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THE CREME DE L.A. CREME | Show Biz

Hollywood History at Your Feet

From the Chinese Theatre to home of the Oscars to Universal Studios, there's much to see.

August 10, 2000|SUSAN KING | TIMES STAFF WRITER

There's no glitz at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, but it remains a lure for those seeking to experience Tinseltown. A better chance for stargazing might be at the Gelson's market in Century City. But rather than spending all day in the produce aisle, movie fans have plenty of ways to get a sense of the city's show-biz culture.

Start at the home of the Oscars--the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills--where two current movie-related exhibits are free and open to the public.

The academy's Grand Lobby Gallery features "Film Posters: Highlights of Recent Acquisitions," with several classic posters, including "King Kong," "Citizen Kane" and "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Take the elevator up to the fourth-floor gallery to peruse "Dong Kingman: An American Master in Hollywood Film." The exhibit highlights the film-related art of the acclaimed watercolorist whose works were used to set visual moods or animate title sequences in such film as "Flower Drum Song," "55 Days at Peking" and "The Sand Pebbles."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Monday August 21, 2000 Home Edition Calendar Part F Page 2 Entertainment Desk 2 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
Actress' burial site--Oscar-winning actress Hattie McDaniel is buried at the Rosedale Cemetery at 1831 W. Washington Blvd. in Los Angeles. An article in the Aug. 10 Calendar Weekend section incorrectly said she was one of the celebrities at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

A little morbid but packed with history is a trip to Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Formerly the Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery, it boasts an impressive list of dead stars including Rudolph Valentino, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks and Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Tyrone Power, Jayne Mansfield, Hattie McDaniel, Lee Remick and the Little Rascals' Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer and Darla Hood.

Around the corner from Hollywood Forever is Paramount Pictures, the longest continuously operating film studio in Hollywood. From 9 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays, Paramount offers a two-hour historical and information tour through the studio. The tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Visitors Center, 860 N. Gower St. Kids have to be over 10. It's even possible to eat at the studio's commissary--arrangements can be made when arriving for the tour.

Andy Kaufman buffs--and Jim Carrey fans for that matter--might want to nosh at Jerry's Famous Deli. Though there are several Jerry's, the Studio City location is the one where the late comic bused tables much to the surprise of the patrons. Carrey repeated those moments in the 1999 Kaufman biopic "Man on the Moon." It's also a great place to stargaze--CBS/Radford Studios is nearby and actors can be sighted during lunchtime or after a show.

Another place to look for well-heeled stars is shopping--weekdays only!--in Beverly Hills. Begin at the oh-so-famous Rodeo Drive and trek up and down the streets including Canon and Beverly.

Spectacular old movie palaces are about as extinct as dinosaurs, but some of the greatest theaters ever built are alive and well in Hollywood. The most famous, of course, is Mann's Chinese Theatre, nee Grauman's, which has been open for 73 years and features the world-famous courtyard of the foot and handprints of more stars than there are in the heavens.

Travel east down Hollywood Boulevard to the Egyptian Theatre, which has been around since 1922. Beautifully restored, the Egyptian is now home to the American Cinematheque. Tuesdays through Sundays, the Cinematheque screens "Forever Hollywood," an hourlong documentary on the history of Tinseltown.

In the neighborhood is the 33,000-square-foot Hollywood Entertainment Museum, which features film, TV, radio, sound recording and new media. Exhibits look at the evolution of film and television in Hollywood. There's also a tour of a studio back lot featuring the original sets from "Cheers" and "Star Trek."

Most people go to the Griffith Observatory to check out the shows at the Planetarium. But James Dean fans flock to the site atop the Hollywood Hills to see where some of the most famous scenes were shot for "Rebel Without a Cause."

Although it just filed for bankruptcy protection, Frederick's of Hollywood is still open on Hollywood Boulevard. The racy lingerie shop includes a museum that features unmentionables of the rich and famous.

Tickets to TV shows can be difficult to come by on short notice and some sitcoms haven't returned from summer hiatus. Call Audiences Unlimited at (818) 506-0043 to see what's available--and ask the age limit since most shows don't let children in. Paramount, home to such shows as "Frasier" and "Becker," has tickets at its Visitors Center.

Tickets for "The Tonight Show" are available at the NBC ticket box in Burbank beginning at 8 a.m. the day of the taping. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis with only two tickets per person. The age limit is 16.

To play the ultimate tourist, take the back-lot tour at Universal Studios Hollywood (actually in the San Fernando Valley).

Addresses, hours, prices. Page 27.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

"Go to Venice Beach on a Sunday afternoon. You can see it all--gangstas, surfers, punkers, women roller-blading in bikinis. It's one-stop shopping."

ICE T

Rapper-actor

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