Tag Archives: famous places

Only in L.A.!

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The other day while I was on my way to acting class I experienced one of those “Only in L.A.” moments that I love so much.  🙂   While walking past Lucky Strike Lanes Bowling Alley on Highland Avenue in Hollywood I noticed a vending machine selling Movie Star Maps and I just about died laughing.  LOL  You gotta love it!  I mean in every other city in America there are plenty of street-side vending machines selling newspapers, local publications, and maybe even the occasional apartment locator magazine.  But L.A. is unique. L.A. is special.  Here, right on the street smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, we have a vending machine which sells maps with the addresses of all of your favorite movie stars for the bargain price of $5.  God, I love L.A.!   🙂

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Even though the Movie Star Maps vending machine is not a filming location – that I know of! – I still just HAD to blog about it.  🙂

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Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: The Movie Star Maps vending machine is located on North Highland Avenue, in between Hollywood Boulevard and Yucca Street, just a few feet north of Lucky Strike Lanes Bowling Alley.

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The Father of the Bride Apartment

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I must bow down yet again to Mike over at MovieShotsLA for finding a filming location that has eluded me for years!  Ever since seeing Father of the Bride Part II  way back in 1995 – has it honestly been that long??? – I have been obsessed with Kimberly Williams’ Spanish style apartment building from the movie (pictured above).   I can still remember sitting in the theatre thinking that one day I wanted to live in an apartment building just like hers!  So the other day when Mike called me and asked if there were any locations I was currently stumped on, I remembered my obsession with the Father of the Bride  apartment and enlisted his help in locating it.  Sure enough, not even an hour later I got an email from him with a link to the address!  I am telling you, the guy is unbelievable!    So, bright and early the following morning I ran right out to finally stalk Annie’s apartment building.  🙂

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The small building, named La Casa Torre, is located in Pasadena and actually consists of eight condominium units situated around a picturesque central courtyard area, complete with a fountain.  The complex was built in 1927 by renowned Pasadena area architect Everett Phillips Babcock, who is famous for designing numerous Spanish style residences in the San Gabriel Valley.  Babcock started off his career working for prominent Los Angeles architect Wallace Neff, who just happens to have designed the famous French Normandy style home Brad and Jen lived during their married years.  In his design of La Casa Torre, Babcock implemented numerous Italian, Spanish, and Moorish details and each apartment boasted a real wood burning fireplace, mahogany floors, and travertine walls.  Adding to the building’s charm is the fact that no two units are alike.  La Casa Torre was featured in the 1996 book Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles  and is currently under evaluation by the City of Pasadena to receive historic landmark status. 

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Although it has been over fourteen years since Father of the Bride Part II  was filmed at this location, the building looks very much the same today as it did in the movie.  The foliage is somewhat overgrown now and the courtyard is not quite as picturesque as it appeared onscreen, but for all intents and purposes La Casa Torre hasn’t changed much since filming took place.  And I can’t tell you how excited I was to be seeing it in person!

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Ironically, it turns out that I used to work just down the street from Annie’s building and must have driven past it about a hundred times, but never recognized it.  In reality, the central courtyard is located behind and off to the side of the main building and therefore the complex doesn’t look like your typical couryard apartment building.  So I never stopped to check it out.  LOL  La Casa Torre is located just down the street from the house that was used as Steve Martin and Diane Keaton’s home in both Father of the Bride  movies.   Looks like when Annie moved out of her parents’ house she didn’t go very far.  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Annie’s apartment building from Father of the Bride Part II  is located at 611-627 California Boulevard in Pasadena.  Annie lived in Unit 619.  Remember the building and courtyard are private property  – while it is OK to look, it is not OK to trespass.  🙂

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The Marilyn Monroe Theatre

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A few weeks ago while out driving, I pulled my car to a screeching halt when I noticed a large sign reading “The Marilyn Monroe Theatre” on the side of a building in West Hollywood.  I had never heard of a MM Theatre in Los Angeles before, so of course I just had park my car to go investigate.  🙂  It turns out that the theatre is part of the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute.  For non-Marilyn fans, Lee Strasberg and his second wife Paula were MM’s beloved acting teachers and private acting coaches for the seven years leading up to her death.  While Marilyn never attended the Los Angeles branch of the Actors Studio, she did study at the New York studio beginning in March of 1955.

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By that time, Marilyn was already a huge celebrity with 26 films under her belt.  The already famous actress, who once said about acting “I am not interested in money.  I just want to be wonderful.”, enrolled in regular classes at “The Studio”, studying alongside far less successful performers than herself.  During class, due to her severe shyness and stage fright, Marilyn often sat in the very last row of seats in the very back of the room.  I find it so admirable that a star of her caliber at such a high point in her career would  be humble enough to study in a regular acting class.  You don’t see many stars of today doing that!  While at the studio, Marilyn studied alongside the likes of Eli Wallach (with whom she would later star in The Misfits), Kevin McCarthy, Maureen Stapleton, and Kim Stanley.  Of her acting Lee Strasberg said “I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of actors and actresses, and there are only two that stand out way above the rest.  Number one is Marlon Brando, and the second is Marilyn Monroe.”  It is so sad to me that while outsiders could see and appreciate Marilyn’s immense talent, she was never able to recognize it in herself. 

