HOLLYWOOD CENTER STUDIOS
Celebrating 96 Years of
April 02, 2015
Hollywood Center Studios (HCS), located in the heart of the Media District at 1040 N. Las Palmas Ave. is an independent production lot providing stages and related services to television, movie, and commercial production companies. Founded in 1919, the lot is one of the oldest production facilities in Hollywood.
In 1919, John Jasper, a former associate of Charlie Chaplin, built three production stages and several bungalows on a 16.5 acre site in Hollywood and named it Hollywood Studios Inc. The first stages resembled green houses with steel frames, cloth walls, glass roofs and clerestory windows. Among the first tenants was comedian Harold Lloyd, who was arguably the biggest star of the silent film era.
The lot changed ownership and name several times during its early years while continuing to evolve and grow. In 1926, the then Metropolitan Studios began construction of one of the industry’s first sound stages. A few years later, Howard Hughes took up residence on the lot and used it to shoot his World War I epic Hell’s Angels, known for its innovative use of sound and for the screen debut of Jean Harlow.
Scores of films were produced on the lot during the 1930s and 1940s. They included the Mae West vehicles Klondike Annie and Go West, Young Man, the 21-picture Hopalong Cassidy series, the Bing Crosby classic Pennies from Heaven and the Marx Brothers’ A Night in Casablanca. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Stan Laurel, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, and Glenn Ford were among the stars who worked on the lot in the pre-World War II years. Also, James Cagney made several films on the lot at a time when his brother William was a part owner.
With the advent of television, production on the lot changed dramatically. In 1952, the lot made history when Stage 2 became the home to I Love Lucy, the first prime-time comedy shot on film and produced before a live audience originating from the West Coast. Also continuing on into the 1960s, the lot hosted a number of classic comedies including Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies.
In 1980, director Francis Ford Coppola purchased the lot and used it to produce a number of films. Unfortunately cost overruns on Coppola’s films combined with a time of poor box office performance, caused Coppola to fall into financial difficulties only after a few short years and the lot was sold again. This time the lot and studios were sold to Canadian real estate developers, the Singer Family.
The Singer Family initiated a comprehensive modernization and refurbishing effort that sparked a revival of the lot’s fortunes and attracted a new generation of feature film and commercial filmmakers. The Singers also returned television production to the lot by adding control rooms and the infrastructure required for multi-camera video production. The lot again became home to some of the country’s most popular shows, including Jeopardy!, Star Search, Soul Train, The Man Show, and the Emmy Award-winning children’s series Pee-wee’s Playhouse.
HCS continues to provide stage facilities for many television productions, including shows produced by Disney, NBC, Comedy Central, and MTV. Today, the lot features 12 sound stages ranging in sizes from 440 sq. ft. up to 19,000 sq. ft., several of which are able to accommodate live audiences, as well as a virtual set stage for webcasts. Lot features also include HD television control rooms; grip and lighting facilities; hair, make-up and dressing rooms; and production offices.
In recent years, Hollywood Center Studios has continued to grow and modernize. In a multi-million dollar investment, the lot’s control rooms, camera packages and infrastructure have been upgraded to support television clients such as Disney, who produce numerous kid- and teen-oriented series on the lot. Additionally, production office space has more than doubled, providing homes for dozens of independent companies, representing every niche in the industry.
City Officially Designates
"HOLLYWOOD THEATRE ROW"
March 31, 2015
On February 27th LA City Council approved Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s motion to officially identify and designate the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Wilcox Ave. as “Hollywood Theatre Row,” and the motion directs the LADOT to install commemorative signs marking the intersection.
This intersection is part of a larger area stretching along Santa Monica Blvd. between McCadden Pl. and El Centro Ave., and where over a dozen live theatres have been in operation for decades. There are over twenty stages with some of the best plays, musicals, comedies, and dramas presented by some of Los Angeles’ most award-winning and critically acclaimed live theatre companies. Also at these small, intimate live theatres there are seasoned and award-winning actors, directors and playwrights, working and teaching along side of the younger actors who are there to learn and perfect their crafts.
