Hollywood Walk of Fame

In the early stages of development, California’s four main industries were citrus, oil, water, and eventually film. Today, one of those industries still has a large visible presence in the city of Los Angeles, the film industry. Since 1960, one could no longer stroll down Hollywood Boulevard without noticing the impact of this industry, for the sidewalk is paved with 2500 bronze stars, 2300 of which are currently inscribed with names. Every year, hundreds of significant figures who have left a mark in the entertainment industry are nominated; however, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is responsible for picking a select number of individuals to bestow this honor upon.

This landmark fits perfectly into the fantasy story that is California’s history. It displays a piece of our history that we are proud of, the entertainment industry and serves as a shrine to our social elite. It immortalizes our stars and casts them is the glamorous, historic figures in the fantasy narrative of our past.

This walk of fame also plays a role similar to that of the Venice canals, Olvera Street, or China City of the past. While it does not claim to give Americans a (false) “cultural” experience without them having to leave home as the aforementioned attractions did, it offers a piece of American culture and serves as a tourist trap, enticing hundreds of thousands of visitors to flock here annually. It reduces one of our major industries, the one responsible for our largest spurt in population and economic growth to something quaint to be seen/”experienced.”

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One Comment

  1. Katarina Stiller

    Cool article. It certainly does milk that touristy, quaint quality L.A. sure seems to like to project. When I walked down it last summer, it didn’t feel like a place of great historic or cultural significance–despite all the hubbub about what a special honor it is to get a star. It’s just another a tourist trap really.
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