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5 Must-See Hollywood Landmarks

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

Since the early 1900s, Hollywood, California has created a worldwide buzz. Tourists come from all around the world to bask in the stars' glow. Visit these well- and lesser-known landmarks and get a glimpse into the real Hollywood.

1. Hollywood Bowl

Built in 1920 on 59 acres with the backdrop of the Hollywood Hills, this historic, open-air musical stadium that seats over 17,000 people has seen all types of performances from symphonies to musical plays and dances to The Beatles. The structure can be seen in numerous movies and television shows. Its trademark shell was replaced a few times in its history (even twice by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright), most recently in 2004. Adjacent to the band shell is the Hollywood Bowl Museum and park. Check out the free museum during the daytime or before shows or picnic in the park.

2. Capitol Records

Built in 1956, this iconic, circular tower of Capitol Records has a spire at the top that interestingly flashes "Hollywood" in Morse code. See the record label building where famous and not-yet-famous recording artists got their start. Musicians such as John Lennon, George Harrison, Jennifer Lopez, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Eagles, and Katy Perry all recorded here. Lots of memorabilia, gold albums and photos are on display.

3. Paramount Studio

Paramount Studio is the longest-running and only major studio still in Hollywood. Its over 100-year history encompasses all phases of motion pictures, television shows and the new digital world, expanding its space from 26 to 65 acres. Picture yourself in front of the Paramount Studio sign or the New York Street lot. Take a two-hour or half-day tour of the studio lots, relive historic movies and see entertainment history in the making.

4. Max Factor Building

This restored 1935 Art Deco pink and green marble building now houses five floors of the Hollywood Museum where props, costumes and scripts are displayed. The museum is mostly a place to view movie and TV memorabilia from the early to newer days, as the displays have limited descriptions. However, this is a place where movie stars (think Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe) got their image from hair coloring to makeup. There are even rooms with color schemes favoring redheads, brunettes, blondes and "brownettes" that were originally used by Max Factor, the "makeup king" of Hollywood, who created modern beauty.

5. Knickerbocker

The Hollywood Knickerbocker Apartments has been a senior complex since the 1970s, but it used to be the famed Knickerbocker Hotel that catered to the stars. The beautiful structure was built in 1925 favoring a Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture. The 1970s remodel kept the original exterior, but renovated the interior for its new use. Claims were made that the building is haunted by those associated with early Hollywood movies or entertainment (Rudolf Valentino, studio head D.W. Griffith, Harry Houdini, Marilyn Monroe) and there were several famous deaths in or around the former hotel.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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