and Signs: Drivers must obey traffic signals, signs, and road markings at all times. This includes stopping at red lights, yielding at yield signs, following one-way signs, and obeying speed limit signs. Ignoring traffic signals and signs can result in traffic violations and potential accidents.
6. Pedestrian Safety: Los Angeles has a large number of pedestrians, and it’s crucial to prioritize their safety. Drivers must yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and exercise caution in areas with heavy pedestrian traffic. It’s also important for pedestrians to use designated crosswalks and follow traffic signals when crossing the street.

These are just some of the traffic safety laws that are enforced in Los Angeles. It’s essential to stay informed about the specific regulations and changes in traffic laws by referring to the official sources, such as the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or local law enforcement agencies.

Hollywood Tour Bus Safety

Hollywood tour buses typically have specific safety requirements to ensure the safety of passengers and other road users. These requirements aim to address the unique characteristics and challenges associated with operating large passenger vehicles. While specific regulations may vary by jurisdiction, here are some common safety requirements for tour buses:

1. Vehicle Inspections: Tour buses are subject to regular inspections to ensure they meet safety standards. These inspections typically cover various aspects such as the vehicle’s mechanical condition, brakes, tires, lights, signals, and overall structural integrity. Inspections may be conducted by government agencies or authorized third-party entities.
2. Driver Qualifications: Tour bus drivers are required to hold a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) with appropriate endorsements for passenger transportation. They must undergo specialized training and meet specific qualifications, including knowledge of safety procedures, hours-of-service regulations, passenger management, and defensive driving techniques.
3. Hours of Service: Tour bus drivers must comply with hours-of-service regulations to prevent fatigue-related accidents. These regulations limit the number of hours a driver can be on duty and mandate rest periods and maximum driving time per day or week. These rules are designed to prevent driver fatigue and ensure drivers are adequately rested.
4. Passenger Safety Measures: Tour buses are equipped with safety features to protect passengers in the event of an accident. This includes properly functioning seat belts for each passenger seat, emergency exits, fire extinguishers, and clear evacuation procedures. Additionally, some jurisdictions may require the installation of safety technologies such as electronic stability control (ESC) systems and automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems.
5. Insurance and Liability: Tour bus operators are typically required to maintain adequate insurance coverage to protect passengers and other parties in the event of an accident. The specific insurance requirements may vary depending on the jurisdiction and the size of the tour bus company.
6. Compliance with Traffic Laws: Tour bus operators and drivers must adhere to all applicable traffic laws and regulations, including speed limits, traffic signals, and road signs. Failure to comply with traffic laws can result in fines, penalties, and potential revocation of licenses or operating permits.

When touring Hollywood or elsewhere in Southern California it’s important to keep safety in the forefront. We at Star Track Tours do and we are proud of our stellar safety record. We hope to see you on one of our Hollywood bus tours soon!

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Hollywood Tour Company Launches Upgraded Fleet

Hollywood tour bus

Star Track Tours, a longtime Hollywood tour bus company announced the overhaul of their fleet of tour buses as of March 2023. The renovations and upgrades will provide even greater comfort for tourists wishing to view famous sights in Hollywood, take Beverly Hills tours or schedule private Los Angeles city tours.

Companies such as Star Track Tours rely on smaller mini buses to shuttle passengers around Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Star Track specifically uses modified Ford Transit Vans which seat 13 passengers. The rather low-profile vehicles with side windows removed allow tourists to take unobstructed photos of any landmark, celebrity home or point of interest while on the tour. A roof keeps out sun and rain. Over the years, with thousands of tourists opting to take sightseeing tours, interiors as well as exteriors tend to deteriorate. In a highly-competitive niche, tour operators like Star Track Tours must maintain their fleets to attract new customers and keep the positive reviews flowing on social media.

Star Track Tours has invested in new exterior artwork on all their buses as well as new upholstery for the seats. The vehicles have all received new vinyl wraps and the seats have been reupholstered in PU leather. The seats have all been re-cushioned, as well, making the ride even more comfortable for visitors. Regular maintenance is also performed on the vehicles’ engines, tires and other mechanical or electrical items.