The Hollywood Fringe Festival
June 11th through 28th
January 28, 2015
The sixth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival is gearing up to take place from June 11th through 28th, with previews beginning on June 4th. While events will be spread throughout Hollywood, many of them will be taking place in the Media District at theaters along Theatre Row. This community-derived event celebrates freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts.
In 2014, nearly 1,500 performances were staged at 64 spaces throughout Hollywood. Over 46,000 seats were filled, generating an estimated $389,000 for artists, producers and venues. Ticket sales have nearly tripled since the festival debuted in 2010.
Fringe Festivals exist throughout the world as havens for underground and emerging arts scenes. The festival concept originated in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1947 when eight performance groups appeared uninvited on the “fringes” of the exclusive Edinburgh International Festival. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe has since grown into the largest arts festival in the world attracting millions of patrons every summer. Fringe Festivals have since sprung up in dozens of cities across the world. Most Fringe Festivals are uncurated and open, which fosters the work of both the well-established and the obscure – everyone has the opportunity to participate.
Fringe organizers are seeking businesses to take part in the Fringe Hotspot Program, which provides discounts and services to Fringe-goers that will be attending the festival. For every $1 spent on local theater, another $7 is spent on local businesses. All eligible businesses that choose to participate will receive special promotion. For additional information and a list of Hollywood venues and performances go to: HollywoodFringe.org .
Theatre Row Hollywood
FOOD TRUCK SATURDAY NIGHTS!
March 10, 2015
Hollywood Theatre Row is pleased to announce the introduction of Food Truck Saturday Nights! Every week, weather permitting – there will be a different series of food trucks at different locations along Theatre Row from about 7pm to10pm. The location of the truck(s) will vary depending on the number of shows and expected audiences.
Theatre goers can come early to a show or stay afterward to get some of the delicious food the trucks will be serving. This is in addition to Eat This Café, 6547 Santa Monica Blvd., open until 8pm and serves beer and wine, or the Hudson Lobby Café, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., open until 10pm and is a great late night spot to grab coffee and a light bite. For more info and schedules, go to hollywoodtheatrerow.com.
Kevin James, LA’s New Chief Film Industry Liaison
March 10, 2015
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti recently named Kevin James as the city’s new chief “film industry liaison,” and announced several steps to expedite filming permits within the city. Also, Garcetti signed an executive order requiring each city department to appoint their own film liaison who will attend quarterly meetings to troubleshoot any issues film companies have in getting permits. Furthermore Garcetti announced that the city’s Economic and Workforce Development Department will provide a list of city-owned properties that the industry may use free of charge. Each city department will also be responsible for making sure all applicable fees are set at the lowest possible amount and the application processes are kept simple.
This move is part of a broader initiative that Garcetti introduced as “Greenlight Hollywood,” a campaign aimed to promote the city to studios, talent agencies, managers and financiers as a film destination. With the recent passage of State Assembly Bill 1839, the new state of California law that expands the annual program of tax credits from $100 million to $330 million a year, James was quoted by saying his mission will be to, “deliver on Mayor Garcetti’s priority of ensuring that Los Angeles effectively capitalizes on these terrific opportunities for continuing job growth in our city.”
New-Media Digital Jobs
Driving Hollywood Employment
March 10, 2015
A surge in digital entertainment jobs from new online shows on Amazon, YouTube and other new-media outlets has helped drive employment in Hollywood to the highest level in a decade. These new digital venues are rapidly reshaping how entertainment is delivered to consumers and provide new jobs that didn’t exist when the recession began in 2007. Some 8,000 new jobs were added to the motion picture and sound recording sector in Los Angeles County last year, according to state jobs data. The 6.5% growth from the previous year was three times higher than all private-sector jobs in the county.
There have been signs that the California economy has been on the mend for some time. But the dramatic recovery of the entertainment sector is particularly crucial to LA because it pumps billions of dollars into the region’s economy. It’s an unexpected comeback story for an industry hard hit by a stream of layoffs at major studios and an unwelcome trend of filming being lured out of state by generous tax credits and rebates.
