Posts Tagged With: california

Haunts of Hollywood

Graumann’s Chinese Theater has been a landmark on Hollywood Blvd. since 1927. Since then it has played a part in many motion picture premieres. In 1973 it became Mann’s Chinese Theater until Ted Mann divorced the wife, Rhonda Fleming. A year later he went bankrupt. It reverted to it’s original name until TCL, a Chinese electronics company purchased the naming rights 2013, renaming it the TCL Chinese Theater.

West Side Story, Mary Poppins and even Star Wars all premiered at the Chinese Theater over the years. Today it is still a hot property that Motion Picture Studios still try to book the theater for new movie premieres.

One of the most famous features of the theater is the celebrity handprints immortalized in cement. There are a number of stories about how they came to be, but the most widely retold, involves an actress, Norma Talmadge, accidentally stepped in wet cement.

Here you can see the handprints of John Wayne along with his fist. Whoopi Goldberg pushed a dreadlock into her cement and Mel Brooks wore a sixth finger on his right hand. Not all of the handprints are on display at any one time. With several hundred prints having been done, there are always some being repaired and just in storage.

Like many historic landmarks, The Chinese Theater is also haunted. In 1982, actor, Victor Killian was bludgeoned to death in his nearby apartment in 1982. He is purported to search the streets looking for his murderer. Employees have also reported strange noises and movement behind the theaters heavy curtain.

Categories: Haunted Travel, hdr, Hollywood, Theaters, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Making Christmas

Where can you find the perfect mix of Halloween and Christmas? Look no further than Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. The old New Orleans Square attraction gets a holiday overlay beginning in September and running through the Holidays.

Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is trying his hand at Christmas decorating. Jack O Lanterns with Santa hats, Wreaths with skulls and spider webs and Scarecrows impersonating the man in the red suit appear on the grounds of the deserted mansion.

Inside, the townspeople from Halloweentown are busy at work getting ready for Jack’s big holiday mash-up.

Categories: Disneyland, hdr, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Going to Dizzneyland

Do you like to go around and round? Getting dizzy in Disneyland is the perfect pastime. Especially after dark.

Categories: Disneyland, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For Me

Originally conceived as a walk through wax museum attraction, The Pirates Of The Caribbean has long been considered one of the most immersive dark rides in the world of Theme Parks.

When the attraction opened, Disney found the fake skeletons that the Imagineers had made to be missing “something”. It was then that they decided to use real human skeletons to represent the dead pirates. No one knows when these former cadaver skeletons from UCLA were swapped out with fake ones. But today, only one set of bones are the real thing (or so the legend goes.)

According to some longtime cast members, look for the skeleton in the big bed as you sail through the cavern. Behind his head is a skull and crossbones that is noticeably darker than the other bones in the attraction. This has never been acknowledged by Disney but one can only imagine.

Pirates of the Caribbean was the last attraction that Walt Disney worked on before he died in 1966. The cost to build it was over $8 million, coincidentally, this was the same amount the United States paid for acquiring New Orleans as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

Over the year’s the attraction has has several updates. Actor Johnny Depp starred as Captain Jack Sparrow appeared in The Pirates Of The Caribbean films. Captain Jack appears in the attraction several times.

The Pirates themselves became more politically correct over time. The infamous Wench Auction scene now features the townsfolk bringing their valuables to the auction master to be sold.

Helping sell off the town’s prized possessions is Red. You may remember her as one of the brides up for auction. Now, she has joined the pirate raiders and is helping with the proceedings.

If you’d like to join this band of marauding pirates, just take a visit to Disneyland.

Categories: Disney, Disneyland, hdr, Photography, Pirates, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something So Familiar

One of my favorite parts of any film studio is the backlot. The Warner Bros. Studio saw many classic films produced in their backlot. From Spiderman to Annie, used the famous Hennessy Street set.

Originally called Tenement Street, it was renamed Hennessy Street after Art Director Dale Hennessy. Hennessy was the Art Director for John Huston’s movie “Annie”. He redesigned Tenement Street to represent Annie’s New York city and the Orphanage where she lived.

If you saw the Movie “Gremlins” then you may recognize these steps down to the basement store where Hoyt Axton buys his son Gizmo. Unfortunately, the magical shop doesn’t exist at the bottom of the stairs.

The many fire escapes set the scene for Tobey Maguire’s and Kirsten Dunst’s upside kiss in “Spiderman” and Prince’s “Purple Rain” cover.

Around the corner from Hennessy Street you may see Hazzard County from “The Dukes Of Hazzard” where the Bo and Luke Duke would raise cain.

Even the Tanner Family from “Full House” have a house on the backlot. If you expect to find Uncle Jessie or Kimmy Gibbler hanging out on the front steps you will disappointed. It was only used once for a photo shoot and never appeared in the original series or the new version “Fuller House”. Even star Candace Cameron featured the fake Tanner House on her own Instagram.

There’s so much more to explore at The Warner Bros. Studio. For more information on tours check out this link below.

Categories: hdr, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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