Hollywood tour bus

Hollywood tour bus upgraded for comfort

Jeff Napshin, principal of Star Track Tours, emphasized the importance of the upgrades. “We have to be the best in everything so that people choose us instead of our competition. It’s not just the tours themselves and the sights people see. It’s the whole experience. That includes how our buses look and how clean and comfortable the seats are.” Napshin also alluded to the competitive nature of the Hollywood tours industry. “We all want those five-star reviews. It’s critical in this business. I don’t want someone saying the tour was fantastic—which it is—but the seats on the bus were worn out. It really does make a difference.”

About Star Track Tours

Star Track Tours is a Hollywood and Beverly Hills tours company founded in 2014. The company provides guided bus tours of Hollywood, celebrity homes and other points of interest in Southern California. It is based in Hollywood. The company’s website is

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Hollywood Culinary Tours

Nouvelle cuisine on Hollywood food tour

Film and TV Celebs Aren’t The Only Stars In Hollywood

Celebrity homes tours are often what people think of when they imagine Hollywood tours. That’s our forte at Star Track Tours, but we can guarantee you’ll also be thinking of where to eat, not just what—or who—you might see on one of our tours. Stars of television and motion pictures aren’t the only famous names in our city. In fact, some chefs have achieved the status that was heretofore only reserved for actors. Some culinary luminaries have even landed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

Here’s a short and familiar list of who’s hot in Hollywood in terms of food:

  1. Wolfgang Puck – he is a renowned celebrity chef and restaurateur who owns several restaurants in the Los Angeles area, including Spago and CUT.
  2. Gordon Ramsay – he is a British chef, restaurateur, and television personality who has several restaurants in the Los Angeles area, including Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood.
  3. Curtis Stone – he is an Australian celebrity chef and television personality who owns several restaurants in Los Angeles, including Maude and Gwen.
  4. Nancy Silverton – she is an American chef and baker who is known for her work at La Brea Bakery and Mozza Restaurant Group in Los Angeles.
  5. Suzanne Goin – she is an American chef and restaurateur who owns several restaurants in Los Angeles, including A.O.C. and Lucques.
  6. Ludo Lefebvre – he is a French chef and restaurateur who owns several restaurants in Los Angeles, including Trois Mec and Petit Trois.
  7. Sang Yoon – he is a Korean-American chef and restaurateur who owns several restaurants in Los Angeles, including Lukshon and Father’s Office.

These are just a few examples of the many talented chefs and restaurateurs in Hollywood, CA.

Nouvelle cuisine on Hollywood food tour

Nouvelle cuisine on Hollywood

Wolfgang Puck

Wolfgang Puck is a famous Austrian-American chef, restaurateur, and businessman who is known for his innovative cooking techniques and culinary creations. He was born on July 8, 1949, in Austria, and he moved to the United States in 1973.

Puck’s culinary career began in Los Angeles, where he worked as a chef at the restaurant Ma Maison. In 1982, he opened his first restaurant, Spago, which quickly became a popular dining destination for celebrities and food lovers. Puck’s signature dishes at Spago included gourmet pizzas, smoked salmon pizza, and his famous “chinois chicken salad.”

Over the years, Puck has expanded his culinary empire to include numerous restaurants across the United States and around the world. He has also authored several cookbooks, appeared on numerous cooking shows, and has been a regular guest on television talk shows.

In addition to his culinary achievements, Puck is also known for his philanthropic work. He founded the Wolfgang Puck Charitable Foundation, which supports various charities, including the American Cancer Society and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Today, Puck is considered one of the most influential chefs in the world, and his innovative approach to cooking has had a significant impact on the culinary industry.

Fans of Wolfgang Puck can dine at Merois in West Hollywood: 8430 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90069

Nancy Silverton

Nancy Silverton is a famous American chef, baker, and entrepreneur who is known for her contributions to the artisanal bread movement and her work in the Los Angeles restaurant scene. She was born on June 20, 1954, in Los Angeles, California.

Silverton’s culinary career began in the early 1980s, when she co-founded the renowned Los Angeles restaurant La Brea Bakery, which became famous for its artisanal breads made with natural sourdough starters. She went on to found several other successful restaurants, including Campanile and Osteria Mozza.