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When Marilyn passed away in 1962, she willed the bulk of her estate to her beloved acting coach and his wife.  Paula Strasberg died only four years later and a short year after that Lee Strasberg met and married a woman named Anna.  The two remained married until Lee’s death in 1982, upon which Anna inherited Marilyn’s vast fortune and control of her image.  In an ironic twist of fate, because Lee didn’t meet Anna until 1967, some five years after Marilyn’s death, the image and estate of one of the most famous stars in Hollywood history is controlled by a woman she never even met.

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In 1969, as a present to her husband, Anna purchased the property where the Marilyn Monroe Theatre and the Los Angeles branch of The Actors Studio now stands.  In the theatre’s early years, Lee’s acting classes were held there.  As time went on, though, the theatre became one of the most prestigious stage venues in Los Angeles.   And while Marilyn never set foot inside of the theatre that now bears her name, over the years it has  premiered many revered plays and has also played host to many famous actors and actresses including Sally Kirkland, Rebecca DeMornay, Joe Mantegna, Amy Madigan, Andrew Prine, Renee Taylor, Joseph Bologna, Burt Young, Kim Cattral, and Boy Meet’s World’s  Ben Savage.   Movie screenings are also often held at the theatre.   Actors who have participated in screenings at the MM Theatre include Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, John Voight, Bridget Fonda, Claire Danes, Martin Landau, Lesley Ann Warren, and Robert Wagner. 

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Of course, I highly recommend stalking the Marilyn Monroe Theatre.  Any fan of MM will definitely appreciate being there.  🙂  On a side note while researching the theatre, I happened upon a link with an address to a Marilyn Monroe Memorial Theatre located in San Francisco.  I am DEFINITELY going to have to stalk that the next time I am up there!!

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

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Stalk It: The Marilyn Monroe Theatre is located 7936 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.  San Francisco’s Marilyn Monroe Memorial Theatre is located at 96 Lafayette Street.  The Actors Studio in New York where Marilyn once studied is located at 432 West 44th Street.

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Pawn Shop to the Stars

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Another day, another pawn shop to write about.  🙂  Ironically, just around the corner from the now defunct Beverly Hills, 90210 pawn shop that I blogged about yesterday, is yet another local pawn shop that also has a  filming history.  Who knew that pawn shops were such popular filming locations??  🙂  Angelo’s Jewelry and Loan Company, which touts itself as the “Pawn Shop to the Stars”, opened up in 1984 and has the distinction of being Santa Monica’s oldest pawn shop.  Since it was around at the time, I can’t help but wonder why it wasn’t used as Dylan’s pawn shop in the “Anaconda” episode of 90210.  Or why there would be two pawn shops in such close proximity to each other.  Perhaps that explains why the “Anaconda” one is no longer in business.  Anyway, even though the tiny shop was overlooked by 90210 location scouts, it did get featured just last year in the Owen Wilson movie Drillbit Taylor. 

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  In Drillbit Taylor, a group of nerdy teenage boys hire con man Owen Wilson to be their bodyguard.  But instead of protecting them, Drillbit ends up robbing them blind and hawking their goods at a local pawn shop.  That pawn shop was Angelo’s.  And it looks exactly the same in real life as it did in the movie.   According to the owner Angelo’s has also been featured in other productions over the years, but he was unable to recall which ones – which boggles my mind!  LOL  My guess is that Angelo’s has appeared in one or more of the L.A. based crime dramas such as Without A Trace, Cold Case, or the CSI shows. 

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I found this location thanks to Mike over at MovieShotsLA, but the truth is I really should have recognized it myself. For over two years I took acting classes right around the corner from Angelo’s and would pass by the shop at least three times a week on my way to grab a coffee before or after class.  Every time I walked by I would laugh at the silly signs in the store windows (pictured above).  So when Mike told me that my acting class pawn shop was the very same pawn shop featured in Drillbit Taylor, I had to mentally kick myself for not immediately recognizing it.  And I call myself a stalker!!  LOL  Sometimes I really think all that blond dye goes straight to my head.  LOL  Thanks, Mike!

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According to this article, Angelo’s claim of being the “Pawn Shop to the Stars” is actually not a joke.  Apparently movie stars do stop in to Angelo’s from time to time, although the owner refuses to divulge which ones.  I didn’t see any while I was there, but who knows, while stalking the place you might end up spotting a celeb or two!  🙂

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  🙂

Stalk It: Angelo’s Pawn Shop is located at 206 Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica.

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