Amid the bustle of Hollywood Boulevard stand two monuments to the silver screen. One, the TCL Chinese Theatre, oozes with history— imported Chinese stone lions, a 90-foot-tall copper roof, and concrete blocks that bear the handprints of Hollywood luminaries from years gone by each memorialize the celebrated role the building has played in Hollywood for more than eight decades.
Next door, Chinese 6 Theatres is a tribute to the cutting-edge. Six theaters, some with 3D capability, immerse viewers in ultra-realistic picture and sound better than sitting inside Steven Spielberg's android brain. Beyond the plush theater seating, a bar slings cocktails for in-movie sipping and a restaurant serves a full menu for cravings after the show. The service schedule varies for the bar and the restaurant but both will be open during Summer 2013. Whether they opt for the historic cinema or the ultramodern theater, visitors can catch a full slate of acclaimed new releases on their chosen big screen.
The storied history of TCL Chinese Theatre rivals those of the more than 200 celebrities whose handprints, footprints, and autographs are cemented into the theater's forecourt. Erected in 1927 and declared a historical and cultural landmark in 1968, the iconic theater stages movie screenings, premieres, events, and red-carpet ceremonies. Today, moviegoers walking through the theater's main courtyard can revel in the same opulence of those 1920s screen idols, craning their necks upward to take in the looming pagoda that frames the entrance. Inside, the theater's original 1927 screen towers high above the plush red-velvet seats, surrounded by wooden panels that rise to a ceiling with flowing Chinese-style drawings. This classic Hollywood setting is one of the reasons why the theater, in an echo of its origins, hosts celebrity-studded premieres, such as the 2012 opening for Life of Pi and the 2013 opening for Beautiful Creatures.
Moving picture began by depicting a horse running at full gallop, and has now evolved into visually stimulating films like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Planet of the Apes, which can all be seen at The Hollywood Museum. Visitors meander through a 35,000-square-foot, four-floor maze of more than 10,000 authentic movie props, costumes, and memorabilia. Previously a Prohibition-era speakeasy, the subterranean floor beckons patrons down Hannibal Lecter's The Silence of the Lambs jail corridor into the full cell used in the film, storing spine-tingling treasures such as his muzzling mask. First-floor doors open into Max Factor's restored makeup rooms, which border Cary Grant's Rolls-Royce and The Wizard of Oz's ruby slippers, which tempt visitors to slip them on and teleport to Kansas. Costumes, props, awards, and photos crowd the upper two floors, where Sylvester Stallone's Razzie for Worst Actor of the Century finds a home next to threads that once hugged Marilyn Monroe's legendary curves. In the past, rotating exhibits have showcased such items as a script and autographed poster from Slumdog Millionaire, duds modeled by the quick-stepping cast of High School Musical 3, and rows of awards for TV shows and particularly supercalifragilisticexpialidocious spelling-bee performances.
At Hollywood Academy of Music, youthful exuberance mingles with experienced instruction by university-trained teachers during private and group lessons, camps, and clinics. Individual lessons in more than a dozen instruments teach students to strum a guitar's strings, tickle a piano's keys, or pur?e beats with a kitchen blender. In group classes such as the School of Rock Band 101, teachers help groups of kids or adults grasp band basics, and in the Recording Artist program students learn to create and release their own self-produced CD on software they can use at home. Hollywood Academy of Music also helps students and the general public to hone their tune tutelage at free monthly clinics that range from songwriting to wailing the ran-out-of-matching-socks blues on a guitar.
Sessions take place in air-conditioned studios equipped with observation windows and high-quality pianos, guitar amps, and drums. Instructors also work with aspiring entertainers to help them put together a vocal repertoire, with some students advancing to compete on shows such as American Idol and The Voice.
Hand-stretched dough. Sauce made in store from hand-crushed tomatoes. Locally sourced meats cooked and flavored in house. Natural produce sliced by hand. These components form the foundation of Lucifers Pizza’s pies, which LA Weekly lauded as “devilishly unique.” In addition to cooking up classics such as the margherita and the hawaiian, New Zealanders Adam and Milan Borch bake gourmet pizzas with nontraditional ingredients including roasted pumpkin, lamb, and Thai-style satay chicken. To accommodate dietary restrictions, their pies can also include gluten-free crusts and vegan cheese.
Adam and Milan craft each pizza on a spice rating from zero to blazing, which intrepid diners can combat by drinking the pizzeria’s own mineral-spring water, throwing back Mexican Cokes, or gargling foam from the nearest fire extinguisher. Lucifers Pizza’s tiny storefront evokes that spiciness with orange flames painted on its façade, and its dark and intimate interior echoes the restaurant’s darkly comical concept.
Colin Fukunaga and Robert "Mags" Magsalin came up with the idea of creating the FukuBurger truck while working at Tao, a high-end Asian restaurant in Las Vegas. The pair's successful combination of gourmet Angus beef, turkey, chicken, and vegan patties with Japanese-influenced toppings—including wasabi mayo, teriyaki sauce, and red ginger—led to the establishment of FukuBurger's permanent location in Los Angeles and an applauding article from Caroline on Crack. In addition to hosting innovative cuisine, FukuBurger whets whistles and inspires chopstick duels with Japanese lagers, sake bombs, and beer-based Fuku Bombs until close at 4 a.m.
Hanging light pendants enliven modern barstools with red tints while chalkboards list the day's draft selections. A mural of a Japanese woman reaching for a burger adds to the bar's casual ambiance and acts as a siren that causes patrons to crash into the brick wall.
John Wells Golf Center's lighted driving range offers 60 spacious, canopy-covered hitting stalls that look out onto a range that stretches 260 yards into the distance. Yardage markers populate the field, letting players gauge the distance of each shot, and synthetic mats provide a smooth hitting surface so guests can leave their Persian rugs at home. The center offers lessons and clinics taught by a staff of five instructors anchored by Don Shauger, who trained two-time National Long Driving Champion John Marshall with methods he learned from Mike Austin, the golf renegade famous for hitting the game's longest drive ever—a 515-yard missile—at the age of 64. On select dates, the center offers free golf clinics for junior and adult beginners who purchase a bucket of range balls. Those looking to upgrade their golf gear or replace a wedge caught fraternizing with enemy irons can check into the discount pro shop, which offers name-brand apparel and equipment at as high as 50% off retail price.