In addition to her work as a chef and restaurateur, Silverton has also authored several cookbooks, including “Breads from the La Brea Bakery” and “The Mozza Cookbook.” She has been the recipient of numerous culinary awards, including the James Beard Foundation’s Outstanding Chef Award and the French Legion of Honor.

Silverton is also known for her philanthropic work. She founded the organization “Chefs Cycle,” which raises funds and awareness for No Kid Hungry, a charity that works to end childhood hunger in America.

Today, Silverton is considered one of the most influential chefs in the United States, and her dedication to artisanal bread and Italian cuisine has had a significant impact on the culinary industry.

If you’re a fan of Nancy Silverton, check out The Barish at the Roosevelt Hotel at 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028.


Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay is a British chef, restaurateur, and television personality who is known for his fiery personality, exceptional cooking skills, and his role as a judge on popular cooking competition shows like MasterChef and Hell’s Kitchen. He was born on November 8, 1966, in Scotland.

Ramsay’s culinary career began in the early 1980s when he trained under some of the world’s most renowned chefs, including Marco Pierre White and Guy Savoy. He went on to open several successful restaurants in the United Kingdom, including Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, which has been awarded three Michelin stars.

In addition to his work as a chef and restaurateur, Ramsay has also made a name for himself as a television personality. He has appeared on numerous cooking shows, including MasterChef, Hell’s Kitchen, and Kitchen Nightmares. He is known for his tough love approach to mentoring and has become famous for his fiery temper and colorful language.

Outside of his culinary and television career, Ramsay is also involved in various philanthropic endeavors. He has supported several charities, including the Scottish Spina Bifida Association and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.

Today, Ramsay is considered one of the most famous and successful chefs in the world. He has earned numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his contributions to the culinary industry.

Fans of Gordon Ramsay can experience his cuisine at Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood: 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90069

Our Hollywood celebrity tours are always casual, but after having a blast with us, you may just want to gussy up for some haute cuisine at one of these famous chefs’ eateries.




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Super Mario Bros. Tours in Hollywood

New “World” At Universal Studios Will Attract Millions

If the success of the Super Mario Bros. movie is any indication, the new Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood will become a major success story and one more reason for people to visit us in Southern California. We hope while you’re here you’ll take advantage of our Hollywood tours and see the historical Hollywood as well as this new Universal cash cow.

Are You Ready for Super Nintendo World?

Super Nintendo World, is a themed area at Universal Studios theme parks that is based on the popular video game franchise, Super Mario Bros.

The first Super Nintendo World opened at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka in March 2021. The area features a range of attractions, including a Mario Kart ride, an interactive Yoshi ride, and a re-creation of Bowser’s Castle. There are also restaurants, shops, and interactive elements throughout the area.

Mario of Super Nintendo World Hollywood

Mario of Super Nintendo World Hollywood

The Mario Kart ride, called Mario Kart: Koopa’s Challenge, is a highlight of Super Nintendo World. It features a trackless ride system and allows guests to compete in a virtual race with other riders. Guests wear augmented reality (AR) headsets that transport them into the world of Mario Kart.

The Yoshi ride, called Yoshi’s Adventure, is a family-friendly attraction that takes guests on a gentle ride through a vibrant landscape filled with characters and obstacles from the Super Mario Bros. franchise. The ride vehicles are designed to look like Yoshis, the dinosaur-like creatures that appear in the games.

Bowser’s Castle is another popular attraction at Super Nintendo World. Guests can explore the castle and interact with various elements, such as hitting blocks with their hands to reveal power-ups or facing off against Bowser Jr. in an AR game.

Overall, Super Nintendo World is a highly immersive and interactive theme park area that brings the world of Super Mario Bros. to life.

Super Mario Bros. is a classic video game that was developed and published by Nintendo in 1985. It is one of the most iconic video games of all time and has since spawned a franchise that has become an integral part of popular culture.

A brief history of Super Mario Bros:

In the early 1980s, Nintendo was a relatively unknown video game company in the United States. In Japan, however, they had already achieved success with arcade games like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. The latter game introduced the world to the character of Mario, who would go on to become the company’s mascot.

