H.J. Whitley is considered the founding father of Hollywood. He opened the Hollywood Hotel, in the early1900’s. In the early days the State of California was favorable to the motion picture business, because of its fair weather. Production companies began to boon in Los Angeles. Nine years after the founding of Hollywood, Los Angeles was following a close second to New York City for movie production. By 1940 Hollywood was world famous.
H.J. Whitley hired an architect to design Whitley Heights; the development named for the founder was the first celebrity community and was home to many early movie stars; Rudolph Valentino, W.C. Fields. William Powell, and Marlene Dietrich were all early residents.
Hollywood is west-northwest of the city of Los Angeles and does not have a mayor or city government. Millions of tourists visit Hollywood every year. Some are undoubtedly disappointed, expecting the persona of the town, rather than the quintessential town that it is. Hollywood is not the current stardom center. In fact, it would interest people to know that most of the television and movie studios are not located in the city of Hollywood, but have relocated to the San Fernando Valley. The only studio that remains in Hollywood is Paramount. Paramount is the studio that has been in operation the longest. Motion pictures and television shows have been produced there for one hundred years.
Visitors to Hollywood may tour the Paramount Studio lot. There are two options available to visitors:
- The Paramount Pictures Studio Tour takes two hours to complete and takes tourists behind the scenes of movie making history with a tour of the studio lot. Guides shuttle tourists around the studio lot providing a guided tour through the 65-acre lot. Tour guests have to be 12 years old or more. The ticket price for a studio tour is $48.00.
- The Paramount Pictures VIP Studio tour is four and a half hours long and will give tourists special access beyond what is available to the general public Lunch is part of the VIP tour and photo ops will abound. The cost of the VIP tour is $150.00.
While Paramount Pictures is the last remaining major studio located in Hollywood, there are still support industries dedicated to the film making business located in Hollywood. For instance, lighting, prop, and editing companies are still central to Hollywood.
The Dolby Theater is located in Hollywood on Highland Avenue. It was originally billed as the Kodak Theatre and was erected where the Hollywood Hotel once stood. The Dolby Theater is where celebrities gather for the annual Oscar award ceremony.