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After 100 Years, Hollywood Knows Its Glitz

December 06, 1986|KATHLEEN NEUMEYER | United Press International

Hollywood boosters Friday announced plans for a "glamorous, glittery" 100th birthday bash, a yearlong party that will include a laser show over the famed Hollywood sign and a gala honoring 100 stars.

Most Americans will get their first glimpse of the celebration at half-time of the 1987 Super Bowl. The festivities at the Rose Bowl in nearby Pasadena will feature a salute to Hollywood created by Disneyland.

Dozens of events planned for a multimillion-dollar centennial celebration for the entertainment capital were announced by Hollywood's chief cheerleader, veteran emcee Johnny Grant, who is chairing the celebration.

Announced at Hotel

Actresses Angie Dickinson and Dee Wallace-Stone joined in the announcements at the recently renovated Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which once housed the Hollywood Canteen, along with Mickey Mouse and dark-suited representatives of the corporate sponsors who are bankrolling the festivities.

"Our birthday salute to the most famous town in the world will be the most glamorous, glittery celebration ever to honor the birth of a city," Grant said.

There will be a daylong series of events Feb. 1, the actual 100th anniversary of the day that Harvey Wilcox, a Kansas prohibitionist who moved to California to get in on the real estate boom, registered the name "Hollywood" for his 120-acre ranch.

The events will include the dedication of a star for the late Natalie Wood on the Walk of Fame and the unveiling of a special time capsule--to be kept above ground and constructed of plexiglass so its contents may be viewed--that will be filled with Hollywood memorabilia.

"We are asking people all over the world to write to us here at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and suggest what items we ought to put into the time capsule," Grant said.

Dickinson, a member of the celebrity planning committee, said the entire nation will take part in the celebration because Hollywood plays a special role in Americans' lives.

"I think of Hollywood as a place that allows people to rise out of their troubled lives, if only for an evening or a day, and escape their troubles," she said.

Centennial Weekend in June

A Centennial Weekend in June will feature a concert at the Hollywood Bowl honoring Bob and Delores Hope as "citizens of the century;" a "Dancing in the Streets" block party at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, and a "100 Famous Faces" gala to air as a television special, including a fireworks and laser show at the Hollywood sign.

Other major events planned for the yearlong celebration will include an old-fashioned Hollywood premiere at the Chinese Theater in May, celebrity tennis and polo tournaments, a special game sponsored by the California Lottery and the minting of a series of commemorative coins.

The first big event will be Jan. 25, when Disneyland will produce a 12-minute, Olympic-style salute to Hollywood featuring a 105,000-member card section and a cast of 800 dancers during half-time of Super Bowl XXI.

Three-hundred toy soldiers will march onto the field, followed by 30 little Shirley Temple look-alikes who will dance to the strains of "The Good Ship Lollipop" and perform as many show tunes as can be crammed into three minutes.

Next will come 400 cowboys cavorting on Art Deco horses and dancing a "Footloose" number culminating in a shoot-out with fireworks guns loaded with glitter.

A corps of dancers dressed like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers will twirl around a three-story balloon chandelier, and the "No Business Like Show Business" finale will feature hundreds of showgirls in feathers and extravagant headdresses.

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