In 1985, Nintendo released Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). The game was a massive success, and it is credited with helping to revive the video game industry, which had suffered a crash in 1983.
Super Mario Bros. follows the adventures of Mario and his brother Luigi as they try to rescue Princess Toadstool from the evil Bowser. The game consists of eight worlds, each with four levels, and the player must navigate through various obstacles and enemies to reach the end.

The game’s success led to the creation of a franchise that has spanned over three decades. Numerous sequels and spin-offs have been released, and Mario has become one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time. The franchise has also expanded beyond video games, with movies, TV shows, and even a theme park.

In conclusion, Super Mario Bros. is a classic video game that has had a lasting impact on popular culture. Its success helped to revive the video game industry, and it has since become one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time.

Kids and adults alike should flock to Universal Studios to experience this new attraction. Of course Hollywood has tons more to offer and a fun-filled tour of Hollywood with Star Track Tours should be on your list to make sure you squeeze every drop out of your SoCal tourism adventure. Book now!

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Sightseeing Tour Considerations

Sightseeing tour of city at night

On Hollywood tours, just as with any sightseeing tour there are things you need to consider. There are several considerations to keep in mind when planning or going on a sightseeing tour. Here are a few:

Sightseeing above Valley

Sightseeing above Valley

  1. Cost: Sightseeing tours can range from budget-friendly to very expensive. Consider your budget and what you are willing to spend on the tour. Some tours may include additional costs such as admission fees or transportation.
  2. Time: Sightseeing tours can take anywhere from a few hours to several days. Consider how much time you have available and how much time you want to spend on the tour.
  3. Group size: Some tours may have a maximum group size, while others may be more flexible. Consider how comfortable you are with a larger or smaller group, and whether you prefer a more personalized or social experience.
  4. Tour guide: The tour guide can make a big difference in your experience. Consider the reputation and experience of the tour company and the guide, and whether they are knowledgeable and passionate about the sights you will be visiting.
  5. Itinerary: Look at the tour itinerary and make sure it includes the sights and experiences that are important to you. Some tours may have a set itinerary, while others may be more flexible and allow you to customize your experience.
  6. Transportation: Consider how you will be getting around on the tour. Will you be walking, taking public transportation, or using a private vehicle? Make sure the mode of transportation is comfortable and safe for you.
  7. Weather: Be aware of the weather conditions and dress appropriately. Some tours may be affected by weather conditions, such as rain or snow, so be prepared for any potential changes to the itinerary.

Overall, it’s important to research and carefully consider all aspects of a sightseeing tour before booking to ensure that it meets your expectations and preferences.

Sightseeing tour of city at night

Sightseeing tour of city at night


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History of Beverly Hills

Beverly Hills Hotel

Tours of Beverly Hills Showcase Luxury

Our Beverly Hills tours take you on a close-up journey among the homes of the rich and famous. While TV shows like the Beverly Hillbillies played upon the area for laughs, it remains associated with wealth, glamor and luxury.

Beverly Hills, California is an affluent city located in Los Angeles County. It is known for its luxurious lifestyle, celebrity residents, and high-end shopping and dining. However, the city has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century.

In the late 1800s, the area that is now Beverly Hills was primarily ranch land owned by Mexican rancheros. It was not until the turn of the 20th century that the land began to be developed. In 1900, a group of investors bought 4,000 acres of land with the intention of developing a new community. The group was led by Burton E. Green, a wealthy oilman, and real estate developer.

Green and his partners formed the Amalgamated Oil Company, which would drill for oil on the land while also developing the area into a new community. They named the new development “Beverly Hills” after Beverly Farms, a wealthy suburb of Boston. The name was meant to evoke an image of luxury and exclusivity.

The development of Beverly Hills was slow at first, with only a handful of houses being built in the early years. However, the community began to grow in the 1910s and 1920s, as wealthy residents began to build large estates in the area. The city’s first hotel, the Beverly Hills Hotel, was also built during this time.

In 1923, the residents of Beverly Hills voted to incorporate as a city. The city’s first mayor was Edward L. Doheny, Jr., the son of oil tycoon Edward L. Doheny. The younger Doheny was instrumental in the development of the city’s infrastructure, including its roads, water supply, and public transportation.

