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  • Hollywood Walk of FameHollywood Walk of Fame Hollywood, California
    The famous Hollywood Walk of Fame is a sidewalk along Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, California that is considered an entertainment museum and contains over 2000 embedded five pointed stars that have the names of human celebrities and fictional characters as well that have been honored by the city's chamber of commerce for their many contributions to the entertainment business. It is kept up by the self-financed Hollywood Historic Trust, with the first eight stars being dedicated in September 1958, and put in the sidewalk of the northwest corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. These were put in months before the official ground breaking ceremony in 1960 so that the new 12 story First Federal Savings and Loan of Hollywood would be finished. In February of 1960, Joanne Woodward was the first performer to get her own star on the walkway. The walk is almost 3.5 miles round trip, and the locations are permanent unless construction projects necessitate otherwise. Each one of the pink terrazzo five pointed stars are rimmed with bronze and inlaid into a charcoal square, with the name of the honoree inlaid in the pink star with bronze and just below it is the round bronze emblem that tells which category the star is being added for. These emblems are a motion picture camera for contributing to the film industry; television set for contributing to the TV industry; phonograph record for contributing to the music industry; radio microphone for the broadcast radio industry and twin comedy/tragedy masks for live theater. There are other emblems for special contributions and many have been added to that venue. The walk of fame was started as part of the Hollywood Improvement Program in the 1950s to improve the neighborhoods. The owners of Anesco Construction Company, Gordon McWilliams and Garrie Thompson came up with the unusual idea when they hoped that it would advertise their business. A prototype star made of brown terrazzo was placed with John Wayne's name in it in shiny brass, and the idea gained support, with the Chamber of Commerce choosing 1558 names of television, radio, film and recording to be the first honorees. The first stars were put in by the Consolidated Terrazzo Company with some honorees getting multiple stars for their contributions to different categories.

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  • Pantages TheatrePantage Theater Hollywood, California
    The Pantages Theater is a beautiful art deco theater that opened in 1930, and sits on the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood, California, and designed by B. Marcus Priteca. It was part of a group of theaters that opened to show vaudeville acts, and ended up showing first run movies entwined in the acts for its first two years. Then, when the Great Depression hit hard, it had to find cheaper ways to operate and began showing movies mostly with some intermittent vaudeville. It was the last theater built for Alexander Pantages, which he sold in 1932 to Fox West Coast Theaters. Howard Hughes purchased the theater in 1949, under his RKO theater circuit and began operating his offices on the second floor. From that year, until 1959, the Academy Award Ceremonies were held there, and it was a top venue for the Road show movies that continued until the 1970s. In 1965, it was run by Pacific Theaters company, closing in 1977 as a movie theater; but reopening in a month with Bubbling Brown Sugar, the first of a plethora of stage productions that is now the usual fare. It is presently run by part of the Nederlander Organization, and is considered to be one of the most prominent venues for live theater. In fact, the five best grossing weeks in the city's theatrical history were shows that appeared at the Pantages, and it has been used in music videos, TV shows and movies; recently showing large scale production musicals like the Lion King that ran in the theater for two years. Just lately, it hosted the LA production of the Broadway musical Wicked. It sits on one of the most prime locations in the city, receiving an upgrade in 2000 for $10 million. Originally, the design plans called for a 12 story building, but because of the 1929 crash, it only completed two floors, which were to be used for theater, and 10 for office spaces. In 2007, the plans were discovered and because today, there is such a high demand for offices and the entire area is in the middle of a great rejuvenation, there are considering a completion of those plans. The theater has hosted numerous rock concerts, retaining such bands as Foo Fighters and Dream Theater, and in 1997, some 4 years before she made her English crossover, Colombian songwriter-singer Shakira did her first show in this country there. In 2006, the Mexican pop band RBD recorded their hit CD/DVD "Live in Hollywood" at the theater, and the movie "The Jazz Singer" had its concert scenes held here.

January 11, 2011