While I was keeping my Hollywood Journal, I tried to take photos to document some of the changes that were occurring. These were taken while the Hollywood & Highland Center was being constructed, and they sort of go along with the first entry I wrote (Hollywood Journal – Intro). Sorry the quality isn’t better. I’m not a great photographer, and these were taken with a disposable camera.
It’s important to remember that Hollywood & Highland was being built as the same time as the Red Line was under construction below Hollywood Boulevard. Because one of the subway stops is built into the complex, the two projects had to be done concurrently. It was a crazy time, because the construction of that stretch of the Red Line was a mess. Hollywood Boulevard sank six inches, in part because the contractor was was not following proper procedures during tunneling. It was reported that they were using telephone books instead of metal wedges to prop up the supports.
Above are two views of the construction site from Hollywood Boulevard. In both you can see part of the office building that used to stand on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland. Also, in the background you can see the former Holiday Inn, which is now Loews Hollywood Hotel. Those familiar with the area will notice that in those days it didn’t have the facade which was added back when it was known as the Renaissance.
This is a shot of the El Capitan from Orchid. This part of the street no longer exists, since it was closed off in order to construct Hollywood & Highland. You can still enter Orchid from the north on Franklin, but it no longer continues through to Hollywood Boulevard.
The stars on the sidewalk in front of the project were removed during construction, and then replaced when the project was finished.
Above is a shot looking west. It’s too bad the image isn’t very sharp, but you can see the remnants of a cool mural depicting whales in the ocean. It was painted on the side of the Chinese Theatres. Also, in the distance, you can see the Roosevelt Hotel.
Another shot of the construction site facing west.
In the first two photos above you can see the office building that used to stand on the northwest corner of Hollywood and Highland. It had to be demolished to make way for the new mall, and I remember how its disappearance created this amazing sense of space. Before the new structure rose up, you had a mostly unobstructed view of the hills. And for a while the First National Building, which still stands today, seemed to tower over everything.
Another view of the construction site, looking towards the El Capitan.
During the eighties movie exhibitors began building multiplexes instead of stand-alone theatres. In order to compete, the company that owned the Chinese built two more auditoriums right next door, the Chinese Two and Three. They didn’t look like much from the outside, but they both offered large screens and excellent sound. When Hollywood & Highland was built these two theatres were demolished, and were replaced with six more inside the mall.