During the 1920s and 1930s, Beverly Hills became a popular destination for Hollywood celebrities. Many movie stars built large homes in the area, and the city became known as a symbol of wealth and glamour. The Beverly Hills Hotel and other luxury hotels in the area became popular destinations for the rich and famous.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Beverly Hills Hotel

During World War II, Beverly Hills became a center for the war effort. The city’s factories produced munitions and other war supplies, and the Beverly Hills High School was used as a training center for the Army Air Corps.

After the war, Beverly Hills continued to grow and develop. The city’s population increased, and more businesses and shopping centers were built. The city also became known for its cultural landmarks, including the Greystone Mansion and the Beverly Hills Public Library.

In the 1960s and 1970s, Beverly Hills experienced a period of social and political turmoil. The civil rights movement and anti-war protests led to tensions in the city, and there were protests and riots in the streets.

Despite these challenges, Beverly Hills continued to prosper in the following decades. The city’s economy grew, and it became a hub for the entertainment industry. The city’s real estate market also remained strong, with many of the world’s wealthiest individuals buying property in the area.

Today, Beverly Hills is a world-renowned city known for its luxury lifestyle and high-end shopping and dining. The city’s population continues to grow, and it remains a popular destination for tourists and celebrities alike. While the city has faced its share of challenges over the years, it has remained a symbol of glamour, wealth, and success.

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Hollywood Traditions: The Christmas Parade

Santa at Hollywood Christmas Parade

Tours of Hollywood on Our Beloved Thoroughfare

The Hollywood Christmas Parade is an annual event that takes place in Hollywood, California, typically on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It is one of the oldest and largest Christmas parades in the United States, dating back to 1928, and it features celebrities, marching bands, floats, and other festive displays.

The parade route typically runs along Hollywood Boulevard, from the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive to the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. The parade is broadcast on television, typically on local stations in the Los Angeles area, as well as nationally on the Hallmark Channel. This is a familiar route of many hollywood tours.

In addition to the parade itself, there are usually pre-parade festivities, such as musical performances and celebrity appearances, as well as a post-parade concert featuring popular musicians. The parade is also a popular tourist attraction, drawing crowds from around the world to see the festive displays and celebrities.

Over the years, the parade has featured a wide range of celebrities and performers, including actors, musicians, athletes, and even politicians. Some of the most notable participants in the parade’s history have included Bob Hope, Mickey Mouse, Santa Claus, Frank Sinatra, and the Rockettes.

The Hollywood Christmas Parade is also known for its charitable efforts, with proceeds from the event going to a variety of local charities and organizations. Overall, the parade is a beloved holiday tradition in Hollywood and a celebration of the festive spirit of Christmas.

Santa at Hollywood Christmas Parade

Santa at Hollywood Christmas Parade

Here are some celebrities who have served as Grand Marshals of the Hollywood Christmas Parade in recent years:

1. Marie Osmond (2020)
2. Mario Lopez (2019)
3. Nancy O’Dell (2018)
4. Dr. Oz (2017)
5. Olivia Newton-John (2016)
6. Penn & Teller (2015)
7. Stevie Wonder (2014)
8. Buzz Aldrin (2013)
9. Erik Estrada (2012)
10. Laura McKenzie (2011)

The Hollywood Christmas Parade traditionally follows a route along Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, USA. The parade begins at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Orange Drive, proceeds east along Hollywood Boulevard, turns south on Vine Street, and then turns west on Sunset Boulevard, before returning to Orange Drive. The parade typically lasts for about two hours and features floats, marching bands, celebrities, and other festive elements to celebrate the holiday season. However, please note that the exact route and schedule of the parade may vary from year to year, and it’s always a good idea to check for any updates or changes before planning to attend the parade.

