There is only one place in the world where you can see the stars on the Walk of Fame. That place is Hollywood, attracting over ten million tourists a year. The heart of the Walk of Fame is an area known as Hollywood and Highland. On its own there is much to sight-see at this famous intersection, which is easily accessible by Los Angeles’ metro red line subway.
What may not be common knowledge is that there are many interesting sightseeing opportunities in a one mile radius of Hollywood and Highland. This adjacent sights series is about sharing some of those sights with you. So…if you are willing, put on your walking shoes and travel along with your Los Angeles (LA) sightseeing examiner on a Hollywood street hike adventure.
Our fifth point of interest on this northeast of Hollywood/Highland loop of sights for this series: the Hollywood Bowl.
The entire venue known as the Hollywood bowl currently encompasses 88 acres of land (a football field is 300 feet by 160 feet, which is equivalent to 1.1. acres). This iconic site includes among other things, the Hollywood bowl amphitheater and seating area, the Hollywood bowl muse and the Hollywood bowl museum. This second article in our three-article bowl series focuses on the amphitheater and seating area.
“Although people often think the name Hollywood Bowl refers to the dome-shaped band shell on the stage, it is actually a reference to the natural bowl-shape area surrounded by the Hollywood Hills formerly known as the Daisy Dell.
The 59 acre Bolton Canyon site was originally purchased in 1919 by the Theatre Arts Alliance Inc. for $47,500 to build a community park and art center. They originally called it ‘The Park’.”
The above two paragraphs are quoted from the Water and Power Associates early views of the Hollywood bowl page. This page includes many fabulous old photos and commentary sharing the rich history that is the Hollywood bowl. If you are interested in reading more about this, please click here.
Here’s a fun fact: using a Consumer Price Index (CPI) Inflation Calculator from the internet, what was $47,500 in 1919 has the same buying power as $629,042.77 in 2012. Of course, buying the original 59 acres or the current 88 acres today would probably cost more than 629 thousand dollars.
Of the many fun facts your SoCal gal found out about the bowl, she includes three that fascinated her here (not in any particular order):
1. Assumed the bowl started/opened the same time as the original amphitheater shell was designed and completed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, in 1927. The initial shell was in place only one season before being torn down. The shell has been torn down, tweaked and replaced on numerous times since 1927. The most recent remodel finished in time for the June 25 opening of the bowl’s 2004 season and was about bringing the bowl more up to speed with the digital age.
2. Amazed to find that in 1953 a reflecting pool was installed near the stage along with a fountain, lights and other effects to produce water shows. Due to the impact this had on the bowl’s acoustics, the pool was eventually drained and eliminated in 1972. This area was replaced with seating which is to this day referred to as the pool circle seats.
3. Advised you can see the Hollywood sign from the bowl seats while having never noticed this before on previous trips to the bowl, your SoCal gal felt compelled to prove this for herself. Yes, it’s true. To access the view and/or photo this, you need to climb to Promenade 4 between section T1 and section S (see this article’s photo).
In case you didn’t know, one of the fun things about the Hollywood bowl venue is that you are still allowed to enhance your concert going experience by bringing a picnic with you and/or adult beverages (assuming you are of age).
One of the original intentions of the bowl was to create a place where the growing population of the LA area (in 1920 reached over half a million putting LA in the top ten for the first time of the most populated cities) could enjoy a fresh-air, picnic-style outdoor concert. At that time indoor concerts in this area of the country were just too hot to enjoy for the majority of the summer season.
For the purposes of the street hike, this area of the bowl is accessible during bowl hours when there are no rehearsals or performances happening on the stage. Hopefully if you do this street hike, this area of the bowl will be available for your enjoyment. Or for proving to yourself the Hollywood sign is visible from the bowl.
Next up: Hollywood bowl muse