The Hollywood sign looks a lot cooler when you’re parallel with it. Hollywood Air Tours provides aerial views of this and other famous LA landmarks that range from the Staples Center and Pacific Palisades to Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, and Will Rogers State Historic Park. The expert pilots, who double as tour guides, provide a variety of tours that include flights over Malibu Beach and celebrity homes, as well as the mega tour, which covers almost every conceivable landmark, from UCLA and the Sunset Strip to Dodger Stadium, city hall, and the Playboy Mansion.
At twin cinemas in Hollywood and Santa Monica, American Cinematheque preserves the thrill of classic films and introduces the newest works by modern auteurs. A relic of the glamorous past, the Egyptian Theatre was built in 1922 and inspired by the search for the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. From its first showing of Robin Hood until today, it has operated as a movie house, and now sends 60-foot-wide images and crystalline sound flashing through the ornate mirage of its interior.
Today, the screens' ever-unpredictable and constantly changing lineup can include anything from the lightweight whimsy of Citizen Kane to the modern masterpiece Spaceballs, and frequent festivals focus on themes from world cinema to film noir.
At both cinemas, modern works are often further illuminated by their creators, with events and post-show discussions featuring the directors and actors.
If you didn't know any better, it would be easy to assume that The School of Shred is a place to learn guitar, or at least a place to practice the art of destroying important documents. Instead, the school teaches its students how to shred through waves, shred across pavement, and shred down mountainsides. It's a fitting business name for owner Corey Oswald, who has seemingly spent more of his life moving on some kind of board than on his own two feet. Corey has more than 20 years of experience surfing, skateboarding, and snowboarding. But today, and for nearly a decade now, he helps others get their shred on by offering group and private lessons in all three sports.
Professional tennis player Sam Querrey has been ranked in the ATP’s top 20 players in the world—but that may never have happened if it wasn’t for Tim Schnaible. Schnaible served as Querrey’s personal coach in the tennis star’s formative years of 10–16, helping mold his big serve and net-charging game into one of the world’s most formidable talents. Today, as the owner and director of tennis at Match Tough Tennis Academy, Schnaible continues to train players with the help of a staff of former high school, college, and USTA standouts. The Academy offers group lessons for adults and juniors of all abilities, as well as pro-shop services including racket stringing with a 24-hour turnaround.
Just before Halloween, Theatricum BOO-tanicum stocks its wooded grounds in the heart of Topanga Canyon with ghosties friendly to all ages. Throughout the evening, spooky guides weave stories about things that go bump or hiss in the night while teaching the basics of carving pumpkins and how to avoid accidentally granting them consciousness. Costumed thespians, many of whom can be seen on stage in less ghastly roles during the Theatricum Botanicum's regular season, staff a haunted house and game booths, and live musicians including Tommy Santee Klaws, Peter Alsop, and the Matt Van Winkle Band perform ghoulish hits. Guests can attempt to outscare the pros at a costume contest, and for an additional $10, help themselves to a portion of chicken and waffles from Bon Mélange Catering.
The Maori people—indigenous to New Zealand—coined the phrase "kia kaha," which translates as forever strong. To them, it's not so much a boast as a life philosophy about overcoming adversity, a philosophy shared by the staff of trainers at New Zealand Fitness. They use exercise methods from around the world—be it India's yoga, Latin America's Zumba, or the world-dance-fusion art of Danzmundo—to strengthen bodies. In addition, they provide supportive coaching to strengthen the spirit.