Famous Landmarks Seen During the Parade

Hollywood Boulevard is known for its entertainment history and tourist attractions. Some famous locations on Hollywood Blvd that you might see when watching the Christmas parade include:
1. Hollywood Walk of Fame: This is a sidewalk featuring more than 2,600 five-pointed stars, each containing the name of a celebrity or public figure who has contributed to the entertainment industry.
2. TCL Chinese Theatre: Also known as Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, this historic cinema is famous for its iconic handprints and footprints of movie stars in the concrete forecourt.
3. Dolby Theatre: This is a state-of-the-art entertainment venue that hosts the annual Academy Awards ceremony.
4. Hollywood & Highland Center: This shopping and entertainment complex features various stores, restaurants, and a viewing deck overlooking the Hollywood Sign.
5. Madame Tussauds Hollywood: This wax museum features lifelike statues of famous celebrities and historical figures.
6. El Capitan Theatre: This is a beautifully restored cinema that features live shows and screenings of Disney movies.
7. Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel: This is a historic hotel where many famous celebrities have stayed over the years, including Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin.
8. Pantages Theatre: This is a classic theater that hosts Broadway shows and other live performances.
9. The Egyptian Theatre: This historic movie palace, built in 1922, is one of the oldest theaters in Hollywood and still screens classic films.
10. The Hollywood Museum: This museum is located in the historic Max Factor Building and showcases artifacts and memorabilia from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

If you’re touring Hollywood after Thanksgiving, you may want to make a point of attending the Hollywood Christmas Parade. It’s a Hollywood tradition that’s almost 100 years old!

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What’s Around The Hollywood Sign?

Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign

Hike Your Own Hollywood Tours

Tours of Hollywood always take in that iconic view of the Hollywood Sign, but if you’re visiting from elsewhere you may not know all that’s up and around the famous tourist attraction. Well, you’re in for a lesson!

Mount Hollywood

Mount Hollywood is a peak located within Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California. It is one of the highest points in the park, with an elevation of 1,625 feet (495 meters). The peak offers panoramic views of the Los Angeles basin, including Downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood Sign, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Mount Hollywood is a popular destination for hikers, runners, and nature enthusiasts. There are several trails that lead to the summit, including the Mount Hollywood Trail, which is a 3.8-mile (6.1-kilometer) round-trip hike that starts at the Griffith Observatory. The trail is rated as moderate and offers scenic views of the park and the city.

The peak is also home to the famous Hollywood Sign, which is located on the southern slope of Mount Lee, a nearby peak.

Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign

Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood sign was originally built in 1923 as an advertisement for a real estate development called “Hollywoodland.” The sign was made of wood and was intended to be temporary, but it became an iconic symbol of the entertainment industry and the city of Los Angeles. In 1949, the last four letters were removed, and the sign was restored and made permanent. Over the years, the sign has been the target of numerous pranks and vandalism, but it has also been featured in countless films, television shows, and photographs. Today, the Hollywood sign is a protected landmark and one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.
Overall, Mount Hollywood is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and visitors to Los Angeles, offering beautiful views of the city and the surrounding natural landscape.

Hiking Trails in Hollywood

Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California has a number of hiking trails. Some popular hiking trails in Griffith Park include:
1. Griffith Observatory Trail: This trail is a 2.5-mile round trip and offers great views of the Hollywood Sign, downtown LA, and the Griffith Observatory.
2. Charlie Turner Trail: This trail is a 4-mile round trip and offers great views of the San Fernando Valley.
3. Amir’s Garden Trail: This trail is a 2.5-mile round trip and offers a peaceful, shaded walk through Amir’s Garden.
4. Bronson Canyon Trail: This trail is a 2.5-mile round trip and offers great views of the Hollywood Sign and the Bronson Caves, which have been featured in many movies and TV shows.
5. Mount Hollywood Trail: This trail is a 5-mile round trip and offers great views of the city and the surrounding hills.

It’s important to note that some trails may be more difficult than others, so be sure to check the trail difficulty before you begin your hike. Additionally, be sure to bring plenty of water and wear appropriate footwear and clothing.