The local entertainment industry had an average annual employment of 130,900 jobs in 2014, not counting freelance workers. It marks the second consecutive year of growth in the sector, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. “We have a prolonged recovery from the recession, then we have a digital media surge that is taking place here in Southern California and an increase in commercial activity as firms are increasing their advertising expenditures,” said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist with Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “It’s encouraging that we have been able to see these gains in employment elsewhere that have been backfilling the jobs that are lost.” “People are basing their operations here because this is where the talent is — the writers, actors and directors,” said Kevin Klowden, an economist with the Milken Institute. “It’s really helping to reinforce the role of LA as the content center, even as TV and movie productions have been doing most of their work elsewhere.” Also and as consumer confidence improves, advertisers are filming more commercials. That has led to a continued growth in commercial production, which was up 9% last year, according to FilmLA. Nearly half of all commercials are filmed in the LA area.
Crossroads of a New Emerging Arts District
N. Highland Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd.
January 28, 2015
Over the past few years the Media District has had a surge in galleries and alternative art spaces opening along the Highland Ave. corridor. Do to the rise of digital media requiring smaller spaces, the area’s many studios and film-storage facilities are being adapted and re-purposed for these welcomed new businesses.
This rapidly growing arts hub just got busier with the recent opening of Various Small Fires (VSF), 812 N. Highland Ave. Formerly located in Venice, VSF now occupies a more than 5000 sq. ft. building. VSF is dedicated to exhibitions that challenge conventional modes of art production and presentation, and its new gallery facilities were conceived to be a dynamic environment. The complex is a series of connecting indoor and outdoor spaces for the presentations of art in all media. Upon entering the facility, visitors first walk through an outdoor sound corridor architecturally outfitted with an array of hidden speakers to present an ongoing program of curated and commissioned sound art. At the end of the sound corridor is a roofless outdoor gallery, surrounded by white walls and dedicated to large-scale sculpture installations, performance, and video art.
Other galleries and such that have opened in the past few years are:
Regen Projects, 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., formerly located in West Hollywood, now has a 20,000 sq. ft. building just off of the corner of N. Highland Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd.
Michael Kohn Gallery, 1227 N. Highland Ave., formerly located on Beverly Blvd., now has a 10,000 sq. ft. gallery space. As per Michael Kohn, “I do expect more galleries to open in Hollywood, and I expect them to start moving to the streets east of Highland. There’s no reason why great spaces won’t be built on Cahuenga and Vine, re-energizing this part of Hollywood.”
Perry Rubenstein Gallery, 1227 N. Highland Ave., is in a former 7200 sq. ft. film-stock warehouse.
LAXArt, 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., relocated from Culver City into a former recording studio.
Blackman Cruz, 836 N. Highland Ave., an eclectic interior design studio with offbeat curiosities.
La-La Land Gallery, 6450 Santa Monica Blvd., home base for artist, Kii Arens.
LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division), 6775 Santa Monica Blvd., a non-profit organization curating site-specific public art exhibitions.
J. F. Chen, 941 N. Highland Ave., an antique furniture dealer with recent contemporary art installations inside their 40,000 sq. ft. former warehouse.
Just One Eye, 7000 Romaine St., in a building once owned by Howard Hughes, they are a high-end luxury boutique and part art gallery.
Greg Lauren, 730 N. Highland Ave, contemporary-artist-turned-clothing-designer Greg (nephew of Ralph) has worked for years out of several studios along Highland Ave.
Others include: Redling Fine Art, 6757 Santa Monica Blvd.; Gavlak Gallery, 1034 N. Highland Ave.; Hannah Hoffman Gallery, 1010 N. Highland Ave.; and Thomas Duncan Gallery, 6109 Melrose Ave.; Steve Turner Gallery, 6830 Santa Monica Blvd.
PATH in the BID
(People Assisting The Homeless)
November 21, 2014
As of 2013, a Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count determined that there are 58,423 individuals experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles on any given night, 74% (43,410) of whom go unsheltered and literally live on the street. These people become homeless for many reasons, including job loss, domestic violence, lack of affordable housing, under-employment, health issues, substance abuse, natural disasters, and more. Each person has a unique life history and unique issues that have contributed to their situation.
