Premieres. Extravagant Parties. Movie Stars. When it comes to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, everyone wants a piece of the action. Now is your chance to spend a perfect day touring Hollywood with the stars.
First stop, world famous Paramount Pictures. Situated in the heart of Hollywood, this studio has been around since 1912. All of the old Hollywood glamour has been retained in this classic movie-making landmark. On the two hour tour, your friendly guide will escort you throughout the sprawling grounds, covering history from past to present in the almost always perfect 80 degree sunny California weather.
Explore the massive sound stages, home to old favorites such as the television shows Mork and Mindy and Happy Days as well as classic movies like The Godfather and Ghost.
Jump back to the present and see actors diligently at work. The crew from "Everybody Hates Chris" rehearsing a shot, or comedienne/actress Molly Shannon (of Saturday Night Live fame) practicing her stylish dance moves outside of her soundstage for her upcoming television show" Kath and Kim". On a typical day, Paramount employees 2500-6000 people and the bustling lot is truly a city within a city; hosting beautiful parks, an employee cafeteria, Coffee Bean, and daycare for employees.
Five minutes from the studio is the final resting place of many celebs–Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Formerly the Hollywood Memorial Park, the beautiful burial site has the look of an iconic park, with its striking architecture and well manicured grounds.
Known for its special events, the cemetery is home to "Cinespia- Cemetery Screenings". For a small fee, patrons can watch classic movies underneath the stars during the summer months. The memorial park is the final resting place to Hollywood Icons director/producer Cecil B. Demille, Gangster Bugsy Segal, and screen gem Rudolph Valentino. Rumor has it these greats still haunt the grounds of the cemetery and Paramount.
Helpful employees distribute much needed maps to tour the mausoleum, headstones, and gravestones of Hollywood’s legends, which is spread out over the 100 acres. The cemetery itself has had its 15 minutes of fame with cameos in "LA Story" with Steve Martin and "Hot Shots" with Charlie Sheen.
Next, dine and shop with the stars at Fred Segal. Mentioned in classic movies such as "Clueless" (Lucy! Where is my white collarless shirt from Fed Segal- Cher) and "Legally Blonde" ("And last week I saw Cameron Diaz at Fred Segal, and I talked her out of buying this truly heinous angora sweater. Whoever said orange was the new pink was seriously disturbed!" -Elle Woods), Fred Segal is the place to be for edgy, trend setting attire, beauty products, and jewelry.
Founded by a successful entrepreneur, the store has 2 locations in Los Angeles and is known for its Ivy covered buildings and trademark blue and red lettering. After a day of shopping at the Melrose store, try out the fresh and healthy menu, with a side order of random celebrity sightings. Favorites include the light Cobb Chicken Salad with a glass of white wine or hearty Basil Pesto Chicken penne pasta that will keep you coming back for more.
In Hollywood, we like to keep stars around. So, next on the agenda is checking out the Hollywood Wax Museum, where every celebrity is immortalized forever in wax. Open since 1966, here you get the chance to rub elbows with screen heartthrobs Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, and George Clooney. Admire the eternal beauty of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe as well as current vixen Angelina Jolie. The museum features sets from movies, which can take up to six different specialists to recreate. A scene can have painters, set designers, landscapers, craftsmen, special effect experts and lighting specialists all working together to get the maximum result: lifelike images of your favorite celebs.
Last stop of the day is also the oldest; Musso and Frank Grill. Located on Hollywood Boulevard, this eatery has been around since 1919. It is a former hangout of great writers F. Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway and favorite refectory of Charlie Chaplin and Rudolf Valentino.
The menu keeps the old school charm and ambiance with its dressy red coated waiters, dark mood lighting, and open counter dining. Known for its steaks, Welsh rarebit, and (on Tuesdays) Corned Beef and Cabbage. Locals recommend trying the best martini in town, possibly at the back bar while watching the waiters use the old fashioned cash register and run orders to the lively tables.
Stop by the front counter and share a laugh or two (and magic tricks!) with Manny Felix. On staff for 40 years at the grill he exudes all the charm and exhilaration in the world. The blast from the past is refreshing and elating; as the nostalgia of Old Hollywood is remembered and appreciated by the old and young alike.
After a day of visiting the stars at work at Paramount Pictures, at peace at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Immortalized at The Hollywood Wax Museum, shopping and dining at Fred Segal, and reminisced and remembered at Musso and Frank you should feel like a star yourself.
What & Where:
Paramount Pictures (5555 Melrose Ave; 323-956-1777)
Hollywood Forever Cemetery (6000 Santa Monica Blvd; 323-469-1181)
Fred Segal (8100 Melrose Ave; 323-655-3734)
Hollywood Wax Museum (6767 Hollywood Blvd; 323-462-8860)
Musso and Frank Grill (6667 Hollywood Blvd; 323-467-7788)