Griffith Park

Griffith Park is a large municipal park located in Los Angeles, California, that offers a wide range of activities for visitors. Here are some popular things to do at Griffith Park:

1. Hiking: Griffith Park has over 53 miles of hiking trails that range from easy to challenging. The most popular hiking trail is the Griffith Observatory Trail, which leads to the Griffith Observatory and offers stunning views of the city.
2. Visit the Griffith Observatory: The Griffith Observatory is an iconic landmark that offers free admission and features exhibits on astronomy and space science, as well as a planetarium and telescope.
3. Horseback riding: Griffith Park offers horseback riding trails that allow visitors to explore the park’s scenic trails on horseback. The park also has stables that offer horse rentals and guided tours.
4. Visit the Los Angeles Zoo: The Los Angeles Zoo is located within Griffith Park and features over 1,400 animals from around the world.
5. Picnic: Griffith Park has several designated picnic areas that offer tables, grills, and scenic views.
6. Golf: Griffith Park has two golf courses, the Wilson Golf Course and the Harding Golf Course, which are open to the public.
7. Visit the Autry Museum of the American West: The Autry Museum of the American West features exhibits and collections on the history and culture of the American West.
8. Take a pony ride: Griffith Park offers pony rides for children at the pony rides area.
9. Visit the Travel Town Museum: The Travel Town Museum features a collection of vintage trains, trolleys, and other forms of transportation.
10. Attend outdoor events: Griffith Park hosts a variety of outdoor events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and movie screenings.

After you take your Hollywood bus tour with Star Track Tours, why not hike up and around the Hollywood Sign and see Tinseltown from a thousand-foot view!

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Legendary Locations: Schwab’s Drugstore

Hollywood Tours Past a Bygone Landmark

Most Hollywood tours don’t take you past the site of the once oh-so-famous Schwab’s drugstore simply because it doesn’t exist anymore. Fans of old Hollywood who know the name and legendary stories about stars being “discovered” here can only walk past the location because nothing remains of this icon. However, the name and fame of this Tinseltown hotspot linger on.

Schwab’s drugstore was a popular hangout spot for Hollywood celebrities during the early 20th century. Located at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights in West Hollywood, Schwab’s opened in 1932 and quickly became a hot spot for movie stars and industry professionals.

The drugstore was owned by Jack and Bernie Schwab, two brothers who were originally from New York. The brothers had a vision of creating a place where people could come and relax, have a snack, and socialize. Schwab’s was designed to be more than just a typical drugstore – it was a place where people could come and see and be seen.

The location of Schwab’s was perfect for attracting Hollywood’s elite. It was situated at the heart of the movie industry, and many movie studios and production companies were located nearby. Schwab’s quickly became a popular hangout spot for actors, directors, producers, and other industry professionals.

Schwab's pharmacy menu from old Hollywood

Schwab’s pharmacy menu from old Hollywood

One of the most famous stories about Schwab’s is that Lana Turner was discovered there. The story goes that in 1936, 16-year-old Turner was sitting at the counter having a Coke when she was approached by a talent scout from MGM. The scout was so taken with Turner’s beauty that he offered her a screen test on the spot. Turner went on to become a major movie star, and the story of her discovery at Schwab’s helped to solidify the drugstore’s reputation as a place where Hollywood dreams could come true.
Schwab’s also played a role in the lives of other Hollywood legends. The drugstore was a favorite spot of Marilyn Monroe’s, who would often stop in for a milkshake after acting classes. James Dean was also a regular at Schwab’s, and it was one of the last places he visited before his fatal car accident in 1955. Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift were also known to frequent Schwab’s, and the two became close friends after meeting there.

In addition to its famous clientele, Schwab’s was also known for its unique atmosphere. The drugstore had a soda fountain where customers could order milkshakes, sundaes, and other treats. It also had a lunch counter, where people could order sandwiches and other light fare. The decor was quirky and fun, with neon signs, chrome fixtures, and a jukebox playing the latest hits.

Schwab’s was also known for its famous “Schwabisms” – quirky sayings and jokes that were written on a blackboard outside the drugstore. The Schwabisms were often witty and irreverent, and they became a fixture of the Hollywood landscape.
Despite its popularity, Schwab’s eventually fell on hard times. The drugstore was sold to a new owner in the 1960s, and it lost much of its charm and character. In 1983, the drugstore closed for good.

Today, the location of the old Schwab’s drugstore is home to a coffee shop and a small strip mall. However, the legacy of the drugstore lives on. Schwab’s was a place where Hollywood dreams were born, and it will always be remembered as a symbol of the glamour and excitement of the early days of the movie industry.

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