Of people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, 33% are living with a mental illness, many of whom are stable when receiving the support and/or medications they need. It is important to move past the stereotype that all homeless people are “crazy” and beyond the notion they can not be helped.
PATH has been working with our BID’s Security Patrol force, as well as the Hollywood Police Division, to mediate interactions with homeless individuals and ensure that the needs of the community and the homeless individual are addressed. For additional information you can contact PATH at email@example.com, or go to epath.org .
Abandoned Shopping Carts?
What To Do
August 06, 2014
The California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corp. (CSCRC), located in Burbank, is your source for requesting pickups and removals of abandoned shopping carts left along public streets. (Please note that not all stores’ carts are serviced by CSCRC and carts containing homeless peoples’ belongings can not be removed).
Call them toll free at 800.252.4613, or go online to cartretrieval.net .
BID Services Keep Your Property
and Business Clean and Safe
February 21, 2012
Highland Ave. looking north from Melrose Ave.
Also, the Media District contracts with Universal Protection Services (UPS) to provide Security Patrols within the BID. These patrols are by foot, on bicycles, and in the Media District’s security vehicle. Patroling security officers are present throughout the District 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. If needed, they can be directly contacted by calling 323.871.4150.
If you are having any problems keeping your property or business clean and safe – trash dumped or graffiti, suspicious or nuisance individuals coming onto your property or into your business – please consider completing two very important forms that can help. These forms are: a “Trespass Authorization” form and a “Graffiti Paint Out Agreement” form.
The first form is a “Trespass Authorization” that gives permission to Officers of the LAPD and the Media District to come on to your property and exercise enforcement of your No Trespassing signage. (Please note, you must have No Trespassing signs posted.)
The second form is a “Graffiti Paint Out Agreement” that allows HBT to come on to your property and paint out tagging and graffiti. Also, upon request they will accept paint from property owners and businesses in order to match your existing colors.
To obtain these Authorization and Agreement forms, or to request any other services within the BID, please contact Jim Omahen, Operations Manager for the Media District at 323.860.0088 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
A Bit About BIDs
January 22, 2014
A business improvement district (BID) is a defined area within which commercial property owners pay an additional assessment in order to fund improvements within the district's boundaries. BIDs may go by other names, such as business improvement area, business revitalization zone, community improvement district, special services area, or special improvement district. BIDs provide services, such as cleaning streets, providing security, making capital improvements, and marketing the area. The services provided by BIDs are supplemental to those already provided by the local municipality.
The first BID was the Bloor West Village BIA, which was established in Toronto in 1970. The first BID in the United States was the Downtown Development District in New Orleans in 1974. BIDs have been established around the world, including in New Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, Serbia, Albania, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. A study in 2007 found 739 BIDs worldwide, but current estimates are that there are well over 1000 BIDs in the United States alone.
Legislation is necessary to permit local governments to create BIDs. The process for creating a BID varies from one jurisdiction to another, but generally three steps are involved. First, some number of property owners in the area organize and petition the local government to create the BID. Second, the local government determines that a majority of property owners, usually done by a vote, want the BID. Third, the local government enacts legislation creating the BID. Residences and some governmental entities are usually exempt from making any contributions, and the operating budgets of BIDs range from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars.
A BID may be operated by a nonprofit organization or by a quasi-governmental entity. The governance of a BID is the responsibility of a board of directors composed of some combination of property owners or their designated representatives. The management of a BID is the job of a paid administrator usually called an executive director or a management company and often other managing staff.
BIDs have also become a powerful lobby group, lobbying government for improvements such as new sidewalks, trees, park benches and other restorations. BIDs can also lobby different levels of government for a complete facelift on their area if they feel it is necessary. BIDs have been created in situations where neither the private sector nor government can adequately provide needed changes or services for the betterment of a specific area.
There are four BIDs in Hollywood: Hollywood Media District, Hollywood Entertainment District, the Hollywood & Vine Business Improvement District, and the East Hollywood Business Improvement District.
