What you need to know!
Did a full day walking tour of LA. Our tour guide Damien was very knowledgeable & passionate about giving us all the information in a clear & concise way. The tour was very well planned & organised & was not tiring.
We did The Real Hollywood tour & loved it! The tour was at a great pace & the guide (Vicky) was very knowledgeable & made the tour fun. Thank you!
Stuart was so knowledgeable & was worth the day with him. I had been to LA multiple times before but this is the first time I had taken a tour - so thrilled to have this experience with my mom & sister. I would recommend this tour again & again.
We had an amazing DTLA Murder Mystery Ghost tour with Damien & Dante... thank you very much from the Italian girls... very interesting & funny… absolutely recommended!
This tour was awesome! Stuart is very knowledgeable, likeable & fun. The stops on the tour were very interesting & I learned a lot. I’ve been on quite a few tours of this nature & this was one of my favorites - highly recommend!
Did a walking tour of LA (LA in a Day). Vicky started us off with the Hollywood tour & Damien (who is also the owner) was our guide for the rest of the day. The entire day was awesome, I suggest this tour. There isn't that much walking, to be honest. It's very fun!
My boyfriend & I took the DTLA Murder Mystery Ghost tour with Stuart as our guide & had the most amazing time! We had experiences we will never forget! We were able to see parts & people of Los Angeles that we never would have without Stuart. I give this 10/10. If we visit again, this will be at the top of our to do list!
Absolutely amazing! Highly recommend taking both The Real Hollywood Tour & the Central Downtown LA tour! Our time in LA wouldn't have been the same. Great way to learn about the city, see it from a different angle, explore the local life & learn about its history & filming industry. Damien our guide was fantastic!
Sylvie was our host & was fantastic. She had a lot of local knowledge & gave her unique perspective as someone who had moved to the area many years ago, so she had an outsider's as well as an insider's perspective. The tour gave us a great overview of Santa Monica & Venice & set us up for a great rest of the day.
We took 2 tours, the Santa Monica & Venice Bike tour (with Sylvie) & the Real Hollywood tour (with Damien). Both were great & highly recommended. Sylvie & Damien were informative, knowledgeable & easy to talk to. They were like you were with friends. We were traveling as a family of 4 with 2 boys (15 & 12). We all enjoyed the tours.
10 Movies Set in Hollywood
For this list we’ve focused only on movies set in Hollywood – otherwise we’d have to list thousands and thousands of movies. It’s often said that Hollywood (the movie industry) loves to make movies about itself and, although that may not be entirely true, there are a number of movies that have been made about the movie industry and there are others that have used the neighborhood as a backdrop. If you’re visiting Hollywood consider watching these movies – they’re all classics and you can probably stream some of them on Netflix (or Youtube). It’s fun to spot places that you’ve been when they’re being used as locations in movies – and you can show off to your friends if you’re watching with them and you see a location that you recognize.
An early version of A Star is Born (which has once again been remade in 2018), starring Constance Bennett and Lowell Sherman, it’s the one of the original movies that’s about the movie industry (which was still fairly new then) as well as being a classic amongst movies set in Hollywood itself. Watch it to see how the strong the cult of fame had become even in the 1930’s – and to see what Hollywood looked like then.
Another movie that’s about the dark side of movie-land – Hollywood as a state of mind as much as an industry (and area). This is a classic that you can watch again and again. William Holden visits several famous Hollywood hangouts, including the legendary Schwab’s Drug Store which used to be on the corner of Sunset and Highland and which was where Lana Turner was famously “discovered” in the 1930’s when she popped in for a soda.
The third and final of James Dean’s films – and the only one of his movies set in Los Angeles, this film (also starring Sal Mineo and Nathalie Wood) used a host of locations in the area, including the Hollywood Hills and Los Feliz (where the High School the young stars attended was situated). One of the most famous sequences was shot at the Griffith Observatory, where there’s now a bust of James Dean (from which you can get a great photo of the Hollywood Sign).
Quintessential 80’s action movie – and very much a Los Angeles movie too. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover chase criminals and create mayhem all over the city, but where would the villain’s lair be? A nightclub on Hollywood Boulevard of course. Lethal Weapon is also emblematic of movies set in Hollywood, or Los Angeles, in the sense that L.A. is often seen as a place where bad things happen – violent crime, natural disasters, alien invasions etc.
Audience favorite and one of the most popular romantic comedies of all time, Julia Roberts’ apartment is on Las Palmas, right off the Walk of Fame. No longer an area of vice and prostitution you can see how Hollywood Boulevard has really cleaned up since the late 1980’s (although the chances of running into a movie star there like Richard Gere have also diminished it would seem). Who can forget the opening speech: “Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ – this is Hollywood”. You knew this would be high on the list of movies set in Hollywood, right?
A love letter to the beginnings of the movie industry, when Los Angeles, and Hollywood, was first becoming the movie capital of America (and the world). The movie uses several locations in Hollywood itself, including Chaplin’s own studios (still there, on Sunset and La Brea, although unfortunately closed to the public) and other historic spots like Musso and Frank’s near Hollywood and Highland. Still Robert Downey Jr.’s finest performance? He was Oscar nominated.
Another movie about movies – and Hollywood almost never comes out of these kinds of movies looking good. Hollywood Center Studios, Sunset Boulevard and Hollywood Boulevard itself make appearances in this satire about a movie producer who just can’t seem to concentrate on covering up a crime he committed.
Another famous action movie set in Los Angeles, this time from the 1990’s, and Keanu Reeves’ most successful movie until the Matrix Trilogy. The movie filmed all over L.A., including in downtown, but the famous denouement, when the subway train shoots out of the tunnel and into the street, was filmed at Hollywood and Highland where construction was taking place at the time on the Red Line subway.
A beautifully shot movie set in 1950’s Los Angeles, starring Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce and Kim Basinger, L.A. Confidential used a wealth of Hollywood locations including the Frolic Room (at the Pantages Theater, where our The Real Hollywood Tour and LA in a Day tour both start), Café Formosa and Boardners. Watch for a pivotal scene where Kevin Spacey walks in front of the famous Crossroads of the World, on Sunset Boulevard.
Martin Scorsese’s movie about the billionaire Howard Hughes (played by Leonardo Di Caprio) used several Hollywood locations from the 1930’s, including the Pantages Theater, Graumann’s Chinese Theater (as it was then) and the Frank Lloyd Wright designed Sowden House (in Los Feliz). Although Howard Hughes was many things and the title of the movie refers to his work developing and flying airplanes, the movie mostly focuses on his career as a Hollywood mogul.
La La Land (2016) – Bonus Movie (see photo above)
So actually there are 11 movies set in Hollywood on our list! Fun, bright and breezy throwback to those musicals that the studios used to make in the 1950’s. Mia and Sebastian dance and sing their way around Hollywood (watch out for the Knickerbocker, The Roosevelt and the You are the Star mural) and it looks beautiful. Don’t be disappointed if you visit Hollywood and it doesn’t quite look as good as it does in La La Land. It’s a movie!