February 8, 2012
Walk of Fame Made Hollywood a Destination
Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times
Fifty years ago, the Hollywood Walk of Fame began as a gimmick to lure visitors to a Los Angeles neighborhood that had fallen on hard times in the post-World War II years.
In the same year that “Ben Hur” won the Academy Award for best picture, Hollywood leaders and actors gathered near the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street to install the first pink terrazzo stars rimmed with bronze to launch a $1.2 million venture that some skeptics called excessive.
Now, 2,400 stars later, business groups and local boosters say the sidewalk attraction has played a crucial role in making tourism the biggest industry in Los Angeles County, drawing nearly 26 million visitors and $14 billion a year.
The walk itself —...
TAGGED: Los Angeles