Hollywood, a form of soft power, is a huge industry in the USA. The soft power is strategically made efficient and has indirectly succeeded in capturing the world consumers.
The Hollywood culture – movies and music – has made its presence in almost every household at global level. The capital of Hollywood culture is Los Angeles, California. The pull factors associated with this culture, including lifestyle and wealth, have attracted 18 million visitors to this location every year.
Hollywood Boulevard – the happenings
We (read: hubby and I) are not first time visitors because we came here several times; our first visit being in 1993. On 8 September, 2018 we decided to go on a trip again and we stayed at Roosevelt Hotel which is located across the Hollywood Boulevard. The buzz of activities is around this location. Hollywood Boulevard was established around the 1930s. Earlier on, it was a piece of land where oranges trees were aplenty. The name Orange Drive is retained till today.
We took the opportunity to re-explore the Hollywood Boulevard. My, my, we realised that we had the famous Hollywood Walk of Fame to ourselves. I could just pick any stars’ names on the walkway and take pictures without having to wait for our turns.
Hollywood Walk of Fame
There was something else I discovered about the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Not every Hollywood star would want their names imprinted on the walkway; the exceptional ones are Robert De Niro, Julia Roberts, Leonardo Di Caprio, Brad Pitt and Denzel Washington. Actually, those who have their names imprinted on the five pointed terrazzo have to contribute USD30,000 and undergo the selection of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Nothing is free in this world. Period.
I took a picture of my favourite singer Bob Marley (No Woman No Cry) and several others. My partner in crime too picked his choice of stars, including Santana. What do you expect, guys? We are the baby boomers and we lived in their generation with Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry and Santana’s Black Magic Woman and Oye Como Va. So Jurassic of us!
WE ARE WITH THE STARS !!
The nearest “modern” boy band group that I could be associated with is The Backstreet Boys. That too, because of my two girls who grew up with the group and the songs were played non-stop in our house and car so much so I remember the lyrics.
For the record, the pioneer actor who made her presence at the Walkway was Joanne Woodwards (wife of Paul Newman) in 1960. Walking along the Walk of Fame, it is sad to discover that the five stars terrazzo on the walkway are dirty and not being maintained. Towards the far end and away from the centre of activities (Chinese Theater), I saw the name imprinted Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous actor and the two-term Governor of California. His star imprinted terrazzo was dirty with rubbish strewn on it. I doubt if many realised of his presence at this Hollywood location. Okay, enough of the Walkway
TCL Chinese Theater
Next, another question unanswered: why the conspicuous presence of a Chinese landmark? A showman, Sam Grauman, undertook the project of this specific area and he was the one who established the Chinese landmark. Why? No answer to this. I deduced that Grauman is a futuristic leader and he made the right decision in the 1930s. Now that China is one of the superpowers, you see Chinese tourists everywhere in this strip.
The TCL Chinese Theatre is synonymous with handprints of Hollywood movie stars. I posted one of Burt Reynolds as shown below. He passed away on September 6 due to cardiac arrest at the age of 82. His famous movie was Smokey and the Bandit, but I must admit that I read a lot about him more on his associations with Sally Fields (his co-star of Smokey and the Bandit) and Loni Anderson (ex-wife). Nope, I am not going to off-track here. Nevertheless, it is always nice to be on a gossipy mode. May his soul rest in peace…
My dearest hubby took the picture of the handprints of Clint Eastwood, his favourite actor. I was also first introduced to him by my late Abah in his movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in the 1960s. My late Abah was a huge fan of the Hollywood movies of the 1950s until 1970s. The thought of my late Abah and his love for Hollywood movies did cross my mind during the trip. Al Fatihah.
Like any movie sequel, Hollywood Is Calling Part 2 is coming soon…
Thank you, guys.