Tear It Down: Hollywood/Highland Edition
Sometimes you can't keep a good "let's tear down this god forsaken local monolith" LAist post down -- as is evidenced by today's resurgence of Tear It Down: Hollywood/Highland Edition.
Previously, LAist suggested we tear down the gaudy 8500 Melrose Avenue building and the Hollywood sign to no avail. Apparently, city council members and local demolition experts didn't hear our cries of dissent and, well, didn't really care.
But we digress, moving on to a monstrosity that the Romans might have built in ancient Greece had they been known for a love of crappy bowling alleys, labryinth-esque corridors and camera-wielding foreigners from other parts of Europe. Alas, no matter what the city of Hollywood thought they were doing to reinvigorate downtown Hollywood -- all they did was ruin their chances of getting local Angelenos excited at all by building a flashy nightmare draped in drag.
Unfortunately, Hollywood boulevard has always been known for a variety of things that do not appeal to locals. There's getting twelve t-shirts for twelve bucks, standing and looking down at the Walk of Fame in awe (only 14% of locals do this, FYI) and buying churros for a dollar. Why local t-shirt magnates haven't created the "buy a churro and twelve shirts while looking at the Walk of Fame for $20 bucks tour" is anyone's guess. Even Mann's Chinese theater -- which, for most people, had been the only reason to visit that part of town, has seemingly become less and less desireable with the creation of The Arclight and other mega-cinema houses.
So, then if no one cared about Hollywood Boulevard anymore, what did the developers of Hollywood/Highland think would happen when they built one huge mirage in the middle of skid row?
The goal, we think -- was to try and bring Angelenos back to the boulevard by giving them what they were looking for. High end shops, food and drink, entertainment and the largest underground parking garage ever known to man. But let's be honest, putting a diamond in a big scoop of poo isn't going to suddenly convince people to pick up said scoop of poo. And further, by pissing off local businesses (now closing because they couldn't afford the rent INSIDE the center and now had zero foot traffic because of the Walmart of entertainment complexes had given them the big slam down) -- developers were definitely not gaining the loyalty of local business owners who made that street what it was in the first place.
But all business/rent/flashy issues aside -- the Hollywood/Highland complex feels more like eating a piece of sponge cake. Sure, the taste at first is great -- but for the rest of the day you've got the worst taste in your mouth and there's nothing you can do to get rid of it. It's poorly planned, poorly laid out and the largest maze next to that one in The Shining (yes, they've just announced brand-new directional signs to help the lost children). It takes the dizzying feeling a normal mall like The Beverly Center or the Century City Shopping Center (we still refuse to call it Shoppingtown) and ramps it up to an all new level of nausea and disgust.
Some of you may like it, fine. Some of you may enjoy drinking your body weight in booze and hitting up Lucky Strike. Others may enjoy the dozens of clothing stores at your fingertips. But here at LAist, the site of the Hollywood/Highland monolith just makes us want to tear it down.
Will it happen? Probably not. Should it happen? Probably. Do you care?