Media District Dining Guide
April 08, 2015
With an upscale atmosphere and an air of sophistication, AMMO has been located on Highland Avenue since 1996. With a full bar, AMMO is a great place for lunch or dinner. www.ammocafe.com
Bombay Grill, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
Serving up traditional Indian cuisine for lunch and dinner.
Chinese Express, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
Inexpensive chinese food, good combo deals available.
Crown of India, 6755 Santa Monica Blvd.
Come see why people are flocking to this authentic Indian eatery! Amazing food with great lunch specials keep this place bustling.
Eat This Café, 6547 Santa Monica Blvd.
Offering seasonal sandwiches, fresh salads, and panini in an eclectic space in the heart of the Media District. Lunch and dinner daily, 10am to 8pm, serving brunch on Sun 10am to 3pm, beer and wine available. eatthiscafe.com
Grub, 911 Seward St.
Serving up California Comfort Food with a side of sass and a quirky and inviting atmosphere! Now open for lunch or dinner everyday, plus weekend brunch on Sat-Sun (and also now serving wine and beer). www.grub-la.com
The Hollywood Corner, 1156 Highland Ave.
This place has a little of everything, including wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches, an amazing breakfast menu, beer and wine, and red velvet mini-cakes to die for! Sign up for their loyalty program and get 15% off your meal. callthecorner.com
Hudson Lobby Café, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
A coffee house style full service espresso bar, light dining and wifi service. www.hudsontheatre.com
Jack in the Box, 1243 N. Highland Ave.
Fast food with an eclectic menu - everything from salads to burgers, to egg rolls and tacos. Drive-thru open late. www.jackinthebox.com
Marino Ristorante, 6001 Melrose Ave.
This family owned business has been serving up the finest traditional Italian food for nearly thirty years. With an upscale atmosphere and a great wine list. Serving lunch and diner. marinorestaurant.net
Rao’s Italian Restaurant, 1006 Seward St.
With locations in New York’s East Harlem and inside Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, this Southern Neapolitan family-style upscale eatery is now open in the Media District. Serving dinner Monday through Friday only, with a full bar. Reservations recommended, 323.962.7267. raosla.com
Shakey's Pizza, 7001 Santa Monica Blvd.
Known for their large buffet, Shakey’s is a favorite lunch time spot for many employees in the District. Mojo Potatoes are just one of the highlights here. www.shakeys.com
Subway, 6775 Santa Monica Blvd.
A healthy alternative to fast food, who doesn't love a Subway sandwich? www.subway.com
Mud Hen Tavern, 742 Highland Ave.
Chef Susan Feniger and Executive Chef and partner Kajsa Alger have reinvented the former STREET with refurbishing the space. Also they have an expanded bar with a draft beer system. For reservations or more information go to mudhentavern.com or call 323.203.0500.
Taqueria La Pinata, 6751 Santa Monica Blvd.
This taco stand, formerly Benitos and more recently Hoagie's and Wings, is now operated by the same folks that run the Crown of India Restaurant directly behind it. So expect the same quality food and service but with a latin flavor!
Tasty Thai Restaurant, 718 N. Vine St.
Great lunch specials at this hole-in-the-wall asian eatery.
Trois Mec, 716 N. Highland Ave.
Simple but interesting with an open-kitchen interior and offering an exclusively French wine list. Pre-paid ticket reservations only, serving one nightly 5-course dinner Mondays through Fridays only. troismec.com
Xiomara Restaurant, 6101 Melrose Ave.
A favorite of the Media District Board of Directors, this exotic restaurant features Cuban-inspired food and a full bar where you would think the mojito was born. Great lunch specials, too! www.xiomararestaurant.com
Yoshinoya, 6300 Santa Monica Blvd.
Home of the Beef Bowl, Yoshinoya is fast food with a Japanese twist. Drive through available, open late. www.yoshinoyausa.com
Did we miss you? We aimed to include every restaurant within the boundaries of our District, so please let us know if we failed to include something. Email Jim Omahen, email@example.com with your information.